Buying a laptop is a tough decision since there is so many things we have to consider. Unlike a desktop, you can’t replace parts like the keyboard, screen, or processor. Apple has been king of the laptops for some time now, Macbook Pros have been running strong for over a decade as the king of all-around best laptop on most comparison sites.
With Apple’s Macbook Pro’s reigning king, there was only two major pitfalls for most people; 1. They don’t want to run MacOS, 2. It’s base level cost for a 13 inch is $1299, and the 16 inch $2399. In this article we will go over five other cheaper alternatives to the Apple Macbook Pro series.
Ironically, the Macbook Pro’s sibling the Macbook Air is a good cheaper alternative. The reason for this is most individuals do not need the power that the Macbook Pro offers. It has a similar screen to the 13 inch Macbook Pro, and for only $100 offer a 10th Generation Intel i5, don’t be fooled though, it’s the Y-series processors meant for slim laptops. But if you are like most individuals doing web browsing, show watching, and word processor’s then this computer would be able to do it.
But if you are running programs that are demanding like high-quality games it will have thermal issues since it only has one fan compared to the Macbook Pro 13’s two fans. One major reason that the Macbook Air is a great alternative though is that you can still get the magic keyboard, MacOS (if you want), an also the Retina screen at a great price point. Not many computers near or under the $1000 range have higher then 1080p screens. Just like the base Macbook Pro it comes with two thunderport 3 ports, 256gb SSD storage, and 8gb of DDR4 ram.
The most noticable difference between these two is the touch bar, whereas the Macbook Air doesn’t have one, but it does have the standard function keys and in the top right a Touch ID sensor. All in all, the Macbook Air for most individuals would be the better option since it’s a lot of the same machine, for a few hundred dollars less.
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3
This might be the best option on the list, but it does have it’s drawbacks. The Microsoft Surface Laptop comes in two variations, a 13.5 inch screen and 15 inch screen. They both come with a PixelSense Display (which is a touchscreen), up to 11.5 hours battery life, 8gb ram standard, and 128gb to 1tb SSD storage options.
The major difference is that the 13.5 inch has a 10th generation Intel i5 or i7, while the 15 inch has an AMD Ryzen 5, or 7. The 15 inch also has a graphics card like most 15 inch laptops today. The 13.5 inch base model is priced at $999.99 and the base of the 15 inch is 1,199.99, both significantly cheaper then the Macbook Pro’s.
Both of the base models come with 128gb storage, which might not be great for most people, there is the opportunity to upgrade it though. The major benefit going for the Surface Laptop is the keyboard, which might be top 3 on laptops.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 7
Lenovo is known for making sturdy, long lasting, great keyboarded laptops. The Thinkpad X1 Carbon Gen 7 base model starts with a 10th generation Intel i5, 8gb of ram, 256gb SSD storage, but a standard 14 inch FHD display. The only weakness on this computer arguably is the screen, but if you aren’t using for movies or editing then it’s a fantastic computer.
It has a great keyboard, it has the 10th gen Intel processor which is a massive upgrade from the 8th gen inside the Macbook Pro. It uses a fingerprint sensor, and arguably has the best battery life on this list at 18.3 hours. If you’re looking for a workhorse of a laptop to have for the next few years that isn’t an Apple computer, this is it.
One of the really cool features this laptop offers is the ThinkShield security, it is a combination of hardware and software which keeps your information on the screen to you alone. It the PrivacyGuard screen that makes it harder to see if you aren’t looking from head on, and the PrivacyAlert system that uses the IR camera to alert you if somebody is lurking over your shoulder.
The XPS is Dell’s Macbook competitor, with it sporting a 13, 15 , and 17 inch version. With the 2020 redesign of the XPS they all have a similar base model, which luckily for us makes this easier to discuss. Each one does, have upgrade’s that can be done just like other companies. The XPS base models all come with a 10th gen Intel i5, 8gb of ram, 256gb SSD storage.
The 13 inch starts are $999.99, while the 15 inch starts at $1299.99, and the 17 inch at $1399.99. The new almost bezel-less XPS only is worse compared to the Macbook Pro on the screen, just like the Lenovo. The keyboard is second on this list as the new design made it even better.
The big upgrade from the redesign is the trackpad though, which might be the only one that can compare to the Macbook Pro’s, even though it’s still not as good. The biggest benefit for people looking for an alternative who have an Iphone but want a cheaper option that the Macbook is the XPS since it has Dell Connect which will sync your iPhone, don’t be mistaken it’s not even close to using the Macbook, but it is better then not having the option at all.
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
Microsoft just like Apple takes two spots on the list, not long ago though Microsoft was nowhere to be found, until they had the breakout child of the Surface devices. The new Surface Pro 7 has many different configurations, but still is like a really big tablet.
The model we will be comparing to the Macbook Pro is a tier up from the base, it sports an 10th gen Intel i5, 8gb of ram, and 128gb of SSD storage, which starts at $899.99. It has the touch screen of course, and you will need to buy the Microsoft pen for $99, if you wanted the pen. The keyboard, track pad combo has to be bought also, for $159.99, and it has many different color options to choose from.
Of course, the main consideration with this device is do you want a full laptop. This operates exactly the same, and if anything can become a very powerful machine. But it does have a keyboard/trackpad that connects to it, and it’s built into it. Which makes it a little hard to balance on your lap if you sitting somewhere and don’t have anywhere to place it on comfortable. Otherwise, this machine should be considered.
Overall, we have compared 5 different laptop alternatives to the Macbook Pro series. You have options ranging from the Macbook Air which would keep you in the Apple universe, or the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 which is a 2 in 1 machine that will perform just as well for a $150 less.
The key takeaways should be that you no longer have to spend a premium amount to get just as great as a machine as the Macbook Pro, and the competition is catching up quick.