While many Tom's Hardware readers are used to doing their own troubleshooting and support of their own computers, the quality of post-sale support is often a huge differentiator between a good computer experience and a bad one.
Consumer Reports, an independent and non-profit publication, released its latest ratings for computer tech support for laptops and desktops. The magazine's findings were based on an annual survey of over 7,000 desktop- and laptop-owning subscribers to Consumer Reports from January 2009 to January 2010.
Respondents were asked to review a manufacturer's ability to solve their problems, the communication and knowledge of phone support staff, how long they were placed on hold, and the quality of the company's online support.
Based on responses from owners of 3,685 laptop computers, Apple scored 86 points out of 100. Second place Lenovo earned a 63; third place Toshiba had 60; fourth place Dell has a 56; and HP/Compaq has a 53. Trailing far behind was Acer/Gateway/eMachines with 39.
The running selection for desktop brands was narrower with only four brands. Based on responses from owners of 3,711 desktop computers, Apple took top spot at 87 points out of 100. Dell scored 55 for second place; HP/Compaq scored 53 for third; and Acer/Gateway/eMachines grabbed another 39.
Read more about the rankings from Consumer Reports.