The most reliable Windows laptop is a Mac, says Soluto

Soluto's PC troubleshooting Web service has saved many a forehead from banging against a desk. By scanning computers for installed software and crowdsourcing problems, Soluto's consumer service helps with everything from boot times and app crashes to remote configuration. Soluto used the wealth of data it collected in this way to compile a list of the ten most reliable Windows laptops currently on the market, dominated by a surprising star…and it's not a PC.

It's Apple's 13-inch MacBook Pro.

Soluto's collected data about crashes, hangs, and BSoDs crowns the mid-2012 MacBook Pro 13" as the most reliable Windows PC.

The list published today is based on information collected from 150,000 laptops since January 1, 2013. Analysis took into account application crashes, hangs, and blue screens. Soluto believes the MacBook Pro 13" may have gained its spot at the top of the list because of its clean Windows installations: When users install Windows on a MacBook, it comes as Microsoft intended, completely free of any OEM extras.

Second on the list is the affordable Acer Aspire E1-571, which costs a third as much as the MacBook Pro 13" yet was nearly as stable and trouble-free. The Acer comes out slightly ahead of the much fancier Dell XPS 13, which comes with an SSD and costs more than twice as much. Soluto notes that a full 32% of Soluto users removed the version of Windows that shipped with their Dell XPS, opting to start out with a clean Windows installation instead.

Soluto checks some disk condition issues as well as software conflicts.

Soluto's "big-data frustration analytics" are based on objective metrics such as the number of crashes per week and the number of processes running in the background. The company used a formula to interpret the numbers and arrive at a single, simple grade for each computer tested. The list, which is published in the April 2013 edition of "Soluto's PC purchasing guide for small businesses," contains the raw scores for each computer as well, making further analysis (and alternative interpretations) easy.

SMBs, you can simmer down now

Along with the rankings, Soluto also made a product announcement today. The new Soluto for Business service, which is aimed at small businesses and IT service providers, builds on the popular consumer software. For $8 a month, Soluto for Business supports up to ten PCs, letting IT experts (formal or otherwise) remotely troubleshoot them. Soluto has created a video illustrating the process. Future editions of the purchasing guide will be available to subscribers only.

Going up against established competitors in the remote control arena like GoToMyPC and TeamViewer, Soluto drastically undercuts prices while offering additional services. Soluto will keep offering a free version of the service that supports up to three computers, aimed at home users or small businesses who want to evaluate it.

Soluto states that the interface for the new Soluto for Business service is very similar to that of the popular consumer service.

Soluto's agent runs in the background as the computer operates, collecting data about application crashes, blue screens, hangs, and other annoyances often encountered in daily work. Administrators can then view this information in an online dashboard, taking action remotely to eliminate sources of frustration.

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