Computing

The Finest Alternatives to MacBooks in 2023

The starting prices of top MacBooks may not be affordable, but they offer a premium experience from a leading laptop brand. With elegant and well-designed devices, MacBooks are certainly impressive. However, what if MacOS doesn’t suit your needs or your favorite software isn’t supported? That’s where this guide comes in. Find innovative and attractive alternatives to MacBooks from other reputable brands.

Dell XPS 13 Plus: An Innovative 13-Inch MacBook Alternative

Why you should buy this: It’s a groundbreaking 13-inch laptop that rivals the MacBook in every aspect.

Who’s it for: Individuals who desire a mid-sized laptop with formidable power and durability.

Why we chose the Dell XPS 13 Plus: Dell’s XPS 13 Plus features 28-watt 13th-generation Core i5 and i7 processors. In contrast, Apple’s MacBook Pro 13 and MacBook Air both rely on Apple’s in-house M2 processor. At 0.6 inches thick and weighing around 2.71 pounds, the XPS 13 Plus is sleek and lightweight. Although the MacBook Pro 13 is slightly thicker and heavier at 0.61 inches and 3.1 pounds respectively, the MacBook Air M2 shines with its extraordinary thinness at 0.44 inches thick and weighing 2.7 pounds. However, you won’t notice significant differences when carrying them around.

Under the hood, the Dell XPS 13 Plus offers up to 32GB of system memory and up to 2TB of storage, just like the MacBook Pro M2 and MacBook Air M2. The XPS 13 Plus has undergone a complete redesign while still utilizing Intel 12th-gen CPUs. Similar to the MacBook, it boasts a superior haptic touchpad, providing precision and a clickable surface. The edge-to-edge keyboard offers a typing experience comparable to the Apple Magic Keyboard in terms of speed and comfort.

The Dell XPS 13 Plus offers two Thunderbolt 3 ports for connectivity, although it does not have a 3.5mm audio jack. However, it includes a USB-C to USB-A adapter and a USB-C to 3.5mm audio adapter, enabling you to connect external peripherals without any issues. Certain configurations even offer touch-based screens with UHD+ resolution. Notably, there’s an OLED panel option that displays stunning colors and contrast, rivaling the best in the industry.

If you seek an alternative to Apple’s larger 16-inch MacBook Pro, consider the Dell XPS 15. Starting at $1,149, it incorporates 13th-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 discrete graphics chip, up to 64GB of system memory, and up to a 2TB PCIe-based solid-state drive. In comparison, Apple’s 16-inch MacBook Pro starts at $2,399.

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dell xps

Asus ZenBook 14 OLED: An Affordable MacBook Alternative

Why you should buy this: It’s a well-constructed laptop with a 90Hz OLED display at an attractive price.

Who’s it for: Those who desire a beautiful display and good performance without breaking the bank.

Why we chose the Asus ZenBook 14 OLED: If you want a MacBook-like premium design and build without the hefty price tag, the Asus ZenBook 14 OLED is an excellent choice. With an all-aluminum chassis that rivals laptops costing significantly more, it offers impressive value, especially when on sale for as low as $700.

The ZenBook 14 OLED utilizes 15-watt AMD Ryzen 5 and 7 processors, delivering solid productivity performance. Its 16:10 2.8K (2880 x 1800) OLED display operates at 90Hz, providing a stunning visual experience. The keyboard and touchpad are exceptional, and the port selection includes USB-C, USB-A, and HDMI.

By opting for the ZenBook 14 OLED, you can enjoy a superior display and comparable performance to equivalent MacBooks at a more affordable price, all while reveling in its attractive and robust design.

asus zenbook

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano: A Smaller and Lighter MacBook Air

Why you should buy this: It’s the smallest and lightest MacBook alternative with an exceptional keyboard.

Who’s it for: Individuals seeking a compact device to carry around without compromising performance.

Why we chose the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano: For a compact alternative that matches the MacBook in terms of premium feel and performance, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano is an ideal choice. With its 13-inch display, it boasts one of the lightest chassis, weighing just 2.19 pounds compared to the MacBook Air’s 2.7 pounds. The Nano offers a 2160 x 1350 display with Dolby Vision support, ensuring vibrant and captivating visuals.

Equipped with 13th-gen Intel processors, the ThinkPad X1 Nano starts with 16GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. Although it may not be a powerhouse, it provides solid performance for everyday or prosumer usage.

The standout feature of the X1 Nano is its top-notch keyboard, shared with other X1 series models. Lenovo’s X1 keyboards have consistently led the industry, and it’s impressive to see this level of quality in such a thin and light design. With a deeper keyboard than Apple’s Magic Keyboard, it offers a different typing experience preferred by many users, making it ideal for writers, journalists, and anyone who sends a lot of emails. If typing performance matters to you, the X1 Nano is the perfect choice.

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lenovo thinkpad

HP Spectre x360 13.5: A More Versatile Alternative to the MacBook

Why you should buy this: It’s the ultimate convertible 2-in-1 device available.

Who’s it for: Individuals who desire the functionality and form of both a tablet and a laptop.

Why we chose the HP Spectre x360 13.5: HP’s premium convertible 2-in-1 laptops have consistently claimed top spots on various “best-of” lists, and the latest addition, the Spectre x360 13.5, is no exception. Its gem-cut design exudes elegance and sophistication while maintaining the solid build quality, excellent keyboard, and flexible 2-in-1 characteristics of its predecessor.

Featuring a 13.5-inch 3000 x 2000 OLED display, this device offers vibrant and accurate colors with deep blacks. Its 3:2 aspect ratio closely resembles a portrait-mode paper, making it suitable for productivity tasks. Powered by Intel 12th-gen U-series CPUs, the Spectre x360 13.5 provides impressive productivity performance and surprisingly good battery life for a laptop equipped with an OLED display.

Compared to the MacBook Air M2, the Spectre x360 13.5 offers a better display and a more versatile design while maintaining its exceptional build quality.

hp spectre

HP Envy 16: A Powerful MacBook Alternative at a Reasonable Price

Why you should buy this: It’s a powerful alternative to the MacBook that won’t break the bank.

Who’s it for: Individuals who seek MacBook-like power without the hefty price tag.

Why we chose the HP Envy 16: HP’s Envy series has consistently rivaled Dell and Apple’s top-of-the-line products, offering similar quality and performance at a more affordable price. The HP Envy 16 continues this trend by providing a sleek device with robust specifications at a reasonable cost.

With the ability to add a GeForce RTX 4060 graphics card and up to a fast 45-watt Intel Core i9-12900H CPU, the Envy 16 delivers remarkable power for creatives. Its versatility surpasses that of relying solely on a processor, all while remaining more affordable than the XPS 15 and MacBook Pro 16.

Although the Envy 16 may be slightly bulkier than its competitors, it compensates with improved connectivity. With an HDMI port, two USB-C/Thunderbolt 4 ports, a USB-A port, and a microSD card reader, the Envy 16 offers extensive options for connecting peripherals.

In summary, the HP Envy 16 provides excellent value by offering powerful specifications at a significant discount compared to its competitors.

hp envy

HP Elite Dragonfly G4: The Ultimate MacBook for Professionals

Why you should buy this: It offers MacBook-like quality catered for business professionals.

Who’s it for: Professionals seeking a business-oriented laptop with exceptional quality and performance.

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Why we chose the HP Elite Dragonfly G4: The original HP Elite Dragonfly was hailed as the top business computer in 2020, mainly due to its luxurious design and LTE connectivity. This year, HP has raised the bar by introducing the Elite Dragonfly G4 while retaining the clamshell laptop format introduced in the third generation.

The Elite Dragonfly G4 boasts Intel 13th-gen CPUs with vPro, offering enterprise-level security and management features alongside impressive productivity performance. This configuration includes a 13.5-inch 3:2 WUXGA+ (1920 x 1280) Sure View privacy screen option, which effectively blocks out information from onlookers, ensuring privacy.

Equipped with a 5MP webcam, the Elite Dragonfly G4 excels in video conferencing capabilities. Furthermore, its port selection excels with two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports, a USB-A port, and a full-size HDMI 2.0 port. Overall, the Elite Dragonfly G4 outperforms any MacBook when it comes to business-oriented options.

hp elite dragonfly

Lenovo Slim Pro 9i 16: A Powerful MacBook Pro 16 Alternative at a Lower Price

Why you should buy this: It offers MacBook Pro 16-like performance at a more affordable price.

Who’s it for: Individuals in need of a powerful laptop without having to take out a small business loan.

Why we chose the Lenovo Slim Pro 9i 16: The MacBook Pro 16 is renowned for its fast performance and exceptional efficiency, but it comes at a steep price. However, the Lenovo Slim Pro 9i 16 provides comparable performance at a more reasonable cost of $1,800.

Featuring a 45-watt Intel Core i9-13905H CPU, the Slim Pro 9i 16 handles processor-intensive tasks with ease. Its GeForce RTX 4050, despite being smaller in size, rivals the MacBook in creative applications.

The Slim Pro 9i 16’s Mini-LED display doesn’t match the quality of Apple’s, lacking the deep contrast while offering extremely high brightness and equal colors as default settings. Nevertheless, it provides creators with wide and accurate colors.

With an elegant design and comfortable user experience, the Slim Pro 9i 16 saves users significant amounts of money without compromising too much on performance, placing it solidly on this list.

lenovo slim pro

Editors’ Recommendations

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