Apple tops Laptop Mag's Tech Support Showdown for third straight year

The 2016 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar was a — to say the least — controversial upgrade, but if you want the best possible tech support for a laptop, buy a MacBook. For the third consecutive year, Apple has topped Laptop Mag'sTech Support Showdown report, nabbing honors for its strong combination of phone and web-based assistance. 

Part of Purch's tech brand portfolio, Laptop Mag's Tech Support Showdown has been a popular consumer guide for over 10 years. In a dramatic improvement over prior years, Acer is now the top-rated Windows PC vendor for support. Lenovo took third place, because of its speedy call-back service and wide variety of online support options.

To research each company included in the Tech Support Showdown, Laptop Mag reporters went undercover, making support calls and querying the support sites, live chat and social media responses from the top 10 notebook-makers. Each vendor received a grade on a 100-point scale, with 60 points weighted toward online support and 40 toward phone support.

"We've been evaluating tech support for laptop-makers for more than 10 years, and we've evolved the way we test to help our readers make sense of all of the options available to them," said Mark Spoonauer, Laptop Mag's editor-in-chief. "While some brands offered accurate information, it's surprising how clueless some tech support reps were about their own company's hardware and software."

Bringing up the rear are Asus, Samsung and MSI. Asus' live chat and website were “especially disappointing,” according to Laptop Mag. Samsung's support line kept mistaking a Notebook 7 spin for a Galaxy Note 7, and MSI's tech-support reps “were shockingly unfamiliar with their company's products,” according to the publication.