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The best Windows notebook PC is a Mac: study

business Updated: Apr 26, 2013 10:54 IST

The 13-inch MacBook Pro has come out on top in tests to find the most reliable, crash-resistant notebook for running Microsoft's Windows 7 or Windows 8.

The Soluto study drew on data from cloud-based PC monitoring and management software in order to find the top 10 portable Windows PCs. The company's results focus on the first three months of 2013 and, although it has access to data from literally millions of devices, chose to focus purely on notebooks that are widely available and capable of running both Windows 7 and Windows 8. Those computers were given a rating based on a number of criteria including boot-up time, number of crashes, how often and for how long the screen freezes and the number of background processes.

Against these benchmarks, the 13-inch MacBook Pro -- a non-native Windows device -- came out tops with a score of 1.05, while its bigger brother, the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display came sixth. The second best performing notebook was the Acer Aspire E1-571 (the Acer Aspire V3-771 came fifth) while third, fourth, seventh, eighth and ninth places were taken by Dell notebooks, the XPS 13 being the best of the five models to make the top 10. Tenth place went to the Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon while Samsung and HP failed to make the top ten at all.

All of which raises one big question --why? The simple answer is cleanliness. To run Windows on a Mac requires Apple's own boot camp software followed by a manual install of Windows. The result is a ‘clean' installation, without third-party add-ons and with very good drivers. The more ‘rubbish' on a computer the more likely it is to have problems. That's why the Acer performed so well -- it comes bundled with next to no software extras, while Dell follows a similar path and also ensures that its preinstalled drivers for linking the operating system with the computer's other components and peripherals are excellent. HP, Samsung and Lenovo, meanwhile, all have reputations for bundling too much needless software on their devices and that could well explain why Lenovo only just made the list and HP and Samsung failed completely to get into the top 10.