SquareTrade analyzed failure rates for over 30,000 new laptop computers covered by their Laptop Warranty plans and found that one-third of all laptops will fail within 3 years.
Highlights of the study include:
Looking at the first 3 years of ownership, 31% of laptop owners reported a failure of some kind. Two-thirds of this failure (20.4%) came from hardware malfunctions, and one-third (10.6%) was reported as accidental damage.
Netbooks are projected to have a 20% higher failure rate from hardware malfunctions than more expensive laptop computers. Netbooks, which are normally made of cheaper materials to push the price below $400, not only face the highest first-year failure rate but are disproportionately more likely to break down in three years; about 25.1 percent should stop working in the period, the analysts say.
Budget but full-size notebooks, which dominate the lineups of Lenovo, Acer and its sub-label Gateway are also more likely to break and face a 20.6 percent failure rate. HP is the worst at having more than a quarter of their PCs (25.6%) failing within 3 years.
Premium notebooks over $1,000, like many of those from Apple and Sony, face the best chances with a lower initial failure rate and an 18.1 percent anticipated malfunction rate.
ASUS and Toshiba were the most reliable manufacturers, with fewer than 16% having a hardware malfunction over 3 years.