In our 2012 reader survey of tech satisfaction, reliability, and service, the results for desktop PCs painted a somewhat different picture than our poll in the laptop category. Here, performance clearly remains a critical feature, although softer issues such as design and peripheral quality are still areas of discussion.
Compared with laptops, desktops saw a slightly wider spread of satisfaction scores. Apple desktops scored highly on average and took top marks for design and peripheral quality, but surveyed consumers dinged them for relatively poor expandability. The picture gets muddier from there, with most competitors clustered together. HP for Home and Dell for Home landed around the average for satisfaction with desktop features; Sony and eMachines ran significantly behind the pack in that regard, with several average scores below 8.
HP for Home and Dell for Home rated just below average for ease of use, while Dell for Business rated slightly above average.
Interestingly, Lenovo for Home and Asus took the highest score (8.8 out of 10) on performance for the price. HP for Home even outscored Apple in this measurement, earning an 8.6 (Apple received a mark of 8.5), and Dell for Home also posted an 8.5. The average score for this measurement among all brands was 8.4.
Looking at overall satisfaction levels, we found that survey respondents were happiest with their desktops' operating noise and performance for the price.
Although desktops have a reputation for being more reliable than laptops are, this turned out not to be the case when we looked at users' responses: A mere 0.01 point separated laptops and desktops on users’ ratings of overall reliability.
Of course, some things don't change. As with laptops, hard-drive failure issues were readers’ primary desktop reliability complaint. On the other hand, motherboard failures, relatively uncommon on laptops, were tied for the second-most cited problem with desktop computers. Graphics-card hassles and OS glitches also wound up on the list of reliability complaints.
Apple, Lenovo satisfy; Dell, HP make fair showings
|Brand||Operating noise||Design||Quality of included peripherals||Ports and connec- tivity||Expand- ability||Perfor- mance for the price|
|Lenovo for Home||8.8||8.5||8.1||8.4||8.3||8.8|
|Dell for Home||8.6||8.4||8.0||8.3||8.3||8.5|
|HP for Home||8.6||8.4||8.1||8.2||8.2||8.6|
|Acer for Home||8.5||8.4||7.9||8.3||7.8||8.5|
|Lenovo for Business||8.6||8.1||8.1||8.3||7.9||8.2|
|Dell for Business||8.5||8.0||7.7||8.1||8.0||8.2|
|HP for Business||8.3||8.1||7.8||8.1||8.0||8.2|
Apple, Lenovo lead the pack in desktop reliability
|Brand||Any significant problems||Satisfaction with reliability|
|Lenovo for Home||11%||8.7|
|Dell for Home||20%||8.6|
|Lenovo for Business||10%||8.6|
|HP for Home||17%||8.5|
|Acer for Home||17%||8.5|
|Dell for Business||18%||8.5|
|↑ Above average ↑|
|↓ Below average ↓|
|HP for Business||13%||8.4|