A clean install is the key.
Buying a computer is a big purchase, so it stands to reason that most of us spend quite a bit of time thinking about the best solution in the world. Still, even if you did spend quite a bit of time thinking about which is the best Windows laptop, it's unlikely you would have come up with the MacBook Pro as your answer.
According to CNet, the MacBook Pro came out ahead of offerings from Dell, Acer, and Lenovo in a recent study by Soluto. Soluto was looking for the best performing Windows laptop and performed "frustration analytics" on popular makes of PCs to find the answer. The computers were then scored based on a combination of crashes, hangs, BSoDs, and boot and background processes.
Apple's 13-inch 2012 MacBook Pro scored 1.05, with the PC in second, Acer's E1-571, scoring 1.12. Dell's XPS13 came in third with a score of 1.28. CNet quotes Soluto as saying a "main factor" in the MacBook Pro's metrics is the fact that "every Windows installation on it is clean." Because other PC manufacturers have a tendency to bundle new computers with a lot of pre-installed software, the installs aren't as clean, which means the competition is a bit unfair. Soluto reasons that this should be something of a wake up call to other manufacturers.
"With PC manufacturers loading so much crapware on new laptops, this is a bit of an unfair competition," Soluto said. "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."
What's interesting is that while the mid-2012 13-inch MacBook Pro placed first, the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display placed sixth, with a score of 2.51. That's still four places ahead of Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Carbon, but quite a ways away from the 13-inch MacBook Pro's prestigious spot of first place.