PC application soared in 2020, as COVID-19 has forced people to work remotely and upgrade their home offices. Laptop shipments only exceeded 218 million in 2020, up from 173 million units in the year previous, according to IDC. The tablets also recorded ae growth .
If you're still looking for a laptop or tablet, you'll want one from a brand you can trust, trust, and great value. And for that, you can turn to PCMag Readers, which rated the wearable technology they use the most to help us pick this year's Readers 'Choice Award winners for laptops and tablets.
Readers 'Choice Laptop Brands for 2021
When it comes to favorite laptop brands, Apple is the game to lose. Apple aa won the PCMag Readers 'Choice award for laptops and notebooks for at least 15 years in a row, and he is almost always in the lead with a score of 9.1 or more out of 10.
He 's only dropped below 9.1 twice since 2006 - in 2018 and 2019 - and even then he was at an even unbelievable 8.9. This year in particular, Apple shines in terms of configuration, reliability and screen quality. He only stumbles when it comes to repairs (8.2) and cost, where he earns a somewhat dismal 7.4. But that's not surprising, because you're paying a lot for a MacBook compared to other laptops.
We always choose a "other " brand of laptops, which runs Windows or Chrome OS . This year, this award is clearly given to MSI . The smaller PC company doesn't have as robust a user base as the big ones like Microsoft, Dell, Acer or HP, but when it cuts our surveys it tends to win big. This is the third time that MSI has won the Readers 'Choice Award, with ease of use scores that surpass Apple. It is, however, the worst of all for battery life. (Scroll down the table below for each manufacturer's rating on all criteria.)
Microsoft has shared the overall Readers 'Choice laptop price with Apple on several occasions over the past few years. , but it only beat MSI on battery life, size, and weight this time around. That said, Microsoft's scores are still fantastic, a cut above the many other Windows laptops on the list, even game-specific brands like Alienware from Dell. (Alienware last won the Readers' Choice award in 2011.) None of the other brands here are downright terrible, in theory. The best HP score got an overall rating of 8.2, which is a solid B-.
It's worth looking at the individual scores for the aspects of laptops that you find most important. For example, HP's low scores for tech support and repairs don't bode well if you tend to break your laptop. Microsoft scored even worse for repairs (6.1) but higher for support (7.9). And people seem to actively dislike touchscreens on Alienware laptops, which got a really dark 4. 6 of 10.
For more information, read The best laptops for 2021 .
2-in-1 laptop brands of readers 'choice for 2021
Also known as 2-in-1, Hybrid Laptop is the kind of laptop that transforms from flip to tablet to tent. Since 2015, we've asked readers to specify what type of laptop they have, so we can rate hybrids separately. In those seven polls, Microsoft won six, including this year, with an overall score of 8.9 out of 10.
Removed standard laptops from the Microsoft line Surface operation increased Microsoft's score, but it still has cost (7.4) and repair (5.5) issues. Only four brands were on the hybrid list, the others being major US laptop makers Lenovo, HP, and Dell, which tend to be on the list.ur all lists of laptops thanks to their large number of users. They're not too late compared to Microsoft, and they sometimes easily beat Surface hybrids on some metrics. But Microsoft’s lead in satisfaction, reliability, screen size and quality keeps it on top.
One interesting thing we haven't seen before: All four brands get a 9.0 for ease of use. Which probably also says something for Microsoft and Windows 10 , as it often depends on what people think of their operating system.
To learn more, read The best 2-in-1 hybrid / convertible laptops for 2021 .
Readers 'Choice Gaming Laptop Brands for 2021
This is the first year that we have asked people for us say if they use their laptops primarily for gaming. Oddly enough, this forced some brands you'd expect to see. MSI and Alienware, for example, already had low response counts but enough to make the overall list here above. But the only companies represented here are reputable laptop suppliers such as Dell, HP, and Lenovo. Nonetheless, our very first Readers 'Choice gaming laptop award goes to Asus
Asus, which makes the Republic of Gamers (ROG) gaming line of products, scores an overall score of 8.7 out of 10, but it's not much above the 8.6 for Dell and Lenovo.Asus in the other categories is slim, like the likelihood to recommend, and non-existent in a few (like cost, ease of use, size and weight, screen quality). This is a victory for Asus by the smallest of margins.
If one of the big gaming-focused brands like Alienware, HP Omen or Razer had made the cut here this year, it might have been able to overtake Asus. But as any gamer knows, this is how things go sometimes in head-to-head, battle royale fights. We are already excited to see who will be King of the Hill in 2022.
To find out more, read The best gaming laptops for 2021 .
Tablet brands of readers 'choice for 2021
What makes a tablet a tablet?For our purposes, this is a keyboardless panel style device that runs an operating system primarily designed for screen input, such as Android, Fire OS, or iPadOS - but may also include Windows 10. Because of This and the proliferation of hybrids / convertibles, the line between laptops and tablets is getting blurred every year.
For now, we can still say that models from some vendors are still going to be classified as tablets. Think of Apple iPads , which look more like big iPhones than smaller MacBooks.
We haven't systematically rated tablets for the Readers 'Choice award, but since 2011, in nine surveys, iPads from Apphave won it eight times. The overall satisfaction score for Apple has gone from a high of 9.1 in 2019 to 8.9 this year, but it has fluctuated over the years (it has gone as low as an ever-impressive 8.6. ) and is still higher than
In previous years, only Samsung and Amazon had enough responses to show up in our results, but for 2021 we saw a nice presentation of Microsoft and Lenovo tablets. The Microsoft Surface line is showing signs that it may one day surpass even Apple. The Surface iPads have attached for ease of use, size, and weight; he beat the iPads for tech support; and was a striking distance from the top scores for screen quality and likelihood of being recommended to a friend.
However, other brands have crushed Microsoft and Apple for cost satisfaction. However, people tend to rate their equipment highly.expensive in other ways, because satisfaction does not come cheap.
For more information, read The best tablets for 2021 .
The PCMag Readers 'Choice survey for laptops and tablets was from January 11, 2021 to February 1, 2021. For more information on how our surveys are conducted, read the survey methodology .
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