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Microsoft Corporation (MSFT), Apple Inc. (AAPL), Dell Inc. (DELL): The Best Windows Laptop You Can Buy

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.

Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)To that end, Soluto has put together a purchasing guide for those in the market for a Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) 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.

Rank Brand Model Starting Price Soluto Score
1 Apple Inc.  (NASDAQ:AAPL) MacBook Pro 13-inch, mid-2012 $1,199* 1.05
2 Acer Aspire E1-571 $429 1.12
3 Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) XPS13 $979 1.28
4 Dell Vostro 3560 $569 2.09
5 Acer Aspire V3-771 $699 2.44
6 Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch Retina $2,199* 2.51
7 Dell Inspiron 14z $549 2.54
8 Dell Latitude E5530 $519 2.90
9 Dell Vostro 3460 $539 2.95
10 Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon $1,169 3.20

Source: Soluto. Lower score means better performance.
*Windows license cost not included.

That’s right, archrival Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) 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 Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) 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 Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).

Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: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 Company (NYSE:HPQ) didn’t make the cut, even though Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) 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 Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) 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 Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s flagship platform. In comparison, OEMs such as Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: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 Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) prides itself on making the best computers, even if that means making the best Windows laptop.

The article In the Market for a PC? This Is the Best Windows Laptop You Can Buy Right Now originally appeared on

Fool contributor Evan Niu, CFA, owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and owns shares of Apple and Microsoft.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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