Even though the broader PC market is in an accelerating decline, with unit shipments falling 14% last quarter, there's still plenty of consumers out there looking to purchase a PC.
To that end, Soluto has put together a purchasing guide for those in the market for a Microsoft Windows laptop. Soluto offers PC monitoring and management software services, which is geared toward IT professionals. The company has access to a massive database of analytics regarding real-world PC performance.
In measuring performance, Soluto aggregates data regarding occurrences like application crashes, the infamous blue screens of death, boot times, and background processes, among others. The goal is to represent real-world performance over the long term, whereas most review sites experience a product for only a limited period of time and rely on benchmarking software that doesn't realistically capture everyday conditions.
Soluto has put together a Top 10 list of the best-performing Windows laptops, and the winner is ... a Mac.
MacBook Pro 13-inch, mid-2012
MacBook Pro 15-inch Retina
Thinkpad X1 Carbon
Source: Soluto. Lower score means better performance.
*Windows license cost not included.
That's right, archrival Apple builds the laptop that earned the best performance scores under Soluto's methodology. Specifically, the most recent 13-inch MacBook Pro ranked No. 1. That performance comes at a price, though, as the MacBook costs nearly three times the No. 2 contender, Acer's Aspire E1-571, and that's before including the cost of a Windows license that's sold separately.
MacBook Pro family. Source: Apple.
Dell fared well on average, too, grabbing half of the top 10 spots with various models priced between around $500 and $1,000. Notably, Hewlett-Packard didn't make the cut, even though HP is the top PC vendor in the world by volume. HP CEO Meg Whitman has been trying to focus the company's turnaround efforts in part on higher quality product design, and the rankings suggest that HP may be falling short of this goal.
To be clear, Apple has some inherent advantages. Specifically, Windows installations on a Mac via Boot Camp (which takes some extra effort) are "clean," in that they're stock versions of Microsoft's flagship platform. In comparison, OEMs such as Dell and Acer tend to load up their versions of Windows with unnecessary software additions. This bloatware creates a drag on performance, and Soluto believes Windows OEMs should take this as a lesson against the widespread habit.
Apple prides itself on making the best computers, even if that means making the best Windows laptop.
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The article In the Market for a PC? This Is the Best Windows Laptop You Can Buy Right Now originally appeared on Fool.com.
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