Best & Worst Laptop Brands 2018

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Whether you're purchasing a $1,500 gaming laptop or a $200 Chromebook, the brand matters. That's why we rate the top 10 laptop brands each year, based on their support, design, innovation, value/selection and, most of all, product quality.

For 2018, Lenovo retained its place for a second year as the best laptop vendor, but it just barely edged out second-place HP and third-place Dell. Apple, which used to dominate this contest, fell all the way to seventh place, down from fifth last year.

 

1. Lenovo (86/100)

Lenovo takes first place again this year, on the strength of the company's fantastic product lineup. From the beautiful ThinkPad X1 Carbon, which was the only product to get a perfect, 5-star review in the past year, to the versatile Yoga 920, Lenovo's laptops earned the most Editors' Choice awards of any brand. And a full 53 percent of the company's laptops scored 4 or higher. However, Lenovo's tech support scores declined from last year, and stiff competition from HP and Dell made this a nail-bitingly close race.

Best Lenovo Laptops | See Lenovo's Full Report Card

 

2. HP (85/100)

After a banner year, filled with compelling laptops such as the gorgeous HP Spectre x360, the powerful ZBook 17 and the affordable HP Envy 13t, HP jumped ahead two places from its spot in 2017 to finish second. With great design marks and the second highest review score, HP gave Lenovo a run for its money.

Best HP Laptops | See HP's Full Report Card

 

3. Dell (82/100)

Dell's product portfolio is a mixture of fantastic premium systems, like the Dell XPS 13 and the awesome Alienware 15, and ho-hum mainstream and budget products. The company earned high marks for its improved tech support, which assigns users personal tech support people who follow up with them.

Best Dell Laptops | See Dell's Full Report Card

 

4. Acer (81/100)

With laptops like the Spin 1 and Aspire E 15 in its lineup, Acer knows how to provide premium features at bargain-basement prices. The company can also make bold premium products, as evidenced by the $9,000 Predator 21X.

Best Acer Laptops | See Acer's Full Report Card

 

4. Asus (81/100)

Thanks to innovative systems like the Zephyrus, Asus is a leader in gaming. With stunning blue models like the ZenBook UX331UN, indestructible laptops like the Chromebook C213S and great bargains like the ZenBook UX330UA, Asus is also a leader in design and value.

Best Asus Laptops | See Asus' Full Report Card

 

6. Microsoft (77/100)

Microsoft makes only a handful of laptops, but all of its systems are first-rate. The company's innovative Surface Book 2 convertible and the colorful and comfortable Surface Laptop are highlights.

See Microsoft's Full Report Card

 

7. Apple (72/100)

Oh, how the mighty have fallen! Apple just doesn't seem as focused on its laptop business as it used to be. The company did nothing to innovate or even tweak its designs in the past year, and only one of the company's laptops earned an Editors' Choice award. However, Tim Cook's company still has the best tech support you can get.

Best Apple Laptops | See Apple's Full Report Card

 

8. Razer (70/100)

If you're looking for a premium gaming laptop and you have a generous budget, you should look into Razer, which has some really compelling laptops. Those include the Razer Blade and Razer Blade Pro. However, if you need something more affordable, you'll have to look elsewhere.

See Razer's Full Report Card

 

9. MSI (67/100)

MSI is one of the premiere gaming-laptop companies, but it still finds itself in a tie for 10th place, primarily because of very weak tech support. However, the company still has some very compelling products, including the MSI GT75VR Titan Pro, which had the best keyboard of any gaming laptop.

Best MSI Laptops | See MSI's Full Report Card

 

9. Samsung (67/100)

If Samsung gave its laptops half the amount of love as it gives its phones, the company would probably fare better. As it stands, Samsung offers a small lineup of laptops that just don't stack up to the competition. It also has, by far, the least-attractive designs in the industry. However, the tech support is excellent.

Best Samsung Laptops | See Samsung's Full Report Card

 

How We Rate Brands

Each laptop brand is assigned a score based on a 100-point scale. Points are awarded in five categories: Design, Reviews, Tech Support/Warranty, Innovation and Value, and Selection. Here's what each means.

Reviews (40 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 March 1, 2017, and Feb. 28, 2018. We took the average laptop rating for each brand (Laptop Mag rates on a scale of 1 to 5), converted that average rating to a 40-point scale and then added a 0.75-point bonus for each Editors' Choice award.

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.

Brand Reviews (40) Design (15) Support & Warranty (20) Innovation (10) Value & Selection (15) Overall (100)
Lenovo 38 13 14 7 14 86
HP 35 14 15 7 14 85
Dell 31 11 18 9 13 82
Acer 33 12 14 7 15 81
Asus 30 15 15 6 15 81
Microsoft 34 12 14 8 9 77
Apple 33 11 19 3 6 72
Razer 33 12 14 5 6 70
MSI 31 11 11 6 8 67
Samsung 27 9 17 6 8 67

Tech Support and Warranty (20 points): When you buy a laptop, you want to know that the manufacturer is going to stand behind that machine and help you with technical problems. We base this category's score primarily on the ratings from our annual Tech Support Showdown, in which we go undercover and pose questions to all of the companies, using their phone, web and social channels. However, 2 out of the 20 points were awarded based on the quality of the company's standard warranty coverage.

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

Value and Selection (15 points): How many different kinds of shoppers does the manufacturer address, and do the products provide good bang for your buck? For this category, we awarded points for offering a wide range of laptop types (budget, business, gaming, etc.) and for providing aggressive pricing.

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452 comments
  • Gaurav Katiyar Says:

    And I forgot to mention accer... M not fan of this brand but I noticed over the past few years. Accer stands with pride. And focusing on build quality.

  • Gaurav Katiyar Says:

    I have 4 laptops and one desktop.
    2 hp (laptop) , 1 dell (laptop), 1hp desktop. And 1 ThinkPad.
    Hardware upgrades : Lenovo and HP provides lots of hardware upgrade options. Dell comes 2nd.
    Heating : hp had some overheating issues, Dell and lenevo still working fine at challenging environments. But hp slowing down in this type of condition.
    Keybord: ThinkPad is winner
    Problems : (dell and hp) I have to face issues like' ic burn', ram overheat etc. While thinkpad working smooth.
    Battery : winner is thinkpad.
    Looks: winner is dell
    Parts availability : winner is hp.
    After sale service : winner is hp. Dell comes 2nd and thinkpad doesn't need anything.
    Touchpad : hp and dell have some issues due to overheat. While lenovo has littel red fella.
    Sound 🔊 : hp is winner, Dell comes 2nd and thinkpad... you have to place your ear close to the laptop.
    Hp, dell, Apple, lenevo, Microsoft are the best brands while maintaining balance between durability, reliability and quality. But asus, msi, razer, Samsung these are just providing fashion and fabricated reviews. A professional can't impress by numbers on paper or the eye bleeding rgb lights. Guys you have to believe in quality. Not those fancy brands who put everything on their products to impress you and not R&D. My next brands are Apple and Microsoft. If you are interested in gaming then build your own rig (desktop). You can't put laptop in the shoes of desktop.
    Choice is yours.

  • Tamas Varga Says:

    what a shit list is where lenovo and acer are in the top 5 :D plebs list lol

  • getie gashaw Says:

    why not apple do best? HP is good but not the cooling fun

  • getie gashaw Says:

    why not apple do best? HP is good but not the cooling fun

  • getie gashaw Says:

    why not apple do best? HP is good but not the cooling fun

  • RS Ray Says:

    very good audit.HP is the best

  • Chris Says:

    Don't buy Lenovo! Two years ago I dropped about $1,000 on two of their laptops and they had problems from the start..The touchpads never worked, the fan died on one of them within six months, the lithium battery kept bloating and I replaced it twice. The $700 one died last week, just stopped reading the operating system and wouldn't boot from a windows installer disc or anything.

  • Lenovo Says:

    Lenovo is a horrendous product. The once outstanding thinkpad series is now a shadow of its old self. Had a Yoga 910, not only had connection problems since the time I bought it, it also broke a month after the warranty ended and the replacement part is no longer available. I advise that no one take this list seriously if they seriously believe that Lenovo is the "highest rated brand".

  • MASPE Says:

    The only reason Lenovo scores to highly in reviews is because they refuse to publish negative feedback and reviews. The Lenovo Z580 is the worst laptop I've owned. The cursor jumps at random to different places in a document, form, or webpage while you type, so you think you're typing in one sentence only to look up and discover you're typing two paragraphs prior. Hot mess! Will never buy another Lenovo.

  • Albert Says:

    What kind of parameters do they use? I can assure you that LENOVO and their "military tested" x carbon think pad, is not what I expected. Problems with the screen (after 2 week of purchase), case, and rebooting. Disastrous CS (just google "white screen x carbon problem"). Not recommendable.

  • Ravi J Says:

    I'm curious how they review the quality of these brands and their customer service. I have a broken Lenovo laptop that has been broken since I bought it 6 months ago. Since then it has been in and out of their repair centre and they are refusing to meet their obligations under the 1yr warranty by fixing/replacing it or refunding me. My problem is that the computer freezes randomly which a quick google search shows many people are experiencing. In all cases Lenovo has provided a deeply unsatisfactory customer service and wasted customers' time and money. If Lenovo had some simple statistics on which issues they are not able to fix they could offer instant refunds to the affected customers and redouble efforts to understand the issues (possibly with Intel and MS etc). But they clearly don't do this and have the worst quality control. Anyone who buys a Lenovo is taking a huge risk.

  • Thinker with blinker Says:

    Every HP computer I have ever had, and I have had a few were complete lemons.

  • Shubham Says:

    Ratings are quiet real.
    Author has gone through some serious work there.

  • Runky Says:

    I have had a lemon of an Apple Mac Pro which has been in to apple service over a dozen times and finally they found their super top IT guy who was the only one who could fix it. This was my first Apple and I have been very disappointed with it. I have always had Dell lap tops and have had no problems with them.

  • JD Mason Says:

    We were pleasantly delighted with the Acer 15" Nitro UHD with a quad-core i5 x 3.00GHz, Nvidia GTX1050 with 3GB, Samsung SSD with 256GB, WD HHD with 1TB x 7200rpms, US$ 799.00 An awesome value worth nearly twice the price! The salesman tried to flog us cheaper, more powerful Dells but we wouldn't budge. This is a new Acer!

  • April Says:

    Are visio Sony are they good laptop

  • toto1980 Says:

    I have many DELL, a few HPs, several Lenovo, a couple of Apples. I am a developer, a designer and a gamer, I would say that DELL should be by far the best. Espetially DELL Precision/Latitude, they are so easy to service, easier than a desktop.

  • Janet Says:

    Every HP computer I have ever had, and I have had a few were complete lemons.

  • sand amy Says:

    Lenovo is the no1 brand ?
    i can't belie as their after sales service is too band and their warranty not even cover labor cost

  • John Bowie Says:

    Wouldn't touch asus with a hammer.
    Bought one in October 2017 which kept shutting down when on the battery regardless of charge status. took it back to the shop and they advised to go to asus. they will only repair for a fee as there is no warranty. They know they are crap so why would they give any kind of warranty with them. I can use it as long as I have a socket within 600mm of where I'm using it. That rules out so much it has been binned and I'll persevere with the ipad, nowhere near as functional as a laptop but a thousand times better than an asus. I will never buy another asus.

  • Bubba Says:

    I used many brands and the found ACER as the worst brand and ASUS & LENOVO as the best brands. HP & DELL are in between. Having said that, not all laptops of a good brand are good. Do your research before buying one. Manufacturing faults may appear in any laptop. ASUS and LENOVO are the most durable machines. I purchased 2 years used ASUS U36SD in 2010 and this is 2018. Despite its battery is dead now, it runs flawlessly. Same was true for another LENOVO thinkpad that ran flawlessly for years. Two ACER machines I bought died down within 3 years. DELL & HP had heating problems after 2-3 years. I always prefer ASUS and then LENOVO. This is honest comment based on personal experience and not to promote or demote brands.

  • Sue Gensel Says:

    Purchased an HP Envy x360 and right before the warranty expired they had to replace the motherboard. Right after the warranty expired the cooling fan is not acting correctly and I expevct the laptop to crash at any time. HP, even though they have already replaced the motherboard will not do anything about the cooling fan. Terrible support. Terrible products. Will never again purchase another HP product. NEVER!

  • chris Says:

    bought a second hand msi m-board off e-bay,had a broken pin in the socket
    got on to MSI for a repair ,but no sent a brand new x99 x power ac overclocking for FREE to not the original perchuser THATS 21/20 not 17/20

  • Alec Heesacker Says:

    I would recommend Lenovo over MSI.
    MSI has been poor on contact services.
    MSI website is absolutely black and it's hard to navigate the MSI web page.
    I'm keeping the Lenovo in mind at Costco.
    Leaving behind the MSI Select at Best Buy.

  • Felipe Says:

    Samsung is in 10th position, not 9th. Please fix the text.

  • NicoSF Says:

    With all due respect, but HP and Dell should definitely NOT have such a high Tech Support and Warranty score. And on Design and Innovation, HP is horrible. And Dell falls flat on Innovation. These two companies have garbage customer support and warranty. Quality of their products are garbage standard. I've paid $2k for a Dell XPS15 only to have it functioning at 60% (swollen battery, usbs, touchpad, part of keyboard... stopped working) after 1.2yr, with no support from Dell. And HP... the story is worse. I would give both of these companies' products a 40 of 100.

  • Frank Says:

    I had two HPs, a desktop and a laptop, both needed re-programmed, within a few months. The desktop didn't last at all. I switched to Acer and they have lasted the longest. The way computers are these days, my old ones lasted longer.

  • Elaine Says:

    As an HP laptop owner, I dispute the ranking of HP being one of the top laptops. I have had nothing but problems with my HP laptop and I will never ever buy another HP laptop again.

  • Neil Acharya Says:

    I have never disagreed with an article more than this!

  • Happystse Says:

    How come Fujitsu is always missed out from the rating ?!

  • HP Non-Stop (Tandem) Developer Says:

    HP gets 14 out of 15 on design? ... Really? You have got to be kidding. I have a 2017 envy 17t, (currently in for warranty repair). It is the poorest design ever, I would give them a 0/15. The case is junk. Reminds me of a 10 dollar throw away cell phone. Swapping hard drives is a joke. The touch pad is worthless. The glossy screen is the worst. All I can see is my own reflection. The first component to fail was the headphone/mic combo jack. If more one than one USB port is needed, I must unplug the required usb pointing device, or unplug USB sound dongle. Useless for anything but basic web surfing. Not why most people purchase a quad core i7 system. Total junk, the worst build quality of any system I have ever owned. Finding a good laptop these days is near impossible. You definitely will not find it at HP. For my money, both iOS and windows in all its incarnations are junk as well. Long live open source.

    Mikey - Software developer, 40 years experience, 15 on Tandem HP Non-Stop systems.

  • Niranjan Bhati Says:

    How can you campare iOS laptop with windows laptop

  • Anonymous Says:

    Microsoft would have deserved a much better rating. They were put to the bottom of the Design and Innovation categories, two categories where they actually excel at.

  • T Farok Says:

    HP should be the last as a laptop repairer they are the worst laptops.
    Lenovo is not the first as they are the cheapest does not make them the first.
    Dell is always good.

  • Srija Says:

    Apple is the best! i use a Macbook pro and it's a pro!

  • #HP4Life Says:

    I think HP should be at least 2nd or 3rd in the race
    I don't understand how Lenovo and Dell are above cuz I've tested them and they don't really have as much quality as HP so yeah. Apple is alright, you can't blame them too much cuz they use a different software to the other competitors.

  • Harvey Says:

    Oh my days. DO NOT I REPEAT DO NOT BUY A LENOVO. I have had around 25 lenovo x1 carbons within my company (as I prefer Windows over IOS. Almost 50% of the laptops were faulty as soon as they were unwrapped. Faults from not being assembled properly to a blank screen. A few with fried motherboards. The other 50% developed faults after a month. Engineers have been on-site. I recall around 3 times for the faults and guess what?!?! could not fix the problems. Hilariously Lenovo customer relations messed me about so much for over 2 years they had finally decided to replace some (not all) laptops. Guess what the time scale they took was over a month to be delivered to the UK. Seriously I can not understand how this review has come up with the assumption that Lenovo deserves the top spot. I hope they manage to buy a fleet of lenovo laptops so they can see how problematic they are. If you are all wealthy and need a good looking laptop I suggest Lenovo. Buyer beware you will be spending most of your life telephoning Romania to speak to incompetent staff.
    YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

  • Amodi Says:

    Well done, great job! this is my first time as A+ student to experience such rating. I personally witness strongness of Asus I'm using.
    Thank you a lot.

  • BigJon Says:

    So of all our +4 year old laptops, only Dell and Samsung are still going.
    From experience most support has been poor, with HP being the worst of the bunch (plus terrible website).
    We never buy Apple because you know - ripoff! Amoral! PuppyKillers! MoronicFanbase. etc.
    And all the $600 HP machines are going back as they are shite. (could be w10s fault, but HP dont care so why should i)

  • Stylus Says:

    Very informative. Acer top 1? However, how about reliable Sony and other similar brands which is missing over here?

  • J Monach Says:

    Had 3 HP laps and had to repair them 3. HP covered for all the repairs while they were in warranty, so I have nothing againts them except for making laps that break often.

    DELL on the other hand ripped me off in 2006, I bought a 2600 USD Inspiron with a nvidia gt 7800 and instead they sent an ATI 1400x which is like cheapest crap you can get. After months of claims they never agreed to replace the card and Oh the irony, the ATI card got burned after a year and a half. So I never buy DELL again, no matter how cool the look.

  • Hansa Welgama Says:

    Very useful information are included. Thank you very much!

  • John S Says:

    My experience anything under $1000 in a laptop these days is going to have compromises. Go under $500 and your going to have a short term throw away laptop. These poor quality cheap laptops is what gives any manufacture a bad rap. It's why Apple for example refuses to step lower then a grand in notebooks. You simply compromise too much and that hurts the experience. It also brings on more complaints. The problem is the cheap laptops end up disappointing many users who buy on price instead of what they really need and expect. Do not buy something you won't be satisfied with.

  • Trouble with Tech Support Says:

    I must apologize because I can not understand Lenovo support thick accent when I call them. I just don't have time for this waiting and waiting and then finally getting someone and they follow a script I don't think they know anything really about PCs.
    DELL and HP have real English support with people who actually talk with you and understand what your saying. Thank you to DELL for all your help and products and thank you very much to HP for hundreds of systems and solid laser printers that work very reliably.

  • Build your Business on Solid Engineering. Says:

    HP engineers solid systems you can depend on year after year. The lower TCO costs and better reputation with your coworkers smooth running systems is worth every dollar you save. HP is the best, because your job, and your coworkers depend on you to make the right choice.

  • HP Solid State Says:

    HP Service & Warranty are solid, but I would barely know that because HP, an engineering company, designs and builds quality systems, unlike Lenuvo slapped together chinese spare parts. Sure it works, but they just don't hold up. With company data running through thousands of machines, HP has the rugged dependability we need.

  • Ann Segers Says:

    Dell is always awesome. I am using Dell's Laptops since 2005 and they are amazing, never got me into any problem. Right now i am using ''DELL INSPIRON 15 7000 2-IN-1 CONVERTIBLE LAPTOP / TABLET, 15.6-INCH'' I even bought a used one from nov8tech.com, it's been more that 9 weeks and it's working perfectly fine. I would suggest everyone to go for Dell!

  • JIGNESH PATEL Says:

    I HAVE DELL VOSTRO 15 3000 SEIRES LAPTOP BUT I SUGGEST ALL OF BUYER NEVER BUY LAPTOP IT IS HOME OF PROBLEMS GO WITH LENOVO

  • Peter Woods Says:

    I thought Asus was a good brand and that is why I bought an Asus Zen UX360U (Ser NoH10WU07043502D)
    When, straight out of the box it did not work at all, I was shocked and disappointed.
    Just as I was shocked and disappointed when I returned it in person to their nearest service centre and they would not replace it. Quality without good back up service (Asus rates 8th) means nothing !!

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