Best & Worst Laptop Brands 2014

notebook-brands-sf-2014-v2

When readers ask us (and they often do), “What laptop should I buy?”, most of them really mean, “Which brand name should I look for?” That’s a tough question to answer, because there are so many factors to consider. How did a company’s systems perform on our benchmark tests? How good is the company’s support? Are the company’s systems well made on both the inside and the outside?

The answers to all of these questions matter, especially as companies experiment more with laptop-tablet hybrids. That’s why every year, we pit the biggest brands on the market against one another in the battle to end all battles, with the ultimate goal of telling you which companies deserve your hard-earned cash.

Best and Worst Laptop Brands 2014

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  1. Steve Little Says:

    Sony design only gets 9 points? This is crazy! Vaio laptops are still uber-sexy! Way overpriced, but sexy. Back then even Steve Jobs wanted to put OSX on Vaio laptops.

  2. Hemanth Kumar Says:

    How does that “software” thing works? Mac get full 5 while Windows notebooks gets 4 or less..

  3. jitu Says:

    suggest me which laptop is cheap and best

  4. Ethos Says:

    your rating sucks !!
    the best is acer .. u just apple fanboys bcos u from usa yeah hp and dell must be on good place ..
    crap
    acer best !

  5. Mohsin Nasar Says:

    I need brands laptop.Please you brand laptop my free my give me.Please wait free laptop my come home.
    Are you free laptop my give me?
    I need reply.
    Thank you,

  6. lee Says:

    nice computers can i buy one

  7. lee Says:

    can we make a deal guys

  8. Onkar B Says:

    They just listed alphabetically!!!!

  9. Bruce Says:

    Well I won’t come back to this BS website. As soon as I see 5 out of 5 for MAC OSX, I know what kind of editor wrote this article; some MAC lover with a biased opinion. Probably only knows how to use an iPhone and iPad too.

  10. gary Says:

    Based on the comments I’ve read, you people are all too stupid to be on the internet, nevermind allowed out in the world at large. Learn how to spell and punctuate before you try to offer an opinion.

  11. Jodie Clark Says:

    Im looking for the best laptop for a online business for $500 or underthat is i5 or more can you help me out .

    Thank you

    Jodie Clark

  12. Deepti nanda Says:

    Hi i am looking for a netbook and need help..my requirements are longer battery about6-8 hrs and more if possible and hd video pkayback with good viewing angles.
    Please let me know if u have any suggetion.

    Thanks.

  13. Adesanmi Adedotun Says:

    Gosh, Hp my favourite does not fall with in the first top 4… Not really disappointed but a bit.

  14. Peter Says:

    You are one of the worst laptop websites on internet.

  15. suzanne Says:

    yes i’m thinking about buying a toshiba, C75D-A7370 laptop can you tell me if this is a good one are what , I do a lot of photos and work with them ,

  16. janet archer Says:

    I’m a college student and working mother.And also on a budget. I am looking for a good laptop that has Microsoft office 2013 already installed in it,to be able to do my school work on it.I already have 2010 in my home computer and was told that 2013 and 2010 are Quite different programs.What would you suggest for a laptop.no more than 450.00, 500.00 tops.thank you janet.

  17. MOHAMMAD YAQOOB BHAT Says:

    I purchased a dell laptop “Dell vastro” in April 2012 on DOS based. Its plastic body is very inferior quality. I hate it.
    Next I bought a SONY Laptop “SVE15123CNB” in April 2013.Really its look was very good & its body was of superior quality, but was producing a little noise. Its LCD broken in Dec.2013, I got it on Service Center and they denied for warranty and repair on cashment of Rs.9854.After that the laptop was loose & I sold it.
    Now I am requesting You Please suggest me that which Laptop I should buy now.( in Core i3 2.5 Gh. about 6 hour battery life durable,2GB,500GB)
    Please & Please reply.

  18. DRL Says:

    I think extendibility/upgrades options needs to be part of your test

  19. Melmo Says:

    #MoshinNasar Please stop posting to websites until you learn English. Unintelligible gibberish

  20. Melmo Says:

    In my experience the top three ratings are accurate. Personally, I would rate Toshiba higher than last.

  21. Ann Distin Says:

    I cant believe that Asus even gets in. The one I got cost me more than its original price to clean the rubbish out and get it to work and its been clunky and nasty and ugly to use I can not wait to save the money to buy a decent laptop That being the reason I am on this site

  22. JQ Says:

    Wow, this site blows.

  23. Xaved Says:

    This rating is somehow biased I think.

  24. Funny guy Says:

    Not what i expected.

  25. vaibhav Says:

    Hii.. I m thinking to purchase a apple laptop… But i m not having sufficient knowledge abt tht…. Can u tell me pls… Did it support dongle…

  26. JimD Says:

    As someone who works in IT, I can say without a doubt when it comes to longevity and durability dell laptops especially their latitude line are some of the best. HP some of the worst. Apple laptops are nice but overpriced and they are a pain for someone who works in IT. In that regard Dell blows Apple away. Prosupport blows away the stupid genius bar.

  27. JimD Says:

    On another note I can agree that Apple, Lenovo are good. HP laptops are terrible in terms of longevity. Dell should be ranked above HP. I’ve had many HP’s die on me. Also driver / software and hardware support for Dell is much better than HP.

  28. Jake Says:

    I think just looking at the brand doesn’t tell you much except the support and the company related things. Dell makes $400 laptops and then make Alienwares over $6000 (fully loaded). The $ 400 laptop has 400 dollar parts and the $ 6000 has 6000 dollar parts. I would never buy laptop by brand alone.

  29. Jane Says:

    My $900 HP died (motherboard) in only 3 yrs. I do not use it much nor transport it anywhere outside my home. I will never buy another HP pc. I am using my 15 yr. old desktop Vaio to write this. It’s slower than molasses but still works!

  30. ReallyDisappointed Says:

    I don’t like the way an Apple looks, I don’t like their business model either. Basically Apple is for people who are afraid to learn how to really use tech.

    The only Lenovo’s I’ve worked on are only suitable for email word processing.

    Asus tends to be rather heavy.

    HP has always been hit or miss outside of the printer market.

    Dell is not particularly attractive, but their customer support has always rocked.

    I’ve never used Samsung.

    Sony is uber sexy but rather pricey.

    Toshiba cannot be bothered to update their drivers.

    Acer has always had cheap feeling enclosures.

    Go with Alienware or Sony.

  31. Pabitra kumar mohanty Says:

    ASUS is the best laptop in the world

  32. Dumpling Says:

    @Hemanth Kumar

    The “software” probably means preloaded software, the software that comes with the computer. Windows notebooks come with bloatware, while Macbooks just come with only Apple software.

  33. Anon Says:

    These comments have educated me more than this website. Just reading the written review for Apple you can tell it’s biased.

  34. Johnner Says:

    Poorly rated numbers. Apple fanboy go away!!

  35. Peter Says:

    Wow…these results are really biased.

    Apply scoring a full 5 points above everybody else for ‘reviews’, which happens to be the equally most strongly weighted category? Given that this category is essentially meaningless (since reviews cover all of the things listed in the other categories) I have to assume that this category was inclused purely to find a means to swing the results towards the MAC.

    Apple getting 5/5 for software? I can see the argument for Mac in certain applications (such as music editing, etc) but how ignorant is it to completely ignore the fact that the vast majority of users out that rely on software that is not Mac compatible. The usual response to this is “you can install Windows on a Mac”, but the fact that many users have to is a knock against the base software that comes with the devices. Apple (for software) should receive a score of 3 and no more, because it’s such a niche product that appeals to such a comparatively small number of consumers. Then Lenovo receives a 4 for software? We use Lenovo laptops in our company (I work in the IT department) and we constantly come across all types of problems with the factory included software. There is so much bloatware that is utterly unecessary, and all of Lenovo’s included applications are functionally significantly worse than those standard functions included within the Windows OS.

    Same deal with the Keyboards / touchpads. How on earth has Sony received a 5/15 in this category when the next worst result is 9/15, and when Lenovo has equalled Apple for the top spot with 14? I agree that Lenovo have some very nice keyboards, but their touchpads on their most recent models have been absolutely horrendous…to the point of being utterly unusable. The X230 is widely acknowledged across out company for having a horrible touchpad that loves to jump around like it’s having a seizure, while the newer X240 is even worse because the touchpad is horribly unresponsive and the buttons are almost unusable (it’s almost impossible to register a right-click on the X240′s “clickpad”). Therefore Lenovo should be awarded an average mark at best for this – maybe a 10 or 11. Positive marks for the keyboards, negative marks for the touchpad. On the other hand Asus models recently have been quite nice – the xenbooks for example (aside from the very first generation) have had very nice keyboards and touchpads.

    My next question is, how does HP get a 15/20 for support? On par with Lenovo and only one mark below Toshiba and Dell? Really? HP’s support is absolutely horrendous and should receive a below-pass mark. An 6/20 feels about right. Especially given HP’s failure rates have been (by far) the worst on the market for about the last 5 years running (possibly even longer). Lenovo’s support is pretty terrible as well – I’d place them below average given the past experience I have had trying to deal with them for either warranty or out-of-warranty support. I’ve had cases logged that have been pending for literally months while their department argues back and forth bickering of what has/hasn’t been done and coming back with a different story every time. Plus this was their special “corporate” support – I would be utterly horrified to see what their consumer level support must be like. I’d rate them an 7/10, but then I’ll give them a +1 purely because their driver support on their website is very nice – so a 9/20 overall seems about fair.

    Then there is Lenovo receiving an 8 for ‘Display and Audio” along with Dell, while Asus receives a 7. I have used a number of Lenovo laptops and aside from a couple of exceptions (mainly the X1 Carbon) their laptops have displays that would be considered average 5 years ago. Many still use the archaic 768p or 900p resolutions while also using horrible TN panels with terrible colour accuracy and horrible contract ratios (where blacks look light grey and light bleed is everywhere). Their laptop speakers are typically horrible and make the loudspeaker on the average mobile phone seem impressive. On the other hand when it comes to the ‘non Apple’ brands Dell,
    Samsung and Asus have been far and away the leaders of display tech out of the brands listed in this comparison. Both were among the first to introduce QHD laptop displays, but use IPS panels almost exclusively on their high end products, and both have produced laptops with some of the best displays on the entire market (Dell XPS, Asus Xenbook). Asus have also been far above most of their competition in terms of audio, with models like the Xenbook killing other brands’ Ultrabook offerings…while other models such as the G550 come with external subwoofers to complement the sound. Every single brand on this list (including Acer and HP) has consistently slaughtered Lenovo in the Display department, with Toshiba being the only other brand with displays as consistently poor as Lenovo ones.

  36. Peter Says:

    Oh, and I really have to question how a company like HP ‘overall’ ranks above companies like Dell, Toshiba and Sony.

    Acer I understand (as the brand has had a rocky past) and Samsung (as it’s still a pretty new brand to the market) but Toshiba and Asus have had the lowest lowest fault rates on the market for years running, with Sony actually not too far behind. It amazes me that a category as important as ‘reliability’ does not exast in a comparison like this, but a category like “Reviews” does, and has the equal highest weighting? Rediculous.

    Also who decides the importance of these categories?

    Personally to me the most important categories (in order) are:

    1: Reliability (/20)
    Great design means nothing if the thing breaks after 6 months

    2: Support (/20)
    Timely warranty repairs and up to date / reliable drivers is vital

    3: Keyboard & Touchpad (/15)
    The whole idea of a laptop is portability. If you cannot use one without an external mouse/keyboard because the built in input devices are so bad, then it’s an immediate fail.

    4: Display & Audio (/15)
    Not much is worst than trying to read websites on a blurry screen, not being able to see proper colours on a photo, having to spend 5 minutes fiddling with screen angle due on a TN panel, or not being able to watch any movies with dark scenes because poor contrast turns it all in to a sea of blurry gray mess.

    4: Design (/10)
    With the things that impact productivity out of the way, the next most important thing to me is design. Is everything well laid out? Is the device portable enough to easilly slip in a bag? Is it light enough to cary around all day? Does it have all the ports I need? Is it solidly constructed and pleasing to touch/look at? All important factors in making a laptop desirable and practical. Plus I’ve been hunting for years for a relatively slim 13″ laptop that includes a built in optical drive (even slot load is fine) – I’ve yet to see one. If somebody can come up with one that also has a good keyboard/trackpad/display then I’d instantly give it very serious consideration. That’s the importance of design.

    5: Value & Selection (/10)
    No matter what, this category is important. If all else is equal, you’re going to go with the laptop that is better priced. Everybody would rather spend $1,500 than $2,500 if you are still getting everything you need from the cheaper product. Selection is also important. Maybe that $2,500 product is expensive because it has a whole stack of uncecessary stuff I don’t need (like 4G support, touch screen, fingerprint reader, etc). Maybe the next cheapest model from that brand is $1,600 but this model, instead of cutting out that unecessary stuff, instead compromises with a worse display, slower process, less ram, and a slower HDD. That leaves me torn having to decide whether to compromise things I really want, or spend more than I’m comfortable to. A company that offers more model selection (such as Dell) might give you the ability to customise by choosing a base product, and then selecting which components I want to upgrade. This way, I’m only paying for the things I really want. That’s important.

    6: Innovation (/5)
    This is incredibly unimportant for me, and no idea why it was given such a high weighting for the purpose of this comparison. Who it the world CARES if the laptop does something new and exciting that nobody else has done, unless that new and exciting thing is actually useful to you? If it is useful for you, then it comes in to the ‘design’ category. Having a device that is innovative is cute, but it’s hardly essentially or a deal changer for me.

    7: Software (/5)
    Software to me is probably the least important, because most enthusiasts who buy a new laptop are going to remove all of the bloatware anyway. In fact most will probably wipe everything and start again with a clean install. I’d go one step further with today’s laptops – the first thing I’d do is remove Windows 8 and roll back to Windows 7 Professional. But the OS argument is one for another day – point is software is of low importance and is never a deal changer because it can be changed very easilly and without cost…while other aspects (such as hardware) cannot.

  37. David Laufer Says:

    You can’t just take a company who only makes super high end laptops and then put them up against companies that make laptops that cover all price ranges. Of course something you pay over a grand for is going to look better and perform better than a laptop costing an average price. It would be like comparing a Honda civic to a porche without taking price into consideration. If dell or Acer was selling crap laptops at 1k then your argument would be justified, but they’re not and for the money almost any OEM makes a product as good or better than a Mac book.

  38. Devon Levrin Says:

    to be honest, I’ve tried ALL of these… and, to be honest, I think that this could have a different outcome if you went more thorough… for instance. the hp is good, but it breaks more easily. so it should be lower than some. and I had a toshiba that worked GREAT, which makes me want to bring it up. and as for the comment from Ethos, I use an acer right now and it sucks more than you think… I can’t do much on it without the memory already being too high. and I JUST BOUGHT IT BRAND NEW! so I want to bring it down….. in all honesty, I do believe that apple is best… I don’t like the products from them, but still. I can’t lie about good tech :/ and also, I think you should take a second look on samsung… there are a few parts wrong with it :/

  39. Devon Levrin Says:

    Update on the last thing I said-I just remembered a few things about the apple….. more stuff is able to be put into it, buuut….. yeaaah it gets slow with some things that were especially made for it……… okay… I gotta bring it lower…. *shrug* sorry

  40. DASHRATH Says:

    I WANT TO BUY. APPLE. Laptops

  41. yes Says:

    acer rules best laptops ever im still using my one after years of purchase

  42. Richard Brandlon Says:

    I ordered a Lenovo Z710 on May 19, and after five delays (“You are a valuable customer”) I finally cancelled when they set JULY 7 as a tentative delivery date.
    The campany has absolutely rotten customer service and zero dependability.

  43. alex hill Says:

    I laughed when I saw apple got #1. What a joke.

    This calls into question the accuracy of other reviews and ratings.

    Apple laptops have the benefit of a glossy and pretty looking chassis. That’s about it, $2000 facebook machines.

    I’d take a long lasting dell any day, for 1/4 of the price.

    Overall, Windows beats OSX easily, so I don’t see how mac won in software. Windows is versatile.

    And the biggest flaw in your ratings is the actual laptop models. Each brand has multiple models. Apple might seem to be consistently good, but that’s because they are basically all the same. So selection and (why is value included in this?) value shouldn’t be first either.

    If you compared a $3000 MacBook pro to a $500 dell, of course it will win. dollar for dollar value, MacBook loses. Period.

  44. jack Says:

    The Apple assembled machines can run OSX, in addition to other operating systems. Other machines that aren’t allowed to run OSX, even though the CPU architecture is compatible, are therefor by definition less capable than the macbooks in the software department. It’s not taking a stance in the OS wars. That’s not in the scope of this comparisson, I reckon.

  45. acerguy Says:

    i believe that alienware should be first even tho it is quite expensive.

  46. Czar Says:

    Those who swear by alienware have not ever owned one, for one they are heavy, not portable regardless of size (m11x) battery life sucks, on top of having little problems that annoy you(blue screen, broken hinges) i would never buy a dell again, spend 1400 and it wont last past 3 years. If i were to buy a laptop i would buy either a mac, lenovo or asus. I am not a macfanboy, but i have seen their products last more than the competition, I need windows because of solidworks so I would get a lenovo or asus, for regular everyday stuff I would get a mac, if youre buying on a budget get an asus. Overall I think this rating is pretty accurate.

  47. shubham Says:

    what is top brand laptop”

  48. Mugiora boy Says:

    Lenovo 2nd with 15/20 tech support? NO WAY! I bought a new premium laptop y510p and gave me blue screens 10 days after I bought it. Sent it back for repair, they replaced the hard drive, result: blue screens 20 days after the repair. Then I sent it back for repair AGAIN, they have just changed the hard drive AGAIN, result: blue screens the 1st day I got it back! 15/20 tech support? FAIL. And I will add something extra: the 3rd time I have sent it back (now is away for more working days than they promised) because I was angry, I suggested to the girl of the transport company not to buy a Lenovo and she told me that she will not because they get LOADS of Lenovo laptops… If you still want to live the Hell I’m living right now, YES LENOVO IS YOUR COMPANY!

  49. EnZo Says:

    Delusional apple religious retards-APPLE MACBOOKS ARE HORRIBLE if you are measuring cost effectiveness. Macbooks’ hardware is always outdated, and the software is only better for slightly better ease of use. The software only really benefits people who are doing editing or media, but many demonstrably idiotic people buy it for its aesthetic design, not because it’s an actually good, cost-effective product.

    You’re almost certainly some delusional fanboy who is willing to pay for any overpriced piece of shit tosh that Apple will put out on the market. If you want to make a review actually helping people, why don’t you go learn something about electronic integration and components, general hardware, cost-effectiveness etc etc.

  50. Janet Says:

    I have a Sony Vaio. And I have two Toshiba’s. I’ve had my 17″ Sony between 6-7 years. I call it “THE Mean Machine”. She still runs like a top. Then I have a Toshiba that I’ve had for about 4 years. It’s a 15″. And it’s a beauty. Black Satin on outside & back-lit with light blue lights. Then my last one is another Toshiba. It’s also a 15″ & has a Core I-5 processor in it. Has everything on it. I owned a Dell laptop & 2 dell desktops in the past. And an HP desktop. But out of all the laptops I have ever owned the Toshiba Satellite has been the best running laptop I have ever owned. So far I have NEVER had a reason to purchase any other laptop. In my book TOSHIBA is #1. And all my family & friends own Toshiba’s also. And they will tell you the same.

  51. Amr Says:

    Do you really believe mac OS is better than windows? You are a quite quite sad person.

  52. Denny Says:

    From a tech perspective, the Apple is a nightmare when it needs service, and the Lenovo is a breeze.
    Also, tech support is extraordinary with Lenovo and US based. Apple tech support is not 100% US based and their computers are outrageously priced, as you mentioned.
    Interestingly, Apple customers insist that their computers last forever, but seem to forget that when a tech is on site attempting to repair it odds are it won’t be possible because they solder and glue the components to the motherboards making them impossible to have parts changed out and replaced. And as much as they would like for you to believe, every computer will fail eventually, and the cost for repairing them can vary drastically.
    Buyer beware, and do your homework.

  53. UnderKnight Says:

    Lenovo may have great systems and tech support, but have you tried to get anything repaired by them recently? I had to send my system back three times (under warranty) before the repairs were acceptably performed. Pre-Lenovo, i.e., IBM, repairs were faster and more components were replaced than expected, including reloading the image of a failing hard drive onto a new one. Lenovo is but a shell of what IBM was.

  54. Fatty Matty Says:

    Well, this is a worthless rating system? No rating for durability/repair or hardware failures????? Really?

  55. Nitin Says:

    ok then what is the best Laptop on the Earth . I had purchased Compaq610 and used it but it is very slow

  56. Display? Says:

    How does Apple get a 9 on display? It received some heavy criticism for its subpar 1366×768 pixel displays while other companies offered 1920×1080 pixel displays on comparable models.

  57. Jimmy Says:

    Apple sucks so not user friendly piece my samsung galaxy 2 iPad is so much better than this I can’t believe you think this is so good ya good for you robbing it’s not worth it you can’t do half the stuff on Apple that you can do on samsung it just blows me away too many blind people I guess

  58. Shovan Biswas Says:

    I think ‘lenovo’ is the best brand

  59. Robert Lord Says:

    Wher can I find a goo laptop for my business???
    something like…LeNovo, Asus or HP??

    Thanks for your help

  60. diego Says:

    40 points for “reviews” and “tech support”??? you mad bro, i’m searching for durable laptops not for most mainstream ones.

  61. Brian Says:

    I need a laptop that I can study on and watch movies

  62. jm206 Says:

    Value and Selection only has 5% impact on rating?

    This site is a joke.

  63. sbrow Says:

    If you want the Gold standard (being Apple) Don’t forget to bring 3 times the gold.

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