ive read squaretrades 'most reliable laptop' article, and i was wondering, why does laptop brand matter? i mean sure some can make harder bodies while other make more delicate ones, but that only protects against 'accidental damage'. processor, board, ram , hardisks, etc are the same for all laptops so why does laptop brand even make a difference?
Yup, I would say most component of different brands of laptop actually comes from the same few company. I would say it comes down to their design, services, support and price.
Most reliable lists are just supposed to be general recommendations about if a laptop brand makes good components, doesn't overcharge, and perform well. Brands like Toshiba and Asus are typically ranked highly in reliability, meaning they are very likely to work well if you get one. HP tends to be ranked lower, meaning it might not be as likely to work well.
We used IBM ThinkPads at work. They took a beating riding around in the recorder cab of our line units and they worked for 5 years. Sure some of them were missing keys, but they still worked. I can't vouch for Lenovo (the company who bought IBM's laptop division), but if they are the same, you can't go wrong.
sorry guys i think u misunderstood my question, im not asking for suggestions on good laptop brands, and im asking why laptops of some brands are considered to be better (i.e longer lasting) then others when they all have the same compononents in them, the same processor , smae motherboard, same ram, etc.
As some have stated already, some laptops will outlast others (if used and taken care of in a similar manner) due to their design (does the case allow for good ventilation to rid it of heat?) and the quality of the components used. Some brands may use the same general components, but others may use different parts from different manufacturers (or even make their own). You should also keep in mind that a limiting factor on a laptop's life is how it is treated, i.e. is it dropped or beaten around often/is it used on a flat, hard surface to allow for good ventilation, etc...?
You rank a company based on the following
1) Customer service and how they communicate with the customer e.g. I like dell's customer support here they come pick up the laptop and return it in the same day all I do is make one call
2) A laptop's structure and components: How strong and sturdy the laptop is e.g. My Toshiba lasted a good three years of rough housing and still working albeit the screen died but it's still running
3) price: Now here it's how much a company put's on it's laptop compared to others of the same spec range. For example A Alienware M15x With a core I7 4gb ram and a 500gb HDD plus a Nvidia 260M is about $2000 while an Asus G51-J with almost the same specs is about 1500.
4) Brand loyalty and image: People would generally go with a brand they like or have been using for a while. Also some people rather bands that seem better than the rest or have a reputation for being the best such as Asus and Toshiba as mentioned earlier.
My Acer Aspire was certainly not reliable. I paid 850 and got a headache over a piece of crap. Within 6 months it started to overheat badly and shut down so often. A few months afterwards the power was not working. Even after it was fixed (a headache and time consuming with Acer because you're dealing with overseas customer support and you had to send it out of town). It was returned with a faulty volume control (to begin with the volume sucked). it took another 11 months till it started to power off and make strange fan noises.
DON'T BUY THIS PLASTIC TRASH.
It does matter of course. A brand is the identity of a specific product, service, or business. It means manufacturers are taking care of their brand. If one manufacturer has been tagged with poor customer service, customers would go somewhere else for services.
The squaretrade (who does 3rd party extended warranties) report was an analysis of several years of data and some 30,000 warranty claims (if you're talking about the same one I read). So the "most reliable brand" was assessed under those constraints. You can make whatever conclusions you want w/r/to that report but I don't think that under those constraints you can establish one brand's reliability over another.
In my experience it's not brands that demonstrate reliability/unreliability, it's individual model lines. For example my Dell 5150 and my Lenovo T61P were both steaming piles of pooh when it came to hardware reliability, and both of those models have had a considerable number of hardware complaints about them. Also a co-worker of mine got a Dell Studio 15 within a month of them coming out and was plagued with hardware problems (averaging once a month), after 2+ years Dell replaced it with the current Studio 15, and it's been trouble-free. I think that as the model line matured, they either had their suppliers adjust their manufacturing processes or changed out problematic hardware for more reliable options.
A goodly chunk of PC laptops are ODM models, meaning HP/Acer/Gateway/Dell/IBM buys the same machine from Clevo/Compal/Wistron/Quanta and then just re-badges it with their chassis/logos. I'd think the reliability rates for the same platform to be about the same regardless of which OEM actually sold it to you, excepting when they demand out-of-spec hardware. Interestingly, I believe ASUS ("most reliable" per the squaretrade paper) actually makes most of their own machines.
The only laptop I've ever owned is my IBM ThinkPad T40 from 2003. It is rock solid and IBM's tech support (which I never had to use) was the best. Yes, it is built out of components that you can find in any other laptop, but I suppose chasis design and the selection of specific components can go a long way.
Other than installing additional RAM, the only thing I upgraded was the hard drive last year. I forgot which HDD diagnostic software I used to test the HDD (Active... something), but it found no faults. But since the HDD was nearly 7 years old, I decided to just spring $50 for a new HDD... just in case.
My ThinkPad now sits quietly in the corner of my desk and it's sole purpose is to make outgoing phone calls using Magic Jack if I need to make calls before 9pm during the weekdays. I don't want Magic Jack installing crap on my primary or HTPC.
Girlfriend has now had two Dells with touchpads so oversensitive that passing your hand anywhere near it causes the cursor to jump. She's concluded she will never again buy anything but Apple, Sony, or Panasonic Toughbook. Daughter's Lenovo prone to overheating & damage to power jack / side cover.