Choosing a MacBook alternative depends on multiple different aspects. What do you want from your laptop and how much are you willing to spend?
Recommending a MacBook alternative is a tough conversation. A few years ago, when Apple was still using Intel hardware, it was far easier to say that Razer Blade laptops or a high-spec Windows laptop were the way forward.
Now, it’s far harder since Apple moved to their own chips. Apple Silicon is undoubtedly the best advancement for consumer-level and prosumer PCs in the last few years. This isn’t even as someone who owns an M1 Pro MacBook, desperately trying to defend the purchase.
The current spate of releases from Apple has all – bar a few slip-ups – been a treasure trove of good hardware. iPads and Macs have benefited massively from the increased power of the M1 and M2 chips.
Even the desktop options are now recommendable again, with the Mac Studio and even iMacs being relevant outside of niche use cases.
What to look for in a MacBook Alternative
When recommending something as an alternative, we need to consider what a current MacBook houses, that could be replicated elsewhere.
For content creators, a powerful GPU and CPU combo to compete with Apple Silicon’s high-end machines using M1 Max and Ultra. Though, something that’s svelt and easy to lug around, rather than a gangly beast.
Gaming isn’t necessarily something we should be considering here, but, the M1 series of laptops have proven themselves to be quite adept at playing a variety of titles through emulation of old consoles, or even modern Windows environments.
Every day uses too. The MacBook is a sublime office and everyday device due to its lack of flair and faff. Comfortable keyboards, and large trackpads.
Then, finally, those who like to tinker, or need something with a little bit more capability than your average PC environment. It shouldn’t surprise you why some developers wind up using macOS over everything else.
The best alternative for a MacBook Air: Framework
When we reviewed the Framework, we weren’t only blown away by its upgradability and modular options. No, we loved that it performed spectacularly in terms of coming in with a 12th-generation Intel chip. The MacBook Air isn’t as capable as its bigger brethren, but it can certainly still hold its own under duress.
The Framework is no different. It provides enough power to allow you to do certain tasks and light gaming, while still being completely usable as an everyday device as the MacBook Air was originally envisioned.
It is also sporting a 3:2 monitor, the best for working and browsing the web. Framework’s monitor offers better verticality than your traditional laptop.
Surface Laptop Studio
The Surface Laptop Studio is a fairly powerful device but doesn’t beat the other options below. Topping out at the 3050 Ti, this all-in-one device gives you excellent Microsoft build quality and a unique design.
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It can fold in on itself to become a tablet, as well as fold-out just a little bit to give you a little stand too. Microsoft’s Surface range always seems to be one step behind the rest, with its CPU being the 11th generation, just as the 12th generation laptops were launching.
However, the Surface Laptop Studio is an excellent all-in-one choice to go for, with the 11th generation and 3050 Ti combo still providing great performance despite its aging specs.
If you’re a content creator, this should be one you consider going for, especially as it seems to be getting discounted more and more.
The best alternative for a MacBook Pro: Razer Blade (14 and 15)
The Razer Blade is unquestionably the best choice when moving from macOS to Windows, to try to replicate the finesse of a MacBook Pro. From its lush design to the excellent onboard specs, Razer knows how to make a laptop.
We’ve recommended both the 15 and 14-inch variations, as it depends on what you want to carry with you. A Razer Blade 14 is considerably lighter and uses AMD CPU and GPU. The Blade 15 uses an Intel CPU but also has the benefit of the RTX series of GPUs.
Razer’s laptops are truly sublime to use. It’s not even just at a gaming level, but the specs on board allow you to get creative. The 2022 version comes booted with an excellent high refresh rate OLED screen, making for a luxurious feel while using it.
On top of that, the wide keyboard buttons and great-feeling trackpad make for a great machine to tap out a few words on.
System76 Oryx Pro
A recommendation list including a Linux-focused machine? It’s more likely than you think.
The System76 Oryx Pro is an excellent alternative to your typical Windows affair. System76 builds specialist systems, but also has turned into an excellent supplier for consumers. Coming pre-installed with either Pop_OS! or Ubuntu, the Oryx Pro can provide up to a 3080 Ti, as well as DDR5 RAM.
It’s an exceptionally well-made machine, one that will serve you well in almost every single facet of wanting to use a PC. Video editing, gaming, and even further in terms of utilizing it as a developer’s machine.