The Best MacBook Pro Alternatives for Designers

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The best MacBook Pro-like laptops provide the power of a Mac without the price tag.

The best MacBook Pro alternatives have the great features of Apple’s design but at a lower cost. MacBook Pro may be most designers’ laptop, but it is no longer alone in its design and performance prowess; There are plenty of Windows machines that have excellent specs, and more and more they look great.

It’s also true that cross-platform software compatibility is now rarely an issue. With so many web-based productivity apps now, plus Adobe’s CC ( get Adobe Creative Cloud here ) with full support for the excellent Windows 10, you won’t suddenly find yourself in the stream without a palette.

Many Windows 10 PCs also have touchscreens, which can be quite useful if you want to use a stylus; is definitely a better touch solution than the touch bar of Manzana.

Of course, it’s still the case that Macs are an expensive investment for a freelancer or studio, and some of the Windows alternatives offer the same power for less. Apple has recently cut its factory-adjusted SSD upgrade prices, but if you set up a MacBook Pro with all the bells and whistles, things start to skyrocket higher. However, we must also say that while the MacBook Pro has increased in price in the relatively recent past, so have many PC equivalents.

So let’s explore some of the best MacBook Pro alternatives you’ll find. We have listed the main specifications of the base model in each case, but naturally, there are more expensive (and better performing) options available in each case.

The best similar laptop or equivalent to Macbook Pro

01. Microsoft Surface Book 2

Best MacBook Pro Alternatives
Best MacBook Pro Alternatives
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Microsoft’s killer MacBook Pro has a detachable tablet screen

CPU: Intel Core i5 or Core i7 | Graphics: Graphics: Intel HD 620, optional Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 | RAM: 8 or 16GB | Screen: 13.5 or 15 inches 3,000 × 2,000 PixelSense | Storage: 256GB, 512GB, 1TB

  • Detachable tablet screen
  • Option to have dedicated Nvidia graphics.
  • Can be expensive – Heavy

If you are looking for an equivalent MacBook Pro, this is a PC that you just found. Available in two sizes, the Surface Book 2 is a powerful machine to do anything. Its party piece is a detachable touchscreen that is toggled on and off from the keyboard dock and functions as a separate tablet, though the Surface Pen is an optional extra. And since Windows is so easy to touch, the tablet isn’t just for show, you can really put it to work.

The display is great too, very accurate, although there is support for USB-C and USB-A, although it does have to support a proprietary power connector that we hope Microsoft will download when I review this machine again. While the base machine is competitively priced, things start to jump up when it comes to opting for Nvidia’s dedicated graphics that reside in the base (so it can’t be used with the tablet unless it’s connected to the keyboard) . Another downside is that it is heavier than a MacBook Pro.

02. Dell XPS 15

Dell’s premium laptops are world-class

CPU: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 | RAM: 8-32GB | Screen: 5.6-inch FHD or 4K OLED InfinityEdge | Storage: 256GB, 512GB or 1TB

  • Well specified across the board
  • Some have 4K OLED displays
  • Some have 4K OLED displays
  • Expensive with options

This could have been in two ways: if we recommend the XPS 13 Or its big brother, the XPS 15? Well, we recommend both, depending on what size you want (and what you need to do). If you have an idea that Dell is not a good brand to buy, it’s time you made that idea – these are some of the best laptops available in the world and they are very well designed. The XPS 13 comes in a number of models and could be seen as an equivalent MacBook Air in many ways, but it can be given a lot of power (although it’s not about more advanced graphics than Intel’s built-in options).

The XPS 15, on the other hand, has full-board Nvidia GTX 1650 graphics as standard, in addition to next-gen 9th-gen Intel Core i7 processors, while several models also have 4K OLED displays. Both the XPS 13 and 15 are available in 2-in-1 versions (more expensive) where you can flip the screen 360 degrees.

03. Microsoft Surface Laptop 3

Distinctive, portable, and powerful.

CPU: Intel Core i5 or Core i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8 or 16GB | Screen: 13.5-inch 2,256 × 1,504 PixelSense | Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB or 1TB

  • Beautiful to wear and carry
  • Powerful options
  • Can be a bit expensive
  • Without USB-C

When the Surface laptop was first announced, it seemed strange: why was Microsoft going backward from the excellent Surface Book? But it makes a lot of sense. By producing a premium device without the tablet part, Microsoft could cut the weight and produce a Surface device for everyone who wanted, well, a laptop instead of a tablet (you can still use the surface pen with this super PixelSense display if desired).

It is available with some high-end options, including storage and memory bags, while it is very well designed like its more expensive brother and also has something distinctive; Durable Alcantara fabric surrounds the keyboard. Some aren’t going to like it, but it’s definitely a talking point, and before you ask, it doesn’t smudge. However, there is a moot point: there is no USB-C port.

04. HP Zbook Studio 15

A workstation-level equivalent of the 15-inch MacBook Pro

CPU: Intel Core i9 | Graphics: Nvidia Quadro P1000 | RAM: 32GB | Screen: 4K DreamColor 3,840 x 2,160 pixels | Storage: 512GB SSD

  • High-end processing power
  • Fairly light at 2kg.
  • Regular design
  • Lots of other options at this price

HP’s ZBook line comes in a variety of configurations and styles, you can even get a 360-degree convertible version (Studio x360) as well. The HP ZBook Studio 15 is our choice as it has workstation level specs. In fact, it would be very difficult to find that much power for the price anywhere.

Not only are there Nvidia Quadro P1000 graphics under the hood, but you also get the top-of-the-line Intel Core i9 processor, 32GB of memory, and a 512GB SSD. The DreamColor 4K display also has 100% Adobe RGB coverage. You have a choice of ports, with two Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports, an SD card slot, and dual USB-A as well. You can request a custom configuration from HP if you wish.

05. Lenovo ThinkPad X1Carbon

Light to carry, but very capable.

CPU: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8-16GB | Screen:14-inch FHD or WQHD or 4K UHD | Storage: 256GB, 512GB or 1TB

  • Many ports
  • Light to carry everything
  • 4K display only on the most expensive model
  • No discrete graphics options

Think business laptops and you will probably create the ThinkPad. However, since the ThinkPad lineup was taken over by Lenovo, they are not all black ThinkPads anymore, but rather boring. In fact, while the 14 inch Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon has a low-key look, it’s a genuine MacBook Pro competitor that’s lightweight, starting at around 1.1kg, but can be specified with various options up to 8th Gen Intel Core i7 processors, a super-bright 4K Dolby Vision display, and up to 16GB. of memory and 2TB of storage SSD.

However, like the Surface Laptop, there are no discrete graphics options that can be a deal-breaker. But there’s a lot to like with the X1 Carbon – the port variety is impressive for something 15mm thick, with HDMI, 2x USB-A, and dual USB-C Thunderbolt 3, one of which sits next to a USB port. proprietary network, those Dos can be directly connected to a desktop. There’s even a model with built-in mobile broadband – just pop in a SIM card and it’s always on.

06. Refurbished MacBook Pro

Get the same Mac you want, but for less

Specifications: Varies depending on the renovation model

  • Get the Mac you want
  • Cheaper than the main store
  • Sometimes you have to wait
  • Can be strange configurations

What better alternative to MacBook Pro could there be than an alternative MacBook Pro? Let’s explain. Like many other computer manufacturers ( Dell Outlet being another good example). Apple sells machines that are returned to you for less than they were originally for sale. These machines are not faulty or have had a faulty part replaced.

Oftentimes, they have just been returned for refunds because the customer changed their mind. Therefore, they are repackaged, reformatted, and sold to you at savings that can run into the hundreds. Sounds good right? The only downside is that sometimes the machines can have weird setups, or you have to wait for the model you want to deploy. Still, it’s always worth seeing what’s available. Everything comes with a one-year warranty and there are plenty of other Apple products available as well.

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