Apple Loses Top Rank in Laptop Quality Survey

Safari Bug Determined to Be the Culprit Behind Lackluster Battery Life in Consumer Reports Testing

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Apple has fallen behind in a recent Laptop Mag survey after ranking in first place for several years. Specifically, Cupertino dropped down to fifth place in the survey — where it was tied with manufacturer Acer. The Laptop Mag editors cited “modest review scores, expensive products and lack of ports” as the primary reasons behind the company’s lower 2017 spot. Apple had previously taken the top spot in the Laptop Mag survey every year since the list debuted in 2010.

Laptop Mag didn’t totally trash Apple’s latest computers, however. It still touted the MacBook lineup as “slim, powerful and well-built” — but added “you’ll need a pile of money and a bagful of dongles.” Some of Apple’s main weaknesses, according to the company’s full report card, are a premium price point combined with a lack of variety in models. Other common complaints that the survey factored into Apple’s score included the lack of a full touchscreen that many PC notebooks offer, and the replacement of legacy ports with newer (and only recently mainstream) USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 ports.

Still, Cupertino’s support and warranty are “second to none,” the publication wrote. And the high-quality displays and excellent battery life of Apple’s computers still helped the company achieve a decent score. The company’s design and innovation scores — something that Apple has always been well known for — were also relatively high. As for the other scores, Lenovo took the top spot in 2017, due to its variety of highly-rated notebooks, innovative technology, and “vastly improved” customer support, according to Laptop Mag. Lenovo was followed closely by Asus in second place. Dell and HP rounded out third and fourth place, respectively.

Laptop Editor-in-Chief, Mark Spoonaue, suggested that Apple reconsider its professional notebook approach — similar to what it’s doing with upcoming pro-level desktops. This year might just be an anomaly for Apple, however. Famed KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that Apple will pack better hardware features, such as 32 gigabytes of RAM and new Kaby Lake processors. Kuo also predicted that Apple will drop the prices on 2017’s MacBook Pro — a move that will likely help its value score.

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