November 17, 2009 at 12:24 pm
SquareTrade, a large independent warranty provider, has analysed the failure rates for over 30,000 laptops and netbooks covered by its warranty plans with some revealing insights. It found that just under a third of laptops will fail within three years and that netbooks are 20 percent more likely to fail.
Breaking down the results, SquareTrade found that 20.4 percent of laptop failures were due to hardware malfunctions and 10.4 percent were from accidental damage. Whilst one would expect netbooks to suffer a higher rate of accidental damage to their portability, apparently netbook hardware malfunctions were 20 percent higher than laptops.
They found that 5.8 percent of netbooks to have a malfunction in the first 12 months of ownership, over 20 percent higher than entry-level laptops and nearly 40 percent higher than premium laptops. They also project that netbooks will have a 25.1 percent malfunction rate over a three-year period. This compares to laptops at 20.6 percent and premium laptops at 18.1 percent.
Good news if you own an Asus Eee PC or Toshiba laptop/netbook, these brands were found to be the most reliable. Fewer than 16 percent reported having a hardware malfunction over three years. The brands that had higher than average failure rates include Acer, Gateway & HP.
I’d take these results with a pinch of salt personally, netbooks have only existed for the last two years and the company itself admits to a “lack of data on netbooks over a year old.” I’d be interested to see the results a year from now to get a better sense of netbook reliability.