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Best laptop brands

Most reliable laptop brands

By Adam Marshall

Article 1 of 7

To help you buy the best laptop, we reveal the brands that won't let you down.

Put us to the test

Our Test Labs compare features and prices on a range of products. Try Which? to unlock our reviews. You'll instantly be able to compare our test scores, so you can make sure you don't get stuck with a Don't Buy.

Every year, we ask more than 10,000 Which? members to tell us about their computing products, from whether they've experienced any problems using them to how happy they are with their devices. Careful analysis of this information has enabled us to compare all the top laptop brands, from Apple to Lenovo, and to tell you which you should choose – and which you should avoid.

If your laptop fails then you're likely to face a big bill to repair or replace it. But the data saved on it – such as family photos and financial documents – may not be retrievable at any cost. That's why it's so important to choose a laptop that won't let you down.

Our unique reliability survey can help you make the right choice. In our latest analysis we've looked at the performance of the nine biggest laptop manufacturers – including Apple, Asus, Acer, Dell and HP – and have calculated a reliability rating for each. This takes in to account the fault rates reported by their owners plus the severity of these faults and the speed with which they occurred after they'd been bought.

Best Buy laptops – see which laptops impressed in our tough lab tests.

As the results in our table show, there are clear differences between these popular laptop brands. In fact, owners of laptops from our worst-rated manufacturer reported that more than one in three of their devices experienced a problem within just five years of ownership.

Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings in the table below. If you're not yet a member, sign up for a £1 trial to get instant access.

Brand name Reliability star rating Percentage reliability score
87%
76%
76%
75%
71%
70%
69%
69%
68%

Table notes
Results based on feedback from more than 4,400 laptop owners, surveyed in August 2017.

Key

Member Content

Which laptop brand stays fault free for longest?

The graph below shows how the brand that stays fault-free for the longest compares to the worst brand and the overall average. Which? members can see how brands compare for faults over a five-year period in the table underneath.

Brand name % faults after one year % faults after five years
98% 88%
97% 80%
93% 80%
93% 80%
92% 75%
92% 73%
90% 73%
88% 72%
84% 65%

Table notes
Results based on feedback from more than 4,400 laptop owners, surveyed in August 2017.

Key

Member Content

How laptop brands compare

Our 2017 laptop reliability survey uncovered some interesting results.

Laptops were shown to be one of the less reliable computing products. So, while only 13% of tablets experience a fault within five years of ownership, the rate jumps to 21% of laptops. And the problems experienced by customers are often more severe and were rated by their owners as major or even catastrophic.

However not all brands suffer from as many problems – only 12% of laptops made by our most reliable manufacturer experienced a fault in the same time period.

Common laptop problems

 

A problem with the laptop's battery – forcing you to recharge it more frequently – was the number one gripe. To make it less likely that this happens to your device you should only connect it to the power when required – the constant charging cycles it'll experience if you leave it plugged in will otherwise reduce the battery life.

If your current laptop has a terrible battery then you may be able to buy a replacement unit and fit it to your device – either undertaking the task yourself or taking it to a computer repairer.

However if you're worried about attempting this then it may be simpler to upgrade to a new model. All our Best Buy laptops offer excellent battery life, with many offering more than 10 hours use before you have to plug in their charger.

If your laptop won't boot up – effectively leaving you with a black screen – then you can attempt to get around this by holding down the power button for around 10 seconds. This can force boot the laptop to a special start-up mode, which presents recovery or diagnosis options, including starting up in safe mode. If that doesn't work then you'll probably need to seek help from a professional computing repair service.

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