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Consumer Reports: Apple’s MacBooks are the most reliable laptops

Published Dec 3rd, 2015 7:45AM EST
Consumer Reports Apple MacBook
Image: Sereyvuth Seng / Flickr

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Consumer Reports has a definitive answer to a particular debate between laptop buyers. Are MacBooks better than Windows notebooks? Or is it the other way around? The product testing organization found that MacBooks are more reliable than their Windows-based counterpart, after conducting a large-scale study looking at laptop performance.

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The company asked 58,000 subscribers who purchased laptops between 2010 and 2015 to detail their notebook experience, including failures. Of all laptops out there, two laptop families stand out in the study, the MacBook Air, which has a 7% estimated failure rate, and the MacBook Pro, which has a 9% failure rate.

Apple has the most reliable laptops, with a 10% breakdown rate in the first three years after purchase. Overall, 20% of respondents reported a failure in the first three years of use.

Windows laptops are used more than 20 hours a week while MacBooks are used an average of 23 hours a week, ZDNet reports. Even so, it’s the Windows machines that have higher failure rates after three years. Samsung and Gateway have a 16% failure rate, with the rest of the industry at 18-19%.

Apple’s laptops have a 3-4% annual breakdown rate while Windows machines are more likely to fail in the first year, often under warranty.

Consumer Reports advises laptop buyers to purchase new MacBooks with extended AppleCare warranty but save such costs on Windows PCs.

When it comes to the software experience, 71% of Apple notebook owners were completely satisfied with OS X reliability, while only 38% of Windows were completely satisfied.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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