SquareTrade Notebook PC Reliability Survey: ASUS Wins, HP Loses

SquareTrade, Engadget: SquareTrade, a company that sells extended warranties, combed through three years of service history for more than 30,000 notebook PCs. Here are some conclusions:


  • Netbooks are 20% less reliable than entry-level notebook PCs.
  • Entry-level notebook PCs are 10% more likely to break down than premium notebook PCs.

As you can see from the chart above netbooks have a first-year malfunction rate of 5.8%. Premium notebook PCs have a lower 4.2% malfunction rate at 12 months. The percentages don’t seem to be that different but let’s put a real number on these figures: a nice round figure of 10 million. Let’s say 10 million netbooks and 10 million premium notebook PCs were sold. In the first year 580,000 netbooks would have malfunctioned. On the other hand 420,000 premium notebook PCs would have malfunctioned. That’s a 160,000 unit difference. One simple conclusion might be that it would be wise to spend a bit more to reduce the chance that your notebook PC will malfunction. A notebook PC malfunction is not only inconvenient it takes away a lot of time: time to retrieve data, to send the malfunctioning unit off to a service center, to acquire another PC to do work while it is being fixed, etc. It is also a lot of stress. Another conclusion is to always have real-time backup of important documents and media.


  • ASUS tops the reliability survey with just a three-year projected 15.6% malfunction rate, barely edging out Toshiba (15.7%). Sony is #3 with 16.8% with Apple at #4 with 17.4%.
  • HP was last with a three-year projected malfunction rate of 25.6%.

This is somewhat surprising and a bit contradictory from the previous chart. I would have guessed a brand that concentrates on building premium notebook PCs to have been at the top. Doesn’t Sony or Apple have more premium notebook PC sales than ASUS? Maybe not. Maybe the Timeline series from ASUS is helping to pull the company’s notebook PC toward more premium products. It is also surprising to see HP in last place as the company has recently introduced some very nice notebook PCs like its ENVY line.

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