When purchasing a laptop, it's important to consider how reliable the hardware is going to be, as they are more difficult and expensive to repair than a desktop PC. If the hardware turns belly up, most people have to jump through warranty hoops or are faced with high repair costs. One warranty company sought to find out just who produces the most reliable laptops, and after sampling a pool of 30,000 units, the outfit came to some interesting conclusions.

The company found that Asus and Toshiba have the least percentage of defects in their hardware as compared to the rest of the industry, both having less than a 10% rate of failure after 2 years. The worst, surprisingly, was HP, who had upwards of a 16% failure rate. Sony and Apple were ranked 3rd and 4th, with Dell landing right in the middle. Projected failures were also considered, with HP having a projected failure rate of more than 1 in 4 laptops.

They also broke down the study by the types of the laptops involved. It seems netbooks get the worst of it, having the highest failure rates of all. Mid-grade laptops fell in the middle, and "premium" laptops had the lowest failure rates. It seems you get what you pay for in the world of notebooks.

User failures were taken out of the equation for calculating failure rates, but overall represented a third of total failures. All things considered, including user-induced failures, laptops don't have very long shelf lives: Nearly 1 in 3 are doomed to suffer some form of failure within three years.