Apple Wins Two PC Magazine Reader's Choice Awards

PC Magazine on Wednesday announced the results of its 18th annual Reader Satisfaction Survey, which saw Apple scoring Readeris Choice Awards in the desktop and notebook categories.

The venerable magazine surveyed nearly 14,000 of its subscribers, who rated more than 26,000 PCs as well as over 19,000 printers. Readers were asked to respond in six different areas: overall satisfaction, product reliability, quality and frequency of repairs, initial setup experience, hardware and software reliability and technical support, including the tech support professionalis ability to communicate and understand the problem.

PC Magazine notes: "Once again, Apple achieves scores that are far and away the highest for all vendors in our survey." The companyis overall desktop score was 9.2 while its closest competitor was gaming rig manufacturer Alienware at 8.8. Apple earned the same score in the notebook category, where its closest competition was IBM and Fujitsu, each of which came in at 8.4.

While the magazine expresses concern that the high scores for Apple "canit be completely trusted" because "Apple users are so passionate -- almost fanatic -- about the company and its products," it noted: "Still, thereis solid evidence that Apple computers may actually be worthy of devotion. Thereis little doubt, for instance, that the company builds unusually reliable products."

For example, when it comes to repairs, 11% of Mac owners said that their desktop Macs had required repairs in the past year, compared to 16% of Sony users, who came in second. On the notebook side, Apple came in second to Averatec, with the former at 17% and the latter at 14%. No other laptop manufacturer was under 20%, PC Magazine noted.

However, Appleis recent trouble with first-generation G5 iMacs showed up in the survey, with 18% of readers who own one of those computers noting that theyive had to get their machine repaired within the past year, while 9% of Power Mac users said the same thing.

The magazine also called Appleis support terms "the stingiest of any of the vendors in our survey ... Still, while we appreciate generous support and repair policies, itis even better to offer top quality products and services, as Apple has done."