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Asus, Toshiba, Sony best Apple in laptop reliability

Asus, Toshiba, Sony best Apple in laptop reliability

Warranty vendor SquareTrade has released a study (PDF) of 30,000 laptops over three years which reveals that Asus, Toshiba and Sony products outstrip Apple notebooks over both two and three-year reliability cycles.

The company’s report illustrates that Apple notebooks failed at a rate of 17.4% over three years, while Asus led the way with a 15.6% failure rate, followed by Toshiba and Sony at 15.7% and 16.8%, respectively.


Failure rates in the study were defined as mechanical or physical malfunction not caused by user error, a metric which was tracked separately. On the whole, the study paints a dire picture of laptop reliability, with nearly one third of all notebooks (31.7%) failing by the third year.

Even so, SquareTrade gave Asus and Toshiba the nod for this holiday season saying, “ASUS and Toshiba laptops failed just over half as frequently as HP, which makes them a solid bet in terms of reliability.”

Tough break for Apple and its famed claims to reliability; tougher break for HP who sits the dubious throne as the west’s most unreliable manufacturer.


  1. Cliff_Forster
    Cliff_Forster I'm really surprised by the Lenovo number, their build quality always seemed decent. Frankly from my experience, I did not think anyone could do worse than Acer but there is Gateway and HP bringing up the rear.
  2. NiGHTS
    NiGHTS Kinda sad that a failure rate of 15% is the best there is to offer.
  3. drasnor
    drasnor Moral of the story: buy the three-year warranty.

    -drasnor :fold:
  4. QCH
    QCH ^ yeah, what he said!!! :-D
  5. lordbean
    lordbean Laptops have always had higher fail rates than desktops, but I'm actually surprised by those numbers. Even the best company still has 15% of its laptops fail by the third year... yeesh.
  6. photodude
    photodude The 15% failure rate is a shock to me too. I wonder if the high failure rate is due to abuse from transportation and/or accidents.
  7. Snarkasm
    Snarkasm Or people not dusting, jostling while running, etc.

    I'm also fairly surprised at the Lenovo numbers, but maybe the non-Thinkpad line is dragging them down. Food for thought.
  8. photodude
    photodude There was in interesting divide in the official report that showed Netbooks had the highest failure rate with Premium laptops having the lowest. I would like to see the raw data since the ^chart is a composite of all laptops premium, entry-level and netbooks (netbooks defined in the study as sub-$400 laptops). I want to see the data on how the premium laptops compare by manufacture. Comparing the low-end with the high-end is skewing the data.
  9. Thrax
    Thrax Not necessarily. Given that all Apple produces is premium notebooks, you'd expect their failure rates to be lower, but they aren't, even when other manufacturers' figures are being "diluted" by "economy" models with a higher failure rate.
  10. photodude
    Thrax wrote:
    Not necessarily. Given that all Apple produces is premium notebooks

    Apple has a divide in their laptops between the Macbook and the MackbookPro; there was a divide in the older line between the iBook and the MacBook.

    The study considered the divide based on price, under $400 was netbooks, $400-$1000 was entry-level, and $1000+ was premium.

    The study said that netbooks fail 25.1% in 3-years, Entry-level was 20.6% and premium was 18.1%

    I want to see the manufacture brake down for these groupings. the only manufacture grouping is misleading.
  11. lmorchard
    lmorchard I'd be interested to see this paired with the repair / replacement prices & policies from manufacturers—and what constitutes a malfunction.

    I'm admittedly a Mac fan, and I (or an employer) have repeatedly dropped $300 on AppleCare that later came in handy for no-questions-asked replacement of everything but complete destruction by water damage on laptops. (Usually hard drive failures and screen breaks, because I can't have nice things.)

    I haven't really looked into other companies in long awhile, so I'll admit ignorance and welcome enlightenment on that score.
  12. Leonardo
    Leonardo Warning - anecdotal information:

    I've been very, very pleased with the build quality and ergonomics of my Toshiba Satellite 355~. For that non-quantifiable "user experience" factor, this is clearly the nicest laptop I've ever used. (Still wish I could find a current generation Thinkpad that's within my budget.) For what it's worth, I just upgraded the Toshiba's OS from Vista 32 to Windows 7 64. It was so easy. I didn't have to do anything other than run the Win7 DVD and go to Windows Updates. I didn't even have to go to the Toshiba support pages. Awesome.
  13. wiifan I've had four apple laptops going back atleast 10 years. I'm on the fifth now with a MacBook Pro 13" that I just bought. Of the past four, the two most recent still work. The first two I just quit using because of need for battery replacement and internal battery replacement. Also the fact that I liked moving forward with the speed upgrades over the years. I wonder how many of those macs in the list are from batteries that are just done and needing to be replaced. To get the batteries replaced in my first two, I have to pay a pretty penny to send them in for the job to be done. The batteries for those old laptops aren't available from the Apple store for self replacement. But I don't think that counts for failure. And I'd stand by any mac over a PC for the fact that whether it's internals are the same or not, they have more quality attention I think because I've had more friends replacing internal hard drives and internal power supplies often on their PCs but on my macs, I can still boot up my Mac Classic, my Mac SE, PowerMac 6100 and 7200, the performa was a piece of crap (lol), and the G3 and G4 still run. The last G4 imac is still fine and I gave that to my mother for a replacement for her old mac that was still working fine. I don't know ONE SINGLE person who can say the same for any PC they ever owned.
  14. ardichoke
    ardichoke Your experiences with a handful of systems completely discredits this scientific study! Praise be to Steve Jobs and his 100% reliable, never breaks down machines.
  15. Canti
    wiifan wrote:
    I don't know ONE SINGLE person who can say the same for any PC they ever owned.

    You don't know me.
  16. ardichoke
  17. mertesn
    wiifan wrote:
    I don't know ONE SINGLE person who can say the same for any PC they ever owned.
    I have a 286 that still runs perfectly. Last I checked, that predates any Mac system by at least two years.
  18. drasnor
    drasnor I broke my 8088 laptop last year when I accidentally touched it while holding a static charge.
  19. BuddyJ
    BuddyJ You know me. You love me. I'm Old Gregg!

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