The public has spoken about the laptop and desktop computers that are the most durable and offer the best support. The big winner is Apple, which isn't a surprise since it's the company most focused on building premium machines and offering premium service options (with a price tag to match). The big winner among Windows PC makers was Taiwanese upstart ASUS. Meanwhile, computer giants Dell and Hewlett-Packard got clobbered.
The results come from a new survey of 79,000 users conducted by PC World, which asked five questions about reliability and four questions about service. PC World then aggregated the responses into three ratings:
- Better than average
- Worse than average
Apple scored "better than average" in all nine categories in desktops and in eight out of nine in laptops. The one area where it scored "average" was in getting failed components replaced in laptops.
ASUS scored "better than average" in five categories for laptops and in two categories for desktops.
US computer giants Dell and Hewlett-Packard scored very poorly, but there was a silver lining for both of them. PC World broke out the product lines into home and business for Dell and HP, and both scored much better for their higher-quality business machines.
For its home product lines, Dell got "worse than average" marks in five out of nine categories for laptops and six out of nine categories for desktops. For HP's home product lines, the company got "worse than average" for seven out of nine categories in laptops and four out of nine categories in desktops. Both companies got more balanced, mediocre ratings from the public for their business systems as you'll see in the charts below.
If you are a small business, do not buy Dell or HP laptops or desktops at retailers such as Best Buy or Office Depot. Those machines are of inferior quality and offer inferior service. If you want to buy a Dell or HP machine, buy it directly from the company over the Web and make sure you purchase a machine from their business lineup and get business-class support. Otherwise, if you do prefer to buy a computer at a retail location then get an ASUS or an Apple machine.
Chart credit: PC World
Chart credit: PC World
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 book, Follow the Geeks.