Notebookcheck

Notebookcheck's Top Windows Alternatives to the MacBook 12 and Air

August 2020 Update. Lighter than Air? Apple shocked the whole industry with the first MacBook Air: We had never seen such a slim and light notebook before. However, in the meantime the other manufacturers have come up with several slim Windows devices that are good alternatives to the current MacBooks.
Florian Schmitt (translated by Andreas Osthoff),

The following article considers the current notebook series from Apple and tries to find the five best currently available Windows alternatives reviewed by Notebookcheck for each. We have restricted them by size, weight, resolution, hardware, and price. Depending on individual weighting, the order in the lists might be different or unmentioned devices might get a chance. Also note the following top lists:

The following table shows possible Windows based MacBook competitors tested on Notebookcheck in the last 12 months. With the same rating, younger tests are ranked first. The table can be sorted by clicking on the headings or restricted with the text filter (eg matte).

Best Windows alternatives to the Apple MacBook Air

Pos.
Rating
Date
Image
Model
Weight
Height
Size
Resolution
Screen
Best Price
189 %
03/2020
Dell XPS 13 9300 Core i7-1065G7Dell XPS 13 9300 Core i7-1065G7
Intel Core i7-1065G7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU)
16 GB Memory,  NVMe
1.2 kg14.8 mm13.4"1920x1200glossy
289 %
07/2020
neu!
Lenovo ThinkPad T14s-20T00044GELenovo ThinkPad T14s-20T00044GE
Intel Core i5-10210U
Intel UHD Graphics 620
8 GB Memory, 256 GB NVMe
1.3 kg16.1 mm14"1920x1080matte
389 %
10/2019
Lenovo ThinkPad X395Lenovo ThinkPad X395
AMD Ryzen 3 PRO 3300U
AMD Radeon RX Vega 6 (Ryzen 2000/3000)
8 GB Memory, 256 GB NVMe
1.3 kg16.9 mm13.3"1920x1080matte
488 %
12/2019
HP Spectre x360 13-aw0013dxHP Spectre x360 13-aw0013dx
Intel Core i7-1065G7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU)
8 GB Memory, 512 GB SSD
1.2 kg16.9 mm13.3"1920x1080
588 %
11/2019
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5-1035G4Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5-1035G4
Intel Core i5-1035G4
Intel Iris Plus Graphics G4 (Ice Lake 48 EU)
8 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD
775 g8.5 mm12.3"2736x1824glossy

1st – Dell XPS 13 9300

Dell XPS 13 9300
Dell XPS 13 9300

Dell’s XPS 13 9300 offers a 16:10 display and an up-to-date Intel Ice Lake CPU including Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 GPU. As such, the compact convertible is a true jack of all trades, although gaming should definitely not be at the top of your list. The Dell XPS 13 9300 became much more attractive this year, particularly thanks to its design and the 16:10 display.

If you don’t depend on macOS the XPS 13 9300 can be a very tempting alternative as it offers a multitude of qualities, such as its low noise emissions, its small footprint, its flexible charging options, its long battery life and its bright display. Not all that glitters is gold, though, and the flip side are missing HDMI and USB-A ports, and an overall worse selection of ports than on previous models. Professionals might not be particularly impressed by the limited connectivity, but at least Dell continues to equip its XPS 13 with a microSD card reader.

Pricecompare

2nd – Lenovo ThinkPad T14s

Lenovo ThinkPad T14s
Lenovo ThinkPad T14s

The Lenovo ThinkPad T14s is the first model featuring Lenovo’s new model naming convention, and despite its different moniker it is the successor to last year’s T490s.

As before, you get a great business notebook with a slim, robust, a premium case, a good display, great input devices, long battery life, and low noise emissions. The new model features Wi-Fi 6, which is expected of premium notebook such as this.

Even though our final verdict on the AMD SKU is not in yet we definitely suggest opting for that one instead of the Intel model. Our first impressions of the AMD-powered model already showed a significant improvement in performance at the cost of the Thunderbolt 3 port that is only available on Intel SKUs.

Pricecompare

3rd – Lenovo ThinkPad X395

Lenovo ThinkPad X395
Lenovo ThinkPad X395

The AMD-powered version of Lenovo’s high-quality subnotebook is a great choice. It remains quiet and cool at all times, it is very efficient, and offers a high level of graphics performance to boot. Unfortunately and annoyingly, it lacks a Thunderbolt 3 port. Thanks to its plethora of security features, its bright high-contrast display, and 3 years of warranty it performed very well in our review either way and managed to secure a place in our top 10 lists.

The ThinkPad X395 might have a few drawbacks, such as for example the hard to reach microSD slot of the CPU’s extensive thermal throttling, but it is overall a very good alternative to the MacBook Air.

Pricecompare

4th – HP Spectre x360 13

HP Spectre x360 13
HP Spectre x360 13

Compared to its own predecessor, the HP Spectre x360’s case is slightly smaller, and the display is slightly brighter. Accordingly, it is one of the best high-end convertibles and offers more flexibility than the MacBook Air.

A high-quality case, a comfortable keyboard, a full-sized USB port, a fast card reader, and a battery life of more than 10 hours in our Wi-Fi test are other benefits.

On the downside we noted slow response times, the lack of HDMI connectivity, and poor upgradeability.

Pricecompare

5th – Microsoft Surface Pro 7

Microsoft Surface Pro 7
Microsoft Surface Pro 7

If you already own a Surface Pro 5 or Surface Pro 6 there really isn’t any convincing reason for you to upgrade to the Surface Pro 7 as it contains minor improvements and is more of an evolutionary step rather than a revolutionary redesign. CPU performance, for example, remained practically identical. However, optional extra GPU performance is now available, as is a USB-C port.

That said the Surface Pro 7’s predecessors already performed at a very high level in many aspects, and the Pro 7 follows in their footsteps. By default it comes with Wi-Fi 6 now, features a fast SSD, and it is passively cooled and this completely silent. The Surface Pro 7 remains one of the best Windows tablets available, and thanks to a variety of great third-party keyboards it can be a worthy alternative to Apple’s MacBook Air.

Pricecompare

The Original: Apple MacBook Air

Rating
Date
Image
Model
Weight
Height
Size
Resolution
Screen
Best Price
88 %
11/2018
Apple MacBook Air 2018Apple MacBook Air 2018
Intel Core i5-8210Y
Intel UHD Graphics 617
8 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD
1.2 kg15.6 mm13.3"2560x1600glossy
86 %
06/2017
Apple MacBook Air 13.3Apple MacBook Air 13.3" 1.8 GHz (2017)
Intel Core i5-5350U
Intel HD Graphics 6000
8 GB Memory, 128 GB SSD
1.4 kg17 mm13.3"1440x900glossy

Pricecompare

Pricecompare

Top MB Air Alternatives in Comparison

Size Comparison

329 mm / 13 inch 225.8 mm / 8.89 inch 16.1 mm / 0.634 inch 1.3 kg2.76 lbs312 mm / 12.3 inch 217 mm / 8.54 inch 16.9 mm / 0.665 inch 1.3 kg2.82 lbs306 mm / 12 inch 194.5 mm / 7.66 inch 16.9 mm / 0.665 inch 1.2 kg2.74 lbs304.1 mm / 12 inch 212.4 mm / 8.36 inch 16.1 mm / 0.634 inch 1.3 kg2.84 lbs304.1 mm / 12 inch 212.4 mm / 8.36 inch 15.6 mm / 0.614 inch 1.3 kg2.76 lbs296 mm / 11.7 inch 199 mm / 7.83 inch 14.8 mm / 0.583 inch 1.2 kg2.62 lbs292 mm / 11.5 inch 201 mm / 7.91 inch 8.5 mm / 0.3346 inch 775 g1.709 lbs

Test Results

Lenovo ThinkPad X395Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5-1035G4HP Spectre x360 13-aw0013dxDell XPS 13 9300 Core i7-1065G7Apple MacBook Air 2020 i5Apple Macbook Air 2019Lenovo ThinkPad T14s-20T00044GE
Response Times
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
55 (26, 29)
34.8 (16.8, 18)
60.8 (26, 34.8)
50 (22, 28)
38.7 (19.6, 19)
42.4 (21.2, 21.2)
63.2 (31.6, 31.6)
Response Time Black / White *
32 (18, 14)
26.4 (13.2, 13.2)
36.8 (15.6, 21.2)
33.2 (16, 17.2)
30.44 (17.9, 12.6)
29.6 (16, 13.6)
28 (12.4, 15.6)
PWM Frequency
21550 (24)
2500 (25)
117000 (75)
111100 (66)
Screen
Brightness middle
356
480.4
447.4
607.6
430
421
404
Brightness
336
485
420
595
405
393
397
Brightness Distribution
88
91
85
96
89
88
92
Black Level *
0.16
0.48
0.31
0.4
0.32
0.34
0.21
Contrast
2225
1001
1443
1519
1344
1238
1924
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
3.6
5
4.23
3.23
1.8
1.5
3.1
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
5.5
7.72
9.34
8.67
4.6
3.8
4.7
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
1.11
2.44
1.32
1.01
1.6
1.3
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
4.7
5.9
6.1
5.5
1.1
1.2
3.4
Gamma
2.92 75%
2.38 92%
2.11 104%
2.12 104%
2.21 100%
2.38 92%
CCT
6222 104%
7805 83%
6136 106%
6413 101%
6644 98%
6694 97%
7070 92%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
61
60.3
64.8
63
64.2
61.3
61.8
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
96
93.2
98.9
97.5
97.6
94.6
96.6
Noise
off / environment *
30.2
28.5
28.3
30
29.5
29.3
Idle Minimum *
30.2
28.5
28.3
30
29.5
29.3
Idle Average *
30.2
28.5
28.3
30
29.5
29.3
Idle Maximum *
30.2
28.5
28.3
30
29.5
29.3
Load Average *
34.3
28.5
32.5
45.5
34
30
Load Maximum *
34.3
35.3
39.3
45.8
41
30
Witcher 3 ultra *
35.3
39.3
Heat
Maximum Upper Side *
38.4
43.6
37.2
46.6
48
43.1
47.1
Maximum Bottom *
39.7
47.8
42.2
44.8
40
41
45.7
Idle Upper Side *
28.1
32
25.8
29.8
33
26
24.9
Idle Bottom *
28
32.4
28
29.8
30
25.2
24.8
Battery Runtime
Reader / Idle
1103
1336
2223
H.264
620
640
880
WiFi v1.3
655
597
594
763
617.7
689
789
Load
227
116
160
173
102

* ... smaller is better

Benchmarks

PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X395
Vega 6, R3 PRO 3300U, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB256HBHQ
4356 Points ∼64%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5-1035G4
Iris Plus Graphics G4 (Ice Lake 48 EU), i5-1035G4, Toshiba BG4 KBG40ZPZ256G
4639 Points ∼68%
HP Spectre x360 13-aw0013dx
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Intel Optane Memory H10 with Solid State Storage 32GB + 512GB HBRPEKNX0202A(L/H)
5227 Points ∼77%
Dell XPS 13 9300 Core i7-1065G7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Intel SSDPEMKF512G8 NVMe SSD
5039 Points ∼74%
Lenovo ThinkPad T14s-20T00044GE
UHD Graphics 620, i5-10210U, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB256HBHQ
5032 Points ∼74%
Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X395
Vega 6, R3 PRO 3300U, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB256HBHQ
3260 Points ∼54%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5-1035G4
Iris Plus Graphics G4 (Ice Lake 48 EU), i5-1035G4, Toshiba BG4 KBG40ZPZ256G
3537 Points ∼58%
HP Spectre x360 13-aw0013dx
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Intel Optane Memory H10 with Solid State Storage 32GB + 512GB HBRPEKNX0202A(L/H)
3911 Points ∼64%
Dell XPS 13 9300 Core i7-1065G7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Intel SSDPEMKF512G8 NVMe SSD
3825 Points ∼63%
Lenovo ThinkPad T14s-20T00044GE
UHD Graphics 620, i5-10210U, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB256HBHQ
3673 Points ∼60%
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X395
Vega 6, R3 PRO 3300U, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB256HBHQ
3425 Points ∼9%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5-1035G4
Iris Plus Graphics G4 (Ice Lake 48 EU), i5-1035G4, Toshiba BG4 KBG40ZPZ256G
3485 Points ∼9%
HP Spectre x360 13-aw0013dx
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Intel Optane Memory H10 with Solid State Storage 32GB + 512GB HBRPEKNX0202A(L/H)
4777 Points ∼12%
Dell XPS 13 9300 Core i7-1065G7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Intel SSDPEMKF512G8 NVMe SSD
4866 Points ∼13%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 i5
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i5-1030NG7, Apple SSD AP0512
2848 Points ∼7%
Apple Macbook Air 2019
UHD Graphics 617, i5-8210Y, Apple SSD AP0256
1632 Points ∼4%
Lenovo ThinkPad T14s-20T00044GE
UHD Graphics 620, i5-10210U, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB256HBHQ
2056 Points ∼5%
3DMark
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Score (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X395
Vega 6, R3 PRO 3300U, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB256HBHQ
10619 Points ∼16%
HP Spectre x360 13-aw0013dx
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Intel Optane Memory H10 with Solid State Storage 32GB + 512GB HBRPEKNX0202A(L/H)
13766 Points ∼21%
Dell XPS 13 9300 Core i7-1065G7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Intel SSDPEMKF512G8 NVMe SSD
14272 Points ∼21%
Lenovo ThinkPad T14s-20T00044GE
UHD Graphics 620, i5-10210U, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB256HBHQ
8720 Points ∼13%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
HP Spectre x360 13-aw0013dx
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Intel Optane Memory H10 with Solid State Storage 32GB + 512GB HBRPEKNX0202A(L/H)
70068 Points ∼6%
Dell XPS 13 9300 Core i7-1065G7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Intel SSDPEMKF512G8 NVMe SSD
67829 Points ∼6%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X395
Vega 6, R3 PRO 3300U, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB256HBHQ
1.43 Points ∼56%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5-1035G4
Iris Plus Graphics G4 (Ice Lake 48 EU), i5-1035G4, Toshiba BG4 KBG40ZPZ256G
2.04 Points ∼80%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 i5
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i5-1030NG7, Apple SSD AP0512
1.21 Points ∼47%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X395
Vega 6, R3 PRO 3300U, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB256HBHQ
5.52 Points ∼13%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5-1035G4
Iris Plus Graphics G4 (Ice Lake 48 EU), i5-1035G4, Toshiba BG4 KBG40ZPZ256G
7.35 Points ∼17%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 i5
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i5-1030NG7, Apple SSD AP0512
3.37 Points ∼8%
OpenGL 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X395
Vega 6, R3 PRO 3300U, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB256HBHQ
42.86 fps ∼24%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5-1035G4
Iris Plus Graphics G4 (Ice Lake 48 EU), i5-1035G4, Toshiba BG4 KBG40ZPZ256G
43.07 fps ∼24%
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X395
Vega 6, R3 PRO 3300U, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB256HBHQ
126 Points ∼55%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5-1035G4
Iris Plus Graphics G4 (Ice Lake 48 EU), i5-1035G4, Toshiba BG4 KBG40ZPZ256G
172 Points ∼75%
HP Spectre x360 13-aw0013dx
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Intel Optane Memory H10 with Solid State Storage 32GB + 512GB HBRPEKNX0202A(L/H)
178 Points ∼77%
Dell XPS 13 9300 Core i7-1065G7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Intel SSDPEMKF512G8 NVMe SSD
180 Points ∼78%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 i5
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i5-1030NG7, Apple SSD AP0512
140 Points ∼61%
Apple Macbook Air 2019
UHD Graphics 617, i5-8210Y, Apple SSD AP0256
127 Points ∼55%
Lenovo ThinkPad T14s-20T00044GE
UHD Graphics 620, i5-10210U, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB256HBHQ
163 Points ∼71%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X395
Vega 6, R3 PRO 3300U, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB256HBHQ
481 Points ∼11%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5-1035G4
Iris Plus Graphics G4 (Ice Lake 48 EU), i5-1035G4, Toshiba BG4 KBG40ZPZ256G
644 Points ∼15%
HP Spectre x360 13-aw0013dx
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Intel Optane Memory H10 with Solid State Storage 32GB + 512GB HBRPEKNX0202A(L/H)
643 Points ∼15%
Dell XPS 13 9300 Core i7-1065G7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Intel SSDPEMKF512G8 NVMe SSD
750 Points ∼17%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 i5
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i5-1030NG7, Apple SSD AP0512
448 (363min - 448max) Points ∼10%
Apple Macbook Air 2019
UHD Graphics 617, i5-8210Y, Apple SSD AP0256
254 (241.29min - 254.07max) Points ∼6%
Lenovo ThinkPad T14s-20T00044GE
UHD Graphics 620, i5-10210U, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB256HBHQ
619 (557.76min - 618.79max) Points ∼14%
OpenGL 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X395
Vega 6, R3 PRO 3300U, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB256HBHQ
46.42 fps ∼18%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5-1035G4
Iris Plus Graphics G4 (Ice Lake 48 EU), i5-1035G4, Toshiba BG4 KBG40ZPZ256G
62.01 fps ∼24%
HP Spectre x360 13-aw0013dx
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Intel Optane Memory H10 with Solid State Storage 32GB + 512GB HBRPEKNX0202A(L/H)
67.98 fps ∼26%
Dell XPS 13 9300 Core i7-1065G7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Intel SSDPEMKF512G8 NVMe SSD
69.96 fps ∼27%
Apple MacBook Air 2020 i5
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i5-1030NG7, Apple SSD AP0512
38.4 fps ∼15%
Apple Macbook Air 2019
UHD Graphics 617, i5-8210Y, Apple SSD AP0256
43.5 fps ∼17%
Lenovo ThinkPad T14s-20T00044GE
UHD Graphics 620, i5-10210U, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB256HBHQ
54.2 fps ∼21%

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Since the MacBook Air 11 has been discontinued, the slim and light MacBook 12  is the smallest laptop of Apple's line-up. It quite radically omits almost all interfaces. This trend continues in Ultrabooks with Windows.

Best Windows alternatives to the Apple MacBook 12

Pos.
Rating
Date
Image
Model
Weight
Height
Size
Resolution
Screen
Best Price
189 %
09/2019
Dell Latitude 7200Dell Latitude 7200
Intel Core i5-8365U
Intel UHD Graphics 620
16 GB Memory, 512 GB SSD
1.2 kg9.35 mm12.3"1920x1280glossy
289 %
03/2020
Dell XPS 13 9300 i5 FHDDell XPS 13 9300 i5 FHD
Intel Core i5-1035G1
Intel UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU)
8 GB Memory, 512 GB SSD
1.2 kg14.8 mm13.4"1920x1200matte
389 %
10/2019
Lenovo ThinkPad X395Lenovo ThinkPad X395
AMD Ryzen 3 PRO 3300U
AMD Radeon RX Vega 6 (Ryzen 2000/3000)
8 GB Memory, 256 GB NVMe
1.3 kg16.9 mm13.3"1920x1080matte
488 %
11/2019
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5-1035G4Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5-1035G4
Intel Core i5-1035G4
Intel Iris Plus Graphics G4 (Ice Lake 48 EU)
8 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD
775 g8.5 mm12.3"2736x1824glossy
587 %
02/2020
Acer Swift 3 SF313-52-71Y7Acer Swift 3 SF313-52-71Y7
Intel Core i7-1065G7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU)
16 GB Memory, 1024 GB SSD
1.2 kg16.6 mm13.5"2256x1504glossy

1st – Dell Latitude 7200

Dell Latitude 7200
Dell Latitude 7200

The Dell Latitude 7200 is a convertible with a colorful display, decent connectivity, an almost silent mode of operation, extensive warranty options, and comparatively easy maintainability. It even includes a WWAN modem by default. In return, its keyboard installed in the somewhat wobbly cover was questionable, and its CPU performance was lower than on Microsoft’s Surface Pro 6.

Nevertheless, it remains a worthy alternative to the MacBook 12 with the extra bonus of being a convertible.

Pricecompare

2nd – Dell XPS 13 9300

Dell XPS 13 9300
Dell XPS 13 9300

Dell’s XPS 13 9300 offers a 16:10 display and an up-to-date Intel Ice Lake CPU including Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 GPU. As such, the compact convertible is a true jack of all trades, although gaming should definitely not be at the top of your list. The Dell XPS 13 9300 became much more attractive this year, particularly thanks to its design and the 16:10 display.

If you don’t depend on macOS the XPS 13 9300 can be a very tempting alternative as it offers a multitude of qualities, such as its low noise emissions, its small footprint, its flexible charging options, its long battery life and its bright display. Not all that glitters is gold, though, and the flip side are missing HDMI and USB-A ports, and an overall worse selection of ports than on previous models. Professionals might not be particularly impressed by the limited connectivity, but at least Dell continues to equip its XPS 13 with a microSD card reader.

Pricecompare

3rd – Lenovo ThinkPad X395

Lenovo ThinkPad X395
Lenovo ThinkPad X395

The AMD-powered version of Lenovo’s high-quality subnotebook is a great choice. It remains quiet and cool at all times, it is very efficient, and offers a high level of graphics performance to boot. Unfortunately and annoyingly, it lacks a Thunderbolt 3 port. Thanks to its plethora of security features, its bright high-contrast display, and 3 years of warranty it performed very well in our review either way and managed to secure a place in our top 10 lists.

The ThinkPad X395 might have a few drawbacks, such as for example the hard to reach microSD slot of the CPU’s extensive thermal throttling, but it is overall a very good alternative to the MacBook.

Pricecompare

4th – Microsoft Surface Pro 7

Microsoft Surface Pro 7
Microsoft Surface Pro 7

If you already own a Surface Pro 5 or Surface Pro 6 there really isn’t any convincing reason for you to upgrade to the Surface Pro 7 as it contains minor improvements and is more of an evolutionary step rather than a revolutionary redesign. CPU performance, for example, remained practically identical. However, optional extra GPU performance is now available, as is a USB-C port.

That said the Surface Pro 7’s predecessors already performed at a very high level in many aspects, and the Pro 7 follows in their footsteps. By default it comes with Wi-Fi 6 now, features a fast SSD, and it is passively cooled and this completely silent. The Surface Pro 7 remains one of the best Windows tablets available, and thanks to a variety of great third-party keyboards it can be a worthy alternative to Apple’s MacBook.

Pricecompare

5th – Acer Swift 3 SF313

Acer Swift 3 SF313
Acer Swift 3 SF313

Acer’s Swift 3 SF313 is an almost all-around well-made 13.5-inch notebook. It is very light yet manages to maintain a very robust base. We also liked its very bright 3:2 display, which turned out to have good color space coverage to boot. The small 13.5-inch device features the latest technology: Ice Lake CPU, NVMe SSD, DDR4 RAM, and an IPS panel. It is thus well-suited for photo editing purposes.

Upgradeability is fairly limited, though. RAM is soldered onto the motherboard, and the devices does not support a second storage device. Wi-Fi performance was comparatively poor, which we expect to be an issue of our particular test devices. We are looking to get a second review unit to repeat our tests.

Acer’s Swift 3 SF313 offers good performance, long battery life, and a great display without putting too much strain on your budget.

Pricecompare

The Original: Apple MacBook 12

Rating
Date
Image
Model
Weight
Height
Size
Resolution
Screen
90 %
06/2017
Apple MacBook 12 2017Apple MacBook 12 2017
Intel Core m3-7Y32
Intel HD Graphics 615
8 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD
920 g13.1 mm12"2304x1440glossy

Pricecompare

Top MB 12 Alternatives in Comparison

Size Comparison

312 mm / 12.3 inch 217 mm / 8.54 inch 16.9 mm / 0.665 inch 1.3 kg2.82 lbs302 mm / 11.9 inch 234 mm / 9.21 inch 16.6 mm / 0.654 inch 1.2 kg2.56 lbs296 mm / 11.7 inch 199 mm / 7.83 inch 14.8 mm / 0.583 inch 1.2 kg2.62 lbs292 mm / 11.5 inch 208.8 mm / 8.22 inch 9.35 mm / 0.3681 inch 1.2 kg2.6 lbs292 mm / 11.5 inch 201 mm / 7.91 inch 8.5 mm / 0.3346 inch 775 g1.709 lbs280.5 mm / 11 inch 196.5 mm / 7.74 inch 13.1 mm / 0.516 inch 920 g2.03 lbs

Test Results

Apple MacBook 12 2017Dell Latitude 7200Lenovo ThinkPad X395Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5-1035G4Dell XPS 13 9300 i5 FHDAcer Swift 3 SF313-52-71Y7
Response Times
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
40.8 (19.6, 21.2)
52 (26, 26)
55 (26, 29)
34.8 (16.8, 18)
60 (28.4, 31.6)
55 (25, 30)
Response Time Black / White *
29.2 (15.8, 13.4)
34.8 (18.4, 16.4)
32 (18, 14)
26.4 (13.2, 13.2)
33.2 (16.4, 16.8)
31 (17, 14)
PWM Frequency
116000
1645 (25)
21550 (24)
2500 (20)
208 (90)
Screen
Brightness middle
401
356
480.4
619
474
Black Level *
0.28
0.16
0.48
0.35
0.29
Brightness
385
336
485
591
426
Brightness Distribution
88
88
91
91
82
Contrast
1432
2225
1001
1769
1634
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
1.8
3.6
5
3
2.38
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
3.4
5.5
7.72
8.2
5.88
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
1.1
1.11
2.44
1
2.69
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
1.6
4.7
5.9
5.2
3.75
Gamma
2.14 103%
2.92 75%
2.38 92%
2.14 103%
2.37 93%
CCT
6702 97%
6222 104%
7805 83%
6340 103%
6466 101%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
66.6
61
60.3
66.9
65
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
99.4
96
93.2
99.3
100
Noise
off / environment *
28.8
30.2
29.3
30.3
Idle Minimum *
28.8
30.2
29.3
30.3
Idle Average *
28.8
30.2
29.3
30.3
Idle Maximum *
28.8
30.2
29.3
30.3
Load Average *
30.1
34.3
30
31.7
Load Maximum *
30.1
34.3
32.4
32.7
Heat
Maximum Upper Side *
38.9
42.5
38.4
43.6
50.8
33.5
Maximum Bottom *
42.5
39.4
39.7
47.8
42.2
35.6
Idle Upper Side *
30.6
23.8
28.1
32
24.8
24.9
Idle Bottom *
30.8
22.8
28
32.4
24.3
25.4
Battery Runtime
Reader / Idle
1103
1336
1281
WiFi v1.3
540
417
655
597
703
620
Load
106
227
116
205
139
H.264
489
620
866
627

* ... smaller is better

Benchmarks

PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Apple MacBook 12 2017
HD Graphics 615, m3-7Y32, Apple SSD AP0256
3946 Points ∼58%
Lenovo ThinkPad X395
Vega 6, R3 PRO 3300U, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB256HBHQ
4356 Points ∼64%
Dell Latitude 7200
UHD Graphics 620, i5-8365U, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
4858 Points ∼71%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5-1035G4
Iris Plus Graphics G4 (Ice Lake 48 EU), i5-1035G4, Toshiba BG4 KBG40ZPZ256G
4639 Points ∼68%
Dell XPS 13 9300 i5 FHD
UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU), i5-1035G1, Toshiba XG6 KXG60ZNV512G
4832 Points ∼71%
Acer Swift 3 SF313-52-71Y7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Intel SSD 660p 1TB SSDPEKNW010T8
4802 Points ∼70%
Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Apple MacBook 12 2017
HD Graphics 615, m3-7Y32, Apple SSD AP0256
3078 Points ∼51%
Lenovo ThinkPad X395
Vega 6, R3 PRO 3300U, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB256HBHQ
3260 Points ∼54%
Dell Latitude 7200
UHD Graphics 620, i5-8365U, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
3392 Points ∼56%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5-1035G4
Iris Plus Graphics G4 (Ice Lake 48 EU), i5-1035G4, Toshiba BG4 KBG40ZPZ256G
3537 Points ∼58%
Dell XPS 13 9300 i5 FHD
UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU), i5-1035G1, Toshiba XG6 KXG60ZNV512G
3988 Points ∼65%
Acer Swift 3 SF313-52-71Y7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Intel SSD 660p 1TB SSDPEKNW010T8
3759 Points ∼62%
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Apple MacBook 12 2017
HD Graphics 615, m3-7Y32, Apple SSD AP0256
1324 Points ∼3%
Lenovo ThinkPad X395
Vega 6, R3 PRO 3300U, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB256HBHQ
3425 Points ∼9%
Dell Latitude 7200
UHD Graphics 620, i5-8365U, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
1992 Points ∼5%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5-1035G4
Iris Plus Graphics G4 (Ice Lake 48 EU), i5-1035G4, Toshiba BG4 KBG40ZPZ256G
3485 Points ∼9%
Dell XPS 13 9300 i5 FHD
UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU), i5-1035G1, Toshiba XG6 KXG60ZNV512G
2875 Points ∼7%
Acer Swift 3 SF313-52-71Y7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Intel SSD 660p 1TB SSDPEKNW010T8
4308 Points ∼11%
3DMark
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Score (sort by value)
Apple MacBook 12 2017
HD Graphics 615, m3-7Y32, Apple SSD AP0256
5035 Points ∼8%
Lenovo ThinkPad X395
Vega 6, R3 PRO 3300U, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB256HBHQ
10619 Points ∼16%
Dell Latitude 7200
UHD Graphics 620, i5-8365U, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
7916 Points ∼12%
Dell XPS 13 9300 i5 FHD
UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU), i5-1035G1, Toshiba XG6 KXG60ZNV512G
11119 Points ∼17%
Acer Swift 3 SF313-52-71Y7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Intel SSD 660p 1TB SSDPEKNW010T8
11959 Points ∼18%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 9300 i5 FHD
UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU), i5-1035G1, Toshiba XG6 KXG60ZNV512G
60637 Points ∼5%
Acer Swift 3 SF313-52-71Y7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Intel SSD 660p 1TB SSDPEKNW010T8
63796 Points ∼6%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X395
Vega 6, R3 PRO 3300U, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB256HBHQ
1.43 Points ∼56%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5-1035G4
Iris Plus Graphics G4 (Ice Lake 48 EU), i5-1035G4, Toshiba BG4 KBG40ZPZ256G
2.04 Points ∼80%
Acer Swift 3 SF313-52-71Y7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Intel SSD 660p 1TB SSDPEKNW010T8
2.09 Points ∼82%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X395
Vega 6, R3 PRO 3300U, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB256HBHQ
5.52 Points ∼13%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5-1035G4
Iris Plus Graphics G4 (Ice Lake 48 EU), i5-1035G4, Toshiba BG4 KBG40ZPZ256G
7.35 Points ∼17%
Acer Swift 3 SF313-52-71Y7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Intel SSD 660p 1TB SSDPEKNW010T8
6.37 Points ∼14%
OpenGL 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad X395
Vega 6, R3 PRO 3300U, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB256HBHQ
42.86 fps ∼24%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5-1035G4
Iris Plus Graphics G4 (Ice Lake 48 EU), i5-1035G4, Toshiba BG4 KBG40ZPZ256G
43.07 fps ∼24%
Acer Swift 3 SF313-52-71Y7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Intel SSD 660p 1TB SSDPEKNW010T8
47.49 fps ∼27%
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Apple MacBook 12 2017
HD Graphics 615, m3-7Y32, Apple SSD AP0256
120 Points ∼52%
Lenovo ThinkPad X395
Vega 6, R3 PRO 3300U, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB256HBHQ
126 Points ∼55%
Dell Latitude 7200
UHD Graphics 620, i5-8365U, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
164 Points ∼71%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5-1035G4
Iris Plus Graphics G4 (Ice Lake 48 EU), i5-1035G4, Toshiba BG4 KBG40ZPZ256G
172 Points ∼75%
Dell XPS 13 9300 i5 FHD
UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU), i5-1035G1, Toshiba XG6 KXG60ZNV512G
166 Points ∼72%
Acer Swift 3 SF313-52-71Y7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Intel SSD 660p 1TB SSDPEKNW010T8
175 Points ∼76%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Apple MacBook 12 2017
HD Graphics 615, m3-7Y32, Apple SSD AP0256
265 Points ∼6%
Lenovo ThinkPad X395
Vega 6, R3 PRO 3300U, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB256HBHQ
481 Points ∼11%
Dell Latitude 7200
UHD Graphics 620, i5-8365U, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
620 (509.77min - 658max) Points ∼14%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5-1035G4
Iris Plus Graphics G4 (Ice Lake 48 EU), i5-1035G4, Toshiba BG4 KBG40ZPZ256G
644 Points ∼15%
Dell XPS 13 9300 i5 FHD
UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU), i5-1035G1, Toshiba XG6 KXG60ZNV512G
667 Points ∼15%
Dell XPS 13 9300 i5 FHD
UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU), i5-1035G1, Toshiba XG6 KXG60ZNV512G
659 Points ∼15%
Acer Swift 3 SF313-52-71Y7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Intel SSD 660p 1TB SSDPEKNW010T8
615 Points ∼14%
OpenGL 64Bit (sort by value)
Apple MacBook 12 2017
HD Graphics 615, m3-7Y32, Apple SSD AP0256
25.61 fps ∼10%
Lenovo ThinkPad X395
Vega 6, R3 PRO 3300U, Samsung SSD PM981a MZVLB256HBHQ
46.42 fps ∼18%
Dell Latitude 7200
UHD Graphics 620, i5-8365U, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
48.4 fps ∼19%
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Core i5-1035G4
Iris Plus Graphics G4 (Ice Lake 48 EU), i5-1035G4, Toshiba BG4 KBG40ZPZ256G
62.01 fps ∼24%
Dell XPS 13 9300 i5 FHD
UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU), i5-1035G1, Toshiba XG6 KXG60ZNV512G
53.55 fps ∼21%
Acer Swift 3 SF313-52-71Y7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Intel SSD 660p 1TB SSDPEKNW010T8
64.56 fps ∼25%
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Notebookcheck's Top Windows Alternatives to the MacBook 12 and Air
Florian Schmitt, 2017-07- 3 (Update: 2020-08-19)