CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Laptops

Best MacBook Pro alternatives for 2019

Think different about your laptop options.

Sarah Tew/CNET

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 for a long time it had no Windows-based peer. 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, which can rival or outperform the MacBook's.

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.   

Disclosure: CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page.  

Asus ZenBook Pro 15

Best overall alternative

Sarah Tew/CNET

The Zenbook is the closest equivalent to a MacBook we've found, though it doesn't look anything like one. It's roughly the same size and weight, with a color-accurate 100 percent Adobe RGB 4K display -- and therefore a higher pixel density than Apple's Retina -- and discrete graphics. While it performs well, it still lags behind the comparable Core i9-8950HK MacBook, though that might be attributed to the difference in memory configurations. Its big weakness is battery life. But it costs $2,300 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 second-screen touchpad seems gimmicky, but it might feed any Touch Bar nostalgia you're feeling.

Razer Blade 15

Best comparable design

Sarah Tew/CNET

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 1,980x1,080-pixel screen and is limited to an i7-8750H processor, relatively small 512GB SSD and 16GB RAM. It also weighs 0.5 pounds more. 

If you're willing to go with black, you can get a 4K 100 percent 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 life is pretty meh, however, and with the 4K screen is likely even worse.

Lenovo Yoga C930

Best for battery life and light weight

Angela Lang/CNET

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. It's also a convertible, which is more flexible, and has better battery life. The performance won't match that 15-inch base configuration, however. You can opt for the 4K display over the default 1,920x1,080-pixel screen in order to get Retina-beating pixel density, but it will cost another $200 and tank the battery life.

Alienware Area-51m

Best performer as a desktop replacement

Sarah Tew/CNET

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. You can get 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 get a desktop-class octo-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'll handle games well too. The Alienware only has an 1,920x1,080 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.

Huawei Matebook Pro X

Best budget option

Sarah Tew/CNET

You can save a lot of money by dropping to 14 inches. The Matebook Pro X delivers performance equal to the last-generation top-end MacBook 15 but starting at $1,100, it costs less than the cheapest Retina MacBook 13. The 3,000x2,000-pixel screen delivers better-than-Retina pixel density, accurate sRGB color and the laptop is thinner and lighter than a 15-inch MacBook. Plus, battery life is decent.

Now playing: Watch this: A few simple tweaks make the Dell XPS 13 a near-perfect...
4:40