There’s no denying that tablets and smartphones are methodically chipping away at market share once owned by personal computers but a new report from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) has revealed an unexpected (and positive) side effect for personal computers in general.

The high level of customer satisfaction that tablets enjoy is having a direct impact on the overall computer category which includes desktops, laptops and tablets. Customer satisfaction in this category has reached an all-time high with a score of 80 out of 100 on ACSI’s scale. Computers scored highly in 2010 and 2011, both times earning a satisfaction rating of 78, but this year’s 2.6 percent increase is certain noteworthy.

Individually, Apple reigns supreme among computer makers with an overall customer satisfaction score of 86. Cupertino’s rating is down one point since last year but they still lead the competition by five points. Dell took the silver medal with a cumulative score of 81, an increase of five points over last year’s rating. Other notable names like HP, Acer and Toshiba ranked fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively. HP and Acer’s score improved year-over-year as well; Toshiba wasn’t measured in 2011.

ACSI founder Claes Fornell believes that dissatisfied customers from traditional PC brands like Dell, HP and Acer are finding a new home with Apple and other smaller tablet makers. This movement actually helps everyone involved as those customers are now happy with their new brand and the companies that lose market share maintain their most loyal and happy customers.