The MacBook Pro has gotten a bad rap over recent years due to its terrible keyboard, the Touch Bar which is just annoying, and the near-complete reliance on connectivity through USB-C. However, the quality of the screen, it’s lightness, and super-long battery has meant that no Windows computer has held a torch to it for a while. OLED displays are now starting to hit the market, so that advantage is slipping slightly. With OLED the screen gets real blacks which makes for great contrast, plus a wide range of other colors that can rival and even outdo the Retina Display on a MacBook.

Things have changed somewhat with the launch of the 16-inch updated MacBook Pro. The size remains the same as the 15-inch but it’s not so heavy and the hell of a keyboard is gone and we’ve got a slightly better scissor-switch style one, although Lori Grunin pointed out that she still wasn’t a fan in her article for cnet. It’s basically the same, however, still with no 4K options. Gripes aside, just like those that came before it, the performance of the new MacBook is hands-down better than anything built on the Windows system in most tasks. 

In terms of budget, even something entry-level in the MacBook range is pricey. If you’ve got yourself a healthy budget to spend, you might want to look at devices that you can customize more than an Apple product. What Windows laptops have in spades in variety. Even when trying to imitate the offerings of a MacBook (heck, or even an iPad or iPad Pro) there are all sizes of far less expensive Chromebooks, as well as 14- and 15-inch laptops that are slightly smaller and lighter than the 16-inch MacBook Pro, but not quite as small as the 13-inch MacBook Air, across the price spectrum. What’s cool in the market at the moment is the experimentation with multi-screen options.    

Best 13-inch 2-in-1 alternative

HP Spectre x360

Image credit: arstechnica.com

Editors’ Choice

Better battery life than the 13-inch MacBook Pro and greater flexibility as a two-in-one device means the Spectre is a great computer for professionals and recreation. Typing on the backlit, island keyboard is rather wonderful. Software-wise, the HP Spectre comes with Windows 10 Home 64, a 10th Generation Intel Core i5 processor, and 256 GB SSD storage. Positive comments also get made about the trackpad. 

Best 14-inch 2-in-1 alternative

Lenovo Yoga C940

Image credit: cnet.com

Editors’ Choice

Not quite as small as the MacBook Pro 13-inch, but faster and just as attractive is the Yoga C940. It comes with lots of features and a 360-degree screen – something you definitely won’t find in any Apple product. It can be used as a tablet, propped up like a tent, or in kiosk formation. 

Best MacBook Pro 16 alternative

Dell XPS 17 9700

Image credit: cnet.com

OLED isn’t a great screen type for photo editing. Adobe RGB reader isn’t optimized for them and you don’t get a lot of range in tonal shadows. The answer is a good quality IPS display. The Dell XPS 17 9700 with the 4K screen option delivers that, and it’s not as reflective as other OLED screens. The PremierColor software provided by Dell isn’t amazing, but you get a decent level of control over your screen settings than on most computers, plus you get two Thunderbolt 3 controllers to keep external drives happy. In terms of weight, it is heavier than the MacBook, but not a whole lot bigger, even though the screen is 17 inches on the Dell. And while its battery life isn’t that great, it’s performance can certainly keep up.

As a runner up, you can’t go wrong with the Razer Blade Pro 17. The performance is better and it looks about the same but it is a little heavier.

Best MacBook Pro lookalike

Razer Blade Stealth

Image credit: chromeunboxed.com

If the aesthetic you’re looking for is a featureless slab, just like MacBooks, check out the Windows computer by Razer. To keep up with the 13-inch Pro for weight, size and design, opt for the Stealth. The Mercury White version doesn’t seem to be in production anymore so if you’re picky about the color you’ll need the 15-inch Razer Blade Advanced.

It costs similarly to the top-end of the smaller MacBook Pro options. Besides, it should provide a better performance, since it incorporates discrete GeForce GTX 1650 Ti.

Best for commuters

Dell XPS 13

Image credit: chromeunboxed.com

The body is pared back so much on this Dell 13.3-inch device that it’s pretty much the same size as old 11.6-inch laptops. The XPS line from Dell is top-notch in terms of the internals and the bodywork, which equates to good battery life and performance. Power delivery is via USB-C and it comes with a MicroSD reader and headphone jack.

Best budget option

Asus Chromebook Flip C436

Image credit: trendblog.euronics.de

About the same size, lighter, and cheaper than the MacBook Air is this Asus Chromebook. The 14-inch C436 has the flexibility of a two-in-one if everything you do is cloud-based. The look and feel is sleek and you get it for a Chrome OS price, making it budget-friendly.

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