Each year, the folks over at Laptop Mag review the top notebook manufacturers to establish their Best and Word Laptop Brand ranking. And for the past six years, Apple has been consistently claiming the top spot thanks to what Laptop Mag saw as a nice combination of stylish designs, valuable innovations and helpful support.
Except that this year, Apple dropped to fifth place (tied with Acer) in the yearly ranking, reflecting the much talked-about lack of innovation in the latest MacBook Pros. "Because of its modest review scores, expensive products and lack of ports, Apple fell all the way down to fifth place after receiving top honors every year since the Best and Worst Brands debuted in 2010," explained Laptop Mag. As you can see below, Lenovo now ranks first with a score of 90, followed by Asus (86) and Dell (83)
For your information, Laptop Mag rate brands by using a score system based on six different categories: Reviews (which represent 35% of the evaluation), Design, Tech Support, Warranty, Innovation and Value and Selection. Here is what the company had to say about winner Lenovo:
When 58 percent of your laptops get a rating of 4 stars or better, you're having a great year. Lenovo wowed us with laptops that had epic battery life (three different ThinkPads lasted more than 17 hours on a charge), gorgeous designs like the bezel-free screen on the Yoga 910 and innovative features like the Halo keyboard on the Yoga Book. The company also provided helpful support with no hold times in our tests.
Unfortunately, the company had no such flattering words for Microsoft, which closed the top ten. The Redmond giant was added to the ranking last year when it ranked 7th, but the absence of new Surface models this year made it drop to tenth place. Laptop Mag noted:
Microsoft ranks lowest, because the company did hardly anything new during our test period. Its only new laptop was the Surface Book with Performance Dock, and just the dock was new. Still, the company's handful of premium 2-in-1s are pretty good choices, if you can afford them.
You can read Microsoft's full brand report card if you want more insights about its Surface portfolio. Considering that Redmond didn't release new Surface models last year (unlike Apple), you could think that the drop could have been worse. Anyway, Microsoft is expected to introduce a Surface Pro 5 this spring, which will likely an iterative update over the Surface Pro 4. We still don't have much details about a potential Surface Book 2, but the company is also rumoured to work on a more familiar “Surface clamshell” laptop type device.
Are you surprised by Laptop Mag's latest survey, and do you expect Microsoft and Apple to rebound next year? Let us know what you think about the best laptop brands in the comments below.