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Gartner: laptops less reliable than desktops

Gartner: laptops less reliable than desktops

For many of us here at CNET, laptops are our get-the-job-done-whenever-and-
wherever workhorses and computer form factor of choice. A report released by Gartner suggests that we should reconsider: 1 in 5 laptops built in 2003 and 2004 experienced a hardware failure (any issue that requires a part to be replaced) within a year of purchase, compared with only 1 in 20 desktop failures in the same time period. By their third year, just more than 1 in 4 laptops will experience a failure.

The report suggests that while displays used to be the primary source of laptop component failure, motherboards and hard drives are now tied for first place. These categories make up between 25 percent and 45 percent of total failures. Screen failure now comes in last place, preceded by chassis and keyboard breakdowns.

Gartner didn't forecast complete despair for mobile mavens; instead, it gave them a reason to upgrade if their laptop does fail. Fewer than 1 in 7 laptops made in 2004 and 2005 failed in their first year.

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