Lenovo takes first place in recent notebook comparison guide, Apple ties for 5th

Lenovo Yoga 910 review
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends
If you’re in the market for a new notebook, then you’re likely spending considerable time researching the multitude of options available to you. With so many choices available between the vast array of Windows machines and Apple’s MacBook and MacBook Pro lines, you have your work cut out for you.

That’s why any attempt to evaluate machines across a range of criteria is valuable as an addition to the usual review circuit. One such comparison study is conducted by Laptop Mag, and it  just released the 2017 edition.

Laptop Mag takes a look at a number of different criteria and assigns points to each one’s importance in arriving at its overall ratings. There are six criteria in total:

  • Reviews – 35 points maximum
  • Design – 15 points maximum
  • Support – 20 points maximum
  • Innovation – 10 points maximum
  • Value & Selection – 15 points maximum
  • Warranty – 5 points maximum

One of the more interesting stories over the last few years has been the continued improvement of the Windows 10 ecosystem. There are more high-quality Windows portable machines available than ever, and that’s reflected in Laptop Mag’s comparison. Apple has fallen dramatically from its yearslong place at the top of the rankings and dropped all the way down to a tie for fifth place.

laptop mag notebook comparison has lenovo in first place ltp bwb 2017 rank over time v2 04
Laptop Mag

Now, the top five places are held by Lenovo, Asus, Dell, HP, and Acer. These standings are impacted by a general improvement in the overall quality, innovation, and support provided by Windows PC manufacturers. Add in a relative drop in many of these same areas by Apple, and you have a significant change in the top-rated notebooks overall.

laptop mag notebook comparison has lenovo in first place ltp bwb 2017 bar chart v2 1
Laptop Mag
Laptop Mag

Somewhat surprisingly, Microsoft comes in dead last in its first year in the comparison. The company’s machines have been generally well-reviewed, and the company’s support is also well received, which aligns with a recent J.D. Power report on tablet customer satisfaction that had Surface Pro beating out the iPad.

However, Microsoft appears to be perceived — somewhat surprisingly, given the nature of its Surface machines — as not being terribly innovative and not offering very good selection and value. According to Laptop Mag, Microsoft’s results are likely tainted by the dearth of new products announced during the test period, and refreshes to the Surface Book and Surface Pro machines could perhaps improve Microsoft’s standings in next year’s report.

If you check out our reviews, you’ll find that we generally concur with these results. Some of our highest ratings have been reserved for various Lenovo, Asus, Dell, and HP machines, and we also were relatively underwhelmed with Apple’s latest notebook offerings.


We want every laptop to be as thin as an iPhone. But is it practical?

The Acer Swift 7 is the thinnest notebook you can buy, and it feels like the notebook of the future. But it makes too many compromises along the way, and some weird design choices hold it back.

Don’t even bother with the rest. Here are the only laptop brands that matter

If you want to buy your next laptop based around a specific brand, it helps to know which the best brands of laptops are. This list will give you a good grounding in the most reliable, quality laptop manufacturers today.

Apple MacBook Air vs. Microsoft Surface Pro 6

The MacBook Air was updated with more contemporary components and a more modern design, but is that enough to compete with standouts like Microsoft's Surface Pro 6 detachable tablet?
Product Review

How does the sleek MateBook X Pro hold up to the modern day competition?

Huawei impressed us with the MateBook X, a solid competitor to the 12-inch MacBook that beat Apple at its own game. Now, Huawei is taking a shot at premium 14-inchers with the MateBook X Pro, but it’s not without oddities – like a…

Latest Facebook bug exposed up to 6.8 million users’ private photos

An API bug recently left an impact on Facebook users. Though the issue has since been fixed, some of the apps on the platform had a wrongful access to consumers photos for 12 days between September 13 and September 25. 

You can now get a Surface Laptop 2 for $800 at the Microsoft Store

Along with deals on other variants, starting configurations of Microsoft's Surface Laptop 2 are now going for $800 online at its retail store, cutting $200 from its usual $1,000 starting price. 

You’ll soon be able to scribble all over PDFs on your Chromebook

Chrome OS users may soon be able to doodle all over their PDF documents with the possible addition of a new feature in Chrome OS' PDF viewer. The annotation feature is expected to allow users to hand draw or write over their documents.

Need a monitor for professional photo-editing? These are the very best

Looking for the best monitor for photo editing? You'll need to factor in brightness, color accuracy, color gamut support and more. Fortunately, we've rounded up the best ones for you, to help you make an educated purchase.

HDR monitors are beginning to have an impact. Here are the best you can buy

HDR isn't the most common of PC monitor features and is often charged at a premium, but the list of available options is growing. These are the best HDR monitors you can buy right now.
Virtual Reality

Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive: Prices drop, but our favorite stays the same

The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are the two big names in the virtual reality arena, but most people can only afford one. Our comparison tells you which is best when you pit the Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive.

Microsoft’s Windows 95 throwback was just an ugly sweater giveaway

Microsoft's "softwear" announcement wasn't what we had hoped for. Thursday's announcement was not the new line of wearable tech or SkiFree monster sweater we wished for. But it did deliver the 90s nostalgia we wanted.
Home Theater

Confused about LED vs. LCD TVs? Here's everything you need to know

Our LED vs. LCD TV buying guide explains why these two common types of displays are fundamentally connected, how they differ, what to look for in buying an LED TV, and what's on the horizon for TVs.

Canada’s winters inspired a startup to warm homes with cryptomining heat waste

Cryptomining may be the key to untold riches and the future of currency, but it’s also an environmental nightmare. Heatmine, thinks it has the answer, but it could mean bolting a mining rig onto every home and business in the country.

The best MacBook deals for December 2018

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.