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MacBooks Best Laptops, Says Consumer Reports

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 5 comments

MacBooks are the best laptops, according to Consumer Reports' testing.

Say what you want about Apple products, but they certainly have their fans. Consumer Reports, a generally objective consumer-centric product review North American magazine, is in love with the current generations of MacBooks.

Apple MacBooks top spot in each of Consumer Reports’ three laptop categories of 13-inch, 14- to 15-inch and 17- to 18-inch.

13-inch MacBooks ruled the category, with the unibody MacBook, the MacBook Air and the polycarbonate MacBook White taking the top three spots. The PCs that make up the bottom half of the list are the HP Pavilion dv3-1075us, Dell Studio XPS 13, and the Gateway UC7807u.

The 15-inch MacBook Pro topped the 14- to 16-inch laptop category, scoring a 75 out of 100. The next closest offering in the category was the Toshiba Satellite M305-S4910 with a 64 out of 100. Of course, the so-called “Apple tax” was in full force with the MacBook Pro costing $2000 and the Toshiba running $700.

The 17- to 18-inch category belonged to the 17-inch MacBook Pro with the highest score of 80 out of 100. Second place went to the Dell Studio 17 with 64 out of 100. The Apple tax strikes even harder here with the MacBook Pro 17 costing $2800 and the Dell Studio 17 at only $750.

It’s no surprise that Apple products cost a premium over comparable PC products, but the MacBooks that topped the charts (and price points) also came with stronger specifications than its closest competitors in screen resolution, GPU, bundled software, just to name a few. In fact, Apple boasted about its own inherent ‘value’ in its products in a recent news story, though it’ll be hard to argue with a price difference of more than $1,000.

The message from Consumer Reports (subscription required for full ratings) is clear though – Apple hit a home run with its latest generation of MacBooks, but owning one over a PC will cost you.

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  • 0 Hide
    LePhuronn , 6 May 2009 05:30
    "stronger specifications than its closest competitors in screen resolution, GPU, bundled software, just to name a few"

    The only difference I've seen comparing like-for-like specs is the MacBook's 9600M and the aluminium unibody (which however good it is is not worth £800 premium). Everything else has always seemed to swing against the MacBook.
  • 1 Hide
    mi1ez , 6 May 2009 15:21
    Only Mac fans can be bothered to fill out questionaires?
  • 0 Hide
    tinnerdxp , 6 May 2009 15:57
    yes pretty much... I mean, if you think about it... why would anyone rate laptops? Reviews are more important... Plus most of the people USING their laptops won't bother voting that it is perfect or whatever - it's a tool they use to do their things... Except for apple laptop users... as soon as they figure our how to operate a computer with one mouse button (oops... sorry - ZERO buttons on the touchpad) and tiny little plastic, flat keys that are hard to type - they have to make a point out of it by saying - "Look people!, I got nothing better to do so I will vote for my laptop! I am not sure which one it is or what is inside - but it's COOL! because it's apple!"... and so on... nah.... another useless news...
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  • 0 Hide
    LePhuronn , 6 May 2009 17:42

    Don't knock the touchpad - I've not used buttons on a touchpad for many many years and I think it's about time Apple caught up with the world and actually had a touchpad you can actually tap to do clicks.

    Plus the glass surface is very nice and friction-free to use. Not that I ever had friction burns or anything from a regular one...
  • 0 Hide
    marshallman , 6 May 2009 18:30
    mi1ezOnly Mac fans can be bothered to fill out questionaires?

    My thoughts also