Are Macs Better Than PCs at Being PCs?

In a twist reminiscent of an M. Night Shyamalan ending, the highest-rated Windows PC was none other than one of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) Macs. Another Mac even came in at sixth place on the list.

The tech firm Soluto performed an analysis of 150,000 laptops running Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows operating system, keeping track of “application crashes, application hangs, blue-screens-of-death, boot time, and number of background processes” — and the Mac won!

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According to Soluto’s report, “if you’re looking for top reliability — the data is clear. MacBook Pro is the best Windows PC on the market.” Specifically, the MacBook Pro 13-inch from mid-2012. That is followed by an Acer laptop in second place and a Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) laptop in third.

There are some problems with the way Soluto reached its results, as it wasn’t exactly a fair match-up in terms of the way the operating systems were installed.

For all of the standard Windows PCs, the computers came with all of the bloatware that was installed by original equipment manufacturers. Bloatware is the extra software that comes pre-installed on computers on top of the base operating system — things such as notepad and clock widgets, and other arguably undesirable applications that put more stress on the computer and make it more likely to run into the snags and crashes Soluto used to rate the computers.

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Meanwhile, the MacBook Pros received what is called a “clean” install of Windows, meaning none of the bloatware was installed. Considering that difference, Soluto may have been hasty in making its judgment. The firm does intend to repeat the analysis with clean installs on the non-Apple laptops as well, putting them on a more equal footing. But it does argue that the current results are a more realistic analysis, as the bloatware is what actually comes with the PCs when consumers buy them — although it may not be very realistic to look at a MacBook running Windows, as it’s not really common.

There are some complications that make putting Windows on a MacBook arguably inconvenient, but that may actually make the analysis more fair. Though the MacBook may have taken first place, the results could be considered an even bigger win for Acer, as the company’s Aspire E1-571 took second place while being the cheapest laptop in the top 10. Its price is nearly a third of the MacBook Pro that took the first place.

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