What it is: The MacBook is Apple’s series of Macintosh laptops.
More people buy laptops than desktops. That’s because laptops are more convenient to use when you need them instead of being chained to a desk to use a desktop. While desktop computers are often less expensive, more people prefer the convenience of mobility.
Consumer Reports recently tested the reliability of MacBooks compared to Windows laptops and found that MacBooks were more reliable. The answer is simple. Apple’s operating system, OS X, doesn’t come loaded with bloatware that other manufacturers (Dell, Lenovo, Hewlett-Packard, etc.) load on their laptops to make a little extra money at the expense of their customers.
Consumer Reports found that the price of a laptop didn’t correspond to greater reliability. What the report lacked was whether Windows laptops were less reliable due to hardware issues or software issues.
In hardware, most Windows PC manufacturers use the cheapest parts to keep costs down. The trackpad of most Windows laptops are usually small and not always responsive to the user’s touch. Compare this to the much larger and smoother feel of a MacBook’s trackpad and you’ll notice a stark difference right away.
One reason why Microsoft has started selling their own hardware was to avoid this problem of cheap components spoiling the laptop’s reliability. If you’re going to buy a Windows laptop, you’ll be much better off buying a Surface Pro tablet or a Surface Book laptop.
Of course buying a Surface Pro or Surface Book is nearly as expensive as buying a MacBook, so there’s little cost savings in going with a Microsoft product. Beyond hardware considerations, the other likely problem with reliability rests on the operating system.
Since Windows is the largest and most dominant operating system on the market, it’s no surprise that malware targets Windows PCs by infecting a computer, slowing it down, or even corrupting or deleting files.
In comparison, a MacBook running OS X will likely suffer far less from malware attacks, which increases its reliability. With a Windows laptop you have to run anti-virus programs constantly to protect your computer. This slows down your computer and often interrupts your work as it scans for malware. Given a choice between needing and running anti-virus programs constantly or not needing to run anti-virus programs constantly, it’s easy to see that much of Windows’ reliability suffers due to malware.
Between cheap hardware and an operating system constantly under attack, Windows laptops will likely experience much lower reliability than MacBooks. To save a little money on a Windows laptop makes little sense if it takes more time to maintain, protect, and repair.
So it’s no surprise that Consumer Reports found that MacBooks were more reliable than Windows laptops. With better hardware and software less likely to get corrupted by malware, MacBooks simply represent the easiest and more productive option for a computer.
If you deliberately choose to ignore this evidence, at least buy a Windows laptop knowing the headaches you’ll likely encounter and accept them as part of the price for using a Windows PC. In the meantime, the rest of us can enjoy trouble-free computing with a Macintosh.