Are you looking for a Windows-based laptop that will deliver a similar experience to Apple’s MacBook Pro? In this post, we’ve highlighted some of the best MacBook Pro alternatives currently available.
In recent years, Apple has been unbeatable in the luxury laptop space, bringing out hits such as the M1 MacBook Pro 13-inch in late 2020.
More recently, Apple have refreshed their upper-tier MacBook Pro’s, bringing a 14-inch and 16-inch model powered by their latest M1 Pro and M1 Max ARM-based processors.
The insane performance and great battery life of these laptops are more than enough to convince most Windows laptop users to switch over to macOS (myself included!). But, for some of us, Windows is still a necessity.
The issue here is the Windows laptop landscape offers very few options than live up to the build quality and performance of Apple’s latest MacBook Pros.
That begs the question: what are the best MacBook Pro alternatives for 2022? We’re looking for machines that are just as powerful and are just as well built. We’ve come up with 4 options we think you’ll love. Let’s get started!
Dell XPS 15 9510
The Windows laptop line that best follows the ethos of the MacBook Pro is the Dell XPS 15 9510. Dell rolled out a brand-new design in 2020 with the XPS 15 9500, gracing us with their gorgeous 15.6-inch 16:10 “InfinityEdge” display. With this 2021 refresh, Dell is now shipping the XPS 15 9510 with Intel 11th gen CPUs and more.
Let’s start with the build – as this is by far the XPS 15’s strongest characteristic. The lid and chassis of this laptop is made from aluminium (like the MacBook), with the inside of XPS 15 being laced with a soft-touch carbon fiber. At 4.5 pounds, this gives this laptop plenty of heft. But it overall feels truly premium.
Part of the 2020 (9500) overhaul of the XPS 15 line included an all-new keyboard and trackpad design. The XPS 15’s keyboard is excellent, offering great travel and comfort – and it definitely holds its own against Apple’s Magic Keyboard on the MacBook Pros. The trackpad is one of the largest on any Windows laptop (made possible by the 16:10 display). Is this trackpad better than a MacBook’s? No. Is it better than any other Windows laptop? Absolutely.
The speakers in the XPS 15 9510 are excellent too. They offer great clarity and bass – though they aren’t as spectacular as those on a MacBook.
This XPS 9510 refresh comes with 11th gen Intel CPU. The base model is kitted with an octa-core (8, 16) i7-11800H. It can be specced out with an i9-11900H if you need some extra power. The default GPU is a NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050Ti. It’s nice to see a desktop card in a notebook – making this a great companion for some light gaming at 1080p-Medium.
The XPS 15 9510 finally makes the jump to OLED, offering an excellent 4K, 60Hz OLED touch display. The base model comes with a FHD non-touch IPS display – also at 60Hz. It would’ve been nice to see a high refresh rate option here – maybe next year, Dell!
HP Spectre x360 14
One of the form factors missing in Apple’s laptop line-up is the 2-in-1. If you’re not quite sure what a 2-in-1 or convertible laptop is, check out our article on them here. HP aim to fill this gap in the premium convertible laptop market with their HP Spectre x360 14.
In their latest iteration of the hugely popular Spectre x360 line, the x360 14 brings users a big and beautiful 13.5” 3:2 display. This is a great move for this form factor, as writing and scrolling on this laptop is an absolute dream.
The HP Spectre x360 14 comes with two display options. The first is a FHD (WUXGA+) IPS panel. However, the star of the show is their upgraded 3K2K (3000 x 2000) OLED panel. It’s bright, beautiful and offers brilliant color accuracy, deep blacks, and vivid colors at 400nits.
These displays are multi-touch – of course – but the x360 14 also comes with an included stylus. It’s a decent pen too – up there with the Surface Pen and some Wacom styluses.
The speakers and keyboard are also excellent according to reviewers. It’s the same story when comparing to the MacBook however, as despite the x360’s quality, it can’t quite match the heights of the MacBook Pro.
Under the hood is your choice between the Intel Core i5-1135G7 or the Intel Core i7-1165G7, both with Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics. Unfortunately, the RTX 3050 in only available in the HP Spectre x360 16-inch.
Need some more power or a bigger laptop? Consider that x360 16. Need a more budget friendly option? The HP Envy x360 13-inch is a very similar laptop for a much lower price – great for those on a budget!
Razer Blade 14
If there’s one job a MacBook Pro (especially the M1 variants) is terrible at, it’s gaming. And if there’s one company that can offer gamers the quality of a MacBook Pro and the performance of a gaming laptop, it’s Razer.
The Razer Blade has long been the go-to laptop line for those gamers who want a sleek, Apple-like laptop without giving up the ability to play AAA games on their laptop. The latest Razer Blade 14 is insanely powerful, well-built and adored by gamers and laptop enthusiasts alike.
Under the hood here is the stupidly fast AMD R9 6900HX. For graphics, you can either kit your Blade 14 out with an RTX 3060, a 3070 Ti, a 3080 or even an RTX 3080 Ti. Yes, these are desktop-grade GPUs.
The displays on these bad boys range from a FHD 144Hz IPS panel to a QHD (1440p) 165Hz panel. Both offer FreeSync Premium support with up to 100% DCI-P3 coverage.
The chassis is made from a unibody CNC anodized aluminium, offering a premium feel and great structural rigidity. The keyboard is also excellent, with an added bonus of having an addressable per key RGB backlight. The Blade 14’s precision glass touchpad also holds its own against the MacBook’s.
A top-spec Razer Blade 14 is one of the most powerful 14-inch laptops on the market – and really the only option if you’re looking for a sleek laptop like the MacBook Pro and want to game on it.
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4
Conceptually, the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 is the closest to the MacBook Pro. It’s the flagship (non-2-in-1) laptop from the same guys who made the Windows OS – just like the situation with Apple, macOS and the MacBook Pro. So, how does Microsoft’s attempt hold up?
The Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 is definitely the least flashy, dare I say, most boring option on this list. It’s most suited towards businesspeople, and often is used as a work laptop. In fact, the first time I tried a Surface Laptop (it was the 3rd gen model), it was the laptop I was given when working for the UK Civil Service. It’s that boring and business-y!
But, that doesn’t stop the Surface Laptop 4 from being a good premium laptop. The unibody aluminium build adds a great feel whilst making this one of the most structurally rigid options on the market.
When this design first came out with the Surface Laptop 1 in 2017, it was new and fresh. But, since then, it’s been virtually unchanged. It’s now just fine. The somewhat wide bezels around the display feel a little outdated when compared to the new MacBooks or the XPS 15 9510.
Again, that doesn’t stop the Surface Laptop being good! It has one of the best keyboards ever made. Its trackpad is high-quality. The Alcantara soft-touch fabric finish is comfortable (although, I prefer the all-metal build for longevity). The only truly poor aspect about the Surface Laptop is its port selection. It includes one full-size USB port, one USB-C port (not Thunderbolt 4 as Microsoft still refuse to put it on their laptops!) and one proprietary “Surface Connect” expansion port.
Under the hood is either the AMD Ryzen 5 4680U or the Intel i7-1145G7.
I’m really torn on the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4. I loved the Surface Laptop back in 2019 – and compared to the old MacBooks and the old XPS 15 it was fresh and exciting. The 3:2 display offers great screen real-estate, and the keyboard is amazing. However, in 2022, Microsoft really needs to update this display, shrink those bezels, and offer a more exciting laptop to compete with these new MacBook Pros.
Which MacBook Pro Alternative is Best for Me?
Our top pick for a MacBook Pro alternative is the Dell XPS 15 9510. It best embodies the ethos of unrelenting quality and an exciting design that Apple adopted for their latest M1 Pro & Max MacBook Pros.
Need a more powerful machine—perhaps a gaming laptop? The Razer Blade 14 is an excellent pick. Prefer a 2-in-1 laptop? The HP Spectre x360 14 is a solid option.
That leaves us with the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4. If you need a cheaper alternative to the MacBook, the Surface Laptop fits the bill. If you need a business laptop for Microsoft Office, the Surface Laptop 4 is great, too. (Trust me, I loved it as a work laptop). But, if you want a laptop for play or creativity, look elsewhere.