Which laptop brands are best?

Discussion in 'Mobile Computing' started by biggles, Nov 23, 2019.

  1. biggles

    biggles [H]ard|Gawd

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    https://www.laptopmag.com/articles/laptop-brand-ratings

    What do folks here think about those rankings? Focusing mostly on system stability and reliability.

    I have had a myriad of problems with an MSI Dominator laptop purchased in 2016. Enough to consider dumping it right now even though the hardware is still decent. For instance, right now the laptop shuts down when battery is at around 35%. I tried running the MSI battery calibration program. It ran for 3 hours and then the laptop turned itself off. WTF? No messages from the program stating whether it did anything to help.

    MSI ranked 9th out of 10 from the laptopmag article. Consistent with my poor experience.

    I was surprised to see HP on top. I owned an HP Pavilion laptop around 8 years ago and it sucked big time. Maybe they have improved in recent years?

    Reading the above article along with others makes me think Asus is one of the best, true or not?
     
  2. Commander Shepard

    Commander Shepard 2[H]4U

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    I've been very pleased my 3 XPS laptops (one 15", two 13") over the last few years.
     
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  3. jmilcher

    jmilcher [H]ardness Supreme

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    Oh you mean Windows laptops....

    You don’t want to hear this. I have owned a large number of laptops in the last 20 years. And by far, my MacBook pro’s have been the best build quality, by far.
     
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  4. XLeezardx

    XLeezardx [H]ardChef

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    Still my old Carbon X1 still running strong.
     
  5. Kardonxt

    Kardonxt 2[H]4U

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    If I was worried about reliability or support I would go with a business line such as Dell latitude or HP elitebook with onsite warranties.

    I've never met a gaming laptop that seemed like it was worth a damn. ASUS and Alienware are the only ones you can somewhat reasonably find parts for if you need to repair them. Anything more obscure like an MSI or overpower is pretty much impossible to repair unless you luck out and they cloned some chinese whitebox, sager esk.

    It sounds like your MSI battery has a dead cell, calibration won't help with that.
     
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  6. IdiotInCharge

    IdiotInCharge [H]ardForum Junkie

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    If you had to make a bet, it'd be on Macbook Pros.

    And if Macbook Pros aren't acceptable, you can bet on a Dell XPS.


    Beyond that, I highly recommend visiting a retail store and seeing whose keyboards, trackpads, and overall ergonomics you prefer. Literally everything has a shortcoming that bothers someone, so it's worth the time to make sure that you can live with the shortcoming(s) in whatever you decide to order.
     
  7. Kardonxt

    Kardonxt 2[H]4U

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    I also agree with the others that Macbook Pros have been exceptionally reliable for me. Personally, I would have to make considerably more money to buy one with the intent of dailying Windows on it lol.
     
  8. UnknownSouljer

    UnknownSouljer [H]ardness Supreme

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    I've had 4 Macbook Pros (in addition to other Mac desktops)
    2008 - 15" Macbook Pro 2.4GHz c2d
    2010 - 13" Macbook Pro 2.4GHz c2d
    2013 - 15" Macbook Pro 2.0GHz i7
    2019 - 15" Macbook Pro 2.4GHz i7

    All of them have been more or less bulletproof. The 2008 had a faulty logic board after a year and a half, but that was covered under Apple Care warranty. So the $750 repair was free. I also coincidentally always recommend getting the extended Apple-care if you plan on keeping the laptop for more than a year. Other than that, no issues. Some of these machines I've owned for quite a few years. The 2013, I had until just this past May. It worked flawlessly, it just couldn't keep up with my 4k workflow, and it was just time to upgrade.

    MacOS is a joy to use especially from a productivity standpoint. I absolutely hate Windows 10. And I also care about my privacy. Between my VPN, LittleSnitch, Firefox, and macOS, I can be reasonably sure that I'm doing at least the minimum stuff to keep me secure if by no other means than through obscurity. As I absolutely also hate trackers that track everything I do on the internet. At least the VPN and cookie blocking anonymize what I do and macOS itself has zero built in spyware unlike Windows 10.

    MacOS gives me access to virtual desktops, better hotkeys, excellent encryption, full 64-bit (32-bit has been fully depreciated), Metal everything (faster more optimized everything), and a much better touchpad/f-keys. I have zero desire to ever go back to Windows. I only boot Windows to game on games that aren't also available in macOS, and as I'm not a hardcore gamer anymore in the least, those times are far between. I likely won't bother again until Cyberpunk 2077 comes out, and even then I was semi-holding out for CDPR to port it to macOS like they did for Witcher 1/2 (although they didn't for 3).

    Anyway, rant over. I feel that over the past 10 years I've had far fewer issues on Mac rather than all the issues I had on Windows for the over 15 years preceding my switch.
     
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  9. Spun Ducky

    Spun Ducky Gawd

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    The rankings are fairly in line for what i would expect although HP at the top surprised me, but that could be the business line carrying weight. Apple near the bottom isn't surprising at all though. Tons of recalls and plenty of problems they have ignored that should be recalls. High failure rate in quite a few models even though the price is an absolute premium.
     
  10. UnknownSouljer

    UnknownSouljer [H]ardness Supreme

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    I would say the ranking are garbage because they’re based largely on the opinion of the writer. It’s an editorial. Not objective.

    “That's why every year we put the top brands on the hot seat and rate them across several categories, including reviews, design, tech support, value and innovation.”

    To your point though even this article rated Apple near top marks for support and reliability. The ranking for Apple had to do with “stale design” and “nothing priced under $800”. While also listing a pro of buying a Mac as blistering performance. So no, not high failure rate. Not high failure rate at all.

    Bottom line: this guy is all over the place. I wouldn’t use that chart for anything regardless of which brand you're interested in. Certainly not as a tool for making a purchasing decision.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2019
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  11. KarsusTG

    KarsusTG 2[H]4U

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    This is flatly false. They are pretty and give the illusion of quality, but they are really terrible. They also basically melt if you use them for anything intensive. If you just want to watch tv on it or write php/html, it's a decent machine. It's sad and hilarious to watch the smoke come out of them when you use them for cad or anything remotely intensive. Louis Rossman is a youtube guy I watch that runs a repair shop for apple products. Some of the crap you see on that channel is frankly jaw dropping.

    A good series would be a Dell XPS or Thinkpad series. I hear the zbook series is pretty good, but don't have any experience with them.
     
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  12. Commander Shepard

    Commander Shepard 2[H]4U

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    MacBook Pro held the build quality trophy for a long time. I owned several 15" and 13" MBPs from 2007 - 2016. All were outstanding laptops. I switched to Dell XPS in 2017 for the 4K IPS touch screens and was very pleased with the build quality. IMO, the XPS line is every bit as premium as the MBP, now.
     
  13. dvsman

    dvsman 2[H]4U

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    I've had a bunch of Dell (various sized XPS models, last was a XPS 13 9360) and Alienware laptops - all upgraded due to specs / FOTM / new hotness. Every single one still works just fine if I plug it in (okay some need a hard drive to be stuck back in too).

    My last Alienware was the BIG AW18 w/ 4940mx, 980m in SLI, 32gb + loads of hard drives. After that I decided to go back to building desktops and only last year went back to having one "gaming" laptop since they had shrunk and were now thin enough to not be ridiculous (Gigabyte Aero 15).

    I also still have a 2013/14 Macbook Air which I had bought to test out and while Mac OSX wasn't for me, that one also still runs like a top, even with the latest upgraded OS.
     
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  14. ssj925

    ssj925 n00b

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    We have a bunch of Dell's at the house (Latitude and Precision series only), lots of Alienware's (Area-51m, M18xR2, M14xR2, 13 R3) and some Mac's (Macbook Pro 15 Retina Late 2013, MBP 13 Late 2011) all have been solid.

    I think more importantly is the class of laptop. I don't normally buy cheaper Inspiron models from Dell for example.

    I've owned Dell's most of my life (Business class mainly with some Inspiron) and they have been solid. When people need computers fixed I normally see HP, ASUS, Apple, Acer, and Lenovo more.

    Honestly kinda surprised seeing HP on top.

    Apple, maybe because of their 2016-2019 macbooks the rating is less lol but 2011 to 2015 models were solid.
     
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  15. Aurelius

    Aurelius 2[H]4U

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    Now that Apple appears to have sorted out the MacBook Pro's glaring issues with the 16-inch model, I'd put it back in the upper echelons.

    The thing that irks me about Windows laptops is that there's a class system of sorts where you're punished for not buying the highest-end models. Aw, sorry, you could only justify an Inspiron or Pavilion? Hope you don't mind spending hours on the phone with mediocre tech support when your cheaply made system invariably breaks. Yeah, buying the high-end models may get you long warranties and higher-quality support, but that's because everyone else gets thrown under the bus.
     
  16. ssj925

    ssj925 n00b

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    Lots of companies, such as Dell , offer the same support for the lower end models as the high end models too, just gotta pay a bit more to get it.

    I do agree though that for many companies this is an issue. For Apple, it doesn't matter which product you have.