One in Three Laptops Fail Within 3 Years:

DN Staff

February 25, 2010

2 Min Read
One in Three Laptops Fail Within 3 Years:

Breaking news from our sister publication Electronics Weekly:  1 in 3 laptops fail in the first three years of ownership! So run, don’t walk, to purchase your warranty!

I am knocking on wood as I am writing this, as my 30-month-old Sony Vaio to date has not yet entered into an almost unavoidable state of decrepitude.

That’s according to a bit of a self-serving study done by SquareTrade, who is in the warranty biz, which looked at a sample of 30,000 randomly selected laptops and netbook computers that were purchased new. Though “fail” was not explicitly defined beyond broad categories of “hardware malfunction” and “accidental damage.” software-related issues were excluded from the study–presumably because they’re not covered under warranty. And, everybody has those problems anyway.

Highlights of the study, according to SquareTrade, include:

* Looking at the first 3 years of ownership, 31% of laptop owners reported a failure to SquareTrade. Two-thirds of this failure (20.4%) came from hardware malfunctions, and one-third (10.6%) was reported as accidental damage.

* Netbooks are projected to have a 20% higher failure rate from hardware malfunctions than more expensive laptop computers.

* ASUS and Toshiba were the most reliable makes


As well as looking at laptop failure rates by make, and type, they also distinguish between total failure rates, accident rates and malfunction rates.

When looking at a 3-year projected malfunction rate by price, they conclude that cheaper netbooks have a 25.1 failure rate, entry level laptops 20.6%, and premium laptops fare better with an 18.1% failure rate.

The report concludes:

While our study found netbook malfunction rates to be trending 20% higher than more expensive laptops, the variance between manufacturer is far greater and should be a bigger factor in making a buying decision. ASUS and Toshiba laptops failed just over half as frequently as HP, which makes them a solid bet in terms of reliability.

Read the full report.

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