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6 Laptops you can Buy Instead of the MacBook Pro

By Oluchukwu Ikemefuna

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The MacBook Pro is a powerhouse laptop renowned for its sleek design, intuitive operating system, and exceptional performance. However, it comes with a premium price tag.

If you’re looking for a fantastic laptop experience without breaking the bank, or if you simply prefer a Windows machine then you’re at the right place.

In this post, we’ll be reviewing 6 compelling alternatives to the MacBook Pro and key things you should know about them.

Why do people buy MacBook Laptops

People buy MacBook laptops for various reasons which includes:

  • Quality and Reliability:

Apple products are known for their high build quality, durability, and reliability. MacBook laptops are no exception, offering a premium design and construction that many users find appealing.

  • User Experience:

The macOS operating system provides a smooth and intuitive user experience, with seamless integration across Apple devices.

This cohesive ecosystem, combined with features like iCloud synchronisation and Continuity, enhances productivity and convenience for many users.

  • Performance:

MacBook Pro  laptops are equipped with powerful hardware components, including Intel or Apple-designed processors, fast SSD storage, and high-resolution displays.

This enables smooth multitasking, fast performance in demanding tasks like video editing and graphic design, and a generally responsive computing experience.

  • Software Ecosystem:

MacBooks come pre-installed with a suite of productivity and creativity software, including Pages, Numbers, Keynote, iMovie, and GarageBand.

Users also have access to a wide range of third-party applications via the Mac App Store, catering to various needs and preferences.

  • Design and Aesthetics:

Apple’s attention to design and aesthetics is evident in the sleek and minimalist look of MacBook Pro  laptops. The thin and lightweight form factor, along with features like the Retina display and the Force Touch trackpad, contribute to an overall visually appealing and ergonomic design.

  • Customer Support:

Apple offers comprehensive customer support services, including AppleCare warranty coverage and access to Apple Stores and authorised service providers for repairs and technical assistance. This provides peace of mind for users in case of any issues with their MacBook.

  • Status Symbol:

For some users, owning a MacBook shows luxury, sophistication, and being part of the Apple ecosystem. The brand’s reputation for innovation and cutting-edge technology further adds to its allure.

However, people generally buy MacBook laptops for a combination of factors, including their quality, user experience, performance, design, software ecosystem, customer support, and brand appeal.

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6 Laptops you can buy instead of the MacBook Pro

1.HP Envy 16

The HP Envy 16 is a budget-friendly laptop that packs a punch in terms of performance. The latest 2023 model is available for $1,349 at Best Buy.

HP prioritised sustainability by using ocean-bound and recycled plastics, along with recycled aluminium, to combat the environmental impact of single-use plastics.

Its elegant silver aluminium finish makes it suitable for both professional and personal use.

The ENVY Laptop weighs around 5.17 lbs, perfect for professionals who need to carry their laptops everywhere. The full-size silver backlit keyboard ensures visibility in any lighting condition.

It comes with a 200W Smart AC power adapter and a long-lasting 6-cell battery, providing up to 8 hours and 45 minutes of battery life for general use and up to 14 hours and 30 minutes for video playback.

It also supports fast charging, reaching 50% capacity in just 30 minutes with its energy-efficient performance.

The laptop features an HP True Vision 5MP IR camera with a shutter for privacy, along with quad speakers by Bang & Olufsen with HP Audio Boost for an enhanced audio experience. 

It includes various sensors such as an accelerometer, ambient light sensor, and IR thermal sensor. The Intel Movidius VPU AI Accelerator enhances computing performance by streamlining AI workloads and improving system responsiveness.

The ENVY Laptop runs on Windows 11 and boasts a 13th Gen Intel® Core™ processor with up to 5.4 GHz and Intel Turbo Boost Technology, ensuring efficient multitasking. 

It comes with 32GB RAM and a 1TB PiCe® Gen4NVMe™ TLC M.2 SSD, providing ample memory and storage capacity.

Envy also features integrated Intel Iris® Xe graphics and discrete NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 4060 Laptop GPU with 8GB GDDR6, ensuring smooth graphics performance. With WiFI 6E technology, users can enjoy faster and more reliable internet connectivity.

The laptop’s 16-inch Eye-safe® certified display reduces blue light exposure without compromising colour accuracy, providing a comfortable viewing experience.

The Versatile connectivity options, including USB Type-A, Thunderbolt™ 4, HDMI 2.1 ports, and a microSD media card reader, allow for seamless device integration. 

The laptop also supports remote control via a smartphone app or voice commands using the AC smart pin.

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2. Dell XPS 15 

The Dell XPS 15 stands out as the most attractive laptop here, and it could even beat the MacBook Pro when it comes to looks.

The laptop costs $1099 and  runs on an Intel Core i7-13700H processor of the 13th generation, capable of reaching speeds up to 5.00 GHz. 

It comes with Windows 11 Home pre-installed and the graphics are handled by an Intel Arc Graphics A370M card with 4 GB of memory. 

The laptop features a 15.6-inch display with Full HD+ resolution (1920×1200), providing clear visuals. It boasts 16 GB RAM for smooth performance and a 512 GB SSD for storage. 

The exterior of the laptop is silver, while the interior is black. Security-wise, it includes McAfee+ Premium for one year and offers 1-year Premium Support with quick onsite service. 

The laptop’s keyboard is backlit for typing in low light conditions. It offers various ports, including USB-C, Thunderbolt, and a headphone/microphone combo. 

Dell XPS 15 measures 0.71 inches thick and weighs around 4.21 lbs. The camera is HD, and there are dual-array microphones for clear audio during video calls. 

The chassis is made of sturdy aluminium with a carbon fibre palm rest and it supports Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth for connectivity. The battery life is long-lasting, providing up to 18 hours of usage. It comes with a 130W AC adapter for charging. 

Also, Dell XPS 16 meets ENERGY STAR standards and Dell’s environmental compliance regulations which is a quite necessary feature.

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3. Microsoft Surface Laptop 5

The Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 comes with powerful processors, including options like the 12th Gen Intel Core i5-1235U and Core i7-1255U, built on the Intel Evo platform.

It features Intel Iris Xe Graphics for smooth visuals. Users can choose between different memory and storage configurations, with options for 8GB or 16GB LPDDR5x RAM and SSD sizes ranging from 256GB to 1TB, depending on the model.

The laptop sports high-resolution displays, with the 13.5” version offering a PixelSense Display with a resolution of 2256 x 1504 and the 15” model featuring 2496 x 1664 resolution.

Both displays have a 3:2 aspect ratio and support Dolby Vision IQ for enhanced visuals. They are protected by Gorilla Glass.

The laptop’s battery life is impressive, with the 13.5” model providing up to 18 hours of usage and the 15” model offering up to 17 hours on a single charge.

In terms of size and weight, the 13.5” version is compact and lightweight, while the 15” model is slightly larger and heavier.

Its security features include firmware TPM 2.0 and Windows Hello face sign-in for secure access. The laptop also comes with a Windows Hello Face Authentication camera and a 720p HD front-facing camera for video calls, along with Omni-sonic Speakers featuring Dolby Atmos for immersive audio.

The Surface Laptop 5 is designed for compatibility with accessories like the Surface Pen and Microsoft Pen Protocol, offering creative flexibility.

It runs on Windows 11 Home and comes with preloaded Microsoft 365 Apps, with trials for Microsoft 365 Family and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.

The laptop’s exterior is crafted with aluminium casing and comes in various colour options. It includes sensors like an ambient light sensor for adaptive brightness.

In the box, users will find a power supply, quick start guide, and safety and warranty documents. The keyboard is backlit and features a full row of function keys, with a 1-year limited hardware warranty provided.

4. Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 GA401

The ROG Zephyrus G14 GA401 is  a powerful device designed to meet its  users computing needs. It runs on Windows 10 Pro, but an upgrade to Windows 11 Pro is advised for especially for business purposes.

With an AMD Ryzen™ 9 4900HS Mobile Processor, you can expect smooth multitasking and fast processing.

The graphics are handled by an NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1660Ti, ensuring crisp visuals for your gaming and multimedia needs. The 14-inch display offers stunning visuals with a WQHD resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels.

It’s Pantone Validated for colour accuracy and features an anti-glare IPS-level panel, making it ideal for long hours of use without straining your eyes.

With 16GB DDR4 memory and a 1TB PCIe® 3.0 NVMe™ M.2 SSD, users will have ample storage and memory for all your applications and files.

Its connectivity options include USB-C, HDMI, and USB ports for seamless connectivity to peripherals and external displays. The backlit chiclet keyboard and touchpad ensure comfortable typing and navigation, even in low-light conditions.

The laptop features Dolby Atmos and Smart Amp Technology, delivering immersive sound quality. It has Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth® 5.0 capabilities and the device also includes a 1080P external camera for clear video calls.

ROG has good security features which includes BIOS Administrator Password, User Password Protection, and a Kensington Security Slot™.

It weighs just 1.60 Kg (3.53 lbs) making it lightweight and portable for on-the-go use. Also, it comes with a one-month trial of Microsoft 365 and Xbox Game Pass for PC. 

However, this laptop now has a fancy metal body just like the MacBook Pro. They’ve made the touchpad bigger and the whole laptop lighter and thinner.

It’s almost the same size as the MacBook Pro now. With the ROG Zephyrus G14, you get a complete package of power, performance, and portability.

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5. Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 Gen 2

The Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 Gen 2 laptop is a powerful machine with options to suit your needs.It has two types of processors with options to choose between them ;either the AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 7540U or the Ryzen 7 PRO 7840U. 

The display comes in three choices: a regular touchscreen with good colour, an OLED touchscreen with excellent colour and contrast, or a more advanced version with Dolby Vision and low blue light certification.

The laptop has up to 64GB memory, but it can’t be upgraded by users. For storage, it has up to a 2TB solid-state drive.

The battery life is good as it  charges quickly with a 65W or higher AC adapter and lasts a long time. It’s also pretty lightweight, starting at 1.19kg.

The laptop is designed with the planet in mind, using recycled materials and offering different design options like Arctic Grey Recycled Aluminium or Flax Fibre with Bronze Aluminium. Even the packaging is eco-friendly, made from bamboo-sugarcane fibre.

In terms of performance, the laptop is thin, light, and powerful, thanks to the AMD Ryzen processors and Windows 11 Pro. You can also stay connected with the latest WiFi and optional WWAN.

The keyboard is top-notch with added features like a glass trackpad and the classic red TrackPoint. The FHD infrared camera makes video calls clear and secure, with AI-based noise cancellation and facial recognition.

Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 Gen 2 meets strict military standards and environmental certifications like EPEAT® Gold and ENERGY STAR®.

Security is also a priority with features like fingerprint and facial recognition, and an electronic shutter for the camera.

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6. Asus ProArt Studiobook 16

Asus ProArt Studiobook 16 cones in two not so different models,H7604JI and H7604JV.

Both models comes in Mineral Black colour and offer various operating system options, including Windows 11 Pro and Windows 11 Home, or no preinstalled OS.

It features an Intel Core i9-13980HX Processor with up to 5.6 GHz speed, along with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 Laptop GPU graphics.

The display is a 16.0-inch OLED with 3.2K resolution, 120Hz refresh rate, and touch screen support, suitable for use with a stylus.

The laptop’s memory options include up to 64GB DDR5 RAM, while storage options range from 1TB to 4TB M.2 NVMe PCIe 4.0 SSD. Its expansion slots consist of 2x DDR5 SO-DIMM slots and 2x M.2 2280 PCIe 4.0×4 slots.

Asus ProArt has I/O ports which includes USB, Thunderbolt 4, HDMI, audio jacks, Ethernet, and an SD Express 7.0 card reader.

The keyboard is backlit with a chiclet design, and there’s a precision touchpad and it’s camera is FHD with IR function for Windows Hello and a privacy shutter.

The laptop’s audio features include Smart Amp Technology, built-in speakers, and microphones. It has a network and communication capabilities including Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3.

The battery life is a 90 WHrs, 4-cell Li-ion type, with a 240W AC adapter for power supply. The weight of the laptop is 2.40 kg (5.29 lbs).

Asus ProArt has built-in apps like MyASUS, ProArt Creator Hub, ScreenXpert, and GlideX.

Its additional features encompass system diagnosis, battery health charging, WiFi SmartConnect, and more. The laptop also includes Microsoft Office options and meets US MIL-STD 810H military-grade standards.

Its eco-labels & compliances include RoHS and REACH with security features consisting of HDD User Password Protection, TPM 2.0, Security Lock, and McAfee antivirus.

However, the laptop comes with a backpack and stylus (ASUS Pen SA203H-MPP2.0 support).

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FAQs

Are there any laptops as good as the MacBook Pro?

There are many excellent laptops that rival the MacBook Pro in various aspects. It depends on your individual needs and priorities. This article highlights a variety of options excelling in design, performance, specific functionalities (like gaming or creative work), and affordability. 

I prefer Windows over macOS.  What are some good alternatives to the MacBook Pro?

Excellent choices include Dell XPS 14/15 for its stunning display and overall quality, Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 for its user-friendly Windows experience and stylish design, and Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 Gen 2 for its durability and focus on productivity needs.

I need a powerful laptop for video editing/graphic design.  Is there an alternative to the MacBook Pro?

Absolutely! The HP Envy 16 is a strong contender with a large display, powerful specs, and discrete graphics options to handle demanding creative tasks.

What if I’m a gamer looking for a non-MacBook Pro option?

The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 packs serious power for gaming in a surprisingly portable design. It boasts high-end processors and graphics cards to tackle even the most demanding games.

I prioritise portability and a versatile device.  Are there any alternatives to the MacBook Pro?

The Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Ultra offers a stunning AMOLED display, a lightweight design, and a 360-degree hinge that transforms it from a laptop to a tablet. This makes it a great choice for both work and entertainment on the go.  

How much should I expect to spend on a good laptop besides the MacBook Pro?

The price range varies depending on features and performance. This article highlights options across a spectrum, from budget-friendly to high-performance machines. Consider your needs and set a realistic budget before diving into your research.

Conclusion

While the MacBook Pro is undoubtedly a popular choice, there are numerous alternatives available in the laptop market that offer comparable performance, features, and value for money.

Whether it’s for budget-conscious consumers, those seeking specific functionalities, or simply those looking for a change, exploring these alternatives can lead to finding the perfect laptop that meets individual needs and preferences.

References

  • hp.com – HP ENVY 16 Laptop (2023): A Complete Review
  • dell.com – XPS 15 Laptop
  • microsoft.com – Surface Laptop 5
  • rog.asus – ROG Zephyrus G14 GA401
  • lenovo – ThinkPad Z13 Gen 2 (13″ AMD) Laptop
  • asus – ProArt Studiobook 16 OLED

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Blessing Ukibe
Blessing Ukibe

Medical Student at Nnamdi Azikiwe University|Tech content expert at Silicon Africa Technology|Lover of fun books and fun fun ☺️

Articles: 90

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