Once you realize that most of the brands with which you are familiar don't actually build laptops, the questions becomes rather meaningless. While we for the most part all recognize that the quality of a desktop relies more heavily on what components are used in the design as opposed to who put the screws in, for some reason we don't think the same way for laptops.
The vast majority of laptops on the market are manufactured by a small handful of Original Design Manufacturers (ODM).
Major relationships include:
* Quanta sells to (among others) HP/Compaq, Dell, Toshiba, Sony, Fujitsu, Acer, NEC, Gateway and Lenovo/IBM - note that Quanta is currently (as of August, 2007) the largest manufacturer of notebook computers in the world.
* Compal sells to Toshiba, HP/Compaq, Acer, and Dell.
* Wistron (former manufacturing & design division of Acer) sells to HP/Compaq, Dell, IBM, NEC, Acer, and Lenovo/IBM.
* Flextronics (former Arima Computer Corporation notebook division) sells to HP/Compaq, NEC, and Dell.
* ECS sells to IBM, Fujitsu, and Dell.
* Asus sells to Apple (iBook), Sony, and Samsung.
* Inventec sells to HP/Compaq, Toshiba, and BenQ.
* Uniwill sells to Lenovo/IBM and Fujitsu.
So how does one argue that the Dell made by Quanta is better than the HP made by Quanta ? Is the Dell made by Quanta inferior to the Dell made by Compal ?
Asus and MSI are two of the better known examples that make their own laptops. You can also go to boutique vendors who will custom build using components you specify. Clevo and Compal are major suppliers to these distributors. Here's a link for Clevo .... I can't seem to find the corresponding Compal one
CLEVO is a large Taiwanese computer company specializing in laptops. While the Clevo brand name is perhaps not widely known, their products are re-branded and sold by known boutique brand OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers)… notably Sager, VoodooPC, Falcon Northwest, Eurocom, etc.
They are also considered (by whoever knows about notebooks) to design and manufacturer the best of the best notebooks in terms of superior build quality and innovative designs.
Established in 1983, as an ODM (Original Design Manufacturer), they sell barebones ranging from laptop to portable computing solutions for both AMD and Intel processors. Clevo is one of the world's most preferred ODM partners and markets their products in more than 50 countries, and have established service centers in the USA, Germany, Britain, China, and Taiwan.
At the end of the FAQ is a list of distributors in various countries. If you are in the US, one that I have used sells Clevo, Compal and Asus notebooks but there are many distributors out there.