Macs not all that for reliability
A survey of 30,000 laptops has found one in three machines die within three years and netbooks do even worse, suffering 20 per cent more hardware failures than larger laptop machines.
Apple is fourth placed for reliability behind, in ascending order, Sony, Toshiba and in first place Asus. To be fair to Apple there's not much in it - 15.6 per cent of Asus machines are expected to malfunction within three years, compared to 17.4 per cent of Apple laptops. Worst performer is HP - 25.6 per cent of its machines are expected to break within three years.
Firmly in the middle is Dell with an expected failure rate of 18.3 per cent, Lenovo with 21.5 per cent and Acer with 23.3 per cent failing within three years.
It seems for laptops, as so much else, you really do get what you pay for. If you buy a nice cheap netbook then just over a quarter, 25.1 per cent, are expected to fail in three years, compared to 20.6 per cent of entry-level lappies. Premium machines on the other hand suffer only an 18.1 per cent failure rate.
The research, from SquareTrade which flogs extended warranties, found overall 31 per cent of machines will fail within 36 months - which is worse than most consumer electronics.
The company noted that netbooks have only really been around in volume for about a year - so it will be interesting to see how their reliability performs over the longer term.
More details are available here (pdf). ®
Given how hot some Apple laptops run it's pretty good that they are so high up the list.
My Macbook Pro is almost always silent. Even quieter than the Amiga 1200 I used to own (and that only had one motor, in the hard disk).
More problems with the survey
I just read the pdf of Squaretrade's 'survey'. Near the bottom, the state that there's very little data on netbooks over a year old. So they're looking at 3 years for Apple and 1 year for netbooks (which make up a large portion of Asus' business)???
Even if they extrapolate, that's meaningless. There's no reason to believe that Asus netbooks fall apart at the same rate as anyone else's. In fact, Asus tends to be the cheapest of the cheap, so extrapolating would UNDERestimate Asus' failure rate.
This is a meaningless survey for a LOT of reasons:
1. It was done by a warranty company using only their own data. That makes it very limited and self-selected. For example, I've never known a single Mac user to use any warranty but AppleCare. How many Mac users are they talking about? I'll bet it's a tiny number.
2. It ignores the price issue. If I have a $250 Netbook and something breaks, I probably won't go through the hassle of getting it fixed. If I have a $2,000 MacBook Pro, I will.
3. There's the issue of useful life. If I have a Dell laptop that's 2.5 years old, I probably wouldn't bother getting it fixed- since it's near the end of its useful life, anyway. Macs have a much longer useful life, so they're worth fixing.
4. No mention of the types of failures. If I spend $250 on a netbook and it has some annoying minor glitch, I would probably ignore it. If a $2,000 Mac (or $2,000 HP or Lenovo) had the same problem, I might well get it fixed.
5. The data isn't even internally self-consistent. Netbooks fail far more than other laptops, yet Asus (which makes predominantly netbooks) has the best performance rating. And the author never even bothers to question that result. Clearly, the netbooks are being discarded rather than repaired.
While Consumer Reports isn't perfect, at least they make an ATTEMPT to cover all computer users in their surveys - and Apple always comes out at or near the top. That's clearly a much more valid survey because it doesn't face all the problems listed above.
"I bought my mac laptop only after a lot of research and contemplation, haven't regretted it.
As an aside, I have noticed most people who own macs around me IRL are usually quite err.. vocal about their choice of laptop/OS and usually quite illterate. You know the types (read fanboi).
I hate them. They REALLY make me ashamed to be seen with a mac, which is a shame, as Apple lappies by and large on the whole aren't half bad."
So your point is that Apple laptops really are good, but you can't stand anyone telling you that?
So who's the one with the attitude?
I doubt many of these statistics are really that surprising
You get what you pay for, but the fate of the machine is ultimately tied to the intelligence of the owner. How many of us have seen laptops with cracked screens because the owners think you can slam it down from one side rather than carefully moving it from the centre?
I've noticed a strong correlation between cracked screens and soap fanatics (Eastenders et al, rather than the cleaning kind - that tends to be something many of them avoid). Similarly I've noticed a strong correlation between warped boards and the age of the user (teenagers), since the delightful little sods like to hold their expensive laptop from one corner when moving it about. Damaged hard drives from overheating caused by everyone using their laptops on the bed or perched on a cushion is also very common. The number that regularly toss their laptops onto desks and beds is also worrying.
At the end of the day most people will buy the cheapest POC they can find and don't treat their new purchase with any kind of respect. Imagine what it would be like if everyone could afford a new car, and the vast majority felt the need to slam their new cars into lamp posts, scrape them along walls and jump over gaps all because that's how everyone uses cars - well on TV and film anyway.