Best & Worst Laptop Brands

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The most important question we try to answer at Laptop Mag is the following: "What laptop should I buy?" It's a question with many facets and tons of possible answers. But, often, a good place to start is to decide which brand deserves your hard-earned dollars. Thus, we examine all the biggest notebook makers each year, taking a hard look at laptop quality, technical support, value and selection, and other criteria.

Best-Worst-Brands-2015-chart-finalSome brands climbed our rankings in 2015, such as HP and Dell, but others crashed. Lenovo fell from second place all the way to sixth, thanks in part to lackluster tech support and the loading of dangerous adware on some consumer laptops.

1st Place: Apple

The undisputed king of laptop brands for six years and counting, Apple retains the No. 1 spot in this year’s survey. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company won 5 out of the 9 categories, including a perfect score for its laptop reviews. Its tech support score is also stellar, and the brand's keyboards and touchpads, audio quality and preloaded software can't be beat. Assuming you have the budget, Apple laptops are the way to go.

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Full Report

2nd Place: Dell 

Jumping up to second place, Dell's rise over the last year has been something to behold. The company took first place in the categories of innovation, value and selection, as well as in audio. We were also impressed with Dell's reviews and technical support, which all point to why the brand rose from fifth place to runner-up.

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Full Report | Best Dell Laptops

3rd Place: HP 

HP also rose in the ranks this year, going from fourth to third. We're big fans of the company's designs, and the attention it pays to audio quality. For laptop shoppers, HP customers have a huge selection of prices, styles and configurations from which to choose, and once you’ve made a decision, you can trust in the quality of the technical support.

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Full Report | Best HP Laptops

How We Score

A brand's score hinges on many factors, from a company's ability to solve your problems to design and comfort. But we start by looking at the ratings and reviews of all laptops reviewed between January 31, 2014 to January 31, 2015.

For the Reviews category, points are awarded based on the ratings. For example, if a notebook had a rating of four stars, then it was awarded 4 points. A company received minus 1 point for any review lower than three stars, and was awarded 1 point for each Editors' Choice award. The total number of points for each brand were then added up and averaged. The company with the highest score received 20 points, while the rest received a percentage of that based on their score relative to the winner.

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Our annual Tech Support Showdown forms the basis for that section. The scale starts with 20 points for an A+ score and goes down to 0 for an F. Within a grade (B-, B, B+) the point changes are less drastic than if a brand drops a full grade.

Design is essential in helping consumers choose a laptop. Thus, we look back at each brand's aesthetics, material choices and durability to come up with those 15 points possible.

We also examined how each brand fared in the individual benchmarks for Keyboard & Touchpads, Display and Audio categories. Those brands that beat the category averages for tests such as key travel, color brightness and accuracy as well as decibel output scored highest. We also examined our general experience with each brand in those categories for the last year.

A good score in the Innovation category points to an eagerness to embrace and successfully implement the newest technologies on the market. A good Value & Selection score is about how easy it is for a consumer to find and buy a brand's laptops, at a good price. The Software category score hinges on a company's branded and preloaded programs that come on new laptops. Are they useful, annoying, or — hopefully not — dangerous adware.

Best & Worst Laptop Brands

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262 comments
  • Shelby7 Says:

    I totally agree with Acer and Toshiba being at the bottom of the list. I have purchased both makes in the past. My Acer was absolute rubbish with a crack appearing at the hinge when it was only 9 months old. The hard drive failed completely when it was only 2 years old. It was constantly freezing up and not responding. As for my Toshiba Satellite, the motherboard failed only 4 months ago when it was just under 3 years old. I must admit that the Toshiba was good while it lasted. I am now of the opinion that no laptops are made to last for any length of time.

  • sauraj tanwar Says:

    I purchased hp laptop that is third quality. Hp 5th zeneration 30000/-price ka . voice is so slow that u can't heard from two feet far away from laptop my rating to hp laptop 1/10.I never advice any other to purchase hp laptop

  • sauraj tanwar Says:

    I purchased hp laptop that is third quality. Hp 5th zeneration 30000/-price ka . voice is so slow that u can't heard from two feet far away from laptop my rating to hp laptop 1/10.I never advice any other to purchase hp laptop

  • sauraj tanwar Says:

    I purchased hp laptop that is third quality. Hp 5th zeneration 30000/-price ka . voice is so slow that u can't heard from two feet far away from laptop my rating to hp laptop 1/10.I never advice any other to purchase hp laptop

  • sauraj tanwar Says:

    I purchased hp laptop that is third quality. Hp 5th zeneration 30000/-price ka . voice is so slow that u can't heard from two feet far away from laptop my rating to hp laptop 1/10.I never advice any other to purchase hp laptop

  • sauraj tanwar Says:

    I purchased hp laptop that is third quality. Hp 5th zeneration 30000/-price ka . voice is so slow that u can't heard from two feet far away from laptop my rating to hp laptop 1/10.I never advice any other to purchase hp laptop

  • sauraj tanwar Says:

    I purchased hp laptop that is third quality. Hp 5th zeneration 30000/-price ka . voice is so slow that u can't heard from two feet far away from laptop

  • Zackary Says:

    Lenovo is the most horrible brand I have ever heard of, not only does the customer support fail epically, but the hardware itself is just undatisfactory. I have had my Lenovo ideacentre for one year and had to factory reset it more than necessary within three months, had the entire system freeze, unable to connect to any Internet connections, or just not even cooperate with itself. I am HIGHLY UNSATISFIED and never wish to do business with Lenovo ever again. So heads up if you plan on getting Lenovo brand, just save your money for more important things.

    My rating to Lenovo: 0 of 10

  • JeffieJeff Says:

    HP is a terrible brand. Not sure why it's so high here. The laptop gets so hot it just shuts down. It became so slow and hot in less than a year of use. I'll never by an HP product again.

  • Azlan Says:

    I owned near 10 brand, HP the worst ever, the support driver from official full link mixed up and blame user false.. I attack user if think efeect they reputaion, 1 desktop & 1 notebook (2014) destroy right ater waranty end.. I have little knowlege I can what actually happen all already setup by them.. centos dont lies to, good luck HP.. you can do to others but not me... I have sony, Dell, toshiba its not like hp device, even they stuff more aging..

  • arnold b. Says:

    my loptop was NEO 1 of my bestfreind forever thanks was a very good performance thanks God...my idea on how to protect my unit is always take care the whole system .sometimes i encounter problems but thru the help of internit and other friend.i really solve the problem...

  • Claude Holmes Says:

    As a Owner of both Dell & HP Laptops for over 6yrs. Dell has improved, and to my surpassed HP in certain areas in terms of Construction, Design, Engineering & Tech support. I had chosen HP for it's certain special features in their Laptops & their well known printers also. One Laptop was for main use, the 2nd was for a spare, should the 1st one break down. I purposely did this to see which Laptop gave me better overall results.

  • Alexander Says:

    Well; I expect Sony Vaio to be in the list and I want to know the models of these laptops that scored these marks .

  • Todor Says:

    Also worth noting that Apple doesn't sell low-price laptops, which helps A LOT in keeping your rating high.
    Because if you compare macbooks to lenovo thinkpads, dell precisions, hp elitebooks, etc. it would be somewhere in the middle.

  • Saint Double Says:

    Maybe if you have put in OS compatibility in survey, Apple would fall down place or two down. Also if you have put I/O port support, it would also go palce or two down. So basically - I am saying you are bought by those Apple bastards to make survey work for them. Because people - if they see on site like this - that something is voted best- the will buy it. Good bye trollers.

  • Ahtes Says:

    Ultra fast WiFi connectivity m dick reader it's to good just go to buy and compare with features wise

  • michael Says:

    i agree that acer laptops should be down at the bottom, most of all is because they charge 50 dollars per question in the help section and they are so unbelievebly slow, not because of internet connection, i even deleted almost every thing on my laptop to speed it up again but it still went slow even if all you wanted to do was to go to the windows menu! i also dont think that apple should be up there, just because their popular doesnt mean their good.

  • Charles Says:

    Hp is a load of chap. It is simply a terrible brand. Very very unreliable. Honestly, it is the worst laptop brand on the market and I have ever regretted patronising it. My first hp laptop,a probook, got spoilt after 2 years with motherboard and power problems ...then I bought the envy m6, which also broke down after 2 years. Even the hinges were falling apart. The laptop couldn't stand upright and the screen had to be supported to keep it standing. I'm forever done with hp. Never again. If hp ranks this high in your review, then I can only think: either u have been bribed or promised some incentives.

  • Charles Says:

    Hp is a terrible brand. Very Underdale. Honestly, it is the worst laptop brand on the market. My first hp laptop,a probook, got spoilt after 2 years...then I bought the envy m6, which also broke down after 2 years. I'm forever done with hp. Maybe hp have bribed u guys.

  • Michelle Says:

    I have had HP for 5 years, it got broken after the 1st year, the ventilator heats too much, it's not good brand of notebooks.

  • Jizzhat Says:

    So because YOU have an acer, it should not be in last place?
    that is how industry standard review systems should be run, should they?

  • connorpearo Says:

    dell should be in first as well as in 2end toshiba my toshiba is going on 10 years strong

  • Zhorah Says:

    Why is Acer LAST PLACE? I have an Acer Predator 15 and it is AMAZING!

  • Tammy Says:

    I purchased a computer from Dell via online. Terrible customer service from the beginning...waited days for call backs that were suppose to be within 15 minutes...was told that I would receive my products on December 31/15 after ordering on December 23...only received said product on January 4/16...didn't even receive the mouse which I had ordered with the laptop?! TERRIBLE TERRIBLE TERRIBLE TERRIBLE TERRIBLE TERRIBLE TERRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE!!!! I'M RETURNING THE LAPTOP BECAUSE I'M STILL WAITING FOR THAT PHONE CALL THAT I WAS SUPPOSE TO RECEIVE YESTERDAY AT 11:15 AM!!!!

  • yourdad Says:

    bullshit , are you guys getting incentives from HP? those are the worst laptops in the market , stop this nonsense and make some reliable reviews

  • Tom Mack Says:

    Wondering your thoughts on the Getac brand? I've had bad luck over the years with drops so I know they look rugged but didn't see them in your list? Thanks!

  • name0987 Says:

    apple innovative ? on what ? maybe something relate to steve jobs ; it's hard to find quality , even being expensive , maybe after 10 years or at all ; i'm not a fanboy , i didn't find something good ; i think something really good it's in military and goverments....so don't be fanboy for a piece of shit called apple products(i mean all comercial products of apple)

  • HeyBuddy UpYours Says:

    I noticed that the results have been adjusted. For whatever reason, MSI was given a score of 8/20 in their Tech support, yet according to LaptopMag's article on MSI's tech support & their rating of 75.5/100 divided by 5 = 15/20 according to their article here: http://www.laptopmag.com/articles/msi-tech-support

    If MSI were given their true tech support rating of 15/20, & if this article were not biased & skewed, MSI's total rating would be 76/100 landing it the 3rd ranking brand.

    What else has been falsified, skewed & outright biased? I'll take LaptopMag's words with grains of salt & dig further to reach my own conclusions.

  • Steven Says:

    What a load of crap. Is this website sponsored by HP? The fact that they scored an 18 for customer support must be a joke. Also as someone else pointed out, arguably one of the MOST IMPORTANT parameters which is reliability is not even included here. This is one that HP fails miserably.

  • KrisBe Says:

    I agree with the comments about Sony Vaio. I bought mine like 6 years ago and just now the hard drive failed (got a new one , all working fine now). Apple make awesome laptops but they are so expensive that unless you have a serious income every month you can only dream about one of those. I really hope Sony will change their minds and start making laptops /pc again cuz their laptops , in my opinion, are the best ! If one day my Vaio fails for good I have no idea what I will buy cuz seriously , I look at all those laptops and ... I cant like anything. Not even the designs. :(

  • Tenzin Says:

    Hi there I was just reading your blog here, about which brand of laptop is the top, why SONY is not included? I'm using a Sony Vaio laptop, bought around 2010 and it's still running the same when I first purchased.

  • nikhil agrawal Says:

    Is there any mini laptop of hp with i3 processor below price 30000

  • Splash Says:

    I spent 2.5 years doing corporate IT sales with full after sale service. We lodged the service calls for our clients and tracked the service. You can get lucky with any brand but after selling many thousands of laptops, I will say HP is a nightmare. Terrible reliability, no show service. Even million dollar clients are given no respect so imagine you. Lenovo had for me the most reliable product, thankfully because customer care is mediocre at best which i guess is why they have an exchange and fix program. That is easy for Lenovo but clients refused to send in their hard drives-understandably. Lenovo needs to bite the bullet and take customer service and PRIVACY seriously. Then you will have a mac competitor. I logged 2 hours a day on service calls. HP Dell took almost all of it.

  • kmsimpson Says:

    For those that are complaining about the price of an Apple laptop, keep in mind that the average Apple laptop will last 2-3 or times as long as the PC counterparts. I recently gave away my 8yo MacBook Pro. It is still able to run the latest version of the operating system, and run it well. An 8yo PC laptop is a doorstop. Also, Apple already has everything built-in, so there is no extra cost. BTW, my experience with Apple is not unusual, it is routine.

    I am curious as to how the Dell, MSI, and ASUS ranked higher than Apple in terms of innovation. None of them run a Thunderbolt or anything close to in for file transfer speed, they do not have flash storage for speed and reliability, and they all run the same software. How is that innovative?

  • Steve Ryan Says:

    I don't understand why "reliability" isn't rated here. It's the most important issue for me, and many others. Is that attribute somehow folded into one of the others? If so, please let us know which.

  • Arvind Says:

    These ranking are false. Recently I bought an HP 5th Gen core i5 Laptop & it sucks in comparison to my earlier ASUS 3rd Gen Core i7.My ASUS runs windows 10 flawlessly but HP has driver issues.Hp is just a lightweight box.Even ASUS build quality is better than HP.In HP just to upgrade HDD or Ram you have to teardown whole laptop whereas in ASUS it's a piece of cake requiring opening just two screws. I am planning to buy another laptop,many chances are it will be ASUS after my experience. Maybe HP,Dell etc. have given this site some money for their promotion.

  • samrat chatterjee Says:

    Apple is best brand.
    1.smooth scrolling
    2.no hanging issues 3.Beautiful U.I
    4.less booting time
    5.no need to refresh
    6.no need to clean junk file
    7.no need to upgrade drive.
    8.no need to cooling pad
    And many more. I'm using Apple macbook pro MD101. I'm playing"Call of duty" GTA IV . Which is actually required nVidia graphics card. But my macbook have Intel HD 4000. And finally i want to say, if ur beget is more than 50,000(INR). Than u just take a apple without any thinking. It will not disappointed u.

  • aubrey pehi Says:

    I have been a customer with Homedirect for 3 years..they have offered me a lenova intei notebook laptop for $749.00 I just need to know whether its worth it..please return email and your honest opinion..its a Xmas gift for my grand daughter..thanx

  • parth patel Says:

    I am using sony vaio since 7 years. Amazing quality product. Not even once it has given me any problem. I know that sony has exited from laptop production. But i hope they reconsider their decision. Vaio was the only premium brand after apple. All other brands have some or the other issues. And i would not like to show off if its not apple or vaio. All othet brands looks like cheap mid range laptops.

  • rajesh Says:

    y acer is last position in the market

  • nisar Says:

    i like Asus laptops , its good for software developers

  • Gerik Melvin Says:

    I have a MSI laptop and i would place it above the dell in innovation if you see hwat MSI does every year the stuff they itroducee is jsut astounding now it does have less of a selection being they are aming laptop while dell fit ultile categories but otherwise dell has become nothing ore htne a brand name i've heard and seen nly bad stuff with HP as soemone else has said the hinge break i have seenthis myself the bild is jsut bad. toshiba actually make some good products alone with asus.i've only heard bad stuff about acer that they come with good hardware but its the build quality where htye fail. then apple of course apple is up top they have to be probably paid. There is no innovation there is no huge awards there is no selection theres jsut apple. sorry about all my typos i am currently using a chrome book in school which frutrates me enough without a mouse. So if all my typos make me sound dumb i'm sorry but the the chromebook annoys me too much to fix.

  • Manuel Rivera Says:

    Am looking for a good laptop computer for Real Estate business. Which one do you recommend me?

  • Annesayso Says:

    Toshiba is the worst laptop investment that I have ever made. I hate that I made this choice! The ratings are correct by placing this laptop at the bottom!

  • Angshujoy Das Says:

    Please suggest me the laptop, through which I can edit 4K videos. My budget is Rs 40000. Not more than that

  • TomTom Says:

    HP is the absolute worst. I am on my second failed hinge in less than two years, after getting the first one repaired after eight months. This is a huge problem for HP laptops, just search their support forum for "hinge." AVOID THEM!

  • rohit nishad Says:

    Lenovo ideapad laptop is all in best...and lenovo all product is best...

  • Shuaibu Sanusi Says:

    Let hp improve the quality of plastic it use to manufacturing of it system.
    The I have been using since 2008 the casing is still good while while my hp dv6 the casing it is going bad.

  • Aklavik Jones Says:

    How much are ad pages such as this one paid to rate the mob pcs? DELL is dreadful! I'd love to bring it back to store where I made the mistake of getting machine and just dumping it there while "the cameras rolled!"

  • Jonas Says:

    I have a Lenovo Yoga which is the worst piece of junk I have ever had - can`t say I trust this rating...

    Bought Asus zenbook (or ultrabook) amazing computers, looks like macbook air, alu chassy, excellent battery, highy recommended.

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