Asus, IBM-Lenovo Top Notebook Reliability Ranking

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print

Want the best value for your dollar in terms of PC reliability? For notebook PCs, Asus and IBM/Lenovo are the best, and Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Sony are the worst for reliability, according to a new report from Rescuecom.

If you are looking for a reliable notebook PC, Asus and IBM/Lenovo may very well be your best choices, not Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Dell or Sony. That’s according to the most recent Computer Reliability Report from Rescuecom, based on 15,000 consumer service calls throughout the first quarter of 2009.

The rise of Asus and IBM/Lenovo is Apple’s loss. Apple had secured the top spot on the list of most reliable laptops at the end of 2008, with the fewest number of service calls, according to Rescuecom, a New York-based reseller of computers and IT services.  In the first quarter, Apple slipped into third place.

According to Rescuecom, the PCs reported to have the strongest reliability scores are:

1.    Asus and IBM/Lenovo (tied)
3.    Apple
4.    Toshiba
5.    Acer
6.    HP/Compaq
7.    Dell
8.    Sony

Rescuecom’s rankings are based on a proprietary formula that takes into account market share based on IDC numbers and Rescuecom’s own consumer services calls for tech support. Although Lenovo separated from the IBM brand nearly two years ago, analysts continue to list the two companies as a joint brand because of legacy systems in the install base.

Rescuecom President Josh Kaplan notes that Asus’ high reliability score this quarter may be misleading because the company made big market share gains since September 2008 when it released a highly popular subcompact notebook. But that notebook’s long-term reliability has yet to be seen, says Kaplan.

Other factors that can affect a vendor’s ranking include the vendor’s ongoing support of its own products. For example, Apple users may likely be going to Apple stores for tech support. Vendors that provide better product support and vendors that have more reliable products are more likely to rank high on the list, Kaplan says.

"In this economy, consumers and business owners want to know a computer is reliable before they invest hard-earned dollars," says David Milman, founder and CEO of Rescuecom, in a prepared statement announcing the rankings. "Our reports are intended to empower consumers when they head out to make purchasing decisions. Since technology develops at a rapid pace, our quarterly analyses provide a timely resource."

Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com