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Technology.

12 August 2021

Most reliable laptop brands

Unique Which? data can help you to choose a laptop brand that lasts. We survey owners of Apple, Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo and Microsoft laptops to reveal the faults that develop, and how long you can expect them to last.
Michael Passingham
Best laptop brands

The most common issue people encounter with their laptops is a severe drop in battery performance over a very short space of time. In fact our research indicates this accounts for up to 23% of faults.

Knowing how long a brand will last you, which brands develop the most faults and how long you can expect to see problems is invaluable to making a smart buying decision. That’s why we asked 15,000 Which? members to tell us about the problems and experiences they’ve had with brands over the last eight years.

Our unique survey data reveals when popular brands developed a fault, how serious this fault was and the reasons why products are replaced. We also look at brand loyalty to find out who you turn to time and again, and crucially reveal how long you can expect laptop brands to last.

Discover the very best laptops from our tough lab tests.

How long do different laptop brands last?

To find out how long you can rely on your laptop, we calculated an average estimated lifetime for each brand, based on how long respondents were able to keep a product before having to replace it because of an issue that was out of their control.

Estimated lifetimes should only be used as a guide – there’s nothing to say your laptop will suddenly stop working when this time period is up, of course. But as a comparative indicator between brands, it’s a useful way to get an idea of how a product you own or are shopping for compares to others.

Brand
Estimated average lifespan
11.3
10.5
10.1
9.8
9.3
9.2
9.2
Table notes: The above data is based on a survey of Which? members in July 2020 covering 8,772 laptops.

How quickly do different laptop brands need replacing?

The graph above shows how the best and worst brands compare when it comes to how long they lasted before the owner decided it was time to upgrade, either because of a fault of because they felt the device was no longer meeting their needs. Which? members can see how individual brands compare over a five-year period in the table below. 

Brand
2 years
4 years
6 years
1%
13%
49%
1%
25%
61%
3%
22%
59%
4%
34%
71%
4%
33%
71%
11%
42%
78%
13%
41%
80%
Table notes: The above data is based on a survey of Which? members in July 2020 covering 8,772 laptops.

How satisfied are customers with different laptop brands?

Our survey also reveals how satisfied people are with a brand overall – we use this to calculate a ‘customer satisfaction’ score, based on how likely people are to recommend it.

Loyalty is also an important factor. Though it doesn’t always correlate directly with satisfaction, some brands have what it takes to keep customers coming back time and again. Our loyalty score is based on whether people stuck to the same brand when they upgraded.

As you can see in the graph above, there's a big difference between the top-performing brand’s average Which? test score (85%) and the brand in last place (65%). Customer loyalty can vary wildly, even despite the fact that many customers are generally satisfied with their purchase.

Below, we reveal which brands ticked the boxes.

Brand
Customer loyalty score
Customer satisfaction score
17%
70%
91%
88%
15%
70%
31%
75%
36%
69%
33%
70%
47%
78%
3%
72%
Table notes: The above data is based on a survey of Which? members in July 2020 covering 8,772 laptops.

Common laptop problems

By far and away the most common hardware problem people experience with their laptops is a severe drop in battery performance over a very short space of time. Of course, batteries only have a limited lifespan, but we would still expect them to have a gradual reduction in performance. 14% of reported faults were battery related. 4% were screen issues, with dead pixels and flickering panels commonly cited. In terms of software, the most frequent problem laptop owners had was specifically related to Windows 10 updates, with 15% of laptop faults blamed on this.

Owners of laptops from our worst-rated manufacturer reported that more than one in three of their devices experienced a problem within just six years of ownership.

We think laptops should last at least five years without developing a fault, and you should expect no major faults in the first year of ownership. Our data tells a different story.

The table above shows a marked difference between the very best and the worst laptop manufacturers for reliability. Indeed, 7% of laptops from our top brand developed a minor fault in its first two years, the worst performer saw faults in 16% of devices within two years.

Get more help fixing a laptop with our top tips for computer repair and guide on how to to speed up a slow laptop.

Laptop brands rated

Choose a brand from the list below to find out more detail about its performance in our survey.

How we calculate the best and worst brands

Which? has a wealth of information on Britain's favourite computing brands. Every year we ask Which? members to tell us about the technology products they own - from how likely they would be to recommend a brand, to how reliable the products are once they get them home. This year more than 10,000 Which? members told us about more than 20,000 devices. We calculate a brand's reliability and its customer score based on the results of our annual survey.

Our reliability surveys, combined with our extensive lab tests, mean we can recommend the best laptops you should buy.

This data is crucial for our testing, too. If a brand falls far below the category average, we take away the manufacturer's Best Buy status and won’t recommend any of their products unless a marked improvement in reliability is shown.

Head to our laptop reviews

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