Best MacBook Pro Alternatives For 2020
As much as some of us may deride the MacBook Pro‘s awful keyboard, annoying Touch Bar and over-reliance on USB-C connections, its balance of screen quality, weight, battery life and performance had no Windows-based peer devices for a long time. But now that OLED displays are beginning to hit the market that balance is tipping a little. OLED delivers true blacks, which means high contrast, as well as a wide
gamut and HDR that can rival or outperform the
MacBook’s Retina Display.
And one nice thing about Windows laptops is the variety. In this case, there are 14-inch laptops that are slightly smaller and lighter than the 15-inch MacBook Pro, but not quite as small as the 13-inch model, for less money. Plus, we’re seeing lots of experimentation with multiscreen designs.
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Best MacBook Pro Alternatives For 2020
Dell’s is a 13.3-inch laptop that’s so trimmed up that the body is basically the size of an older 11.6-inch laptop.
It’s roughly the same size and weight, with a full-size backlit keyboard, NanoEdge touchscreen and color-accurate 100 percent Adobe RGB 4K display — and therefore a higher pixel density than Apple’s Retina — plus discrete graphics. It has a built-in media reader that supports micro SD card formats and comes with an Intel Core i9 processor and 16 GB of RAM. .
Its big weakness is battery life. But it costs $2,300 to buy compared to $3,100 for an equivalent MacBook, and it will most likely outperform the entry-level 15-inch MacBook at around the same price.
The Read Asus ZenBook Pro 15 review.
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If you’re drawn to a MacBook Pro for its featureless-slab aesthetic, Razer’s your Windows go-to, especially now that the company’s offering a model in Mercury White. It’s priced similarly to the entry-level MacBook Pro model and should provide a similar level of performance. But the white version of the Razer only comes with a 1,980×1,080-pixel screen and is limited to an i7-8750H processor, relatively small 512GB SSD and 16GB RAM. It also weighs a half pound more.
If you’re willing to go with black, you can get a 4K, 100% Adobe RGB screen (I haven’t tested it for accuracy, though) and a GeForce RTX 2070 for $2,900. That’s more expensive than the comparable MacBook configuration (around $2,700), but it’s far more gameworthy. Battery longevity is pretty meh, however, and with the 4K screen it’s even worse.
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With roughly the same insides, the 14-inch C930 is $1,600 vs. The 13-incher’s $2,300 or the $2,400 base configuration of the 15-inch. It’s a convertible, which is more flexible, and has better battery life. It also has a touchscreen display and backlit keyboard. The performance won’t match that 15-inch base configuration, however. You can opt for the 4K display over the default 1,920×1,080-pixel screen in order to get Retina-beating pixel density, but it will cost another $200 and tank the battery life.
As far as performance goes, the Yoga C930 has 8GB of RAM (DDR4) and an Intel Core i7 processor. Read Lenovo Yoga C930 review.
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This lacks the elegant design of the MacBook, but if you need raw power in a desktop replacement, this 17-inch behemoth can be configured to outperform the top-end MacBook Pro. Marketed as a gaming laptop, theArea-51m can be outfitted with a desktop-class i9-9900K processor, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080, 64GB RAM and 3TB storage (2TB SSD). That will run you $5,150, though.
Starting at a more modest $3,330, you can still buy a desktop-class octa-core i7, RTX 2070, 16GB and 1TB SSD. That should still deliver comparable performance to a $4,500 MacBook, and you can add a boatload of connectors. It performs well as a gaming laptop too. The Alienware only has an 1,920×1,080 display, which is kind of sad. It’s intended to be run while plugged in — with two AC adapters — so it doesn’t matter that a 4K display would sap the already sad battery life. Read review.
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You can save a lot of money by dropping to 14 inches. The MateBook Pro X delivers performance equal to the last generation’s top-end MacBook 15 but, starting at $1,100, it costs less than the cheapest Retina MacBook 13.
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