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ASUS best, HP worst for notebook reliability

updated 07:50 am EST, Tue November 17, 2009

Reliability study has Apple 4th place

A new study published by SquareTrade revealed that the smaller name brand notebook manufacturers are usually more reliable than their larger rivals. Of the top nine, ASUS has the lowest tracked breakdown rate with fewer than 10 percent of its notebooks failing in the past two years. Toshiba, Sony and Apple also have better-than-average performance and are either just over or under the same figure.

The higher volume companies largely see significantly worse long-term prospects. While Dell is only slightly less reliable, failure rates jump significantly for Lenovo, Acer and its sub-label Gateway. HP fares the worst with about 16 percent of its portables breaking down.

Researchers project that failure rates should go up for many of these systems over a three-year span but that the rankings should remain consistent, if exaggerated: where 15.6 percent of ASUS' systems are poised to fail after three years, more than a quarter of HP's PCs (25.6 percent) should suffer the same fate.

Some of the reason for the gap in failure rates is attributed to the quality of the systems themselves. Netbooks, which are normally made of cheaper materials to push the price below $400, not only face the highest first-year failure rate but are disproportionately more likely to break down in three years; about 25.1 percent should stop working in the period, the analysts say. Budget but full-size notebooks, which dominate the lineups of Acer, Gateway and HP, are also more likely to break and face a 20.6 percent failure rate. Premium notebooks over $1,000, like many of those from Apple and Sony, face the best chances with a lower initial failure rate and an 18.1 percent anticipated malfunction rate.

It's nonetheless mentioned that notebooks as a whole are historically unreliable compared to other electronics as their nature leads not only to abuse of hard drives and other components but also accidents. Over three years, it's believed as much as 31 percent of notebooks will either fail of their own accord or suffer drops that render them inoperable.

by MacNN Staff



    Comment buried. Show
  1. Bearcat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not quite reliable data

    The numbers here are gathered by people that bought an extended warranty from SquareTrade. Considering I have never heard of them I would think that the results could be somewhat skewed. I mean, how many people would actually buy a brand new Apple Laptop and buy a 3rd party extended warranty instead of AppleCare? There has to be something going on here that we can see. Maybe I'm being paranoid. I never would have put Asus in the top 5, let alone #1, in product reliability.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    HP sucks

    no idea about Asus but I can testify first-hand that HP laptops are c***. I have one that within a year needed a new on/off power switch, dead speakers and a battery I could not remove. This was a laptop which travelled VERY LITTLE and received only moderate use.

  1. Josterk

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Well I can tell you about Asus...

    Two days ago I bought an Asus A42J (K42JR) laptop. My choice was actually based on what I read about Asus in the above article.

    One day ago, they delivered it.
    I charged it for 8 hours.

    Today it's on it's way back to Asus.
    I installed the software. After 5 hours there was something that sounded like a 'tick'. Then I smelled something burning and the laptop hung. I couldn't even switch it off anymore. I had to remove the battery.

    Moral of the story: think twice before you believe an article...

  1. facebook_Peter

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jul 2011



    you're kidding right?

  1. Nachiketa

    Joined: Dec 1969



    These reports were taken from a random set of laptops, of over thousand from each brand. Since they are random, the falure rates that are gathered by percentage seem quite fair. ASUS can only be expected to lead as they were initially a motherboard only company and they still make some of the best motherboards in the world today. Since a high amount of falures are because of motherboard problems, ASUS does stand out, even in laptops. Since ASUS makes its own motherboards, it can cut costs and provide a wide range of processors. People think that because they are cheap, they are in reliable but this is not true. This also does not mean that they are entirely foolproof. There is still a 15 percent chance that your ASUS lappy will fail after three years.

  1. Nachiketa

    Joined: Dec 1969



    What I mean is that ASUS motherboards are of really good quality but it is not impossible for them to malfunction.

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