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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437 comments
  • 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

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  • 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.

  • Jon Brown Says:

    There are various laptops brands are present in the market. And among them to chose the best laptop is not quite easy. And among them some tech giants are not very good to give service and also in quality. and among them the worst maker is Samsung found in a current study. To know the best and the worst brand visit our site https://netgears.support/netgear-genie-support/
    for the detailed results.

  • Clara Smith Says:

    Just like our smartphones, laptops have also become an important part of our lives. So before buying a laptop or any other gadgets we must make survey about the brands and the configuration as well as. This blog has provide us with the top brands manufacturing laptops. And moreover most of them provide laptops with Windows operating systems, which is much more user friendly. So for any queries, you may refer to Microsoft Support Australia . <a href="https://microsoftsupport.co/microsoft-support-australia/">Microsoft Support Australia </a>

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  • Felipe Says:

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

  • David farfan licona Says:

    Actualmente Lenovo es líder en inovación llendo un paso adelante de sus sus competidores contando con exelentes materiales de composición exelentes diseños en distintas familias ejemplo Yoga, legión,Ideapad,ideacentre tinkpad phab entre muchas todo orientado al basto mercado y necesidades de los usuarios facilitando si dia a día

  • David farfan licona Says:

    Gran variedad de productos en la gana de Lenovo por algo solo líderes en ventas de computadoras en todo el mundo y líder en inovación actualmente en la F1 con Ferrari

  • 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.

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  • 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 !!

  • John S Says:

    Every maker except for Apple sells a cheap line, and almost every cheap laptop get's poor reviews. Surprisingly Apple would be doing even worse if it were not for their good service. As a former Mac users Apple has unfortunately gone back to being a boutique sort of PC. HP has some very good designs, but are they good internally? Lenovo has some of the most solidly built laptops I know of, and offer slightly better hardware in areas like 7200 HD vs 5400 and duel band wifi vs most have single band standard. These are good qualities for a laptop besides still having the best keyboards out there.

  • Aavash rathore Says:

    Best laptop search for my official work

  • prologin solutions Says:

    Nice post. Lenovo is a good brand.

  • Jamie Cuticchia Says:

    This ranking has limited value. As an example HP has everything from the Best Buy "HP Laptops" to the Envy and Spectre Line. I have no idea how you can create such rankings with EACH manufacturer having diverse lines.

  • Abhishek Ranjan Says:

    I need new laptop approx 60th thousands....... Can any one suggest me which is batter....... Laptop name plz... Thnks

  • Micael Marques Says:

    Forget all that! Clevo everyday of the week!

  • Hannah L Says:

    Lenovo is not the best brand! I bought what I thought would be a good durable laptop that would last me! NOPE! Within the first six months I had to have the keyboard and mouse replaced! Constantly had issues! In the end the system board and hard drive failed AT THE SAME TIME! The thinkpad brand was supposed to be good! Not in this case! Lenovo customer service also no help! DO NOT BUY A LENOVO!

  • Basavaraj Angadi Says:

    Pl forward rates of best laptops all range

  • Dell Tech support before Says:

    Dont buy dell units after warranty expires
    you will get a prompt that your system has a virus, or a malware that would corrupt the operating system and you need to call for tech support then they will ask you for a payment, bussiness right

  • Varmit Says:

    Asus is the most durable and best built from my experience. I am sending this from a model I bought in 2011 and it still outperforms others of today that I have seen. Asus lasts and they require little maintenance.

  • Mikael D Says:

    Why didn't you test any of System76's laptops?

  • DAStagg Says:

    Very impressive, but the downfall of these laptops is the operating system, Microsoft Windows.
    In 2009 I threw the complete Windows IT systems out and changed my complete office to Apple.
    Result, not one minute of downtime, no more blue screens, OS updates possible without the need to reinstall all the programmes. This increased productivity! Since the change I have never looked back.
    I am not married to Apple but they produce thetop quality products I need for my business.

    If the top laptops in the said test were equipped with the Mac OS and were as reliable as the MacBooks I have in my office then I might be inclined to consider using one of these but only as a test.

  • JohnF Says:

    DELL - XPS or Inspiron 7000 series. Period. I have owned at least 2 dozen since the 90s and have never been sorry. They work well, easy to repair, the support website is up 24x7, drivers are easy to find and install, you can use Chat to talk to techs for issues, and they last for years. Sure there are haters and horror stories - they exist for every brand. I have worked with all brands for some 30 years now and I ONLY buy Dell.

  • Robert P. Hartle Says:

    I'll take the user experience of a Macbook Pro over any of the others... Testing is subjective at best.. Using them to run a Digital Media Business since 2011... Priceless.

  • Joe Bean Says:

    This is interesting, but it lacks something very important: reliability.

    This should have a lot of weight. If you buy laptops that breaks after 3-4 years vs lasting 6-8 years, you are paying much more than for a better brand.

    Asus used to have much more reliable laptops, along with Apple. Where is everybody standing now?

    It is not fun to buy a premium laptop if you have one chance out of five to have an issue during the first year.

    Sure, warranty is nice, but it is much better to not have issues in the first place.

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