Best & Worst Laptop Brands 2015

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The most important question we try to answer at Laptop Mag is the following: “What laptop should I buy?” It’s a question with many facets and tons of possible answers. But, often, a good place to start is to decide which brand deserves your hard-earned dollars. Thus, we examine all the biggest notebook makers each year, taking a hard look at laptop quality, technical support, value and selection, and other criteria.

Best-Worst-Brands-2015-chart-finalSome brands climbed our rankings in 2015, such as HP and Dell, but others crashed. Lenovo fell from second place all the way to sixth, thanks in part to lackluster tech support and the loading of dangerous adware on some consumer laptops.

1st Place: Apple

The undisputed king of laptop brands for six years and counting, Apple retains the No. 1 spot in this year’s survey. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company won 5 out of the 9 categories, including a perfect score for its laptop reviews. Its tech support score is also stellar, and the brand’s keyboards and touchpads, audio quality and preloaded software can’t be beat. Assuming you have the budget, Apple laptops are the way to go.

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Full Report

2nd Place: Dell 

Jumping up to second place, Dell’s rise over the last year has been something to behold. The company took first place in the categories of innovation, value and selection, as well as in audio. We were also impressed with Dell’s reviews and technical support, which all point to why the brand rose from fifth place to runner-up.

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Full Report | Best Dell Laptops

3rd Place: HP 

HP also rose in the ranks this year, going from fourth to third. We’re big fans of the company’s designs, and the attention it pays to audio quality. For laptop shoppers, HP customers have a huge selection of prices, styles and configurations from which to choose, and once you’ve made a decision, you can trust in the quality of the technical support.

best-laptop-HP-scorecard

Full Report | Best HP Laptops

How We Score

A brand’s score hinges on many factors, from a company’s ability to solve your problems to design and comfort. But we start by looking at the ratings and reviews of all laptops reviewed between January 31, 2014 to January 31, 2015.

For the Reviews category, points are awarded based on the ratings. For example, if a notebook had a rating of four stars, then it was awarded 4 points. A company received minus 1 point for any review lower than three stars, and was awarded 1 point for each Editors’ Choice award. The total number of points for each brand were then added up and averaged. The company with the highest score received 20 points, while the rest received a percentage of that based on their score relative to the winner.

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Our annual Tech Support Showdown forms the basis for that section. The scale starts with 20 points for an A+ score and goes down to 0 for an F. Within a grade (B-, B, B+) the point changes are less drastic than if a brand drops a full grade.

Design is essential in helping consumers choose a laptop. Thus, we look back at each brand’s aesthetics, material choices and durability to come up with those 15 points possible.

We also examined how each brand fared in the individual benchmarks for Keyboard & Touchpads, Display and Audio categories. Those brands that beat the category averages for tests such as key travel, color brightness and accuracy as well as decibel output scored highest. We also examined our general experience with each brand in those categories for the last year.

A good score in the Innovation category points to an eagerness to embrace and successfully implement the newest technologies on the market. A good Value & Selection score is about how easy it is for a consumer to find and buy a brand’s laptops, at a good price. The Software category score hinges on a company’s branded and preloaded programs that come on new laptops. Are they useful, annoying, or — hopefully not — dangerous adware.

Best & Worst Laptop Brands 2015

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  1. emad Says:

    Vaio!!?

  2. John Says:

    Just how much did HP pay you lol? ASUS on the 7th place? Are you kidding me?

  3. John Says:

    Im sorry on the 5th

  4. Pawel Says:

    Are all Laptops were in the same price range?

  5. Rob Says:

    the ratings on Value are misleading…the windows machines all require expensive anti virus software that MACs don’t. if you factor in the cost of anti virus software to the value equation, I think Apple compares much more favorably.

  6. Vance Says:

    To the moron that said windows requires anti-virus and macs don’t, that’s completely false. First of all, windows has been more secure than OS X since windows 7. Second of all, windows comes with free built in fully supported anti-virus since windows 8. I personally use linux because OS X is a mess and I run a home server lab and it’s just easier to deal with linux than messing with licenses and expirations on trial versions. I do, however, love the free Hyper-V server. Currently I’m running qemu/KVM on CentOS 7 just for the learning aspect, but Hyper-V server is rock solid and isn’t neutered in features like free esxi.

  7. Snake Says:

    Apple on top wtf is this shit I think i’m going to kill myself.

  8. ryan Says:

    Why is he factoring reviews into it, and I’m pretty sure a $1500 laptop which is just a windows machine that runs mac didn’t get a perfect 20

  9. Jerry Says:

    Pretty biased and inacturate.

  10. 1ndeks Says:

    Wow.. that’s what I call science fiction.

  11. Wes Says:

    Im curious as to what models were used for this.

  12. Henry Says:

    What happened with this year’s results? Asus and Lenovo falling that dramatically? HP design above Asus. Pish.

  13. Luis Sabz Says:

    What’s happen with Fujitsu? Why aren’t on this comparative?

  14. Rahul Says:

    Apple design and value much better

  15. Phil Says:

    Who came 6th in 2013?!

  16. Bullshit Says:

    WTF!! Apple right on top?! And for value you allocate only 5 points out of 100? This is completely biased! I’d give Apple like a -10 out of 5. Apple only ranks well if you’re an idiot when it comes to reading price tags!!!!

  17. Ryan Says:

    ASUS on the 7th, are u kidding me? do you have enough information for your ratings. i can’t belive your ratings

  18. bob Says:

    i’m unbelive your ratings, bull shit, i thinks MSI pay for your arcticle.

  19. RockY Says:

    Apple 1st place… nice joke guys

  20. Anna Attkisson, Laptop Mag & Tom's Guide Managing Editor Says:

    Sony did. But, because Sony is no longer making laptops, we’ve dropped them from this comparison.

  21. amille Says:

    I do not understand how much you can overrate Apple. With a low level on the security aspect, the system almost forces you to use virtual machine because lot of services are unavailable on OSX. The only advantage is the retina screen. I really believe Asus ultrabook are much better than Apple’s. I don’t see this ranking right and too much on an Apple fan way.

  22. mac Says:

    The overrated Macs on top?! lols

  23. Indi Says:

    have to strongly disagree with the Dell rating. Absolute rubbish product. Owned one for 2.5 yrs, it went back 8 times, 5 software issues, once for components, twice for hard drives. Dell would not provide another laptop or refund the money. Just keep fixing the laptop. It sits in the cupboard now, that’s right it went again. Steer clear of DELL !!!

  24. steve Says:

    Asus placed on 7th ?

    Unbelieveable.
    Lenovo cant beat Asus in my opinion.

    I have seen many Asus and Lenovo, Dell, Hp laptop.

    I still choose Asus got great price/performance,
    got long warranty, cool laptop.

  25. James Says:

    HP started at 3rd place, this doesn’t seem right at all. I’m pretty sure this “Best & Worst Laptop Brands 2015″ contest was rigged, from the beginning.

  26. Emandcnueve Says:

    and where’s the VAIO?? Sony should be at number 2,right?

  27. Commonsence Says:

    I wish I could get money for dishonest product reviews.

  28. Travis weir Says:

    Why is Apple in first? This is clearly a mistake. Apple is just copying other computer companies.

  29. Apple Sucks Says:

    Apple is the worst brand out there. They copy other company’s ideas and their overall hardware is absolute trash.

  30. Adam Says:

    Apple 1st REALLY?!? :D :D this is joke, how much did they pay for this :D

  31. Anna Attkisson, Laptop Mag & Tom's Guide Managing Editor Says:

    Sony no longer makes laptops, so they were not included in this year’s evaluations.

  32. Mat Says:

    lol. Asus 7th!?! That’s just ridiculous!

  33. Kevin Boucher Says:

    Are you guys crazy? Asus 7th… i think this Sh**. Seriously, ive bought a G750 last year and for the price, it was the best damn thing i could get. I checked everywhere for the best at the lowest cost and ASUS win. Not Apple, hp, samsung or any other brand. You’re good with computer or you’re sell to apple!

  34. Apple Sucks Says:

    As I said in my last comment, I still can’t believe that Apple is 1st. They build terrible computers and they’re slow as crap! They can’t come up with one original idea! How much did Apple pay you to put them on top? Besides, Samsung came up with the original idea for big screen phones AND WATCHES THAT CONNECT TO YOUR PHONE!!!!! And all Apple did was copy that. Next year You better rate these companies without them paying you to rate them high!

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