In the tech industry, it’s no doubt that Apple has gained its fair share of loyalists. While there is a decent reason for this, the cons outweigh the pros more often than not. Pointing out the obvious, Apple hasn’t always been the most user-friendly and cross-compatible.
This limits (and forces) their market to stick with what they know and have. It doesn’t help that Apple’s track record for repairs is less than stellar. Breaking out of the Apple ecosystem might be one of the best things you can do for yourself and your wallet.
With these MacBook alternatives, you can experience what a MacBook can offer and more. Don’t pay a premium for something sub-par. Do yourself a favor and check out a MacBook alternative today.
This list will help you find one that suits your needs and is flexible enough to do more.
Getting Over the Hype
Throughout the years, Apple has had its ups and downs in the industry. Though, there’s no questioning how or why they’ve secured a comfy spot as one of the leaders of the tech world. They’re almost always at the forefront of new releases and aesthetic designs.
However, they haven’t released anything that’s notably innovative in a while. The OG MacBook was first introduced in 2006 and was later revamped in 2015. They’ve even been relying on Intel chips and processors for decades.
This still holds for many of its Macs too. The shift to ARM-based Apple chips or M1 wasn’t until around late 2020. That said, its most recent MacBook release – the M1 MacBook Pro and Air still have some serious flaws and issues, leading to lawsuits.
By this point, Apple has become known for having several lawsuits linked to some of its products. Moreso, many Macs straight up underperform compared to the competition. So why even bother settling for a device that has such a poor reputation?
Dell XPS 13
Let’s start with Dell. The Dell XPS 13 is an impressive machine that beats the Intel using MacBook Air in most categories. This is especially so when it comes to performance.
The MacBook Air 2020 comes with an Intel i3 processor, later upgraded to apple’s in-house M1 chip. The M1 offers plenty of performance boosts which outclass similar thin 13inch competitors. Compatibility issues remain, making the XPS 13 a viable MacBook Air alternative.
The XPS 13 is the same price as the MacBook Air but comes with an i5 Intel chip as standard. Even against the M1, the Intel chip performs better at overclocking. Perfectionists and computer nerds have long trusted Intel over competitors, and there’s a reason.
Something else to consider is the fact the XPS 13 is only 0.58 inches in thickness and 2.64 pounds in weight. Not only does this beat the Air, but it even beats the MacBook Pro. You also have a larger range of Ram options available, and battery life on comparable models still beats the Air.
HP Envy x360 13
If you’re looking for a way cheaper alternative that’s stylish and chic, then the HP Envy x360 13 is a great fit. This midrange-two-in-one laptop is one of the most versatile ones in the market. It folds into a screen, making it ideal as an effective tablet too.
For about $700, it comes with an i7 and 11th-gen core processors. For graphics, it rocks an AMD Ryzen 5-4500U, ensuring an HD experience for screen time. This gives it the best of both worlds, whether you’re using it for work or leisure.
It also boasts a long-lasting battery while still being lightweight. At a little less than 3 pounds, it’s ideal for lugging around during commutes and travels. This makes it a quality go-to for students and business personnel who’re always on the go.
With specs and versatility like this, it competes with the MacBook Air and Pro at a cheaper cost. This might make it the best MacBook Air alternative.
Dell XPS 17 9700 and Razer Blade 17
When it comes to a MacBook Pro alternative, Dell comes to the rescue again. The XPS 17 is a beast that clocks in at around $1,500 when compared to the Pro’s $2,500. With the Dell XPS 17, you’ll get a 4k screen, a larger 17-inch screen, and comparable performance from its i-7 chip.
The RTX 2060 will also come in handy, and a strong cooling system helps keep it from overheating. The Razer Blade 17 is no slouch for the gamers out there, though it is heavier. This weight feels good, though, as it comes from the superior build quality.
The Razer Blade 17 is a top-tier gaming laptop. As such, it’s closer to the Apple price tag at $2,400, but it still comes loaded with high performance. An i-7-11800H and RTX 3070 do plenty of heavy lifting, and running windows means not worrying about gaming compatibility issues.
It’s worth knowing that while the Apple M1 chip might edge out its competitors on tests, these are only tests. When it comes to real-world applications like gaming and editing, there’s more waiting.
Asus ZenBook 13 OLED UM325
At first glance, the Asus ZenBook 13 looks like a standard mid-range laptop. Something that hangs with the MacBook Air but falls short of the Pro even for its price range. The surprising thing is it packs much more of a punch than the optics give it credit for.
Now it’s important to preface this part by stressing that the Zenbook 13 is available for under $800. It’s cheaper than the MacBook Air and lighter to boot. For all this, it doesn’t sacrifice much in power.
The reason for this is the Ryzen 5 and 7 processor lines from AMD. It’s no secret AMD has been on a hot streak lately and might be the closest option for tackling Apple’s M1 without blowing your budget. Intel isn’t that far behind and has been making serious gains with Intel Evo.
The real selling factor is the Zenbook 13 feels like a MacBook without the pitfalls of feeling trapped by Apple. It has a touchpad, its battery is top-tier, and its OLED screen is gorgeous. The real kicker is it’s powerful enough to run heavy-duty content creation software.
The M1 chip-set might win a few victories on paper, but Apple’s stranglehold on artists is cracking. The Asus ZenBook 13 makes working with Photoshop, Sony Vegas, or Adobe Premier a breeze – even at 4k.
Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5
MacBook’s have a reputation of not lasting very long, especially the MacBook Air. It starts to slow, brick up, and develop other issues. It isn’t unheard of for users to start looking for a replacement only two years later!
Why not jump on something that will last, like the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5? For starters, it’s available for $350. It’s also a detachable two-in-one, making it ideal for various applications.
The battery’s great for the price, and it fares well in the 13-inch category. You do make some sacrifices, such as settling for a 10th generation i3 and 4GB of DDR4 ram. You likely won’t be gaming on this machine either, but it does what it’s designed for.
It’s the perfect cheap and low-profile device for students and young professionals. It doesn’t survive a performance contest with newer MacBooks, especially with the M1. As fate would have it, Lenovo has a couple more MacBook alternatives that go toe to toe.
Lenovo IdeaPad Creator and Gaming Series
Mac has never been the laptop for the job if you love to game. There aren’t that many games compatible with a Mac in the first place. With this in mind, Intel Evo laptops have already won by a landslide.
The IdeaPad Creator is a great MacBook alternative at around $1,300, and the IdeaPad Gaming series is $900. The thing about the IdeaPad is they’re sleek, and most are pretty light. They capture the premium feel of a MacBook without breaking the bank.
The creator series, in particular, has Intel and AMD options, giving you flexibility. The IdeaPad Creator 5 Gen 6, with an AMD processor, deserves special mention. For content creators, it surpasses even the MacBook Pro and does it for around $1000 less.
The M1 chip does take the edge in performance tests, but only by a few percentage points except for gaming. Despite not having gaming in mind, the Creator series still beats the MacBook Pro 13 in that category. The IdeaPad Gaming 3 Gen 6, with an AMD Ryzen 7 processor, carries on this trend.
It loses a few more points in performance tests outside of gaming, but it’s still pretty close for 1/3 the price.
Break Apple’s Grip With These MacBook Alternatives
MacBook’s have been around for a while and have developed a certain reputation. While they may look sleek, they’ve had issues with compatibility, performance, and build quality. Even if Apple addresses those issues, buying an Apple product still traps you in their market.
It’s good to break free and open the doors to other options like these MacBook alternatives. The world of Windows laptops is competitive, flexible, and generally cheaper. For more information on how to get the best laptops for you, check out our site – we have plenty to offer.