Notebookcheck

The best alternatives to the Apple MacBook Pro 13

Staff (translated by Katherine Bodner), 02/13/2018

Updated January 2018. A Mac? No thanks. Apple's range of notebooks is as popular as ever. But there is also a good selection of similarly interesting notebooks for Windows users. Take a look at the best devices that the world of Windows has come up with to compete against Apple's portfolio.

Despite its limited range of products, Apple has managed to supply a suitable notebook for almost every area of use, avoiding only the more price-sensitive entry-level segment - at least for now. We soon noticed the difficulty of finding comparable Windows devices for the few series that Apple offers. You will have to accept small compromises such as differences in the size of the device, its display resolution, weight and the hardware used. If you are not willing to do this, you will have to use Bootcamp Windows on a Mac computer. But as this would mean losing many of the advantages that Apple notebooks offer, this will only be the best option in certain cases.

You might also be interested in the following roundups:

Update 01/2018: For more clarity, we have decided to separate the lists of the top Windows alternatives for Apple’s MacBook Pro 13 and 15. 

The following table shows a collection of MacBook competitors based on the Windows operating system that have been tested by Notebookcheck in the past 12 months. If the devices received the same rating, we prioritized the more recent review. The table can be sorted by clicking on the headlines and filtered with the search bar (for example, by searching for "matte”).

Best Windows alternatives to Apple's MacBook Pro 13

Pos.RatingDateImageModelWeightHeightSizeResolutionScreenBest Price
190%03/2018
neu!
Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00
Intel Core i7-8550U
NVIDIA GeForce MX150
8 GB Memory, 512 GB NVMe
1.8 kg20 mm14"1920x1080matte
290%02/2018
neu!
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2018-20KGS03900Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2018-20KGS03900
Intel Core i7-8550U
Intel UHD Graphics 620
16 GB Memory, 512 GB NVMe
1.1 kg15.95 mm14"2560x1440glossy
390%06/2017Acer TravelMate P648-G2-M-73T0Acer TravelMate P648-G2-M-73T0
Intel Core i7-7500U
Intel HD Graphics 620
8 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD
1.7 kg21.2 mm14"1920x1080matte
489%04/2018
neu!
Dell Latitude 7390Dell Latitude 7390
Intel Core i5-8350U
Intel UHD Graphics 620
8 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD
1.3 kg16.5 mm13.3"1920x1080matte
589%04/2018
neu!
HP EliteBook 840 G5-3JX66EAHP EliteBook 840 G5-3JX66EA
Intel Core i5-8250U
Intel UHD Graphics 620
8 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD
1.5 kg17.9 mm14"1920x1080matte
689%10/2017Dell XPS 13 i7-8550UDell XPS 13 i7-8550U
Intel Core i7-8550U
Intel UHD Graphics 620
8 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD
1.3 kg15 mm13.3"3200x1800glossy

Editor's Comments

The new MacBook Pro 13 is available with an optional OLED bar, which is supposed to make it easier to use compatible programs. With or without the bar: Apple's notebook is a slim and powerful device - that comes at a certain price. Windows alternatives can be found in the area of 14-inch business devices as well as 13-inch ultrabooks. We have chosen a good selection of high-quality devices that have no need to fear comparison with Apple's notebooks. Prices range from significantly cheaper devices to even more expensive models.

1st - Lenovo ThinkPad T480

Lenovo ThinkPad T480
Lenovo ThinkPad T480

Lenovo did it again. The manufacturer’s current ThinkPad T480 is the best alternative to Apple’s MacBook Pro 13. It is one of the top models in Lenovo’s legendary business line-up and costs upwards of $1,600 depending on configuration. In return, you get an optional built-in LTE modem, the famous high-quality ThinkPad keyboard, a multitude of security features, long battery life, and plenty of performance.

Granted, the display’s color accuracy could have been better and so could the internal speakers’ soundscape. Plus, it is a whopping 400 g heavier than Apple’s antagonist. However, the ThinkPad T480 is still a very good alternative to the MacBook Pro 13, at least once BIOS has been updated with the latest firmware.

Pricecompare

2nd - Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

Like before this year’s ThinkPad X1 Carbon is a worthy competitor for Apple’s MacBook Pro 13. Its low weight, its perfectly manufactured case, its amazing input devices, its high performance, and its long battery life are almost too good to be true. Compared to last year’s model you get two full-sized USB Type-A ports, which is highly commendable, a docking connector, and various adapters.

Our main gripe were the device’s high surface temperatures and the fan that was running fairly often. Maintenance is quite limited. That said the ThinkPad X1 Carbon does share some of these downsides with the MacBook Pro 13, and is thus a true alternative. Keep in mind that it is quite expensive, though.

Pricecompare

3rd - Acer TravelMate P648 G2

Acer TravelMate P648 G2
Acer TravelMate P648 G2

The design of the second edition of Acer's TravelMate P648 still is a lot less spectacular than Apple's MacBook Pro: It is an unremarkable worker rather than a flashy design highlight. Its materials (carbon-fiber reinforced plastic and aluminum) make the device very stable. The TravelMate also remains quite cool and quiet while working. It offers good performance, but you will have to accept a rather spongy keyboard. An unspectacular, and yet powerful competitor against the Apple MacBook Pro.

Pricecompare

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4th - Dell Latitude 7390

Dell Latitude 7390
Dell Latitude 7390

Slightly lighter than the MacBook Pro 13, Dell’s Latitude 7390 offers plenty of performance and decent battery life packed into a good-looking case served with decent security features and a good display with matte coating. The device was fairly quite and somewhat hard to disassemble, but once this has been achieved one has access to most swappable components. Connectivity is excellent, too. The downsides include several minor annoyances, such as the subpar speakers, the lack of Thunderbolt 3, and the input devices that could have been better. Nevertheless the Latitude 7390 is a worthy contender to the MacBook Pro 13.

Pricecompare

5th - HP EliteBook 840 G5

HP EliteBook 840 G5
HP EliteBook 840 G5

Although the HP EliteBook 840 G5 is a business notebook by design it also meets the requirements of demanding home users thanks to its rigid and good-looking case, its bright display, high performance, and comfortable input devices. In addition to a docking port it also features a Thunderbolt port. Battery life is okay and anything but exceptional, and the SSD could have been a bit faster. It also lacks a card reader.

Pricecompare

6th - Dell XPS 13

Dell XPS 13
Dell XPS 13

Due to its slim build and relatively low weight, the Dell XPS 13 is not only a competitor to the current Apple MacBook Pro 13, but also to the MacBook Air 13. This year, it only received an updated processor. We expect a new case to be presented at the next CES. Although it does not sound like a big change at first: The processor offers significantly higher performance and the graphics card is also more powerful than last year's. The surface temperature has increased in some areas, but is still perfectly comfortable. This makes the 2017 version of the XPS 13 a serious competitor, although you will have to get used to its reflective screen.

Pricecompare

The original: Apple MacBook Pro 13

RatingDateImageModelWeightHeightSizeResolutionScreenBest Price
90%06/2017Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017 Touchbar i5Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017 Touchbar i5
Intel Core i5-7267U
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 650
8 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD
1.4 kg15 mm13.3"2560x1600glossy
88%07/2017Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017
Intel Core i5-7360U
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640
8 GB Memory, 128 GB SSD
1.4 kg14.9 mm13.3"2560x1600glossy

Pricecompare

Pricecompare

Top 5 MBP 13 Alternatives in Comparison

Comparison of Measurements

Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)Acer TravelMate P648-G2-M-73T0Dell XPS 13 i7-8550UHP EliteBook 840 G5-3JX66EADell Latitude 7390Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2018-20KGS03900Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00
Response Times
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
47.2 (19.6, 27.6)
38 (20, 18)
35.6 (18.4, 17.2)
42.4 (19.6, 22.8)
48.8 (24.8, 24)
59.2 (28.4, 30.8)
35.6 (17.6, 18)
Response Time Black / White *
53 (10, 43)
25 (14, 11)
27.2 (16, 11.2)
31.6 (18, 13.6)
35.2 (21.2, 14)
34.4 (16.4, 18)
24.8 (13.2, 11.6)
PWM Frequency
19690 (100)
Screen
Brightness middle
569
275
386.1
414
329
578
307
Brightness
542
253
357
387
316
533
295
Brightness Distribution
90
85
83
87
92
84
90
Black Level *
0.56
0.25
0.33
0.25
0.25
0.38
0.25
Contrast
1016
1100
1170
1656
1316
1521
1228
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
1.4
3.49
4.2
5.5
4.3
1.9
5.7
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
2.9
6.77
7.6
9.9
7.8
3.8
21.3
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
1.8
4.91
5.7
6.4
3.6
3
3.7
Gamma
2.16 102%
2.39 92%
2.28 96%
2.31 95%
2.43 91%
2.14 103%
2.11 104%
CCT
6877 95%
6271 104%
7336 89%
7811 83%
6928 94%
6377 102%
7353 88%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
78.4
59
59
56.9
59.1
88.8
37.4
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
99.3
91
92.2
88.1
90.6
100
58.7
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
2.3
2.5
0.8
4.7
Noise
off / environment *
30.2
30.6
27.9
28.8
29.5
28.9
29
Idle Minimum *
30.2
30.6
27.9
28.8
29.5
28.9
29
Idle Average *
30.2
30.6
27.9
28.8
29.5
28.9
29
Idle Maximum *
30.2
31
27.9
33.1
29.5
32.5
29
Load Average *
33
34.5
30.8
35.2
32.4
35.1
35.6
Load Maximum *
36.2
32.4
33.1
35.2
39.9
35.1
35.6
Witcher 3 ultra *
32.5
Heat
Maximum Upper Side *
45
39.1
49
36.6
43.1
52.6
41.2
Maximum Bottom *
39
35
54
39.5
55.2
48.2
49.9
Idle Upper Side *
26
29.4
26.6
23.8
23.7
23.6
24.1
Idle Bottom *
24
27.8
28.2
24.7
23.6
23
23.9
Battery Runtime
Reader / Idle
1087
1108
1138
1660
1328
1671
H.264
483
399
749
566
638
WiFi v1.3
566
672
589
447
519
794
Load
66
115
143
156
92
106
159

* ... smaller is better

Comparison of Benchmarks

PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Iris Graphics 550, 6267U, Apple SSD AP0256
4218 Points ∼65%
Acer TravelMate P648-G2-M-73T0
HD Graphics 620, 7500U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
4639 Points ∼71%
Dell XPS 13 i7-8550U
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
4436 Points ∼68%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2018-20KGS03900
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
4664 Points ∼72%
Dell Latitude 7390
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, SK hynix SC311 M.2
4768 Points ∼73%
HP EliteBook 840 G5-3JX66EA
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
4832 Points ∼74%
Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
5025 Points ∼77%
Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Iris Graphics 550, 6267U, Apple SSD AP0256
3738 Points ∼61%
Acer TravelMate P648-G2-M-73T0
HD Graphics 620, 7500U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
3515 Points ∼58%
Dell XPS 13 i7-8550U
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
3432 Points ∼56%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2018-20KGS03900
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
3752 Points ∼62%
Dell Latitude 7390
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, SK hynix SC311 M.2
3600 Points ∼59%
HP EliteBook 840 G5-3JX66EA
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
3652 Points ∼60%
Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
3675 Points ∼60%
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Iris Graphics 550, 6267U, Apple SSD AP0256
2881 Points ∼10%
Acer TravelMate P648-G2-M-73T0
HD Graphics 620, 7500U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
1591 Points ∼5%
Dell XPS 13 i7-8550U
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
2032 Points ∼7%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2018-20KGS03900
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
2143 Points ∼7%
Dell Latitude 7390
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, SK hynix SC311 M.2
1755 Points ∼6%
HP EliteBook 840 G5-3JX66EA
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
1791 Points ∼6%
Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
4236 Points ∼14%
3DMark
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Score (sort by value)
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Iris Graphics 550, 6267U, Apple SSD AP0256
8105 Points ∼16%
Acer TravelMate P648-G2-M-73T0
HD Graphics 620, 7500U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
6159 Points ∼12%
Dell XPS 13 i7-8550U
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
8459 Points ∼17%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2018-20KGS03900
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
9271 Points ∼19%
Dell Latitude 7390
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, SK hynix SC311 M.2
7618 Points ∼15%
HP EliteBook 840 G5-3JX66EA
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
7535 Points ∼15%
Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
9981 Points ∼20%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 i7-8550U
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
67042 Points ∼6%
HP EliteBook 840 G5-3JX66EA
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
61742 Points ∼6%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 i7-8550U
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
1.62 Points ∼1%
HP EliteBook 840 G5-3JX66EA
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
1.64 Points ∼1%
Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
1.43 Points ∼1%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 i7-8550U
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
6.47 Points ∼24%
HP EliteBook 840 G5-3JX66EA
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
6.39 Points ∼24%
Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
6.92 Points ∼26%
OpenGL 64Bit (sort by value)
Dell XPS 13 i7-8550U
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
46.94 fps ∼35%
HP EliteBook 840 G5-3JX66EA
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
38.46 fps ∼29%
Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
73.6 fps ∼55%
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Iris Graphics 550, 6267U, Apple SSD AP0256
131 Points ∼63%
Acer TravelMate P648-G2-M-73T0
HD Graphics 620, 7500U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
142 Points ∼69%
Dell XPS 13 i7-8550U
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
167 Points ∼81%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2018-20KGS03900
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
168 Points ∼81%
Dell Latitude 7390
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, SK hynix SC311 M.2
152 Points ∼73%
HP EliteBook 840 G5-3JX66EA
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
143 Points ∼69%
Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
161 Points ∼78%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Iris Graphics 550, 6267U, Apple SSD AP0256
339 Points ∼11%
Acer TravelMate P648-G2-M-73T0
HD Graphics 620, 7500U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
341.43 Points ∼11%
Dell XPS 13 i7-8550U
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
603 Points ∼19%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2018-20KGS03900
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
708 Points ∼23%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2018-20KGS03900
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
648 Points ∼21%
Dell Latitude 7390
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, SK hynix SC311 M.2
625 Points ∼20%
HP EliteBook 840 G5-3JX66EA
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
583 Points ∼19%
Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
657 Points ∼21%
OpenGL 64Bit (sort by value)
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Iris Graphics 550, 6267U, Apple SSD AP0256
36.9 fps ∼19%
Acer TravelMate P648-G2-M-73T0
HD Graphics 620, 7500U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
39 fps ∼20%
Dell XPS 13 i7-8550U
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
49.35 fps ∼25%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2018-20KGS03900
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
56.3 fps ∼29%
HP EliteBook 840 G5-3JX66EA
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
43.64 fps ∼22%
Lenovo ThinkPad T480-20L6S01V00
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
104.15 fps ∼53%
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > The best alternatives to the Apple MacBook Pro 13
Staff, 2018-02-13 (Update: 2018-06-20)