Apple is the most reliable laptop brand, according to the readers of PC Advisor. When asked: 'What is the most reliable laptop company?', 19 percent of respondents selected Apple. The runner up was Dell, with 12 percent of the votes, closely followed by HP and Asus, each of which garnered 11 percent of the votes. (If you include Dell's Alienware brand, its figure rises to 15 percent.)

The PC Advisor laptop reliability poll ran over two weeks in January 2013. 5,833 PC Advisor readers voted for their favourite brand from a list comprising all the makes of laptop we have tested over the past 12 months.

Most reliable laptop makers: our survey

One of the questions we are asked most often at PC Advisor is 'what's the best laptop maker?' Laptops are much more popular than desktop PCs these days, and the range of options can be bewildering. We can, and do, review multiple laptops each week on the basis of their performance, build and price. We also provide detailed laptop buying advice. If you are looking for a laptop you should check out our stories: January Sales 2013: Laptop bargains, Best place to buy a laptop and Tablet or laptop for family: which is best?

But fairly ascertaining reliability is impossible to do from lab testing. How a laptop performs over a couple of days is only a basic guide to its long term help. As a consequence we decided to reach out to our readers, and ask them about their experiences.

This is not scientific research: we don't know what laptops respondents use or have experience of using. And we could expect that the most popular laptop brands would fair well - after all, if you have had several MacBooks or HP laptops, you are likely to be a fan of their reliability.

Laptops are by their nature extremely complex machines. Even the best laptop makers will turn out a dud every now and then. And if you have ever had a 'bad' laptop, you are unlikely to espouse its makers reliability. Don't assume that because a laptop maker appears low on this list, that it is in any way unreliable - appearing at all is a decent sign (brands that received no votes at all are not in this list).

However, if a brand of laptop appears high up in our list, it means a large number of people have voluntarily spoken up for that brand's reliability. This should, we hope, add to your knowledge base when making a choice of laptop. For everything else, visit our dedicated Laptop Advisor zone. (If you are having problems with a laptop, visit our Tech Helproom or Tech Consumer Advice forums.)

Most reliable laptop brands: the results

Apple tops the list, as might be expected from such a premium PC builder. Apple products are far from cheap, but they do offer a quality experience. Runner up Dell has a very different business model. It, like other high-ranking brands HP and Asus, operates as a volume laptop maker, selling many thousands of laptops every week. We would expect to see them, and Lenovo, high up in our list because they sell so many PCs: but their higher ranking suggests a lot of satisfied customers.

  1. Apple: 19%
  2. Dell: 12%
  3. Asus: 11%
  4. HP: 11%
  5. Acer: 9%
  6. Lenovo: 9%
  7. Toshiba: 9%
  8. Samsung: 7%
  9. Sony: 6%
  10. Alienware: 3%
  11. Fujitsu: 1%
  12. MSI: 1%
  13. Panasonic: 1%

Most reliable laptop brands: your comments

Here are some of the comments from participants in our laptop reliability poll. Let us know your thoughts in the comments field below.

"Had a sony over 6 years good build reliable, but support poor, spare parts expensive. Got a samsung 18 months good support, still working well. I would go for samsung again."

"I have a 17in Packard Bell and a Samsung netbook. I'd buy either make again as they're five and four years old respectively and are still doing their job as intended."

"Only one laptop, a Toshiba, six years old and no problems. Battery not too good but mainly used on mains."