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Asus and Toshiba “most reliable” laptop brands

Study carried out by warranty provider reveals chasm in vendor failure rates

Toshiba laptops are among the most reliable in the business, according to US-based warranty services provider SquareTrade.
Toshiba laptops are among the most reliable in the business, according to US-based warranty services provider SquareTrade.

Asus and Toshiba laptops have been labelled the "most reliable" on the market based on a survey of more than 30,000 users that have bought new mobile PCs during the past three years. HP finished up bottom of the study, which ranked nine different PC brands in total.

SquareTrade, a third party warranty provider that carried out the analysis by examining failure rate data from its customers, said just 16% of Asus and Toshiba laptops malfunctioned over a three-year period.

Apple came fourth in the study, just behind Sony, while Dell and Lenovo finished in the middle with failure rates of 18% and 21% respectively.

US-based SquareTrade claimed HP laptops showed the highest malfunction rate, at 26%, but said Acer and Gateway were "nearly as unreliable" with failure rates that exceeded the industry average.

According to the data, more than one in three laptops are likely to encounter faults within three years of purchase, with two-thirds of this figure linked to hardware deficiencies and the remainder the result of accidental damage.

Laptops typically experience higher failure rates than most consumer electronics products, which SquareTrade attributes to the sophisticated components they contain.

"Keyboards, pointer devices, media drives and hard drives are all mechanical components that increasingly wear out when subjected to heavy use, while motherboard circuitry, memory and wireless devices are sensitive to heat and environmental factors," stated the company.

"Given that the typical laptop endures more use and abuse than nearly any other consumer electronic device (with the possible exception of cell phones), it is not surprising to see such high failure rates," it added.

The study also explored the reliability of netbooks, concluding that such devices experience 20% higher failure rates from hardware problems than more expensive laptops.