The 6 Best MacBook Alternatives to Buy in 2022

Photo: Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio

Of all the rivalries in pop culture and manufacturing, the age-old debate of Mac or PC tends to be one of the most visited. It’s hard to argue that most people have grown accustomed to Apple products, whether it’s a smartwatch, a tablet, or, obviously, a smartphone. But, in the same vein that we can’t ignore the Cupertino-based manufacturer’s adherence to user-friendliness, there’s no way to overlook the limitless capabilities of a PC in more particular environments, with one go-to example being the workplace.

Considering the almighty MacBook has become the standard for laptop owners, it’s only fair to shed some light on Apple’s leading competitor for people who require a different option. However, the true crux of that statement hinges on what you plan on using your laptop for. There are several reasons to consider buying a PC instead of a MacBook, but what makes it difficult is the endless number of options on the market. As a result, we’ve narrowed down the six best MacBook alternatives to buy.

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What To Look For

If you remember Apple’s popular ‘Mac vs. PC’ campaign, then you must’ve convinced yourself that the game-changing manufacturer’s options are the superior choice. And while certain aspects of this might be correct, there are several reasons to consider picking up a PC instead of a Mac. Moreover, the primary factor that comes to mind when distinguishing between the two is price, but there is far more to it than dollars and cents. Thanks to there being numerous PC makers, the competitive pricing allows you to choose from a near-endless amount of options, while Apple’s iOS software is limited to its manufacturing process.

Customization: For the most part, Apple’s products are fine-tuned to utilize its proprietary operating system, which we’ll dive into later. Anyway, this makes most Mac devices virtually impossible to upgrade using elements from third-party sources. You can practically configure a PC to your liking through and through, whether it’s the hardware or the internal software itself, which allows you to ensure it’s fit to take on whatever activity you have in mind, be it working from home, graphic design, or, of course, gaming.

Gaming: As far as gaming goes, you’ll be hard-pressed finding a MacBook that could perform better than a PC in the gaming department. Thanks to their sprawling array of customization options, gaming on a Microsoft operating system is practically tailored to your liking, as you can constantly tweak different pieces of hardware to speed things up tenfold or improve visual performance with an enhanced graphics card.

Operating System: The most glaring difference between the two choices is their respective OS, as the look of Apple’s signature iOS goes hand-in-hand with the rest of its devices. Be that as it may, PCs have gradually become more versatile in this department, with options like the Microsoft Surface proving that connectivity among all your Windows-powered gadgets can be as seamless as Apple makes it look.

Dell XPS 13 Plus

Students not looking to shell out on a brand new MacBook should look into the XPS 13 Plus, which is packed with the latest Windows operating system but can be upgraded to Windows 11 Pro. Thanks to its whopping 13 hours of battery life, you can get through an entire day’s worth of work and still have time to bask in the gorgeous 4K display using the built-in Netflix app. Above all else, its unique sign-on method is as secure an option as there is on the market, boasting a dual-sensor camera that detects your presence to guarantee no one can break in — that’s right, face recognition goes far beyond Apple gadgets.

Purchase: $1,300+

HP Spectre x360

As far as audial prowess is concerned, the Spectre arguably has the best built-in stereo system of all our selections. It boasts a quartet of hi-fi speakers from Bang & Olufsen to ensure nothing short of premium, well-balanced sound. Visually, the laptop’s 3:2 aspect ratio paves the way for additional space to be done on your screen, allowing you to multitask and stay productive without excessive clutter. It is powered by the 11th Gen Intel Core i7 Processor, which HP claims is up to 30% faster than competing software.

Purchase: $1,449+

Razer Book 13

As we mentioned earlier, gaming performance is a legitimate reason to consider buying a PC instead of a MacBook, and Razer is one of the virtual world’s most quintessential brands. Aside from its sleek, Apple-adjacent look, the Razer Book 13 boasts a gorgeous display that paves the way for Intel’s premium Iris Xe graphics card to round out its eye-popping colors. For further immersion, it has internal THX Spatial Audio-capable speakers that deliver an advanced listening experience to enhance any mode of entertainment. Lastly, it features a powerful Vapor chamber cooling system to ensure it won’t heat up and sacrifice your in-game performance.

Purchase: $1,600+

Lenovo Thinkbook Plus Gen 3

Lenovo’s all-in-one station is practically everything but a desktop, managing to outdo the MacBook’s signature Touch Bar with an 8” LCD touchpad, allowing you to multitask and seamlessly shift from one productivity app to another. Nevertheless, simply having a pair of screens isn’t enough, which is why these two are simply stunning. The primary, 17.3” ultra wide 3K screen boasts an industry-leading 21:10 aspect ratio that you have to see to believe. All things considered, this option is every remote worker’s dream come true.

Purchase: $1,501+

Asus ZenBook Pro 14

When it comes to versatility, ASUS’ recent release takes the cake. The tech brand’s high-end ZenBook Pro 14 is a laptop-and-tablet hybrid that assures seamless portability, rapid-fire searching, and unrivaled visual specs. Size-wise, it boasts a 14.5-inch, 2.8K OLED display, while the neighboring ScreenPad Plus measures 12.7-inch and features the same premium visual specs. It runs on an Intel Core i7 processor in its base form, but you can upgrade to an i9 if you require the bandwidth. Additionally, it features Dolby’s latest Atmos and Vision tech to deliver theater-like immersion no matter what you’re listening to or watching.

Purchase: $2,000

Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio

The Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio is practically a direct rival to Apple’s MacBook Pro, and it manages to pull it off with flying colors — literally. Moreover, it features Dolby Vision, resulting in brighter brights, darker darks, and enhanced details. Additionally, it has Microsoft’s signature PixelSense Flow tech, which allows for smoother scrolling at a refresh rate as high as 120Hz. The hybrid laptop-and-tablet is equipped with the manufacturer’s most impressive Precision Haptic touchpad thus far, boasting more sensors than ever and the option of customizing the feedback to suit your gestures and scrolling pattern.

Purchase: $2,000

The 10 Best VR-Ready Laptops

As we said, PCs are superior when it comes to gaming, but VR is a whole other side of the coin. Our guide to the best VR-ready laptops will help you get on a different plane.