The Race is On: Which Laptop Boots Fastest?

Remember the early days of personal computing? You could turn on your PC, then have three cups of coffee and a full breakfast before your PC finally reached the login screen.

As the speed of computers has improved drastically, boot-up time seemed to stagnate, with PCs and laptops taking just as long as they always had. With the popularity of smartphones and tablets, however, users are starting to expect instant-on technology. Users rarely reboot their smartphones and tablets, so just a swipe of a finger brings it to life

2012 has seen consumers increasingly choosing low-priced tablets over PCs and laptops and the laptop market is reacting. Not only does each manufacturer now offer an ultrabook–a super-thin laptop that is both lightweight and portable–but each manufacturer seems to be boasting a new feature that makes it competitive with the many tablets on the market.

One of the features being offered is fast boot-up. The goal is to take a user from completely shut down state to desktop as quickly as possible. But with so many models boasting quick start-up time, which is the best? Here’s a rundown of the different manufacturers and the exact boot-up time they are promising.

  • Lenovo IdeaPad U310/U410. Lenovo’s Enhanced Experience 3 offers a Windows 7 boot-up in an average of 24 seconds. “Time is precious, and when it comes to your PC, we want to make sure that every second counts, and reduce the wait time it takes to get your PC up and running,” said Mark Cohen, distinguished engineer and vice president, Lenovo. “The EE3 optimizations we’ve made on our consumer and business PCs mean customers will spend less time waiting and more time doing what they want to do, with faster boot time performance and quicker resume times for a more instant-on experience.”
  • HP Folio 13. Using Intel Rapid Start Technology, HP Folio 13 encourages a hibernate state, which allows the user to boot in 13 seconds. However, from completely powered off, there are no set promises, although an online demonstration showed it booting up from fully powered off in 19 seconds.
  • Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook. Promising to wake up from sleep in under a second, the Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook promises a boot time of under 8 seconds. One reviewer clocked the boot time at an actual 13 seconds.
  • MacBook Air. The company that started the ultrabook trend has created a lighter, better version of its high-quality laptop with 11- and 13-inch versions of its MacBook Air. Booting in only 18-20 seconds, the latest version of the MacBook is a serious contender to the others on the market.
  • Asus Zenbook UX31. Another boot time of around 20 seconds. Asus also monitors power usage for one minute after your laptop goes to sleep, letting you know how much standby time you have based on your remaining battery life.

As manufacturers continue to implement technology to improve the user experience, laptops will likely only get faster and more user-friendly. But we likely will miss the long boot-up time. After all, it gave us an excuse to go pour another cup of coffee.

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About Stephanie Faris

Stephanie is a freelance writer and young adult/middle grade novelist, who worked in information systems for more than a decade. Her first book, 30 Days of No Gossip, will be released by Simon and Schuster in spring 2014. She lives in Nashville with her husband.

  • http://www.facebook.com/andy.maslin.90 Andy Maslin

    OK, so I want a very fast booting laptop/notebook. No Microsoft software. No Microsoft operating system, no Adobe bloatware. A computer that closes programs when I tell it to, i.e. no more not responding messages. No Intel chips but a RISC based processor. Preferably not an Apple product. Finally, it should shutdown very quickly too.

    Is there anything available that meets the above criteria?

    Thanks

    • http://Smallbiztechnology.com Ramon Ray

      HI Andy – you want NO Windows. NO Apple. I can only think of Linux then or an Android chrome book

      • James Rutherford

        Chromebooks are great until you want to print! It will be the death of them.