Maker breakdown: Toshiba

This will probably end up a series on each PC maker, giving an overview of why one should or should not buy their products.  I wanted to address Toshiba first, because they are the most controversial of my recommendations-or-lack-thereof in the previous post.

First, I have to eat a little crow: Toshiba's reliability numbers have gotten a lot better since I was a Toshiba warranty technician.  As in, second place in the world in consumer reliability surveys.  HP has fallen all the way to last place, which doesn't surprise me.  So your Toshiba laptop is less likely to fail than almost any other out there, even an Apple.

If it does fail, though, I have some bad news for you.  Toshiba's warranty is one of the worst in the business, and they will generally require you to ship the device back for service.  They have no service time requirement built in, and no on-site service options like some Dells or Lenovos.

That said, ASUS is apparently considering purchasing Toshiba.  It was remiss of me not to mention ASUS previously, but I didn't want to throw out too many options.  They make excellent products, and are particularly known for their netbooks and nettops, as well as their internal components for build-your-own machines.  They have an excellent reputation.

All-in-all, Toshiba should be upgraded from "don't buy", as I said previously, to "buy only if you particularly like their designs, or a given machine is an excellent deal".  If they do merge with ASUS, that should go up to "buy".  That's been in the works for a couple of years now, though, and may be a no-go.