SquareTrade published a new study revealing that smaller notebook manufacturers are often more reliable than their larger competitors. For example, ASUS, ranked in the top nine, has the lowest breakdown rate with under 10 percent of notebooks failing over the past two years. At the same time, Toshiba, Sony and Apple as well have above-average performance and are situated around the same figure. The larger notebook manufacturers are significantly worse on long-term. Dell is slightly less reliable, but Lenovo has significantly worse rates of failure. The same happens in the case of Acer and its sub-label Gateway. But the worst of all is Hewlett Packard with about 16 percent of its notebooks breaking down.
Failure rates are believed to go up over a three-year period for many producers, but rankings are supposed to remain consistent. While 15.6 percent of ASUS’ notebooks are expected to fail after three years, 25.6 percent of HP’s systems should fail, according to researchers.
The gap in failure rates is certainly attributed to intrinsic notebooks quality. Netbooks, for example, which are usually made of cheaper materials to have prices under $400, are much above the average with respect to the first-year failure rate, but also have very high rates of failure for a three-year span, as 25.1 percent are estimated to stop working in this period. Full-size budget notebooks, which are significantly more present in the line-ups of HP, Acer and Gateway are expected to have a 20.6 percent failure rate. On the other hand, premium notebooks that are priced over $1,000, like those in Apple and Sony line-ups have a lower initial rate of failure and reach an 18.1 percent rate of malfunction.
Researchers have also mentioned that notebooks are historically unreliable if compared to other electronics, due to their nature, which implies heavy use of hard drives and a lot of other components, as well as to accidents that might occur. For a three-years period of time, 31 percent of notebooks are expected to fail due to internal reasons or to suffer accidents that make them inoperable.