Best PC Notebook brands (based on quality and reliability)

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by floyde, Nov 28, 2007.


Which brand do you consider has the best quality/reliability (for laptops)?

  1. Sony

    8 vote(s)
  2. HP

    4 vote(s)
  3. Gateway

    0 vote(s)
  4. Dell

    5 vote(s)
  5. Acer

    2 vote(s)
  6. IBM (Lenovo or whatever name it goes by these days)

    21 vote(s)
  7. Toshiba

    3 vote(s)
  8. Other

    1 vote(s)
  1. floyde macrumors 6502a


    Apr 7, 2005
    Monterrey, México
    Hi guys, a friend of mine asked me to help her find a good PC laptop. I'm very tech savy, so I'm pretty good at comparing PC specs, but since I only use Macs I've no idea which brands are reliable and stuff. I don't want to recommend a laptop that will break down in two weeks :eek:, so I was hoping you guys could help me find a good brand that is known to be reliable.

    Please select your favorite PC brand for laptops: (If you can share any experiences that'd be great too)

  2. SkyBell macrumors 604


    Sep 7, 2006
    Texas, unfortunately.
    My dad has had very good luck with Toshiba laptops, he's been using them for over 10 years and has had very little problems.
  3. letsgorangers macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2006
    I had a Dell for 4 years and never had a problem with it. It's nearly 6 years old and my dad uses it daily.

    I had a friend break 2 HPs (the exact same model -- she broke her own and her sister's). My sister has an HP and the hard drive failed.

    I have a good friend with an IBM and he's never had a problem with it.

    Edit-I've had more problems in a year in a half with my Mac than I did in 4 years with my Dell. It's popular in these parts to hate Dells, but mine held up well.
  4. zioxide macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2006
    Dell sucks

    many people have them here at college and they're always going in for service.
  5. Aperture macrumors 68000


    Mar 19, 2006
    The new Dells don't look bad but I've always heard IBM Lenovos are very reliable.
  6. David G. macrumors 65816

    Apr 10, 2007
    You do realize you have Dell listed twice, right?
  7. shecky Guest


    May 24, 2003
    Obviously you're not a golfer.
    lenovo/IBM. not the sexiest, but definitely the best.
  8. yudilks macrumors regular

    Jan 30, 2006
    Lenovo gets my vote.. I have been using mine since forever, my friend's is as tough as rock, and even my other "computer illiterate" friend's Lenovo is still going strong after 4 years of rough "abuse" by her...
  9. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    Toshiba need to be in there (I'll add them to the poll, hope you don't mind).

    They're so confident in the quality of their laptops that if yours should have a problem, not only will they repair it or replace it within warranty, but they'll also give you your money back (have heard this ad on the radio a number of times now).

    Apple would be in a lot of trouble if they did the same :rolleyes:
    Fixed this too ;)
  10. sonictruth macrumors member

    Nov 18, 2004
    A side responsibility of my job (relatively small envir. consulting firm) is to manage our PCs/network/etc. [This is why I switched to Mac at home 4 yrs ago.] My experience with laptops here is ok, but any Mac laptop I'm familiar with has done better.

    Not to rain on the Toshiba parade, but we've had two over the years, one of which was a 17-in used by our draftsperson (desktop-type P4 processor). In short, total nightmare - I'm not sure how the design made it past engineering QA/QC. Perpetual overheating despite two motherboard replacements, one of which they would not cover under warranty. Power supply problems too - neither the Toshiba OEM part nor two others we've purchased have consistently worked. It will shut down constantly, with no option to save your work. Cooling pads have been the only means to keep the thing running semi-ok. Amazing to me.

    Most of our laptops have been Dells (at least 10 at this point, usually Latitudes). Every single one, except two 2-yr old machines, have had non-recoverable hard drive problems. My former machine had two HD failures in less than 2.5 yrs. Backups are imperative! Anyway, we're waiting for these two HDs to fail any day now.

    Are we that unlucky? It's not for lack of trying to buy good machines. My 4-yr old G4 PB at home has had not a single issue except for a brief latch problem which solved itself. I try to be objective about these things - but Wow.
  11. floyde thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 7, 2005
    Monterrey, México
    Thanks, it was supposed to be Toshiba anyway hehe :eek:
  12. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
    IBM - no problems whatsoever - still going strong. Cost more but worth it (but seems like Lenovo has lowered price). Thinkpad brand still gets you IBM Customer Service in Atlanta, GA.

    HP - no problems. I know some people have had minimum problems. My newest cheapo Compaq is 2 years old, purchased on Black Friday for $479 after taxes, shipping and rebates - no problems so far. We got our Senior Pastor one 1.5 years ago, it's abused, but still no problems.

    Toshiba - I had a couple of them. No problems. But my friend who repairs them told me that if they do break, they are a nightmare to fix, and if you don't put it back correctly, it won't work. That was several years back, so it may be different now.

    Dell - hates with a passion. 2 laptops I had tons of problems - sold one on eBay and had to just give the other one away. Dells here at work - nothing but problems, keeping our old IBM Thinkpads as backups (all over 3 years old and still going strong). The Dell laptop I use is 2 years old and had to rebuild the system twice, and replace the screen (became sort of a funky yellow). The techs that come to fix the machines have to return at least 1 more time to fix it right.

    Acer - Friend's got one. His only problem is that he has to constantly reinstall the system. I think it more has to do with Vista.
  13. takao macrumors 68040


    Dec 25, 2003
    Dornbirn (Austria)
    IBM/Lenovo for pure durability

    apart of that Asus laptops aren't that bad either
  14. squeeks macrumors 68040


    Jun 19, 2007
    Toshiba laptops are crap

    my girlfriends roommate has one thats about 2 years old, its never run right

    and my brothers girlfriend just got one before school started this year, it lasted two months before the motherboard had to be replaced, i dont know what this thing is about getting your money back but i know they didnt
  15. AmbitiousLemon Moderator emeritus


    Nov 28, 2001
    down in Fraggle Rock
    I find it a bit disturbing that so many people will condemn a brand due to such little information (anecdotal).

    Here is a summary from several studies on first year failure rates.

    "RESCUECOM compared the number of calls to the percentage of US market share and ranked Lenovo a 243, Apple a 201, Dell a 4, and no-name brands a negative 16."

    Acer 20 percent
    Gateway 18 percent
    Toshiba 16 percent
    Lenovo/IBM 15 percent
    Dell 14 percent
    HP/Compaq 14 percent
    Apple 13 percent
    Averatec 11 percent
    Sony 9 percent


    “The percent of notebooks needing repairs during the first year was
    Apple at 13 percent, Acer at 20 percent, Averatec at 11 percent, Dell
    at 14 percent, Gateway at 18 percent, HP/Compaq at 14 percent,
    Lenovo/IBM at 15 percent, Sony at 9 percent and Toshiba at 16

    San Diego Source : October 31, 2005

    Nearly half of ABS desktops have required repair in the past year.

    20% of Acer Notebooks needed repair in the first year

    For desktops only 19 percent of systems required repair, which is average.

    11 percent of Apple Desktops needed repairs
    17 percent of Apple notebooks needed repairs

    14 percent of its notebooks required repairs

    17 percent of Dell desktops required repair
    23 percent of Dell notebooks required repair within the past year

    Notebooks: 14 percent required repair in the past year.

    Gateway/ eMachines
    At 8 percent, eMachines desktops less than a year old have the lowest
    figure for percent needing repair

    Hewlett-Packard/ Compaq
    Desktops: 19 percent rate of repairs in the past year

    17 percent of desktops needed repair

    Desktops: 16 percent of systems needed repair
    VAIO notebook 21 percent repair rate.

    Desktops & Notebooks
    PC Magazine, August, 2005
    18th Annual Reader Satisfaction Survey

    According to Consumer Reports' survey results,

    “Toshiba and Apple rated at the top of the chart, with a little more
    than 15 percent needing repairs but when it came to Gateway and
    Compaq, more than 20 percent of these machines needed fixing.

    As for desktop repairs, the differences were even bigger. Apple, Sony
    and Dell came out on top. HP, Compaq and Gateway did significantly
    worse, with repair rates of more than 20 percent.”

    Wowt News:

    According to Acer the monthly failure rates are as follows:

    Notebooks: 1.20%
    Desktops: 0.70%"+by+dell+ibm+sony+&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1
  16. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    You can't base an entire opinion on one persons experience!

    I'd play the odds and put my money on Toshiba or Lenovo. Even if Apple and Lenovo ranked #1 and #2, I'd still give credit to Toshiba. They really do know how to make a laptop. Also, you don't know what sort of repairs some laptops have had to undergo. Major repairs and minor repairs rank the same in many of these surveys.
  17. ryannel2003 macrumors 68000


    Jan 30, 2005
    Greenville, NC
    I've had 2 HP/Compaq laptops and I have to say after all the abuse they get put through, have been very decent laptops. My very first HP (and my first computer) was a Pavilion ze4427wm. I got it for Christmas 2003, and at the time was a very good laptop. Had AMD 2200+ processor, 256MB RAM, 30GB HD, Combo Drive, 15" XGA screen, and XP Home. However, i did have a couple of issues with that laptop:
    * The hard drive died 6 months after the warranty had expired. That was a good thing in my opinion, because the original drive was small and slow. On top of that, HP decided to use a caddy for that drive and I accidentally threw it away. Had to order new HD and caddy, but once installed worked great.
    *After 2 1/2 years, the screen started to blackout every once in awhile. Depending on the angle of the screen, it would flash on and off. It was very annoying, especially during a Powerpoint presentation I was making at school.
    *The backspace key broke off and was never replaced. I ended up having to mash down on the area where you press down the key, and that made it very hard to type on.
    *Similar to the iBook's, my HP developed 2 or 3 large hairline cracks. This was the most annoying part about the notebook, especially when traveling places and having to look at the ugly cracks. These started to develop way out of warranty.

    I finally retired that notebook in April when I got a good deal on a pre-owned iBook G4. I eventually sold it to a good friend of mine for $50. Afterwards, I sold the iBook and purchased a new Compaq Presario C563NR. Best Buy had a really good sale on them, and it was only $380. It includes a 1.5GHz Intel Celeron M 520 processor, 512MB RAM, 80GB HD, DVD +/-RW drive, 15.4" Brightview widescreen display, and Vista Home Basic. So far I have been extremely satisfied. It's much better built than my previous HP, and even for a Celeron seems decently fast (I upgraded the RAM to 1.5GB; Vista is a dog). Vista has been pleasant, and I have no outstanding problems. So far the only issue with this laptop is a big wear spot on the touchpad. The laptop body color is silver and the middle of the touchpad is white. Annoying? Yes. Annoying enough to be put through HP Technical Support, No. Normal wear and tear like that doesn't bother me.

    Overall, I've had good luck with my HP laptops. But i'm really starting to miss OS X, and cannot wait to receive my iMac as a Christmas present! :)
  18. floyde thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 7, 2005
    Monterrey, México
    Very helpful post, thanks
  19. dejo Moderator


    Staff Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    The Centennial State
    Agreed. Consumer Reports and PC Magazine's Reliability reports are also good sources of information. And remember, second-hand personal experiences are normally (although seemingly illogically) given more weight in a buyer's decision than a reliability report or recommendation.
  20. Eraserhead macrumors G4


    Nov 3, 2005
    Yeah but Major repairs mean I am without my computer for the same amount of time as minor repairs so I'm not too bothered either way.

    I wish Apple would do the Toshiba deal though, I'd be £1400 (as of tomorrow) up at this point. Alternatively they'd improve the quality so it didn't have to be repaired as often, either way is fine with me.
  21. squeeks macrumors 68040


    Jun 19, 2007
    i'm not, im baseing it on two peoples :p but yes i understand your point

    and i have nothing aginst toshiba, i love my toshiba HD-DVD player, its just that the only two people i know who has toshiba laptops hate thats a 100% failure rate for me, thats all..
  22. Love macrumors 68000


    Jan 20, 2007
    Just southeast of Northwestshire
    Every single HP i have owned ended up dying one way or another, one laptop i had melted the video card, one desktop fried the whole damn logicboard and processor. (to fix, $700 for the processor because it's older, 920 for the logic board and 400 for labor...eep)... Dad had an nc6000, fried the processor.

    IBM and sony has always been solid :)
  23. Sesshi macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2006
    One Nation Under Gordon
    It's worth bearing in mind that unlike Apple, where the build quality on their entire notebook range is the same (mediocre), many manufacturers have different lineups which feature different levels of build quality.

    I wouldn't buy a Dell Inspiron or HP Pavilion for example, but I find the Dell Precision/Latitide and the HP n/w-series business notebooks usually dependable. These machines are very different, inside and out.

    Sony makes an even greater distinction in it's lineup: It's 'affordable' ranges are built in China, and the flagship models such as the TZ, SZ, UX are built in Japan (and the made-in-Japan models are the only ones that I buy).

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