The Best Tech Brands for 2023
If you’ve ever encountered a pop-up that asks you how likely you are to recommend a company or the products it sells, the survey is likely looking for you to contribute to its Net Promoter Score, or NPS. Business strategist and author Fred Reichheld created the NPS system over 20 years ago as an indicator of customer loyalty (details on how it’s calculated are at the end of this story). NPS is used by most Fortune 500 companies, as well as many smaller firms, as an indicator of a company’s current status and what lies ahead, and even as a way to motivate employees.
Different industries can have wildly different Net Promoter Scores. We see that not only in various tech categories but even when it comes to business versus personal use. Products and services thrust upon people by an IT department tend not to score as well. Case in point: Not a single manufacturer from our Business Choice coverage this year makes it onto this list.
Check the bottom of the story for a list of all the vendors in every 2022 survey category to see how your favorite brands compare. We only bestow the Best Brand designation to those earning the highest NPS among its competitors. And to be included a brand needs to receive a score of 50 or better. Read on to find out which tech brands our readers hold in the highest regard.
Our top vendor in any category in 2023 is a Japanese firm that’s been around for almost 90 years, making everything from air conditioners to quantum computers. Fujitsu’s Net Promoter Score of 86 is earned from our first-ever reader survey on scanners. (Fujitsu specializes in sheet-fed document scanners.) The next-highest NPS for scanners is 62 for Epson. Interesting note: Perhaps if we had run our electric car survey in 2022, Tesla would be on top again, as it was last year (with an NPS of 92, the highest we’ve ever seen in our surveys).
For 2022, Sony ranked eighth on our list thanks to the NPS score of 74 that it earned for TVs. That number drops to 68 this year, which might have kept the company out of our Best Brands list—but then we reinstated our survey of audio devices. This is a boon for Sony, which is the most celebrated brand across various categories: all headphones (78 NPS), wireless-only (81), and specifically, noise-cancelling, with survey respondents giving it a stellar NPS of 84. Sony still makes excellent TVs, too.
The Net Promoter Scores for Malwarebytes are much higher than they were last time, when it earned 70 for Reader’s Choice and 77 for Business Choice, landing in fifth. For 2023, it shoots up to an NPS of 83 for security suites, to secure third place on our list. (It also receives a respectable NPS of 65 for its antivirus protection for home PCs.) This makes Malwarebytes the most-recommended security software vendor, ahead of Bitdefender, though the latter still makes the list (see below).
Last year,Apple‘s top NPS was 73 in desktops, which earned it ninth place in Best Brands. This time, Apple not only beats that desktop NPS with a score of 81, shooting up to fourth place, but the company also increases its laptop NPS from 72 to 79. (Last year, Apple won those same categories in business, but we didn’t run those surveys in 2022.) Apple also earns adequate NPS scores for smartphones, keyboards, and noise-cancelling and wireless headphones, though none of those recommendation numbers are at the top of their categories. One area in which Apple earns a tepid NPS is tablets, with the iPad score dropping from 69 to 62, but that still makes it the most recommended tablet manufacturer.
MSI won our Readers’ Choice award for laptops for the second year in a row in 2022, but it didn’t earn a high-enough NPS (67) in 2021 to make the 2022 Best Brands list. That changes this time, as the company leaps up to 81. That score bests Apple’s NPS both last year and this year in laptops; the only reason MSI is behind Apple is that Cupertino’s desktops earn so much praise. If MSI can keep its momentum going into 2023, it will accomplish a Herculean feat.
6. Mint Mobile
The category of mobile carriers is surprising to see at all in a Best Brands story—people have strong feelings about them. Those negative opinions are mostly reserved for the big three: AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless. Smaller carriers earn a lot more appreciation. For a long time, Consumer Cellular or Google Fi appeared on this list, but our most recent survey sees the upstart Mint Mobile claim not only the Readers’ Choice award, but now, the Best Brand award as well. That’s thanks to its NPS of 78, which outperforms even Consumer Cellular’s 77 from last year (that company drops to 73 this year).
Synology is a perennial favorite with PCMag readers. It has earned the Best Brand title in the Home Network Attached Storage (NAS) category every year we’ve done the story. This year, it wins despite an NPS of 77, which is lower than last year’s score of 84, when it was second on this list. Maybe that doesn’t matter when the brands a company is up against can’t muster an NPS above 50, but it’s not a trend anyone wants to see.
Our survey respondents have a lot more appreciation for their whole-home mesh Wi-Fi systems than they do for stand-alone routers. Last year, TP-Link stormed onto this list with an NPS of 75 for its mesh routers; this year, the title goes to Amazon’s Eero brand, which ups the ante with an NPS of 77, up from 70. (Meanwhile TP-Link drops to 68.)
Other brands in this story offer noise-canceling headphones, including Sony and Apple. But Sony’s position in this category is always under threat from the company that pretty much defines active noise cancellation in commercial headphones: Bose. It has many QuietComfort-branded over-the-ear and earbud options, about which customers are apparently raving. The company earns an NPS of 76 for noise cancellation, 73 for wireless headphones, and 71 across all types of headphones.
Bitdefenderearns an NPS of 76, which ties it with Webroot (below). This is slightly lower than its NPS of 79 last year, when it placed third on the best-brands list. But it’s still a strong showing, considering that Bitdefender scored 70 two years ago. Bitdefender also manages to earn the high NPS when it comes to protecting Andorid-based devices, with 73.
It’s worth noting that both are actually an NPS point behind a company we no longer recommend, Kaspersky Lab, which earns an NPS of 77.
10. Webroot (tie)
Webroot manages a nice increase from an NPS of 72 last year to 76 this year,specifically for security suites. It’s not the best score ever for the company—a couple of years ago, it earned an NPS of 87 for security suite use at home. But it’s more than enough to give Webroot a spot on this year’s list, tied with BitDefender (above).
When it comes to home-security-system ratings in our survey this year, only two companies make the cut. Those same companies also tie, with high scores. First is Amazon’s Ring; its increase to an NPS of 75 in this category is remarkable, as it earned just 62 last year. This shows that despite some privacy hiccups, customers are pretty happy with and willing to tell people about Ring security. The other is SimpliSafe (below).
13. SimpliSafe (tie)
This is SimpliSafe‘s fifth appearance as a Best Brand; its tie NPS of 75 is an increase from last year’s 70 (which still earned it a Best Brand slot) but is lower than the all-time-high 79 it won two years ago. This year, it ties with Ring (above).
Graphics cards is another new category in our surveys this year, and it yields a new Best Brand winner. EVGA is our inaugural Readers’ Choice winner in the group and now reigns as our first Best Brand in that category as well, with an NPS of 73. The only other card maker that comes close is Nvidia, with an NPS of 67.
For our fifteenth Best Brand on this year’s list, we dip into the Net Promoter Scores hovering at 73, of which we have quite a few from the past year’s surveys. That includes the aforementioned EVGA as well as Bose and Bit Defender; even previous winners, including Ooma (for VoIP services) and Consumer Cellular hit that mark. But we’re giving this final slot to Samsung for its stellar monitor offerings. The company wins our Readers’ Choice award despite a healthy field of contenders and scores even better with anNPS of 73 against the same players (LG’s 68 score puts it in second place).
The Samsung brand is also prominent in phones and tablets, of course, and it manages a score higher than 50 in both categories—even tying with Apple for phones at an NPS of 62. For tablets, though, it earned just 57.