Apple and Dell took the top grades in the annual Readers’ Choice survey at
Dell earned an A or A+ for desktop computers. Apple, “not on the charts last year because of its modest share among survey takers,” also garnered an A+, according to PC Magazine. Sony received an A, as did newcomer ABS. HP and Compaq both nabbed an E (the lowest score), as did eMachines.
Regarding laptops, Apple, IBM, and Toshiba scored A’s overall. Dell was graded a B+, HP a B, NEC a B, Sony a B-, Gateway a C, Fujitsu a C, Micron/MPC a D, WinBook a D, and Acer a D.
“Of the three A vendors, IBM has impressed users the most with its tech support and repair service (time on hold, repairs done right). IBM rates better than average on 14 of 15 measures, Apple on 6, and Toshiba on 1,” PC Mag notes. “The three top vendors overall — Apple, IBM, and Toshiba — also receive A’s for home use, as Apple and IBM do for work use. Toshiba’s grade for work use is a D, where its overall satisfaction drops to worse than average; the other three key measures determining the letter grade are average.”
In the server arena, Apple and Dell are at the top with A’s. Sun got an A, IBM a C+, Compaq a D, HP an E, and Gateway an E. “Apple didn’t get enough responses to appear in last year’s survey; this year it scores better than average on three out of four measures (the exception: frequency of server failure),” the magazine notes.
PC Mag’s Readers’ Choice survey polled subscribers on overall satisfaction, satisfaction with reliability, units needing repair (or, for servers, frequency of failure), and willingness to buy the same brand again.