Trying to decide which is the "best" laptop to buy is virtually impossible given that each manufacturer tells you they're the best, they all have bloggers and sponsored media to do the same, and sifting through hundreds, if not thousands, of reviews can be tiresome (although, user reviews are quite revealing).
But what if you could look at what the market actually thinks about which laptop is best - in other words, which laptop is actually selling more than the others? To do that, you'd need to track the sales of each laptop over the course of a week or so (longer depending on how much data you need to be sure).
Well, that's what we did.
And, we're here to tell you that sourcing a new laptop, no longer needs to be an epic ordeal. Forget hours and hours reading technical reviews, user rants, paid and sponsored sales pitches, and all the rest. We can show you which machines are selling the most. Simple.
Laptops ranked by Amazon sales
In order to work out how much each laptop was selling, we utilized online sales rank tracking service, RankTracer Enterprise. This allowed us to track the sales rank of each item, updating on the hour every hour, and build up a week's worth of comparative sales data that we'll share with you here.
You can alternatively use their freely available Amazon best sellers tool that shows the best deals on the best selling products across all keywords and categories.
To keep things manageable, we decided to limit our data set to 7 of the best-selling laptops on Amazon (although, you can always track hundreds or thousands of them on RankTracer Enterprise if you want to do a more complete analysis).
Click on any laptop in the list below to see it's individual sales performance, including review data:
Here's the sales graph showing the sales ranks of each of the laptops over the week. Note that a lower sales rank is better and corresponds to a higher sales estimate (i.e. a sales rank of 1 is the best):
It's also important to note that we selected a range of laptops from a range of manufacturers over a range of prices to give our coverage of the laptop niche some variation and a better sense of what's out there.
1. ASUS F555LA AB31 15 6 inch Full HD Laptop Core i3
The ASUS is undoubtedly worthy of the title of best-seller. Over the course of the week that we tracked its sales performance, it hit the top 10 on several occasions (that's in 'computers' overall category - not just laptops) with an average sales rank of 14 and only sinking to it's worst rank of 20 (still not bad) once.
According to the review data on RankTracer there are over 1000 reviews at an average of four out of five stars with 75% of the reviews coming in at four or higher. Although, 14% of reviewers gave it one star, which may something worth checking out before you buy.
2. Acer Chromebook 11 6 inch HD CB3 131 C3SZ Intel
The Acer Chromebook came in second place over the course of the week with handy sales rankings averaging 33, but spiking into the top 20 on one occasion. Sadly, it was let down by weaker sales towards the end of the period, finishing up nearer to 50.
The Acer has had significantly fewer reviews than the ASUS, although they are also significantly better on average, with more than 84% coming in at four or higher. 9% of reviewers gave it a one out of five stars.
3. Dell Inspiron i7559 763BLK 15 6 Full HD Gaming
The Dell placed third with a strong sales showing that got as low as 51 on the rankings list with an overall average of 81. What's interesting about the sales here is that they seemed to strengthen over the weekend - which would make sense considering this is a laptop for gamers, not business.
Review data shows that just over half of buyers gave it five out of five stars, which about 80% of all votes coming in at four stars or higher. Fantastic, considering that hardcore gamers are probably tougher with their reviews than your typical home office user who reads their email from time to time.
4. Apple MacBook Air MJVE2LL A 13 inch Laptop
Apple snuck under the 100 ranking bar with an overall average sales rank of 98 for the week. There was a curious spike in sales around the 24th, so no doubt they got some welcome coverage somewhere - RankTracer provides tools to find out what may have caused sales, so we'll follow up with that in due course.
Reviews for the Apple are exceptionally high, with more than 84% of people giving it five out of five stars. At just over 320 reviews, it's not the biggest data set, but then again with a higher price tag than other machines, that's not surprising either.
5. HP Stream 13 3 Inch Laptop Intel Celeron 2 GB RAM
HP's Stream held steady around the 120 sales rank mark for much of the week, but dropped off towards the end in search of 200, notching up an overall sales rank value of 134. It's best ranking was early in the week, 108.
However, this little laptop has notched up in excess of 5000 reviews, with more than half giving it five out of five stars. Nearly 30% of people gave it 3 stars or less, but I suspect that those have something to do with the pre-installed software, and not the quality of the computer hardware.
6. Toshiba CB35 B3340 13 3 Inch Chromebook Intel
Toshiba's offering started off with a healthy ranking of circa 140, but fell off in the beginning of the week and never really recovered the lost ground - finishing up with an average sales rank of 218 and a worst ranking of 319. It's best ranking was 132 - a bit off the pace from the rest of the pack.
With a shade under 1500 reviews, buyers seems to be extremely happy - with over 60% awarding it five out of five stars. About 22% gave it three stars or less.
7. Samsung Chromebook 2 11 6 Inch Laptop Intel
Samsung's Chromebook managed to work it's way to a pretty strong sales rank of 145 and sustain it for about a day, before dropping off into quite volatile sales patterns ranging between 210 and 300. Overall it averaged 231 for the week, which is weak in present company - but still pretty strong within the overall laptop market.
What it lacks in sales the Chromebook apparently makes up in love from its reviewers, notching up five out of five stars for no less than 65% of all reviewers (out of around 750 total). More than 80% gave it four stars or higher, with less than 10% giving it one star.
So that's how these laptops stacked up against each other in terms of cold hard sales. Which other laptops would you like to see included in this comparison? It's easy for us to track additional laptops so there's definitely scope for us to include new ones in an update.
Do you use any of these laptops for business? I'd be interested to hear which ones have proven themselves to be winners for home business or small business startups. Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.