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

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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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