Readers’ Alternative Awards 2018: Laptops and Desktops

As normal, the annual CES held final month in Las Vegas was full of recent product bulletins. Whereas laptop computer and desktop computer systems might not have gotten as a lot consideration as good audio system, TVs, and drones, PC makers proceed to point out revolutionary and thrilling new designs, like extremely thin-and-light laptops, 2-in-1 convertibles, and Home windows-based tablets.

In the meantime, a lot of individuals are centered on upgrading their desktop PCs—perhaps to attempt to strike it wealthy in cryptocoin mining. Regardless of the motive for wanting a brand new pc, PCMag is right here as soon as once more that can assist you select the model that may hold you happy for years to return.

As is our custom, we begin our annual set of PCMag Readers’ Alternative Awards by reaching out to you, our readers, to seek out out which sorts of laptop computer and desktop computer systems you utilize and the way happy you might be together with your purchases. Your suggestions, at the side of PCMag’s professional and exhaustive labs-based product evaluations, will allow you to and your fellow readers make the precise alternative with their subsequent PC buy.

Our survey asks respondents to charge the PCs they use for dwelling (and work) on a number of key measures. We begin with probably the most visceral: General, how happy are you together with your pc? We go on to ask about satisfaction with different points of PC use together with ease of setup, reliability, and assist. We additionally ask in case you would advocate your model of pc to another person. This usually produces very insightful outcomes that point out the respondents’ religion in the way forward for the model or the usefulness of the manufacturers’ merchandise to others.

Respondents present a score for every satisfaction query from zero (extraordinarily dissatisfied or extraordinarily unlikely to advocate) to 10 (extraordinarily happy or extraordinarily more likely to advocate). To be included in our survey outcomes evaluation, a model must obtain no less than 50 responses.

For years, the PC market has been consolidating round half a dozen completely different corporations, however a number of smaller manufacturers proceed to innovate and vie for market share. Learn on to see the place you must focus your search once you’re prepared to purchase your subsequent pc.

The PCMag Readers’ Alternative survey for Laptops and Desktops was within the subject from January eight, 2018 by January 29, 2018. For extra data on how the survey is carried out, learn the survey methodology. Every one that accomplished the survey was entered right into a drawing to win an reward card valued at $350.

You may win! Join the Readers’ Alternative Survey mailing record to obtain invites for future sweepstakes.

In search of professional opinion? Learn The Finest Laptops of 2018 and The Finest Desktop Computer systems of 2018.

Laptops 2018

Apple and Microsoft have battled with one another because the daybreak of the PC age. Apple has at all times centered on an insular ecosystem, creating an OS that solely runs by itself computer systems to maximise its management of the surroundings.

Microsoft initially centered on making an working system that may run on almost any PC, however lately, it has come round considerably to Apple’s mind-set. Whereas there are nonetheless dozens of corporations making Microsoft Home windows-based computer systems, Microsoft jumped into the PC enterprise itself about six years in the past.

That a pc firm ought to make its personal working system (or vice versa), is nearly the one factor that Apple and Microsoft appear to agree upon relating to design. All of Microsoft’s laptops embrace contact screens, and all however one can be utilized as a pill. Apple, alternatively, continues to focus its laptop computer growth on conventional clamshell designs, relegating contact screens and pill use to its iOS-based iPads and iPad Professionals (iPads, iPad Professionals and Android-based tablets weren’t included on this survey).

Who is true? The actual fact is, each Apple’s and Microsoft’s approaches have discovered an viewers with which they resonate, and each corporations win our 2018 PCMag Readers’ Alternative Award for laptops.

For Apple, that is in all probability no shock. The corporate has now received the award 11 years in a row. As soon as once more, Apple has the very best satisfaction score on each key measure, together with total satisfaction (eight.9), satisfaction with ease of setup (9.1) and reliability (9.1), and probability to advocate ( Its satisfaction with tech assist score of eight.5 is much better than what any competitor obtained.

Nonetheless, all of those rankings (besides probability to advocate) are down barely from 2017. That could be a bit regarding, despite the fact that they continue to be glorious scores. The truth is, that is the primary time this decade that Apple’s total satisfaction score dropped beneath

Microsoft wins the Readers’ Alternative Award for receiving the very best satisfaction score for Home windows-based computer systems in each key measure. As well as, all of Microsoft’s rankings are up barely from final yr. Nonetheless, there’s much more competitors within the Home windows world and on most measures, Microsoft is tied with no less than one different firm.

Microsoft’s total satisfaction score of eight.eight is up from eight.6 in 2017 and tied with MSI, a producer of gaming laptops. MSI solely obtained a probability to advocate score of eight.5, behind each Microsoft (eight.eight) and Alienware (eight.7), one other model centered on avid gamers. Microsoft’s satisfaction with reliability score of eight.eight was tied by each MSI and Alienware, and its satisfaction with ease of setup ( was tied by Asus.

Apple and Microsoft additionally win a Readers’ Alternative Award for dwelling laptops. Once more, each corporations dominated the outcomes on all key measures with Microsoft going through some stiff competitors from Alienware and MSI.

Pill and convertible 2-in-1 laptops are gaining in recognition with our respondents. The truth is, almost a 3rd of laptops within the survey that had been lower than a yr outdated (31 %) had been both a 2-in-1 or a pill, in comparison with solely 12 % of these laptops bought three to 4 years in the past.

Asus, Dell, HP, and Lenovo additionally had a considerable variety of respondents who used hybrid laptops, however Microsoft nonetheless got here out on high with the very best total satisfaction score (eight.eight) and probability to advocate score (eight.eight) and it earns the Readers’ Alternative Award for hybrid laptops as nicely.

HP did tie Microsoft for satisfaction with total reliability (eight.eight) and HP and Lenovo truly scored barely higher than Microsoft in ease of setup, each incomes rankings of 9.1 in comparison with Microsoft’s In each case, Asus, Dell, HP, and Lenovo obtained a lot larger satisfaction rankings for his or her hybrid laptops than they did for his or her standard fashions.

Chromebooks—the skinny, gentle and sometimes cheap laptops that run Google’s ChromeOS—proceed to realize recognition in sure markets and increase total PC gross sales. However solely a small variety of our respondents use them and no model obtained the requisite 50 responses to be included individually in our evaluation.

Nonetheless, as a bunch, Chromebooks look like offering customers with an excellent expertise. General satisfaction and probability to advocate each rated eight.7. Satisfaction with reliability rated, simply behind Apple and forward of each Home windows model, whereas satisfaction with ease of setup rated 9.three, higher than each different firm together with Apple.

Related Story See all of our survey outcomes for Laptops.


Readers' Choice 2010 AwardClasses: General, Dwelling Use
For greater than a decade, Apple has set the usual for what a laptop computer has to do to fulfill its customers and this yr isn’t any exception. The corporate’s rankings are down barely from final yr, but nonetheless no different model can match its satisfaction scores.

Readers' Choice 2010 AwardClasses: General, Dwelling Use, Hybrid Laptop computer
The Home windows-laptop that gives probably the most satisfying expertise comes from the corporate that developed the working system: Microsoft. Its concentrate on pill and 2-in-1 machines supplies an thrilling different to Apple’s method.

Desktops 2018

Laptop computer computer systems garner a lot of the consideration and gross sales amongst PC patrons. The truth is, almost two-thirds of the computer systems that our survey respondents rated had been laptops. Nonetheless, desktop PCs merely make sense in case you do not must be cell and need probably the most bang in your buck.

One firm, Apple, has constantly obtained the very best satisfaction rankings for desktop PCs, and this yr isn’t any exception. Apple as soon as once more wins the PCMag Readers’ Alternative Award for desktop computer systems for its Mac computer systems. As well as, whereas Apple’s laptop computer scores declined barely this yr, that was not the case for any of the corporate’s desktop satisfaction rankings.

Apple was the one firm to get a score of or higher on any measure, and it did it on each measure. Apple obtained a 9.1 for total satisfaction, up from in 2017 and its probability to advocate score improved much more, going from 9.1 to 9.three. Satisfaction with ease of setup and total reliability stayed the identical at 9.5 and 9.three, respectively.

Many individuals do not understand it, however you possibly can run Microsoft Home windows on a Mac, both by a digital machine or by organising a dual-boot surroundings. Nonetheless, in case you’d want a desktop pc constructed from the bottom up for Home windows, look to gaming pc vendor CyberPowerPC which additionally wins a Readers’ Alternative Award. CyberPowerPC might not be a family title, however the firm earned high marks amongst Home windows-based PCs for total satisfaction.

CyberPowerPC did not attain Apple’s stratosphere, but it surely did obtain an total satisfaction score of eight.eight, which is excellent. Solely Acer and Asus got here shut, every getting an eight.6. Acer did beat CyberPowerPC in satisfaction with reliability at eight.9 to eight.eight, however each are excellent scores. Solely 2 % of respondents stated their Acer desktop wanted to be repaired or changed within the final 12 months, the bottom proportion in our survey. In contrast, 17 % of CyberPowerPC desktops wanted some type of restore, which is a little bit troubling. CyberPowerPC, Acer, and Asus additionally obtained similar probability to advocate rankings of eight.6, the very best for any Home windows desktop model.

Though the overwhelming majority of CyberPowerPCs are used within the dwelling once we look solely at dwelling PCs, Asus truly rated barely higher and earns a Readers’ Alternative Award for dwelling desktops. The 2 corporations had similar total satisfaction rankings of eight.7, however Asus’ total reliability was eight.9 to CyberPowerPC’s eight.eight; probability to advocate was eight.7 in comparison with CyberPowerPC’s eight.6. Acer additionally rated an eight.7 in probability to advocate and Dell received an eight.6 from its dwelling customers on this measure.

2018 marks the 20th anniversary of Apple’s all-in-one iMac line of desktop PCs, which mix the monitor and pc into one unit. Home windows PC producers had been gradual to adapt all-in-one designs, however they’re gaining in recognition. Seventy-seven % of the Apple desktops reported on in our survey had been all-in-ones in comparison with solely 12 % of the Home windows desktops. Nonetheless, 15 % of the Home windows desktops within the survey that had been bought within the final yr had been all-in-ones in comparison with solely 11 % of older machines.

Apple wins a Readers’ Alternative Award for its all-in-one, however we did not really feel both Dell or HP, the 2 Home windows manufacturers that obtained sufficient responses, had been deserving of an award. They lagged too far behind. As an example, Apple’s total satisfaction score for its all-in-ones was 9.2 in comparison with HP’s eight.1 and Dell’s Apple rated a 9.three for probability to advocate whereas Dell solely obtained an eight.1 and HP a 7.9. We predict all-in-ones could make loads of sense in sure environments, however proper now you are much better going with an Apple iMac than one in every of its rivals.

Related Story See all of our survey outcomes for Desktops.


Readers' Choice 2010 Award Classes: General, Dwelling Use, All-in-One Desktop
A perennial favourite amongst PCMag readers, Apple obtained satisfaction rankings this yr that had been even higher than final. Most respondents want the all-in-one design of Apple’s iMac and new iMac Professional, a design Apple’s rivals appear but to have the ability to grasp.

Readers' Choice 2010 Award Classes: General
When you’re searching for a Home windows PC, particularly in case you’re a gamer, take a detailed take a look at CyberPowerPC. The small PC firm earned huge satisfaction numbers from its customers, together with the very best total satisfaction score.

Readers' Choice 2010 Award Classes: Dwelling Use
Asus is your best option this yr amongst Home windows-based desktops for the house. The corporate’s satisfaction rankings improved properly from its 2017 scores.


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