Best & Worst Laptop Brands

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best worst ltp brands 2016 full scorecard v2.5
Whether you're buying a car, a washing machine or a computer, brands matter. That's why, each year, we evaluate the leading laptop brands to determine which provide the best products and support. While even the lowest-ranked companies offer some quality laptops and the top brands have a few less-than-perfect entries, it's important to know about the manufacturer when you're considering your purchase.

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This year, Apple and Dell maintained their positions as the No. 1 and No. 2 rated brands, respectively, while Asus jumped up from seventh place to third, based on some very strong products. By the same token, HP fell from third to sixth, due to a series of mediocre laptops, not much innovation and weak support.

1. Apple

Apple remains our top brand for the seventh year in a row, thanks to its combination of best-in-class laptops and industry-leading tech support. The Cupertino, California-based company also received top scores for its powerful preloaded software and convenient warranty coverage that lets you either mail in a defective product or bring it to a store for service.

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Full Report | Best Apple MacBooks

2. Dell

For the second consecutive year, Dell is the best PC (i.e., non-Apple) laptop vendor — and No. 2 overall — because of its strong laptop lineup and helpful warranty. The company offers the widest array of laptops, ranging from low-cost Windows systems and Chromebooks to high-end gaming rigs. The XPS 13 is our favorite notebook overall.

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Full Report | Best Dell Laptops

3. Asus

Asus climbed the ranks to third place this year because of its attractive, well-built products. Thanks to high-quality laptops like the Asus ZenBook UX305, the Taiwanese manufacturer took third place in the Reviews category. The brand also scored high for value, thanks to aggressively priced products like the Asus F555LA, a sub-$400 laptop with a 1080p screen.

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Full Report | Best Asus Laptops

How We Rate Brands

To evaluate the brands, we assign each company a score on a 100-point scale. The scores are broken down into seven categories: Design, Reviews, Tech Support, Warranty, Software, Innovation, and Value and Selection. Here's what each means:

Design (15 points): We absolutely will judge a notebook by its cover — and its sides, deck, bezel and base. Though no two notebooks look exactly the same, each brand has a design language that cuts across its product lines. We look at not only aesthetics but also the materials used and overall build quality.

Reviews (30 points): The most important aspect of any brand is the quality of its products. To determine a company's Reviews category score, we used the ratings we gave its laptops between Feb. 1, 2015, and Jan. 31, 2016. We added up the number of stars each laptop received (Laptop Mag grades on a scale of 1 to 5), add a point for every Editors' Choice award and count ratings below 3 stars, which we consider "not recommended," as minus 1. We then divide the score by the number of laptops we reviewed and multiply by 5 to reach our total out of 30 points.

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Tech Support (20 points): When you buy a laptop, you want to know that the manufacturer is going to stand behind it and help you with technical problems. We base this score on the ratings from our annual Tech Support Showdown, where we go undercover and pose questions to all of the companies, using their phone, Web and social channels. To reach our score out of 15 points, we divided the last Tech Support Showdown rating, which is out of 100, by 5.

Warranty (5 points): If something goes wrong with your laptop, how easy will it be to get it serviced? Most companies offer a standard one-year warranty; but some make you pay for shipping when you send in a product for repairs, whereas others absorb the cost. The best brands also allow you to upgrade your RAM and storage drive, without voiding their warranties.

Software (5 points): Most laptops come with a few first-party utilities, and many come with at least some bloatware. We give points for providing useful applications and steering clear of unwanted preloaded software.

Innovation (10 points): The laptop 2-in-1 market is moving fast, and if you stand still, you'll get rolled over. For the Innovation category, we award points based on the brand's ability to move the market forward by implementing or developing new technologies.

Value and Selection (15 points): Which market segments does the manufacturer address, and do the products provide a good bang for your buck? For this category, we award points for having a wide range of laptop types (budget, business, gaming, etc.) and for providing aggressive pricing. Providing the ability to configure your own system online is another plus.

Best & Worst Laptop Brands

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340 comments
  • Madan meena Says:

    After Apple up is best in all features and desion but other laptop are not good features also desion is average cell laptop is only in black desion

  • Madan meena Says:

    After Apple up is best in all features and desion but other laptop are not good features also desion is average cell laptop is only in black desion

  • MOHAMMAD FAIZAN ANSARI Says:

    I will buy a laptop in this week. I wanna purchase Acer or lenevo laptop. Is this right/wrong decision? Please help me by giving me a suggestion.
    Thanking you.

  • jonathan Kabia jaja Says:

    I want to buy ASUS checking I came across this information thanks keep it up.

  • joathah Kabia jaja Says:

    I wanted to buy a laptop when I came across this information thank u very very very much I like to get this kind of information thanks.

  • Arit Saha Says:

    I will buy a laptop in this week. I wanna purchase Lenovo laptop. Is this right/wrong decision? Please help me by giving me a suggestion.
    Thanking you.

  • Prem Chand Says:

    I know and also user of lenevo laptop but i m not satisfied with this laptop many prob faced from the date of purchase pl.do not by any laptop by lenevo lenevo 100% quality failure system much more quality issue in thia laptop mostly hinsez,battery,mouse pad etc

  • Guillaume Says:

    This is article is about the best laptops brands and you do not even talk about the batteries life of these laptops.

    It has to be a joke because if one of these brands do not let you get a second battery you for its laptop you won't be able to work correctly for a long period and you won't be able to achieve your work.

    For example :

    Considering a laptop as a tool, if this particular tool don't let you achive your work properly in a given period of time then you can't considere this tool as an effective tool, so all brands that provides laptop and that don't let you get a second battery when you are on the go should be regarded as "toys" provider.

    When you are about to get a new computer, keep your needs in mind and invest for a long period of time, the battery have a limited time life.

  • matuu Says:

    How can you say the best laptops are the apple laptops when you can't even get a second battery when you are on the go !

    These laptops are not designed for "pro".

  • Rocco Atamatozzi Says:

    Dell's tech support has been falling out of favor at my office. We've purchased onsite support, but are constantly fighting the tech as they insist we ship equipment back for depot repair.

    The onsite techs (granted, they're with Unisys) have been extremely capable and they've completed tasks such as replacing a mobo or LCD and bezel. I don't understand why, now, we need to ship the laptops to the depot.

  • Julie Says:

    I'm thinking of getting a laptop, should I get a hp 17 p106 na or an asus x553 sa?

  • Lowell Deemer Says:

    Purchased HP all in one computer in Nov. 2014. It has been a nightmare First 6 months Hard drive needed to be replaced. Little help from HP. Shortly after that start up menu corrupted, again very little help from HP. Only to find out my 3 yr warranty is a piece of crap. No more HP for me. Tired of being left in the cold!!!!!!

  • Markus Says:

    How come HP got 2nd highest score for tech support is beyond me! Bluetooth on my HP Pavilion effectively stopped working after 3 years as HP didn't bother to update drivers. All attempts to solve the problem has been fruitless.... On top of that, I've never owned any device so crammed with preloaded adware, bloatware, spyware, etc. as my HP laptop. I will definitely take my business somewhere else.

  • Best PC cleaner Says:

    Admiring the dedication you put in this post, thanks for sharing it. Keep it up, great work.
    Thank you.

  • Arijit Says:

    In my choice lenovo and sony and apple are best laptop brands.

  • Chief Says:

    If there was any year that apple shouldnt be number one its this one. Their macbook air's and macbook pro's hasnt been updated for quite sometime.

  • RochelleStar Says:

    I've had a Gateway laptop for almost 8 years and it works great except the battery and charger is dying on me. I ordered a Dell laptop that should be in next week. What's a good way to transfer everything, music, pictures, etc.?

  • Samantha A. Says:

    Just got the Lenovo ideapad yesterday. I love it so far. Great price does it all.

  • Dulanjan Says:

    I'm planning on buying a good laptop with higher performance...after macbook pro what is good? Vaio or dell? Please make a review thanks

  • Arthur Says:

    I want to buy lenovo ideapad 300 14ISK. Is it a good laptop ? Please make a review

  • Vaibhavbalkar Says:

    Why not lenovo? What about lenovo?

  • Chuck Walker Says:

    Very helpful but surprised to see Dell #2 and Toshiba almost last but you are doing it the right way by statistics of large numbers. I guess i just by chance have the Dell with a failing hard drive after only 18 months and a Toshiba Satalite still functioning with utility after 5 years! Mine is based on a sample size of 2 with a huge standard deviation and not statistically reliable! ☺️ Thank you for your research!

  • AtlantaGreg Says:

    Actually, there should be a category for "reliability" based on what percentage of a maker's laptops break down over the first year/two years of ownership. Dell comes in # 2 in your charts now, but not long ago they had a very bad reputation for having problems, as has HP (I've had two Dell laptop hard drives die within the first 14 months of low use ownership, etc).

  • Akshay jaggi Says:

    Actualy i want to buy a gaming laptop..
    I want to ask whether alienware 15 is a good laptop or not..Problem is that i studied every gaming laptop and i selected alienware 15 because of its configuration and ofcourse its eye catching design and colorfull lights..This laptop has strucked in my mind and i want to buy it..
    Now the main thing is that i have read so so so many reviews on google

  • FinnH Says:

    Very good list. I would have given the top spot to Dell for perfecting xps- the best laptop. Apple is close second for great build quality and customer care. Limitations of the OS is a pain in the azz for some but mac OS is its strong point as well for giving ease, giving peace of mind, and for being intuitive.
    I would give the creator of Thinkpad the third place. Asus is 4th. Thinkpads for unparalleled quality of keyboard and ruggedness. Best laptops are xps, macbook, thinkpad. Zenbooks are ok too but only xps and tp can rival macbooks.
    Nice pick at top 5. I couldn't agree more.
    So i got Dell, Apple, Lenovo, Asus, MSI. If you are to buy a laptop, choose only between my top 3. Give Asus and MSI a long look though. Watch out for Microsoft. They could get one of the top spots in the near future. Surfacebook is an overkill but shows glimpse of what MS is capable of.
    All other brands, just forget about them.

  • Aaron Says:

    I bought a Toshiba about 6 years ago, and it has been the worst laptop I ever owned. Their tech support is REALLY bad. When I escalated to corporate, they didn't care. Filed a BBB complaint and they blamed it on me. I will NEVER buy anything from Toshiba again.

    I also own a Macbook. It works like it should. Apple *anything* is overpriced. They are good machines, but not worth $1000+, and there is very little software compared to Windows. I don't hate them, but they are limited in hardware and software.

    I've bought several Lenovo laptops. Very happy with them.

  • Ruvinda Amal Says:

    i think acer bateery life is too good other laptops brand today we have some lesson in 8hours. my all friend charge their laptops but i didn't charge it and still i have 18% .so acer should come to the top

  • George Says:

    The quality of Toshiba REALLY has dropped - avoid them! I got a Satellite P50 and it has been nothing but trouble.

  • Chris Harris Says:

    What About Razer Laptops? They have the best color out of all of the laptops I've seen. They have the power of a desktop, in the portability of a 12.5 inch screen and they weighs only .5 lbs more than the MacBook Air... Razer By Gamers, for Gamers [Totally not sent by the company to review the product :D]

  • Janet Rooks Says:

    What about Sony in your ratings?

  • Barry Says:

    Once again, Apple is not compatible for the Real Estate Industry!
    Parallels is weak & not a solution.

  • Rufeo Says:

    OMGosh... how can you rate Apple Computers in the same category as a PCs? Apple users are like zealots, if the Mac is dead in their hands, they still swear by it, they will never admit they wasted money on junk… Mac users are like a cult they are right in their decisions and no amount of problems, failures and frustration will convince them they wasted money on a useless piece of junk… 6% of the market share does not even give them a vote in any kind of reality… Stop taking the “Phone giant’s bride money” to put their Mac junk on a list they don’t even belong on, much less on the top of that list that is so unrealistic.

  • Grace Main Says:

    I have a 2006 Dell Microsoft Inspiron EP with a 2010 Office Windows upgrade but still not compatible for all use. What do you recommend? Thanx for your great info. and ratings.

  • Renzo Says:

    Not an engineer but I have used apple (macs) and different windows laptops. Apple is completely overrated, with the price you pay for it you can get a extreme powerful windows laptop. You only pay for the name, totally stupid. I've had an Asus for almost 3 years now, and it still works awesome. It's speed has slightly decreased, but for people who knows a little more that could mainly be due to the hard drive. Also I have a really close friend who has had a Toshiba for almost 5 years now and it still in perfect working condition. Have read a lot good about dells as well so I would say top 3 : Asus, Dell and Toshiba.

  • Dale H Says:

    No way! I’m afraid you don’t know what you’re talking about. I have only owned Toshiba’s and have never had a problem with anything. I have worked on many other brands that are not even close to the quality and performance. I bet you’re getting a lot of hate mail about these results.

  • Raj kumar Says:

    No Way Dell can be in top 2, crap build quality and customer service is a nightmare.Just search for hinge issues and you will find how bad it is

  • David Peterson Says:

    A two year old Asus cannot accept the new Windows 10. This is a ripoff. Your ratings do not reflect real life value to ordinary, regular consumers who do NOT need a new computer every two years. No wonder every day citizens are angry.
    Medicare products and an entire industry and government that refuses to protect its citizens from crooks who steal our information and financial identity. Your generation does not understand the value of work and quality.

  • Derek Says:

    Does Microsoft make a laptop???? Never heard of it.
    Soooo..if Dell sold a million laptops vs Acer, who may have only sold 100K, this rating would be skewed, since reviews make up 30 % of your rating. by your point system, you are trying to say that tech support is less important than reviews
    I am a computer tech, and i will tell you that, i get more dell repairs than any other laptop. Never gotten an Acer, Samsung or MSI coming in for repair, only Upgrades......

  • macks Says:

    I am an engineer, apple is overrated, THAT' you won't find on any site, we think it's a rip off.

  • Barbara Says:

    Tell me more about Lenovo.
    I need a new laptop to run AutoDesk Revit and AutoCad LT

  • Chandra Says:

    Thanks from your research very useful indid 👍🏽

  • nitrofurano Says:

    how good System76 laptops are?

  • Errol Oake Says:

    I bought a hp notebook 15.6 15-ac116ni, April 2016, however quality very flimsy flexible plastic feels cheap, put in a cd everything rattles and vibrates, playing regional DVD picture very poor quality can't make colour of eyes or hair, no colour adjustment only bright and dim adjustment, rating for me is very poor no thank you! Made in China! Unhappy customer returning it back, only had it 1 hour!

  • The Fahrenheit Says:

    I have a Lenovo Ideapad 100 laptop. It works great. I love the design of it at the same time.

  • margaret Says:

    Would never buy another HP, they should be at the bottom of the list. My Pavallion worked for 2 yrs on and off for the 4 yrs. I had it,piece of junk!! Pick up my new Dell the beginning of May. my sons Dell has lasted 5 yrs. awesome computers.

  • Ajay sachdeva Says:

    At least now I have the idea of which laptop am about to buy.thanks for your research

  • kyalo Says:

    At least now I have the idea of which laptop am about to buy.thanks for your research

  • Margaret Says:

    Dell is the best to me. I have used this laptop for 6 years and still working very fine. Although slower now but the hardware is so strong. several times it has fallen,should have stopped working. Although would love if the battery life be improved upon. if i would get another, would still want it to be dell.

  • Sharon Says:

    I have had a lot of laptops. 3 dells, all pretty good, 2 that still work. I buy new when I want to upgrade. HP had good sound but the hinge broke and then the harddrive was shaking loose so picked up a Lenovo... it is working ok we will see how long it lasts with 10 hours a day use.

  • JJRam Says:

    I think you should add the life or "duration" i have a Lenovo Y510p and it works fine two years after that the warranty expires and some time later stops working, and not turn on...that was apparently a common problem in that laptop(i read it maybe was by lead reduction in Motherboard), i know that is hard to measure and that measure maybe not apply for current models, or can meassure also QUALITY i preffer a laptop that i not need send to support than a good warranty, i want a laptop for use it at least 5 years not only 2

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