Laptop Magazine performed a test of the tech support provided by twelve of the most popular laptop brands. For the test, the site called each notebook vendor's tech support on three occasions, each during a different time of day. The first call was to receive tips on how to make the laptop boot faster, for the second question the site asked the reps help on filesharing between two Windows 7 laptops (A Mac and a Windows 7 notebook in the case of Apple) and the third call was to ask advice on how to change the laptop's power settings. Each laptop brand then received a grade, based upon friendliness, efficiency and speed.
Apple came out as the laptop brand with the best tech support, while Acer and Gateway were among the worst.
Out of the 12 vendors whose support we tested, only three got higher grades than they did in 2009, three got the same grade, and six — 50 percent — got lower grades than in our last roundup. The worst offenders were Acer and Gateway (which is owned by Acer), both of which received D grades, because they refused to answer the majority of our questions unless we paid a high premium, ranging from $59 to $129.