For any student working on a school project, creative professional creating their next masterpiece, or businessman putting the finishing touches on an important presentation, there's a laptop to suit their needs and budget. However, many shoppers have a brand affinity that keeps them from venturing beyond the rivers and lakes they're accustomed to. That's why we see a particular brand of laptop popping up in so many coffee shops.
But how good is your favorite brand? Each year, the Laptop Mag staff puts the top brands to the test, ranking each brand and the laptops we reviewed over a specific time period (May 15, 2019 to May 15, 2020). Brands and their eligible laptops are judged based on several key criteria: ratings, design, support and warranty, innovation, and value and choice. The points are added up and a winner is determined.
This year Asus is our best brand. Throughout the year, the laptop OEM consistently produced systems that were equally powerful, beautiful, and innovative. In addition, the company has an extensive range of laptops, from Chromebooks to gaming systems. Its only weakness was its performance at the Tech Support Showdown, but even that wasn't enough to keep the company from the top spot.
Read on to find out how your favorite brand fared this year.
1. Asus (88/100)
Asus has finally reached the top and secured the crown. After years of innovative and risky features in the most beautiful designs we've ever seen, it has finally paid off. The company practically launched products with dual-screen displays and super-powered detachable gaming machines.
Best Asus Laptops|View the full report from Asus
2. Dell (85/100)
Pioneering: that's the word that comes to mind when we think of Dell. The Texas-based technology giant pioneered the four-sided, bezel-less display with its popular XPS series. It's this eye for innovation that has put Dell in second place and could potentially catapult the company to the top.
Best Dell Laptops|View the full report from Dell
3. PS (82/100)
HP, the winner of our 2019 report, has dropped a few places this year after a disappointment in our reportConfrontation with technical support. HP sells some of the best laptops across multiple categories — premium, business, and gaming — but poor budget options weigh on test scores.
Best HP Laptops|View the full report from HP
4. MSI (78/100)
MSI has not only broken out of double digits this year, but has also broken into the top 5 best laptop brands. The company has not only improved its gaming laptops, but also expanded its range and reconfigured the design of its main flagship laptops.
Best MSI Laptops|See the full report from MSI
Thanks to a wide range of options and a handful of reliable products - most notably the ThinkPad line of laptops - Lenovo maintained its fifth place this year. Somehow, the company managed to improve the performance of what was already the best business laptop money could buy. However, insufficient attention to innovation prevented the company from rising in the rankings.
Beste Lenovo-laptops|View the full report from Lenovo
6. Acer (76/100)
Acer has proven to be a huge killer this year, surpassing some top workstations in terms of overall performance thanks to powerful specs. However, the company couldn't escape sixth place as the Taiwan-based tech giant was hit by a series of lackluster product offerings.
Best Acer Laptops|View the full report from Acer
6. Razer (76/100)
In this year's Best and Worst Brands report, Razer is again ranked sixth. But not for long. The company continues to make beautiful laptops with a lot of power. Razer has also begun to broaden its horizons by targeting creative professionals with workstations as compelling as its gaming laptops.
Best Razer Laptops|See Razer's full report
8. Samsung (75/100)
Samsung has bounced back from an incredible comeback, rising from last place in the best versus worst brands of 2019 to eighth place this year. The company still has a lot to improve on, especially expanding its catalog, but Samsung has impressed us with the bold and colorful designs of its latest laptops.
Best Samsung Laptops|View Samsung's full report
8. Alienware (75/100)
In Alienware's second appearance in the Best and Worst Brands category, the company drops from fourth to eighth place. We notice that the brand is in the middle of a transformation, moving away from the Epic design and moving towards the new Legend design, an evolved take on the company's intergalactic theme. We expect great things from Alienware in 2021 and believe a comeback is imminent.
Best Alienware Laptops|View the full report from Alienware
10. Appel (73/100)
Apple was our third worst brand in our best and worst report of 2019, and this year the Cupertino-based tech giant is our second worst brand, after Microsoft. Contributing to Apple's lower ranking are the mixed results in our telephone technical support report and the lack of diverse offerings for price-conscious consumers. You'll be hard-pressed to find an Apple laptop that doesn't come with a four-digit display. price tag. At the same time, we understand that Apple is a luxury brand. While Apple may not be able to accommodate its less affluent fans, the Cupertino-based tech giant can still emerge victorious by introducing new design options and taking more risks with innovation.
Best Apple Laptops|View Apple's full report
With last place, Microsoft has had a quiet year, separating released and announced products. The latest addition to the laptop/tablet range, the Surface Pro X, disappointed, while proven models remained largely unchanged from previous versions. In 2020 and beyond, there will be some exciting products worth the money.
Best Microsoft Laptops|View the full report from Microsoft
How we assess brands
Each laptop brand is assigned a rating on a 100-point scale. Points are awarded in five categories: Design, Reviews, Technical Support/Warranty, Innovation and Value, and Choice. Here's what each means.
Ratings (40 points):The most important aspect of any brand is the quality of its products. To determine a company's score in the Reviews category, we used the ratings we gave to the laptops. We took the average laptop rating for each brand (Laptop Mag rated on a scale of 1 to 5), converted that average rating to a 40-point scale, and then added a 0.75 point bonus to each Editors' Choice Added award .
Design (15 points):We absolutely judge a notebook by its cover, as well as its sides, deck, frame, and bottom. While no two notebooks look exactly the same, each brand has a design language that runs through all product lines.
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|Marke||Reviews (40)||Design (15)||Support (20)||Innovation (10)||Where (15)||Total (100)|
Technical support and warranty (20 points):When you buy a laptop, you want to make sure that the manufacturer stands behind the device and helps you with technical problems. We base our assessment of this category primarily on the assessments in our annual reportConfrontation with technical supportwhere we go undercover and ask questions to all companies through their phone, internet and social channels. However, a 2 out of 20 was given for the quality of the company's standard warranty.
Innovation (10 points):The laptop market moves fast and if you stand still you will be overwhelmed. In the Innovation category, we award points based on the brand's ability to advance the market by implementing or developing new technologies and taking risks.
Value and choice (15 points):How many different buyer groups does the manufacturer appeal to and do the products offer good value for money? In this category, we awarded points for offering a wide range of laptop types (budget, business, gaming, etc.) and aggressive pricing.
- Scorecard and winners
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