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Macs not all that for reliability

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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). ®

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