If you’re in the market for a new laptop, you may be wondering which brand of laptop is the best in 2021. It’s a fair question but a difficult one to answer because finding the best laptop brand is contextual. It depends on what you want your laptop to do, how you want to use it, how important aesthetic factors like color or materials are to you, and more.
Before you settle in on one specific brand, there are a couple of things to know that will affect your experience, no matter the brand you choose. Then you can consider the brand-dependent factors and determine which brand is right for your needs.
Plenty of Variability Within a Brand
First, understand that picking the overall best laptop brand is challenging because of the amount of variability within a brand. Even those brands that are known for consistently cranking out highly reliable machines will have a dud every now and again.
For example, the current Dell XPS 15
is a deeply impressive system, but Dell has had its fair share of clunkers. Even Apple has had some missteps in recent years, with a butterfly keyboard that failed at a surprisingly high rate
. Thankfully the butterfly keyboard is a thing of the past, but it’s a stain on Apple’s record.
Specs Matter As Much or More Than Brand (within Reason)
The next thing to understand is that, while choosing the right laptop brand certainly matters, it matters far more what’s inside the laptop than what brand made it.
A cheap, underpowered Dell laptop will disappoint just as much as a bottom-tier Asus or Acer. It’s not so much Dell’s or Asus’s or Acer’s fault, though. As long as people keep buying cheap, underpowered laptops, there will be makers catering to this audience
The better you want your laptop experience to go, the more attention you should give to its specs. Make sure you’re getting the latest generation Intel Core chips or AMD Ryzen chips, with plenty of memory and storage. If you want to game, consider a model with a discrete graphics card.
Yes, better specs mean more money. But if your goal is to get a laptop that will perform well for years to come, you’ll have to make that investment — no matter which brand you choose.
Factors to Consider
As you look for the best laptop brand for your situation, consider these factors.
Again, remember that even within a laptop brand, there can be some variation. Not every model will hold up equally well. Still, reliability is a factor to consider when deciding on a laptop brand.
Some brands are almost legendary for their reliability. Lenovo
is one of these. Historically, Lenovo has consistently put out very high-quality machines that last well and don’t experience high rates of component failure.
Many other companies have had some notable reliability issues, but usually, these are short-term and resolved within a model year or two.
RESCUECOM released research on the latest model year
of laptops, giving top scores for reliability to Microsoft, Lenovo, and then Apple, in that order. The fourth-place finisher was Samsung, with a very significant gap between third and fourth place. HP, Dell, Asus and Acer scored even lower still.
Closely related yet distinct is build quality. How does the laptop feel in your hands? Is it well-crafted from sturdy materials? Does the finish hold up over time? Or does the whole thing feel like a giant piece of flimsy plastic?
Build quality also varies widely within brands, but some makers land consistently higher by this metric. Apple is always near the top (at least now that the butterfly keyboard issues have been resolved). Lenovo and Microsoft do well on the PC side, as does Dell if you stick to their higher-tier machines.
Price on the PC side is complicated. There’s so much variety as far as specs and features that it can be hard to get a sense of what’s a good deal versus what’s just plain cheap. On the other end, the same thing happens: are you paying over $1000 because the machine is a powerful workhorse? Or are you paying for branding and fancy materials that don’t contribute much?
Other than Apple’s and Microsoft’s hardware tending to be priced at a premium, there’s not much definitive to say on price. All other brands run the gamut, and there are so many sales and promotions that it’s hard to believe that any “normal price” is ever particularly real.
Your best bet is to do your research and know what a particular set of specs is worth. If you can time your purchase, wait for some of the more aggressive sales seasons (Black Friday isn’t that far off).
With the Right Protection, Brand Becomes Less Important
While it’s natural to want to get the best laptop for your money (and you should), your laptop runs the risk of defects or component failures. If these failures fall outside the conventional limited warranty, you’ll be on the hook for costly repairs.
But with extended warranty protection
, worries about durability become less important. Upsie’s extended warranties protect laptops from accidental damage, liquid spills, screen failure, manufacturing defects, and more. In addition, Upsie’s warranties are more affordable than you might expect and often cost up to 70 percent less than warranties from competitors.
Ready to protect that new laptop? Get an Upsie warranty today!
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