TechRepublic recently polled its audience of IT pros about which vendors make the best and worst laptops. One thing was nearly unanimous: Acer machines are the worst.
It's no secret that as laptops have dropped in price in recent years -- dipping from an normal price tag of about $1500 just 5-10 years ago to roughly $500 for many of today's most popular models -- the quality and reliability of those laptops has decreased just as precipitously.
While it's still true that corporate IT departments don't typically buy the cheapest laptops on the market, the price of business-class portables have dropped as well. IT departments that used to pay $1500-$2000 for their laptops now typically pay $700-$1000 per machine.
The biggest difference is that IT departments are looking for laptops with the best reliability, so that they can service them as little as possible, since it's expensive every time an IT professional has to take the time to deal with a bad system.
TechRepublic recently asked its massive audience of IT professionals which vendors make the most reliable laptops and which ones make the least reliable laptops. Since most IT departments tend to use multiple vendors and/or switch vendors every 2-3 years in order to land the best deal, we thought IT departments would have a great perspective on this.
Plus, there's also the factor that most IT professionals tend to serve as the de facto tech support departments for many of their friends, family, and neighbors. So they tend to see a lot of different consumer laptops as well, especially the ones that have the most problems.
Not surprisingly, the results of our two polls in May had Hewlett-Packard and Dell at or near the top of both lists. Since those two vendors both sell so many machines, both offer drastically different levels of support, and both have very diverse products lines, we regularly hear from lots of happy customers and lost of disgruntled ones as well.
The most consistent data point on both polls was that IT professionals consider Acer laptops to be the most shoddy. Of the top seven laptop sellers that were asked about in the two polls, Acer ranked first (24%) among the least reliable laptops and last (6%) in the most reliable laptops. Check out the full results below.
Jason Hiner is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He writes about the people, products, and ideas changing how we live and work in the 21st century. He's co-author of the upcoming book, Follow the Geeks.