Best MacBook Pro Alternatives in 2020
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Best MacBook Pro Alternatives in 2020

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If you can’t afford a MacBook Pro, or you simply don’t like the direction Apple is going with the current MacBook Pro models, here are the best MacBook Pro alternatives for 2020.

Most of these are Windows 10 laptops, but you may want to stick with a top of the line Apple notebook from the past to hold you over until Apple changes the MacBook Pro design.

The MacBook Pro 16 now offers a better keyboard, but if you want the smaller 13-inch MacBook Pro, you still need to put up with the third-gen butterfly keyboard that can break easier than the new scissor-switch style.

We’ll break this up into the best 13-inch MacBook alternatives and the best 15-inch MacBook Pro alternatives so that you can find the best one to meet your needs.

Best MacBook Pro 13 inch Alternatives

1. Dell XPS 13

The Dell XPS 13 is the best MacBook Pro alternative for most users looking at the 13-inch MacBook Pro. This notebook looks amazing, is very compact and lightweight, and it includes a long-lasting battery that will get you through most busy days.

Dell offers the base model for $999.99, which is a great starting point for this laptop and you get 256GB of SSD storage and 4GB of RAM. If you need more multitasking power, check out the $1,249.99 model with 8GB of RAM.

With all of these options, you get a 10th Gen Intel Core i processor, 13.4-inch 4K display with super-thin bezels and all-day battery life.

Buy the Dell XPS 13 at Dell.

2. ThinkPad X1 Carbon

If you type a lot, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon is the best MacBook Pro alternative you can buy.

If you type a lot, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon is the best MacBook Pro alternative you can buy.

The ThinkPad X1 Carbon is the best MacBook Pro 13 alternative for anyone who needs to type a lot. The X1 Carbon Gen 6 starts at $1,198 and the newest 7th gen is $1,499 with updated specs and longer battery life. Check out our review of an older generation X1 Carbon to see what you’re getting.

Lenovo delivers a superb typing experience that Apple forgot is even possible. Even with an epic keyboard, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon is thin, light and looks great in a stealth black.

You get the full package including a great screen, plenty of power for the tasks most users need to complete on a 14-inch laptop. If you can afford it, splurge on the screen with HDR support, as it looks amazing. You also get a full complement of ports without spending on adapters and dongles. It also comes with Alexa voice controls built-in.

Buy the ThinkPad X1 Carbon at Lenovo or B&H Photo

3. Razer Blade Stealth

The Razer Blade Stealth is the best MacBook Pro alternative if you want to game.

The Razer Blade Stealth is the best MacBook Pro alternative if you want to game.

The Razer Blade Stealth is an epic 13-inch laptop that is super thin, packs a punch of power and can pull double duty as a very mobile laptop and as a powerful gaming or editing rig at your desk. Already updated for 2019, you can get a 4K Touch screen, discrete graphics and it comes with support for Windows Hello. The Razer Blade Stealth starts at $1,399.

The display is beautiful to look at and packs in loads of screen real estate with a matte FHD option as well as a 4K touch screen. Razer promises up to 13 hours of battery life to get you through the day. Razer Chroma for the keyboard delivers 16.8 million colors that you can customize down to the individual key.

Up to a Quad Core 8th Gen Intel Core i7 processor gives you the power you need for work and play. When you need more power, plug into the Razer Core v2 to supercharge this laptop into a desktop gaming PC.

Buy the Razer Blade Stealth at Razer, Best Buy, Amazon, Microsoft or B&H Photo.

4. Surface Laptop 3

The Surface Laptop 3 is a great alternative to the MacBook Pro.

The Surface Laptop 3 is Microsoft’s vision of the perfect laptop, and that’s one of the reasons it is a great MacBook Pro alternative. With the third generation, we’re seeing more refinement come to this model.

This is a great looking laptop with a metal keyboard and multiple color finishes. It starts at just $999, which is a great entry point for a solution that is coming directly from Microsoft with easy support options if you are near a Microsoft store. This is one of the best MacBook Pro alternatives for students, especially with student discounts.

While you can configure a MacBook Pro with more power, the Surface Laptop is more affordable and it still comes ready to work with 10th gen Intel Core processors, up to 16GB of RAM and up to 1TB of SSD storage.

The 13.50-inch PixelSense display looks great and supports touch and the Surface Pen. Microsoft promises up to 11.5 hours of battery life.

Buy the Surface Laptop 3 at Microsoft, Best Buy, Amazon and B&H Photo.

5. HP Spectre X360

The HP Spectre is a great all around MacBook Pro alternative.

The HP Spectre is a great all-around MacBook Pro alternative.

The HP Spectre X360 is a great MacBook Pro alternative if you want a laptop with a screen that can swivel 360 degrees, supports a stylus and is available with a 4K display.

HP promises 13.5 hours of battery life and you can configure the X360 with up to an 8th Gen Intel Core i5 or core i7 processor. Pricing is impressive with a very well equipped entry-level model starting at $729 on sale and a lot of customization options if you need more.

Unlike the Surface Laptop, the X360 includes a stylus with the laptop and you get more power than the Surface Laptop.

This is a great alternative for someone who needs the power of a MacBook Pro at a better price without giving up a great-looking laptop.

Buy the HP Spectre X360 at HP, Best Buy, Amazon and Newegg

6. Hackintosh 13-inch MacBook Pro Alternative

One of the best options if you need to stay in macOS is to buy a laptop that you can hackintosh. This refers to the process of installing macOS Mojave on a computer that isn’t from Apple.

You can’t use just any Windows Laptop and enjoy this option, but there are a surprising number of Hackintosh laptop options. You can install macOS on a range of options including some of the laptops we already listed above.

Many users install macOS on the Dell XPS 13 and other users are installing it on HP and Lenovo laptops. Here’s one guide on how to hackintosh the Dell XPS 13 with macOS Mojave. Many times you will need to buy an external WiFi adapter and SD card reader. This is also not as bulletproof as buying a Mac, but for some users this is a great option.

Best MacBook Pro 15-inch and 16-inch Alternatives

1. Razer Blade

The Razer Blade is the best 15-inch MacBook Pro alternative if you need a lot of power and want to game.

The Razer Blade is the best 15-inch MacBook Pro alternative if you need a lot of power and want to game.

The Razer Blade 15 is an excellent alternative to the MacBook Pro. This is a powerful mobile notebook that may be known for gaming, but it can also deliver the power you need to get work done. The Razer Blade 15 starts at $1,499 on sale. You can get this in a standard model or the Advanced model that includes an optical laptop keyboard switch in a gaming laptop and advanced display options.

This is a VR ready notebook with 9th Gen Intel Core i processors, 16GB RAM, up to 5128GB of SSD storage plus 1 TB HDD and a wide range of GPU and display options to meet your needs and budget.

You can connect up to 3 external displays directly to the Razer Blade. If you need more power, plug into the Razer Core X, and add a second GPU to speed up rendering or give your gaming a powerful boost.

You get a Razer Chroma RGB keyboard that allows you to control the color of every key. The notebook also features a great looking design.

Buy the Razer Blade at Razer, Best Buy and Amazon

3. Dell XPS 15

The Dell XPS 15 is a great all around 15-inch MacBook Pro alternative.

The Dell XPS 15 is a great all around 15-inch MacBook Pro alternative.

Like the smaller XPS 13, the Dell XPS 15 is a portable powerhouse that packs a punch with a beautiful InfinityEdge display and up to 6 core Intel 9th Gen processors. The XPS 15 starts at $1,099.99.

If you’re looking for a top of the line, all-around MacBook Pro alternative that has everything you need to get work done, this is the laptop you need to look at.

The premium design won’t leave you missing Apple’s aluminum construction and you can even connect your iPhone to your XPS 15 to make calls, send and receive texts and see your contacts on your computer.

Buy the Dell XPS 15 at Dell, Best Buy, Amazon and B&H Photo

4. HP Spectre X360 15

The HP Spectre X360 is an excellent MacBook Pro 15-inch alternative that includes a stylus.

The HP Spectre X360 is an excellent MacBook Pro 15-inch alternative that includes a stylus.

The HP Spectre X360 15 is the perfect MacBook Pro alternative if you need a cheaper option that doesn’t cut important corners. The 15-inch Spectre X360 starts at $1,099 and that’s with a Stylus and the latest processors.

In addition to packing in a load of tech, a touch screen, and a stylus there is a hinge so that you can fold the screen all the way around and use it as a tablet.

Hp promises up to 13.5 hours of battery life and it supports fast charge to go from 0 to 90% in 90 minutes on some models and 0 to 50% in 30 minutes on other models.  You can connect up to two 4K displays, the notebook packs in a 4K Micro-Edge display and up to 16GB of RAM.

Buy the HP Spectre X360 at HP, Best Buy, Amazon and Newegg

5. 15-inch Hackintosh MacBook Pro Alternative

Similar to the 13-inch MacBook Pro option, you can make a 15-inch Hackintosh MacBook Pro alternative. Many users have success with the Dell XPS 15, but you can also do it with some HP and Lenovo models. You can see additional models here.

Depending on the model you buy, you can get a lot of things working without buying additional adapters. As with the 13-inch version, make sure you do your research before you buy and understand what you are getting into.

Buy the Dell XPS 15 at Dell, Best Buy, Amazon and B&H Photo

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. RGK

    07/25/2018 at 10:15 pm

    The one thing that PC manufactures haven’t taken on yet is multiple Thunderbolt 3 ports. I would love to switch but I need to be able to run an eGPU as well as external storage.

    • E30Tomas

      12/22/2018 at 6:25 am

      HP Spectre x360 15″ and 13″ both have tb3. 13″ use 4 PCIe lanes and 15″ use 2 lanes because of MX150 GPU build in. I have 15″ model and it works nicely with eGPU box with 1080Ti in it.

  2. Brian

    11/29/2018 at 9:41 am

    You probably have typo of price in “The XPS 15 starts at $2,899.99” where price should be actually 1899

  3. Mike Jones

    05/09/2019 at 4:38 am

    I was just about to purchase a late model MacBookpro, and have just discovered the awful troubles with butterfly keyboard. Law suits and extended warranties have put me off. Your tip on a 2015 MBP might be the answer. I went Mac ten years ago and love the operating system. I use pictures, documents, iTunes and PS Elements and surfing generally. As yet I cannot find a good substitute.

    I use iPods and Bowers and Wilkins for music, hence a Mac works well. WHY on earth did they have to fiddle about with a keyboard on MacBooks that worked superbly??????

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