As much as some of us may deride the's , and over-reliance on USB-C connections, its balance of screen quality, weight, battery life and performance had no Windows-based peer devices for a long time. 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 that can rival or outperform the MacBook's Retina Display.
And one nice thing aboutis 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 model, for less money. Plus, we're seeing lots of .
Dell's is a 13.3-inch laptop that's so trimmed up that the body is basically the size of an older 11.6-inch laptop. Being part of the company's XPS line means both its chassis and components are top notch for its class, so you're getting great battery life and performance, too. Read our Dell XPS 13 (2019) review.
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 full-size backlit keyboard, NanoEdge touchscreen and color-accurate 100 percent Adobe RGB 4K display -- and therefore a higher pixel density than Apple's Retina -- plus discrete graphics. It has a built-in media reader that supports micro SD card formats and comes with an Intel Core i9 processor and 16 GB of RAM. 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 to buy 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. Read Asus ZenBook Pro 15 review.
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 a half pound more.
If you're willing to go with black, you can get a 4K, 100% 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 longevity is pretty meh, however, and with the 4K screen it's even worse.
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-inch. It's a convertible, which is more flexible, and has better battery life. It also has a touchscreen display and backlit keyboard. 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.
As far as performance goes, the Yoga C930 has 8GB of RAM (DDR4) and an Intel Core i7 processor. Read Lenovo Yoga C930 review.
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. Marketed as a gaming laptop, theArea-51m can be outfitted with 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 buy a desktop-class octa-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 performs well as a gaming laptop 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. Read review.
You can save a lot of money by dropping to 14 inches. The MateBook Pro X delivers performance equal to the last generation's 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 RGB color and thinner and lighter dimensions than a 15-inch MacBook. Plus, unlike a lot of the other Windows laptops on this list, battery life is decent. Read review.
Originally published earlier this year.