Top 5 Alternatives to the MacBook Pro: Laptops Worth Considering

Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

Currently, there’s no laptop that compares to the MacBook Pro. None of the options on the Windows side can rival the power, efficiency, and battery life of a laptop this size – not to mention the premium features and design of the Pro.

Nonetheless, there are a couple of laptops that come close, with lower prices. So, if you’re searching for a suitable Windows substitute for the more potent configurations of the MacBook Pro or simply a more affordable laptop that can imitate some of the Pro’s capabilities, here are a few dependable choices to contemplate before splurging on a MacBook Pro.

HP Envy 16

Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

The HP Envy 16 stands out as one of the more affordable laptops that offers impressive power capabilities. You can currently purchase the 2023 version of the Envy 16, which is the most recent model, for . This version comes with an RTX 4060, a Core i913900H, 16GB of RAM, and 1TB of storage – a powerful setup for its price.

The design is also quite appealing, featuring a silver metal chassis, a top-notch keyboard and trackpad, and ample ports. Unfortunately, it lacks a full-size SD card slot, but it does offer all the other necessary ports, including USB-A, which the MacBook Pro lacks.

It’s slightly thicker and heavier than the 16-inch MacBook Pro, weighing 6 pounds and measuring 0.78 inches in thickness. The extra pound of weight is noticeable when carrying it around. Moreover, the RTX 4060 is the highest graphics option available, falling short of the capabilities of the M3 Max. However, considering its price, this could be a viable option, particularly for those new to content creation.

Lenovo Slim Pro 9i

Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

The Lenovo Slim Pro 9i is available in both 14-inch and 16-inch sizes and, similar to the HP Envy 16, it maxes out with an RTX 4060. The 14-inch variant does a commendable job of mirroring the 14-inch MacBook Pro, specifically the M3 Pro configuration. Unlike the Envy 16, the Slim Pro 9i offers an option for a high-res, mini-LED screen that competes well against the MacBook Pro’s superb display. While it doesn’t have as many configuration options as the MacBook Pro, it comes at a significantly lower price.

The Slim Pro 9i also mimics the size and footprint of the MacBook Pro, matching it closely in thickness and weight. Despite being limited to an RTX 4060, it fails to compete with the M3 Max, but it’s a solid choice for those seeking a more affordable option that still boasts a fantastic screen.

Asus ProArt Studiobook 16

Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

The Asus ProArt Studiobook 16 steps up performance from the previous two options, offering up to an RTX 4070, a significant improvement over the RTX 4060. While the RTX 4060 configuration is more readily available, the Studiobook 16 is a bit pricier than the Envy 16 and Slim Pro 9i, but it includes an impressive 120Hz OLED screen that adds value to the package. For those keen on going all out, there’s even a 3D version up for grabs.

Keep in mind that the Studiobook 16 is a bit bulkier than the other options, measuring 0.94 inches in thickness. It also features a thermal shelf at the back, increasing the laptop’s footprint. Despite these drawbacks, you get top-notch performance, the aforementioned OLED screen, and the unique Asus Dial that could prove useful in certain applications and workflows.

Dell XPS 14

Luke Larsen / Digital Trends

The Dell XPS 14 stands out as the most aesthetically pleasing laptop on this list, potentially outshining the MacBook Pro in terms of design. With its seamless haptic feedback trackpad, sleek keyboard, and impressive OLED panel – which adds touchscreen capabilities – the XPS 14 presents a modern alternative to the MacBook Pro. However, it falls short in terms of performance, limited to the RTX 4050 graphics. It also lacks in terms of ports, while being on par with the MacBook Pro in terms of price. Additionally, there’s a larger XPS 16 available that offers superior performance with up to an RTX 4060. While we haven’t tested it ourselves, this larger variant is likely a viable alternative to the MacBook Pro, despite not quite matching up to the M3 Max.

Thus far, battery life hasn’t been mentioned on this list, and that’s because none of these options come close to the exceptional battery life offered by the MacBook Pro. Apple’s laptops surpass most of these in battery tests, an aspect that sets them apart from the competition. The XPS 14, while providing decent battery life considering its screen resolution, doesn’t quite live up to the MacBook Pro’s standards in this area.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

While there are numerous gaming laptops that boast raw performance, they don’t quite align with the MacBook Pro in terms of competition. The ROG Zephyrus G14, however, has undergone a redesign this year that resonates well with both gamers and creatives, making it a strong contender to challenge the MacBook Pro.

In terms of emulating the remarkable efficiency of the 14-inch MacBook Pro, the G14 offers a compelling option. Not only does it match the MacBook Pro in terms of premium build, adopting an all-aluminum chassis, but it has also increased the size of the touchpad while reducing the thickness and weight of the laptop, resulting in a form factor similar to the MacBook Pro. The new G14 also features an impressive 120Hz OLED panel, offers configurations of up to an RTX 4070, making it the best overall alternative to the MacBook Pro M3 Max in terms of performance. Opt for the larger ROG G16, and you’ll even have the option for an RTX 4080, making it the closest complete package available as a true MacBook Pro alternative.

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