eWeek reports that Asus and Toshiba are the most reliable laptop makers, and netbooks have a 20-percent higher failure rate than laptops, according to a Nov. 17 study from SquareTrade, an electronics warranty provider that analyzed the failure rates of more than 30,000 new laptops covered by its warranty plan. Asus and Toshiba notebooks had three-year failure rates below 16 percent. Sony placed third, with a 16.8 percent three-year failure rate, followed by Apple (17.4 percent), Dell (18.3 percent), and Lenovo (21.5). Acer and Gateway came in just under 24 percent, and Hewlett-Packard, which is the world’s largest producer of PCs, came in last, with a 25.6 percent failure rate over three years. Technical malfunctions, somewhat surprisingly, account for more failures than owner accidents, according to the study. During two years, laptops have an overall 19.7-percent failure rate, with 12.7 percent attributable to malfunctions and 7 percent blamed on accidents. After three years, overall failure rates jump to 31 percent, with malfunctions at 20.4 percent, still leading accidents, at 10.6 percent…

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