back to article Tosh on top for laptop reliability

Which?, the UK consumer organisation, has ranked the UK's most reliable laptops. Top of the reliability list is Sony and Toshiba with 93 per cent of Which? members surveyed saying their laptop had not needed repair. Fujitsu-Siemens got 91 per cent and Apple and Dell scored 87 per cent. Next were Acer and HP with 84 per cent, …


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  1. James Anderson

    "Apple" and "Customer Satisfaction"

    I am sure 98% of the clients of the Miss Whiplash Dungeon of Pain are "exteremly statisfied" by the services they receive there. It is hardly a recommendation for the rest of us though.

  2. Anonymous Coward


    At my last job we had a $Big $Customer who has exclusively Tosh laptops. I lost count of the warranty returns due to the sheer volume of the faults. The HP Lappys had about a 5% drop out rate, the tosh boxen where more along the lines of 20%.

    Also recently 3 friends bought shiny new Macs, one dude with a MacBook Pro has had it back for a faulty screen, and just got it back last week after another return for a faulty logic board. Another has had a new panel after the lights died in his MacBook, but the dude with the iMac hasn't had an issue at all. Meanwhile I'm finding Acer and HP to be solid. Their machines are less fancy, but they "Just Work" in general. Sure you get warranty returns, but you always will no matter what you buy. I think that this is more a case of Which? Magazine highlighting the disparity between Customer Expectation and actual reliability, and we know that the great majority of Mac Users won't have anything bad said about their little lovechild.

    Posted on my HP, because the iMac is upstairs and I can't be arsed walking upstairs to turn it on :)

  3. dominic bird
    Thumb Down


    I am surprised to hear that Sony did so well. I owned a Sony Vaio FZ18L for a month, before sending it back, and it was awful.

    No mention of Lenovo in the survey?

  4. Adrian Challinor

    Yes its tru

    My Toshiba reliably spends a lot of its time back in the repair shop. Toshiba have even extended the warranty three times.

    Mines the one with all the RMA stickers in the pocket

  5. Marco van de Voort

    Consumer oriented ?

    I guess it's pretty consumer oriented, since I miss the one I'd expected to come out on top, IBM/Lenovo Thinkpad.

    For my feeling Dell is pretty low, but of course they sell not only Latitudes :)

  6. Iain


    Tosh is good, before it was stolen (from my house, not my back seat, I ain't no fo') I had managed to drop it numerous times and expose it to harsh conditions of a british summetime on a garden bench plus coffee related experiences. (Yes I'm clumsy) and it still rocked on like a trooper!

    Anyone remember Time? They were the worst manufacturer of all (ironic) time, my old time laptop actually spent more time (again) in the shop than it did on my desk. It eventually was subject to an 'accident' and was replaced.

    My current laptop is a Philips and I have to say I am impressed with it. I even bought it from PC World and it still works 2 years on. I like.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    John Lewis customers....

    John Lewis customers have more money than sense though. If i had to buy a laptop from John Lewis I would expect some pretty impressive customer services for the price - and that's the sort of services that mean i now have to go lie down in a darkened room for a while just thinking about it (i mean hey they screw you on the price so they might as well let the customer service reps screw you......

    Paris - because of the services i hope they offer.

  8. Mike Crawshaw

    Report is Flawed.

    Apple reliability is 100%.

    Apple customer satisfaction is 100%.

    Anything else is a lie.

  9. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    I will never buy Sony again.

    I had a Sony Vaio laptop from new. After a year or so, and not surprisingly not long after the warranty had expired the screen went "kaput" and they wanted more than the original price of the laptop to repair it.

    It was cheaper to bin the laptop and now have a Toshiba Satellite which is fab.

  10. John Robson Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    My Toshiba got thrown down the stairs.

    With the screen open and the machine running - it fell from about 10 feet onto a laminate floor (causing a minor scratch on the floor), landing on the top corner of the screen (pretty much worst case I'd guess).

    The screen casing split down the side, and cracked at the corner. The metal brace contorted into an S shape.

    But - NO dead pixels on the screen, NO reallocated sectors on the HDD.

    It's absolutely fine (other than the cosmetic damage).

    It's still here working away.

    I'll go back to toshiba any day, dell managed to not be able to send me a laptop - every time they managed to have something different out of stock... even when I phoned them and checked what was in stock!

  11. Daniel Silver badge


    Difficult to believe they're not even in the list?

  12. Alan Silver badge
    Jobs Horns

    Jobs Reality Distortion Field

    So, Apple only third on reliabilty, but top on customer satisfaction.

    Obviously Apple Customers are only happy if they have regular contact with the Apple shop, even if it's for taking their beloved products back for repair...

  13. Brian Miller

    I'm not surprised

    My toshiba Satellite M40 has an elegant design. It's CPU is highly accessible, 1 screw to access. Heatpipe/heatsink is easily removed, pure copper and integrates with the airflow from the NB cooler.

    So, I have dropped in a pentium m 1.73Ghz chip (@533MHz FSB) and overclocked the crap out of it @ stock volts. (2.52GHz ROCK SOLID STABLE 55degC @ FULL LOAD). I have also OC'd the integrated GPU @ 400MHz core (up from 300). Again, stock voltage no artifacts, stable as a maglev train.

    This shows the quality of the design and components used.

    Customer satisfaction is another story. After registering with toshiba and contacting them about the possibility of upgrading the CPU they responded with an outright LIE. They claim that it is impossible to change the CPU on the laptop due to Intels's manufacturing process. They then forwarded on a copy of the packaging process that CPU dies go through BEFORE sale. i.e. integrating the die to the ziff plug.

    Anyway, I have heard of other people being outright lied to by toshiba customer service. They are morally corrupt, but they make a mean laptop.

  14. Neil Alexander


    Couple of years old iBook G4 has been a dream for me. The power management unit got fried once from heavy thunder and lightning (but that also coincidentally zapped a stereo system and a desktop's power management unit that were also connected to mains power).

    On the other hand, my Toshiba Satellite overheats regularly, has had a faulty DVD drive (which also blocked other system operations because the drive was almost in a permanent 'waiting to be ready' phase) and dodgy USB ports (that would power surge and then shut the unit down upon connecting some devices).

    That's awesome, innit.

  15. This post has been deleted by its author

  16. tony72

    @Brian Miller

    Find me a big name laptop vendor that will happily give you information about upgrading your CPU. If it doesn't plug into an external port, then you're on your own. Vijay probably went above and beyond the call of duty to look up that information for you, not his fault he's clueless 1st line tech support.

  17. James Delaney

    How do you know...

    "Asus's Eee PC scored highly for customer satisfaction, but not enough respondents had one for it to be included."

    Surely, if it wasn't included you'd not know it scored highly?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Feel the love...

    To be honest, I dont think it makes a bit of difference which company sells the laptop, how about a competition polling what your laptop is and when it was made, then who are the suppliers of the parts to work out which is the best Tiawan/ China/ Singapore/ Japan manufacturer (as all the Western manufactures have disappeared) and which to avoid, that way we could see which are the better components in a laptop and buy them that way.

    You only get what you pay for (except for Mac's where you get shafted twice BUT THEY LOOK NICE... so does my pocket with another £500 in it!)

    Out of curiosity which company payed for the poll?

    Paris - Cause you have to pay to feel the love!

  19. Matthew Banwell

    @ Rik Hemsley

    There should be a consumer mag which reviews consumers mags, a "Which Which?" if you will...


  20. n
    Jobs Horns

    Re reliability vrs satisfaction survey.....

    the apple owners never turned it on.......the shiney white cover matched their ipod....

  21. Marco Alfarrobinha

    What about Gateway?

    I've got a Tesco bought Gateway running Vista H Premium and it is the most reliable of all the laptops I've had. Compaq? A joke, kept going back to PC World. Dell? Luckily was a compny one, otherwise I'd have broken it myself. Ee? Lasted a week then had to return it, the bloke at PC World didn't know what was wrong with it.

    So my opinion is: Buy a cheap laptop at Tesco's and it will last forever.

    /better run away now...

  22. Robert Hill
    Paris Hilton

    Reliability vs Satisfaction...

    The two only equate if there is a 100% correlation - but perhaps some other features of the Apple's make them so nice that people are willing to overlook their reliability?

    Ah, yes, the OS and software...that might be it. So perhaps people are satisfied with a nice OS and visually appealing applications even if the hardware isn't the absolute best (but not the worst however)...

    The only people that are naive enough to assume 100% correlation between customer satisfaction and reliability are those that should be building military goods only...or consumer goods for the old Soviet Union.

    Paris, because I'm sure SHE gives great satisfaction, but is probably not reliable...

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    On my second (spec upgrade), both from my company. Both had a lot of use and and a few scrapes. Dropped frequently, stood on, beer/tea/coffee spilt in multiple times and attacked by the dog (who is sure the mouse pointer is some kind of evil insect) a couple of times.

    AC because my company think I take excellent care of it.

  24. bygjohn

    Re: John Lewis customers....

    Actually, when I bought my previous laptop (Sony), John Lewis were charging the same as Sony's online store but with a free 2-year warranty instead of the 1 year Sony were offering. Plus no waiting for mail order to be delivered etc etc, just instant retail gratification.

    Customer service only bettered by the Apple Store who sold me my current lappy, smooth black MacBook.

    Cue flames from embittered Win users.

    Mines the one which is cool, black and fireproof :-)

  25. Mike Richards

    No worries buying from John Lewis

    The 2 year warranty as standard is fantastic, and 'never knowingly undersold' has come to my assistance on a number of occasions.

    JL may not carry the range as the online specialists and they might not -quite- match the Pixmanias* of this world in price, but for sheer convenience and peace of mind, they're unbeatable.

    * Speaking of whom - haven't they got a bit crap of late? What's this business with requiring copies of passport photos or driving licences before they will process an order???

  26. James Anderson

    Ever tried to buy a Thinkpad?

    IBM and now Levonos supply chain/marketing is heavily geared up twoards corporate customers. They dont have any meaningful consumer channels. You can buy a thinkpad online but without your corporate discount they end up shcokingly expensive.

    I bought mine as a three year old second hand ex corporate machine - its probably the best computer I own in terms own (it does run unbuntu so it has an unfair advantage over the newer HP kit, and a Dell of the same vintage is starting to struggle.

    My ASUS EEE is gradualy elbowing its way up to number one most used PC in the house. Fast bootup and genuine portability are a hard combination to beat;

  27. kevin biswas

    HP Vista-XP comment

    HP's are cheap at the moment and feel nicely made but some of the DV series (and maybe others too) are, to all intents and purposes, Vista only (Or Linux). XP can only be installed on them with a hard-to-find bios downgrade (which will only work on certain cpu core revisions) or with a non ACPI HAL installed (which throws the machine back into the stone age and breaks support for wlan and usb and many other things) If you want really want Windows Fistula (or linux) and are certain you will never fancy XP or 2k then they might be OK but otherwise best be careful.

  28. Fluffykins

    Does this include

    The Tosh's with the self-destructing backlight inverters?

  29. Neil Anderson

    I wonder

    how the number of hours of use for each laptop brand compares?

  30. rick buck
    Gates Horns

    Toshiba's above in service for me...

    Had a client that had a Toshiba laptop that had never been used (over 2 years old) and 2 months after they began hauling it around (would I have taken it to the beach?) it suffered a Total Death, in that it showed no life, battery status, and would not start. Upon calling Customer Service, and telling them it was not in warranty, and of course learning the true age of the machine, the tech told me a few tricks to try to wake up the machine just to be able to restore or repair what ever was wrong. First thing I tried worked, and they did not charge me a cent...that would have never happened if it had been a Gateway, HP/Compaq, Dell, or Sony. They want to have your credit Card information before they will even talk to you.

    This may sell me on a Toshiba next time, as the others "OBVIOUSLY DO NOT WANT ANYTHING BUT MY MONEY!"

    Bill, because he knows how to "NOT PROVIDE SUPPORT."

  31. Daniel

    Drinking the Apple-hating kool-aid

    Sometimes I wonder what it is about Apple that makes otherwise sensible people froth at the mouth. I've had to deal with a lot of laptops in my time, and my experiences line up fairly well with this survey. What makes Apple rank so high in satisfaction is the support experience when something does break. I've never had Apple support claim that an obvious hardware fault was a driver issue (HP), return a laptop with a wiped hard drive after being sent in for a non-drive failure (Dell, HP), or fail to fix a problem once they had taken it in for service (Dell). However, top marks go to Toshiba, where I have no idea how good their support is, because I've never had one of their machines fail.

    Dell, on the other hand, makes some of the crappiest low-end "big brand" laptops I've ever had the misfortune to touch, and HP isn't far behind - except for HP, it's their entire line. I've never touched an Acer, and haven't worked with enough Sony machines to have formed an impression either way. As far as price goes, I'm not at all convinced that Apple is overpriced, since in order to get equivalent features on any other machines, you are usually within $100 - either way. Note that I'm deliberately leaving out the experience of actually USING the laptop - there are arguments to be made for both Windows and OS X, and I'm tired of hearing the screaming matches, much less participating in them.

    You don't have to like Apple - the heavens know there are reasons not to - but this frothing hate comes across as either an ignorant mob or penis envy. It's not particularly attractive, and it's annoying as hell to listen to over and over and over again.


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