Best MacBook alternatives for 2022


The starting prices of the best MacBooks aren’t exactly cheap, but you’re paying for the premium experience of a top laptop brand. The devices are elegant and solidly designed. Still, what if you don’t want to use MacOS? What if the Mac doesn’t support your favorite software? That’s where this guide comes in.

One innovative and attractive alternative to a MacBook, and one of the best laptops overall, is Dell’s XPS 13 Plus. It’s as sleek as the MacBook, and it delivers speed and performance while staying relatively lightweight. You’ll find other alternatives on our list as well from Asus, Lenovo, and Microsoft.

dell xps 13 plus review 08

Dell XPS 13 Plus

An innovated 13-inch MacBook alternative

Pros

  • Irresistibly fresh design
  • Great OLED screen
  • Helpful performance modes
  • Excellent haptic touchpad
  • Webcam has been improved

Cons

  • Gets warm on the bottom
  • No headphone jack

Why you should buy this: It’s an innovative 13-inch laptop that gives the MacBook a run for its money.

Who’s it for: Anyone who wants a mid-sized laptop with plenty of power and a solid build.

Why we chose the Dell XPS 13 Plus:

Dell’s XPS 13 Plus is based on 12th-generation Core i5 and i7 processors. Apple’s MacBook Pro 13, meanwhile, features Apple’s in-house Ms processor as does the MacBook Air. Design-wise, the XPS 13 Plus measures 0.6 inches thick and weighs around 2.71 pounds. The 13-inch MacBook Pro is slightly thicker and heavier at 0.61 inches and 3.1 pounds, while the MacBook Air M2 is 0.44 inches thick and weighs 2.7 pounds. These are all just numbers, however, as other than the MacBook Air’s extreme thinness, you won’t notice any significant differences when toting them from place to place.

Under the hood, the Dell XPS 13 Plus offers up to 32GB of system memory and up to 2TB of storage. The 13.3-inch MacBook Pro M2 and 13.5-inch MacBook Air M2 offer up to 24GB of system memory and up to 2TB of storage. Note that a new XPS 13 is on its way and will offer a complete redesign and an upgrade to Intel 12th-gen CPUs. Like the MacBook, the XPS 13 Plus enjoys a haptic touchpad that’s superior to mechanical versions, with the entire surface being clickable and precise response. The edge-to-edge keyboard rivals Apple Magic Keyboard for typing speed and comfort.

The Dell XPS 13 Plus provides similar connectivity with two Thunderbolt 3 ports, although it omits a 3.5mm audio jack. It ships with a USB-C to USB-A adapter and a USB-C to 3.5mm audio adapter so you can connect an external keyboard or mouse or wired headset. Some configurations include touch-based screens with a UHD+ resolution as well, and there’s the option of an OLED panel that offers some of the best colors and contrast you’ll find on a laptop today.

If you want an alternative to Apple’s larger 16-inch MacBook Pro, Dell’s XPS 15 is a good match. Starting at $1,149, it features 12th-generation Intel core i5 and i7 processors, up to a GeForce RTX 3050 Ti discrete graphics chip, up to 64GB of system memory, and up to a 2TB on PCIe-based solid-state drive. Apple’s 16-inch MacBook Pro starts at $2,399.

Dell XPS 13 Plus (OLED)

Dell XPS 13 Plus

An innovated 13-inch MacBook alternative

hp pavilion pro 14 review plus front angled

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

HP Pavilion Plus 14

An affordable MacBook alternative

Pros

  • Spectacular 90Hz OLED display
  • Class-leading build quality
  • Excellent keyboard and touchpad
  • Solid productivity performance
  • Strong value at sale prices

Cons

  • Review unit performance limited by throttling
  • Poor battery life

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

Who’s it for: Anyone who wants a beautiful display and good performance but doesn’t want to spend a lot.

Why we chose the HP Pavilion Plus 14:

If you’re looking for something with the premium design and build of a MacBook but without the high price, the HP Pavilion Plus 14 is the ultimate solution for you. It offers an all-aluminum chassis that’s as solid as laptops costing significantly more, and yet it can be purchased for $830 on sale.

Not only that, but it uses a 45-watt 12th-gen Intel Core i7-12700H and sports a 16:10 2.8K (2880 x 1800) OLED display running at 90Hz. Those are impressive components in a laptop that’s often less than $1,000. The keyboard and touchpad are excellent, and the port selection is solid with USB-C, USB-A, and HDMI.

For less money, you get a better display and similar performance to the equivalent MacBook, in a laptop that’s attractive and well-built. That makes it a solid MacBook competitor.

HP Pavilion Plus 14

HP Pavilion Plus 14

An affordable MacBook alternative

lenovo thinkpad x1 nano review

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano

A smaller and lighter MacBook Air

Pros

  • Solid productivity performance
  • Extremely light
  • Good keyboard and touchpad
  • Excellent battery life
  • Very nice 16:10 display

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

Who’s it for: Anyone who wants something tiny to carry around without compromise.

Why we chose the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano:

For a compact alternative that offers the same premium feel and performance as the MacBook, Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Nano is the way to go. It’s a 13-inch display, so it is on par with the MacBook Air’s thinness. It’s also very lightweight, coming in at 1.99 pounds compared to the MacBook Air’s 2.8 pounds. And with a 2160 x 1350 display that supports Dolby Vision, photos and videos look great.

Aside from that, it comes with Tiger-Lake Intel Core i5/i7 processors, and it starts with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. It isn’t the greatest workstation, but it should provide solid performance for everyday or even prosumer users.

The big selling point of the ThinkPad X1 Nano is that it has the same keyboard as every other X1 product. Lenovo’s X1 series has been a constant leader in this category, so it’s exciting to see it in a thin and light design. It’s a deeper keyboard than Apple’s Magic Keyboard and provides a different feel that some typists prefer. That means this computer is ideal for writers, journalists, or anyone who sends a lot of emails. If typing is an important part of the experience for you, that’s all the reason you need to look at the X1 Nano. There’s a new model, the X1 Nano G2, coming soon that could take the place of this model on the list.

ThinkPad X1 Nano

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano

A smaller and lighter MacBook Air

razer book 13 review 01

Razer Book 13 (2021)

A MacBook Air with more ports

Pros

  • Perfect port selection
  • Fantastic design and build quality
  • Performance is impressive
  • Lovely 16:10 display

Cons

  • Limited configurations
  • Battery life isn’t great

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

Who’s it for: Professionals who still want to enjoy that Razer flair.

Why we chose the Razer Book 13:

Razer has been making quality gaming laptops for years, but even though their Stealth notebooks were quality products, they weren’t really productivity-focused alternatives to MacBooks. Now we have the Razer Book 13, a laptop aimed to take on premium notebooks like the MacBook.

Unlike most of their products, the Razer Book forgoes having a discrete graphics card in favor of thinness and portability. The Razer Book comes packed with either an 11th-gen Intel Core i5 or i7, and it has up to 14 hours of battery life. That gives it all the performance and battery power of the latest MacBooks, but the Razer Book has Apple’s product beat when it comes to ports. The Razer Book comes with two Thunderbolt 4 ports, a USB-A port, an HDMI slot, as well as a headphone jack, and a microSD card reader.

If you’re a fan of Razer but want something geared more towards productivity, theater Book 13 is a compelling option.

Razer Book 13 (2021))

Razer Book 13 (2021)

A MacBook Air with more ports

hp spectre x360 13 5 review 2022 1

HP Spectre x360 13.5

A more flexible alternative to the MacBook

Pros

  • Elegant aesthetic
  • Excellent productivity performance
  • Rock-solid build
  • Superior keyboard and touchpad
  • Stunning OLED display
  • Surprisingly good battery life

Cons

  • Creativity performance is lacking
  • Slightly expensive

Why you should buy this: It’s the best convertible 2-in-1 you can buy.

Who’s it for: Those who want the function and form of a tablet and laptop in one.

Why we chose the HP Spectre x360 13.5:

HP’s premium convertible 2-in-1s have spent a lot of time at the top of various best-of lists, and the latest model has regained its place. The Spectre x360 13.5 has a toned-down gem-cut design that’s rounder and more elegant while retaining the solid build quality, excellent keyboard, and flexible 2-in-1 qualities of its predecessor.

The 13.5-inch 3000 x 2000 OLED display is top-notch, providing dynamic and accurate colors and incredibly deep blacks, in a productivity-friendly 3:2 aspect ratio that most closely mimics a piece of paper in portrait tablet mode. With Intel 12th-gen U-series CPUs, the Spectre x360 13.5 offers solid productivity performance and surprisingly good battery life for an OLED display.

Compared to its closest MacBook competitor, the MacBook Air M2, the Spectre x360 13.5 offers a better display and a more flexible design. And it’s just as well-built.

HP Spectre x360 13.5

HP Spectre x360 13.5

A more flexible alternative to the MacBook

HP Envy 16 front view showing display and keyboard deck.

HP Envy 16

A powerful alternative to the MacBook for less money

Pros

  • Intel 12th-gen 45-watt CPU
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060
  • Solid build quality
  • Excellent keyboard and touchpad
  • 16:10 WQXGA (2560 x 1600) IPS display at 120Hz

Why you should buy this: It’s a powerful MacBook alternative for a lot less money.

Who’s it for: Anyone who wants some of the power of a MacBook without the investment.

Why we chose the HP Envy 16:

HP’s Envy series has always been a competitor to Dell and Apple’s top-of-the-line products, but they are usually a bit more affordable. The same is true of the HP Envy 16. It’s a slick-looking device that has a ton of power under the hood, so users save money without sacrificing quality or performance.

You can also add in a GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card and a fast 45-watt Intel Core i7-12700H CPU at a price of $1,750, which will really boost power for creatives. It’s a better experience than just relying on the processor, and it still comes in cheaper than the XPS 15 and MacBook Pro 16.

The Envy 16 is also a bit chunkier than the competition, but that comes with improved connectivity. The Envy 16 packs an HDMI port, two USB-C/Thunderbolt 4 ports, a USB-A port, as well as a microSD card reader.

All that being said, you’re getting a lot more for a significant discount with the HP Envy 16.

HP Envy 16

HP Envy 16

A powerful alternative to the MacBook for less money

lg gram 16 review laptop

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

LG Gram 16

All the size of the MacBook Pro 16 without the weight

Pros

  • Incredibly light
  • Thin bezels, slim chassis
  • Spectacular battery life
  • 16:10 display is a boon to productivity
  • Well-rounded ports

Cons

  • Display has inferior contrast
  • Lid and keyboard deck are too bendy
  • Lacks performance upgrades

Why you should buy this: It has the size of a MacBook Pro 16 without the weight.

Who’s it for: Those who need a powerful laptop that won’t weigh them down when traveling.

Why we chose the LG Gram 16:

If you’re more accustomed to laptops with larger displays, you will be looking for an alternative to the MacBook Pro 16. For that, we recommend the LG Gram 16. It’s a large and powerful laptop that still maintains an ultra-thin profile.

In fact, the LG Gram is the lightest 16-inch notebook computer in the world at just 2.62 pounds. It maintains that thinness while still having great battery life and delivering solid performance from its Intel 11th-gen Core i7. It doesn’t have a discrete graphics option, which is uncommon in this form factor and price bracket, but it is still a competent work device.

The MacBook Pro 16 is a lot heavier and a lot more expensive, making the LG Gram 16 all the more attractive thanks to its lightweight design and modern components.

LG Gram 16

LG Gram 16

All the size of the MacBook Pro 16 without the weight

HP Elite Dragonfly G3 front view showing display and keyboard deck.

HP Elite Dragonfly G3

It’s the businessperson’s MacBook

Pros

  • Solid build quality
  • Attractive aesthetic
  • Business-class security and privacy
  • Intel 12th-gen CPUs with vPro
  • 13.5-inch 3:2 WUXGA+ IPS display

Why you should buy this: It offers the quality of a MacBook for the business professional.

Who’s it for: Professionals who want a more business-oriented laptop than the MacBook.

Why we chose the HP Elite Dragonfly G3:

The original HP Elite Dragonfly was our favorite business computer in 2020, thanks in large part to its luxurious design and LTE connectivity. This year, HP has upped the ante by releasing the Elite Dragonfly G3, which switches from a 2-in-1 to a clamshell laptop format.

The Elite Dragonfly G3 offers Intel 12th-gen CPUs with vPro, enabled enterprise-level security and management to go with solid productivity performance. The 13.5-inch 3:2 WUXGA+ (1920 x 1280) Sure View privacy screen option on this configuration offers the utmost in privacy by blocking out information from onlookers.

The 5MP webcam provides excellent videoconferencing capabilities, and the port selection is excellent. You get two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4, a USB-A port, and a full-size HDMI 2.0 port. All in all, the Elite Dragonfly G3 is a better business option than any MacBook.

HP Elite Dragonfly G3

HP Elite Dragonfly G3

It’s the businessperson’s MacBook

Editors’ Recommendations






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