Is the best Windows laptop a MacBook Pro 13?

With hundreds of Microsoft partners making laptops running on Windows 7 or Windows 8, there's lots of competition of the "best Windows notebook" throne. But what is the most reliable Windows laptop in terms of the least amount of crashes, hangs or "Blue Screens of Death?" A new study claims it's made by none other than Apple.

Soluto, an Israel-based software company that released a PC app that helps with PC performance problems, announced the results of a study today based on data collected from that app from over 150,000 PCs. The information was gathering in the first quarter of 2013 with scores that are based on "crashes, hangs, BSoDs, boot and background processes."

Soluto claims that its data shows Apple's 2012 MacBook Pro 13 is the best Windows laptop of the aforementioned criteria. While the study says there is extra work to be done to get Windows running on the laptop (you have to install Boot Camp as well as Windows) the report adds:

A main factor in this machine’s metrics is the fact that every Windows installation on it is clean. With PC manufacturers loading so much crapware on new laptops, this is a bit of an unfair competition. But on the other hand, PC makers should look at this data and aspire to ship PCs that perform just as well as a cleanly installed MacBook Pro.

The Acer Aspire E1-571 is second on the list, followed by the Dell XPS 13 in third. Indeed, Dell laptops take up five of the top 10 slots. HP, Asus, Samsung and Toshiba laptops don't appear at all in the top 10 and Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Carbon just barely got onto the list in the No. 10 slot. ZDNet reports that Microsoft's Surface Pro was not included in the report, nor was any touchscreen-based Windows 8 laptops, but future versions of the report will include those models.

While it's unlikely that any business who will buy new Windows laptops will get a MacBook Pro, it does show that many PC makers should consider doing away with the typical software installs on their new PCs in favor of a clean install of Windows 7 or 8.

Source: Soluto via ZDNet| Image via Soluto

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I'm sorry, but I'm calling bull$hit on this list. A Thinkpad W530, Elitebook 8570w, or Precision M4700 will beat the MBP 13" in any reliability and stability metric.

The fact that that there are Inspirons and Vostros on this list, but no Thinkpads, EliteBook-Ws, or Precisions shows that Soluto doesn't know their head from the arse.

Hahahah you are all morons! Look at the price difference between 1 and 2. Honestly, just come out Neowin members and admit that you have been sucked into the zealotry.

I have a 15 inch MacBook Pro running Windows 8 Pro. It is brilliant. Only gripe is the battery life because it always uses Nvidia (and Apple didn't supply drivers for graphics switching :-/ )

What the heck are people doing with their laptops? Hangs, lock up's, BSOD's?
I've had my current lappy, Dell XPS, for 2 years. Never had a BSOD, and the hangs & lockups
could probably be counted on one hand, with a finger or two left over.
It's used daily, 4-5 times a day. web, email, photoshop, remote desktop, VPN, 2-3 virtual OS's running in the background at times, and it hasn't had any problems (and the last 4 dells haven't either). Might it be due to people having: 2-3 antivirus programs, 1,304 brower bars, crapware and the like running all the time?
I could buy 2-3 good quality laptops for one Mac. Granted, the MBP is an outstanding computer, but, personally, it isn't worth the premium price.

No, no it isn't.
It depends on what makes it "the best", and I know a few reasons why it isn't (for me and many I know)

I run Windows 8 on a Retina MacBook Pro (2.3GHz, 16Go) for gaming. It runs flawlessly.

It can run most of the games I play @45-60FPS (1920x1200, Max Details + 8X AF + No AA), including Sim City, Diablo 3 and StarCraft: HOTS

I don't know if it's the best “Windows 8” laptop, but considering how thin and light the rMBP 15” is, it's a terrific portable gaming machine


Something I like too, VMWare allows me to run Windows 8 (my boot camp partition) within OS X. It's fast enough to run older or less graphic-intensive games without having to reboot and run Windows natively.

I used to run windows 7 in a Macbook Pro and the experience is so-so:
-bootcamp drivers are not actual, neither foolproof. In fact, they are older drivers and some even are filled with bugs.
-The distribution of the keyboard is a bit different. It is not a big issue for the first time but it is a PITA for a long run.
-Is expensive.

Remember that these findings will be skewed by:

* It only considers users of the Soluto software (which aren't going to be businesses or enthusiasts)

* Apple laptops will be pushed up higher on the list both by the fact that Windows will always be a clean install (as already mentioned) and by the fact that there are just a few models, ie. how many different models does Dell sell compared to Apple? = potentially more users of each particular model (they also do particularly well in retail sales)

(and guess the fact that Apple doesn't update their Windows drivers very often means they should have been better tested)

I have the Carbon X1, but the boot time is 15 seconds, not 103 seconds as stated on that website...
Also, the Carbon X1 is sold with a 256GB SSD too and they state the max is 180GB. This informatoin doesn't seem right.

I personally would say a Thinkpad X200s 1.8Ghz 4Gb RAM running Win7Pro on a 128 Cruical M4 is pretty decent espesically since you can get that all for £250.....

Any fresh install of Windows has a pretty darn good user experience. Thats why its pretty good on a Mac, people install it fresh without any bloat.

I have Windows 7 Bootcamped on my 2012 MBP but have only booted into it 2 times total. Just haven't had a use for it since I still have a Dell laptop and Windows desktop, although I do agree it ran just fine and I like the feel of it better than my Dell.

That inspiron 14z can eat **** and die. There is no reason why a person should have to remove the palm rest assembly and they keyboard just to remove the hard drive.

First, I have NEVER, EVER run an OEM supplied version of Windows. I have always used clean installs of Windows even if the PC I purchased came with their fresh install of Windows. Wipe clean. install Windows, Be happy.

And the best Mac laptop is ANY PC based (read inexpensive) Core i5 or i7 laptop running as a dual/triple booting Hackintosh.

So is this saying people with mac laptops that run windows never have crashes because the most exotic thing they use it for is office or browsing the web...?
Pretty sure hardware causing BSOD's is pretty low even on cheap laptop hardware these days.

I could certainly believe this. I predominantly run Windows on my MacBook Air and its a very pleasant experience.

You can't beat the feeling of starting your new Windows installation for the first time and not being hassled by Norton internet security/Online backup

I'm pretty amazed by the rating of the X1 Carbon. Granted I have an original X1 in the office here that the user is in love with (he won't let me give him a better, imo, laptop to replace it). I'd love to know the cause of that rating.

MrHumpty said,
I'm pretty amazed by the rating of the X1 Carbon. Granted I have an original X1 in the office here that the user is in love with (he won't let me give him a better, imo, laptop to replace it). I'd love to know the cause of that rating.

The Thinkpad X1 Carbon has more background processes running than any other computer on the top-ten list.

This may be a side effect of its usage in a corporate environment. However, this surely isn't helped by the fact that IBM/Lenovo has a history of replacing built-in Windows functionality with OEM craplets.

This is justification for surface. OEMs take note,this is embarassing. Everytime a family member buys an HP laptop,i always see over 10 Hp processes and services running in the background, including their crappy HP applications that do nothing but pile a bunch of garbage on top of the OS.Add in all the anti virus trials and other garbage. Its ridiculous.

MrHumpty said,
You did look at the chart right, Acer is right next to the Apple at nearly a third of the price.

im not saying the macbook is a better computer to price. i ****in hate macs. im saying oems add all this junk to computers and make the experience crappy. you have ****ty custom apps that take over your computer,and cause plenty of problems. of course i would take the acer over the mac any day of the week,and install a clean install of windows, but what OEMs are doing is giving customers a ****ty experience.

lol, so according to the stats, DELL are relatively the 2nd best OEM laptop and 2nd worst laptop. Right, makes sense.... / confused. It can't be down to the hardware, because windows has some good drivers, unless DELL makes the 2nd best and worst sets of drivers for all their laptops, which is unlikely.....so How are these stats legit again?

- Kaboose - said,
lol, so according to the stats, DELL are relatively the 2nd best OEM laptop and 2nd worst laptop. Right, makes sense.... / confused. It can't be down to the hardware, because windows has some good drivers, unless DELL makes the 2nd best and worst sets of drivers for all their laptops, which is unlikely.....so How are these stats legit again?

it has nothing to do with hardware. its operation based data. I guess since people installing windows on macbooks are doing a clean installed compared to OEM laptops that have all this crapware that takes over the system and degrades performance means the macbook runs the OS with less problems. If you clean install windows on these OEM laptops,the data should show almost the exact same performances with any device. Of course,you can buy many laptops that wipe the floor with the macbook in performance,price and looks,but this isnt what its about. And the title is misleading.

- Kaboose - said,
lol, so according to the stats, DELL are relatively the 2nd best OEM laptop and 2nd worst laptop.

That's not what the stats say. Dell has the 9th best laptop -- not the 2nd worst laptop.

Soluto analyzed the 49 most popular laptop models. This list is just of the top 10. We do not know who came in 48th. We also do not know how the 50th, 51st, etc. most popular laptops performed.

Edited by TomJones, Apr 24 2013, 5:17pm :

It used to be, but not anymore. I have a 15" MBP running W8.

The Boot Camp drivers (as a whole) are rather poor as is the battery management. Much better options out there: Lenovo, Asus, Acer.

UXGaurav said,
At that price, the MacBook Pro 13 inch should have discrete graphics, not ****ty Intel.

But that's Apple's secret! They use outdated hardware so that it's proven and doesn't cause heat problems with their cases designed for style over substance. They charge a premium for it because it's pretty and claim it's reliable because hundreds of millions of PC users have already tested it for years.

Nice con, huh?

ccoltmanm said,
Funny hoe a laptop a third of the price as Apple is virtually tied.

The Acer Aspire E1-571 also outperforms the Apple macbook Pro 15" Retina -- a machine that costs 5x as much.

It's not so much what Acer did that was special -- but rather, what they did not do. They did preload a lot of crapware -- but crucially, not ones that integrate too deeply into Windows.

You don't get OEM gadgets for Wi-Fi, or battery, or screen brightness, or anything else that interferes with built-in Windows functionality. They're just regular applications.

Apart from that, they got lucky with the bundled device drivers.

We run a special promo for i5 model - swap HDD for a 120GB SSD (same price, for marketing reasons). Cheap like fsck, but flies like a rocket. It also looks like a shiny turd and takes fingerprints all too fast, but not many people care of that, because, well, it flies like a rocket.

ccoltmanm said,
Funny hoe a laptop a third of the price as Apple is virtually tied.

Performance isn't everything. I wouldn't use a plastic low end laptop in my business environment...or even personally, Acer as a brand isn't regarded as high end quality from a design stand point, its cheap for a reason...Brand ranking is reflective of this as Acer always ranks low especially in comparison to Apple hardware which typically ranks near the top and usually first

ccoltmanm said,
Funny hoe a laptop a third of the price as Apple is virtually tied.

Well, I have a feeling that computer is using plastics.

dtboos said,
the 15" MBPr scored lower than something 5x cheaper. Eat a sock.

Except that this is a reliability test, not a performance test. rMBP flyes in Windows and Os x. I play Crysis 3 with mostly everything on very high and 1080p with an averade 25 fps.

Also, it is no secert Apple doesn't play around when it comes to PC hardware.. never have.. Their phone is the joke.

Nothing to do with hardware. Macbook Pro's are no better than other laptops for the same price.

The obvious reason why Windows works well on Macbook Pro's is because it's a clean install. Theres no other pre-installed crap/bloatware. Even the company who gathered these results points that out.

W32.Backdoor.KillAV.E said,
Nothing to do with hardware. Macbook Pro's are no better than other laptops for the same price.

The obvious reason why Windows works well on Macbook Pro's is because it's a clean install. Theres no other pre-installed crap/bloatware. Even the company who gathered these results points that out.


This is by the way also why many like OS X so much. It's not about OS X per se, but about all bloatware and all ad-supported software being gone.

I can agree.. I have Windows Blue on my Macbook Pro and it works amazing.. Before that I had Windows 7.. I use it for gaming lol

I'm not sure what year your MBP is, but my 2011 MBP's bootcamp drivers tend to be a release or two behind what they otherwise should be because Apple unsurprisingly treats Windows as an afterthought. I stopped using Windows on my MBP for that reason, as well as the nuisance of mentally switching key meaning (I don't like remapping keys because then no one else can use my keyboard).

I'm actually surprised that an Acer--of all brands--is in second. I expected to see an Asus or Lenovo laptop there.