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Who Offers the Best Tech Support for Laptops?

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 69 comments

You may not care so much about tech support for your desktop, but for a laptop it matters a bit more.

While many of you Tom's Hardware readers are usually savvy enough to troubleshoot problems on your own, even if it's store-bought computer, many consumers out there heavily factor into their purchases in the quality of tech support.

The presence of good tech support is even more important for laptops, which are harder to crack open and troubleshoot – especially if you want to hang on to that warranty. With the back-to-school laptop buying season heating up, it seems like a good time to see what sort of tech support you'll get from each major laptop maker.

Laptop Magazine has given various computer companies the annual secret test of laptop tech support, both over the web and over phone, at various times of the day.

As with other years, 'A' is for Apple as the company once again posts top marks. For Windows-based machines, the premium brands of Lenovo and Sony do fairly well both over the phone and online, but if you grab an Asus, be sure to call in.

Laptop Magazine describes its processes and experiences in great detail for each company, so hit up the full article for more.

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Top Comments
  • 26 Hide
    eddieroolz , July 19, 2010 9:36 AM
    Apple given an A? More like customers are simply deceived and blindly believe that they are receiving awesome tech support when in reality, they are not.
  • 26 Hide
    Tamz_msc , July 19, 2010 9:30 AM
    Apple with grade A? Are you kidding?A few months ago I visited their store and inquired about the macbooks.I asked them about the screen sizes available-they told me that 13, 15 and 17 inches were available.Then I asked about the resolution, and all of them gave me a blank look.I kept on asking every one of their representatives and in the end they handed over a catalog which is essentially the same as the tech specs on their website.So, I decided that I had enough of apple.
  • 26 Hide
    maigo , July 19, 2010 9:13 AM
    Apple is great, they're giving out free rubber bands to iphone owners
Other Comments
    Display all 69 comments.
  • 26 Hide
    maigo , July 19, 2010 9:13 AM
    Apple is great, they're giving out free rubber bands to iphone owners
  • 26 Hide
    Tamz_msc , July 19, 2010 9:30 AM
    Apple with grade A? Are you kidding?A few months ago I visited their store and inquired about the macbooks.I asked them about the screen sizes available-they told me that 13, 15 and 17 inches were available.Then I asked about the resolution, and all of them gave me a blank look.I kept on asking every one of their representatives and in the end they handed over a catalog which is essentially the same as the tech specs on their website.So, I decided that I had enough of apple.
  • 20 Hide
    Godhatesusall , July 19, 2010 9:31 AM
    Apple is great,theyre charging 2x what they should charge, in every product.

  • 26 Hide
    eddieroolz , July 19, 2010 9:36 AM
    Apple given an A? More like customers are simply deceived and blindly believe that they are receiving awesome tech support when in reality, they are not.
  • 19 Hide
    jeraldjunkmail , July 19, 2010 9:41 AM
    Asus and Lenovo as the only other companies to get an A in one or the other of the categories? Who paid for this study?
  • 12 Hide
    enewmen , July 19, 2010 9:44 AM
    Acer is really much better outside the U.S. Acer stores are common in Asia where you can drop off a broken notebook and have it fixed under warranty within 1-2 days. Then pick it up when it's ready. Also getting support with a live person right in front of you is no problem - just a 15 min wait.

    But yes I agree, Acer sucks in the States. I had to ship mine to Texas and pay for shipping when I had trouble in California. A complete system check was also just impossible.

    Dell was awesome in the late Nineties.
  • 21 Hide
    gayanx86 , July 19, 2010 9:45 AM
    Apple knows their fans are utter n00bs, so they give a top notch Tech Support :p 
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , July 19, 2010 10:40 AM
    I needed servicing for two of my laptops this year. My mom's HP had a keyboard problem and spent 10 days at HP, before it was ready. My personal DELL studio had a CPU+MB broken last Wednesday. I received the computer in Friday (43 hours after leaving it for servicing) I have no idea how can you give HP such a grade. + it took me an hour to negotiate with HP on the phone before they admitted it should be a HW problem. Dell were much more friendly (of we can use that word) and only 10 after I called they asked me to send the computer for servicing. As a conclusion from my 2010 experience - good job for dell (and much better, compared to 2-3 years ago)
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , July 19, 2010 10:45 AM
    I needed servicing for two of my laptops this year. My mom's HP had a keyboard problem and spent 10 days at HP, before it was ready. My personal DELL studio had a CPU+MB broken last Wednesday. I received the computer in Friday (43 hours after leaving it for servicing) I have no idea how can you give HP such a grade. + it took me an hour to negotiate with HP on the phone before they admitted it should be a HW problem. Dell were much more friendly (of we can use that word) and only 10 after I called they asked me to send the computer for servicing. As a conclusion from my 2010 experience - good job for dell (and much better, compared to 2-3 years ago)
  • 0 Hide
    Stickywulf , July 19, 2010 11:08 AM
    Support packages are sold separately to give a more competitive price.

    They bought a 90 day support package for Apple but not any of the other companies.
    So many of the responses were, "I'm sorry, we don't provide software support, you must purchase that separately"

    How can they rate a company on a product they didn't even buy?
  • 0 Hide
    zenmaster , July 19, 2010 11:41 AM
    "The presence of good tech support is even more important for laptops, which are harder to crack open and troubleshoot"

    I would consider updating the text of this article.
    It would lead a reader to presume the Tech Support referenced in the article was Hardware Tech support. It was not. It was "Windows 7" support.

    While I agree that Hardware Tech support is very important, that was not reviewed. Furthermore, they were reviewing a service generally not provided by the Manufacturers. That is an Add-On fee, which is should be.

    What I care about are Hardware issues.
    Can they help troubleshoot real hardware issues.
    Do they actually replace faulty hardware.
    How long does it take?
    I would even toss in how often does it break.

    For all of these reasons, I often have a preference for Dell, whose warranties include home service. I've had issues such as failing fans, where I was able to continue to use my laptop while awaiting repair and did not need to send it in. Furthermore, the turn around time is small.
    And I've never had a real hardware issue denied.

    I did buy an Asus laptop about two years ago now, unfortunately I can't rate the company on anything other than it's a solid piece of equipment that still feels new despite heavy heavy daily use.
  • 0 Hide
    deweycd , July 19, 2010 11:47 AM
    I find that Apple customer care isn't all that good anyway, I tried phoning them several times and everytime I try they seem to be extra busy or closed. How can a company producing "Good Products" have a tech support line be busy all the time?
  • -1 Hide
    kingnoobe , July 19, 2010 11:53 AM
    @Tamz and most of the others.. This is not grading the damn stores. It's phone, and web. Specially tamz I'm sure if you asked the same people about any brand of their computers they wouldn't know the resolution so wtf does that have to do with apple. Freak even if it was an "apple store" you still can't compare.. Unless you actually talk to the tech people. The guys behind the cashier or just that cashiers or sales people depending where you go.

    Of course to me this wasn't a good study. Was it done once with each product (phone and web) or was it done in the "hundreds". That makes a huge a differnce.
  • 0 Hide
    magruder13 , July 19, 2010 12:06 PM
    I think we can all agree this study is utter bull.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , July 19, 2010 12:27 PM
    survey i say
  • 5 Hide
    extremepcs , July 19, 2010 12:29 PM
    Dell's corporate support must not have been included. I get warranty parts within 24 hours for desktops, and for our laptops, they come to my location and repair them. I also have phone support based in the USA.
  • 2 Hide
    warezme , July 19, 2010 1:13 PM
    ignorance is bliss
  • -1 Hide
    asiaprime , July 19, 2010 1:30 PM
    service & support is important, it's how you keep your customers. which is partly why apple has so many loyal fans.

    Tamz_mscApple with grade A? Are you kidding?A few months ago I visited their store and inquired about the macbooks.I asked them about the screen sizes available-they told me that 13, 15 and 17 inches were available.Then I asked about the resolution, and all of them gave me a blank look.I kept on asking every one of their representatives and in the end they handed over a catalog which is essentially the same as the tech specs on their website.So, I decided that I had enough of apple.


    think the article is about tech support, not sales.
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