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By Consumer Reports
November 7, 2016
Eternity in an Instant—Getty Images

Q. I want to buy my husband a laptop that comes with great tech support because he always has a million questions. Who has the best?

A. Like any computers, laptops don’t always perform perfectly. If you’re not a tech guru, good support can be invaluable.

In this year’s CR survey on the topic, we asked almost 10,000 subscribers about experiences with computer manufacturers’ phone staff support, websites, email, or online live chat support, and whether manufacturers actually solved the problem at hand.

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“Apple got top marks, providing significantly better service than all other computer manufacturers,” says Adam Troy, Ph.D., the CR senior research associate who headed up the survey. In manufacturer tech support, Apple scored an 82 out of 100, as well as a 5 out of 5 for phone support and a 4 out of 5 for online support. And readers reported that their problems were solved 79 percent of the time. The next two most highly rated companies, Microsoft and Dell, scored a 68 and 56, respectively. Though Lenovo ranks in the top three in many of our computer ratings, in support it was fourth, with a 54.

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For in-store tech support, the Apple Store’s Genius Bar was also tops but was matched by independent local computer retailers. Both got an 81 in our reader survey. (Always check to see whether fees apply.)

For more details, see the tech support survey results in our computer ratings.

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Consumer Reports has no relationship with any advertisers on this website. This article originally appeared on Consumer Reports.

Advertiser Disclosure

The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

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