Notebookcheck

The best alternatives to the Apple MacBook Pro 15

Florian Wimmer (translated by Katherine Bodner), 02/09/2018

Updated January 2018. Apple's MacBook Pro 15 offers very high performance. But the world of Windows also has several interesting devices to offer in the area of high-performance 15-inch notebooks. Read on to find out more about our top competitors for Apple's high-end laptop.

The MacBook 15 is Apple’s ultimate answer if you are looking for high performance in an (Apple) notebook. Apple has equipped the MBP 15 with a high-performance 45-W quad-core processor and a dedicated graphics card from AMD. The Radeon Pro 555 or 560 are mid-range GPUs and their gaming performance can be compared to that of Nvidia’s GeForce MX150. The starting price for the MBP is $1800, which includes 16 GB of RAM and 256 GB of SSD storage. At its best – with 2 TB of PCIe SSD storage and a 3.1-GHz quad-core CPU, the MBP 15 costs around $4000. So we will be looking at top-quality multimedia and workstation laptops from the world of Windows that can compete with these specifications. You may 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 15

Pos.RatingDateImageModelWeightHeightSizeResolutionScreenBest Price
189%06/2017
neu!
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GELenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
NVIDIA Quadro M2200
16 GB Memory, 512 GB SSD
2.6 kg29.4 mm15.6"3840x2160matte
288%11/2017HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
Intel Core i7-8550U
NVIDIA GeForce MX150
16 GB Memory, 512 GB SSD
2 kg17.8 mm15.6"3840x2160glossy
386%10/2017
neu!
HP ZBook Studio G4-Y6K17EAHP ZBook Studio G4-Y6K17EA
Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
NVIDIA Quadro M1200
32 GB Memory, 512 GB SSD
2.1 kg18 mm15.6"3840x2160matte
483%02/2018
neu!
Schenker Key 15Schenker Key 15
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
16 GB Memory, 512 GB NVMe
2.2 kg18.6 mm15.6"3840x2160matte
583%06/2017
neu!
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGELenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
Intel Core i7-7600U
NVIDIA Quadro M520
16 GB Memory, 1024 GB SSD
2.2 kg22 mm15.6"3840x2160matte

Editors' Comments

Apple has given the MacBook Pro 15 an overhaul. Here is a list of Windows alternatives, including powerful multimedia all-rounders and top-level business devices. A lot has happened here in the past few years: The MacBook Pro 15 now has quite a lot of competitors to deal with. 

1st - Lenovo ThinkPad P51

Lenovo ThinkPad P51
Lenovo ThinkPad P51

Lenovo’s ThinkPad P51 features the same case as its predecessor but has received some internal upgrades. In addition to a high level of performance that is available for prolonged periods of sustained loads the devices offers a rigid and robust case and excellent input devices.

The high-resolution 4K display was a positive surprise. Unfortunately, Lenovo does not quite manage to equip all of its devices with high-quality panels but the P51’s 4K display is certainly one of the best and highly recommendable. Decent brightness, no PWM, high color accuracy and high color space coverage. A calibration tool is included, but it failed to improve the display’s accuracy on our review model.

Pricecompare

2nd - HP Spectre x360 15t

HP Spectre x360 15t
HP Spectre x360 15t

The HP Spectre x360 15t is a wonderful convertible. It offers an extraordinarily well-made case, great input devices and good battery runtimes. But you should be aware that the display (like that of the MacBook Pro 15) is quite reflective and therefore difficult to use outdoors, and that the case shows up fingerprints quite easily. The HP Spectre x350 15t can also become quite warm during use. The dedicated graphics chip even allows you to play simple games. At just over 2 kg (~4.4 lbs), the device is a little heavier than the MacBook Pro 15. 

Nonetheless: The many advantages and great flexibility of the HP Spectre x360 15t make it a worthy opponent.

Pricecompare

3rd - HP ZBook Studio G4-Y6K17EA

HP ZBook Studio G4
HP ZBook Studio G4

The ZBook Studio G4 is HP’s attempt to squeeze high-performance into a compact case. Its predecessor, the Studio G3, suffered from high temperatures and while the Studio G4 is certainly not one of the cooler devices we have seen it is significantly better than its predecessor. The case is very well made and offers high-quality input devices. Our review unit was equipped with the optional and quite decent 4K DreamColor panel. That said the only difference to the regular 4K panels seems to be in software.

It does have one major downside, though: the DreamColor panel is incompatible to Nvidia Optimus, which means the ZBook G4’s dedicated GPU is always enabled. Unsurprisingly, this had a striking effect on battery life. It also lacks some features we would have expected from a portable workstation, such as WWAN or a smart card reader.

Pricecompare

4th - Schenker Key 15

Schenker Key 15
Schenker Key 15

The Schenker Key 15 offers plenty of performance packed into a compact metal case. It features the same 45 W TDP i7 CPU class as the MacBook Pro 15 as well as a GeForce GTX 1060 GPU and an optional high-contrast 4K panel.

That said we find the lack of Thunderbolt 3 rather disturbing, and the battery turned out to be quite poor as well. Nevertheless the Schenker Key 15 can be a viable alternative for those on a budget.

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Pricecompare

5th - Lenovo ThinkPad P51s

Lenovo ThinkPad T570
Lenovo ThinkPad T570

The ThinkPad P51s is the smaller and lighter alternative to the bigger ThinkPad P51 workstation. Keep in mind that this model features a ULV processor instead, and is thus incapable of achieving comparable levels of performance as processors with a higher TDP. Plus, clock speeds were throttled on battery. If you don’t mind these limitations the P51s offers excellent input devices, long battery life, and an impressive case worth a closer look.

Pricecompare

The Original: Apple MacBook Pro 15

RatingDateImageModelWeightHeightSizeResolutionScreenBest Price
09/2017Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.9 GHz, 560)Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.9 GHz, 560)
Intel Core i7-7820HQ
AMD Radeon Pro 560
16 GB Memory
1.8 kg16 mm15.4"2880x1800glossy
88%07/2017Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.8 GHz, 555)Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.8 GHz, 555)
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
AMD Radeon Pro 555
16 GB Memory,  SSD
1.8 kg16 mm15.4"2880x1800glossy

Pricecompare

Pricecompare

Top 5 MBP 15 Alternatives in Comparison

Comparison of Measurements

Apple MacBook Pro 15 2016 (2.6 GHz, 450)
Radeon Pro 450, 6700HQ, Apple SSD SM0256L
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
Quadro M2200, E3-1505M v6, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
HP ZBook Studio G4-Y6K17EA
Quadro M1200, E3-1505M v6, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
Schenker Key 15
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SSD 960 Pro 512 GB m.2
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
Quadro M520, 7600U, Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVLW1T0)
Response Times
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
47.3 (22.1, 25.2)
41.2 (23.2, 18)
40.8 (20.8, 20)
44.8 (22, 22.8)
48 (23.6, 24.4)
38.4 (20.4, 18)
Response Time Black / White *
31.2 (16.7, 14.5)
29.6 (16.4, 13.2)
25.2 (14, 11.2)
30 (17.2, 12.8)
30 (16, 14)
24.8 (13.6, 11.2)
PWM Frequency
117000 (80, 200)
1000
1497 (50)
980.4 (90)
Screen
Brightness middle
483
338.7
317
324
285
317
Brightness
465
325
309
338
293
290
Brightness Distribution
92
91
89
78
84
85
Black Level *
0.33
0.28
0.36
0.3
0.28
0.32
Contrast
1464
1210
881
1080
1018
991
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
1.4
4.9
2.7
1.6
4.09
3.6
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
3
8.7
4.1
4.6
7.94
6.6
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
1.5
5.5
3
2.5
4.39
4.2
Gamma
2.34 103%
2.08 115%
2.27 106%
2.21 109%
2.32 103%
2.24 107%
CCT
6650 98%
7498 87%
6077 107%
6273 104%
6706 97%
6740 96%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
63.5
87.6
85.7
60
59.5
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
86.92
99.5
98.9
92
91.1
Noise
off / environment *
30.4
28.4
29.6
29.4
29
29.2
Idle Minimum *
30.6
28.4
29.6
29.7
31
29.2
Idle Average *
30.6
28.4
29.6
29.7
32
29.2
Idle Maximum *
30.6
28.4
29.6
31.6
39
31.1
Load Average *
34.7
41.6
32.2
42.3
47
36.7
Load Maximum *
46.3
41.6
36.6
42.3
54
39.4
Witcher 3 ultra *
36.1
42.3
49
Heat
Maximum Upper Side *
43
49.2
43
46.3
55
43.6
Maximum Bottom *
40
52
52.2
55.4
56
60.8
Idle Upper Side *
26
24.8
27.1
29.3
23
27.3
Idle Bottom *
25
26.4
27.9
30.3
24
29
Battery Runtime
Reader / Idle
934
981
410
481
1581
H.264
516
455
216
700
WiFi v1.3
602
511
413
201
240
712
Load
55
136
95
50
75
323

* ... smaller is better

Comparison of Bencharks

PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2016 (2.6 GHz, 450)
Radeon Pro 450, 6700HQ, Apple SSD SM0256L
4426 Points ∼68%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
4217 Points ∼65%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
Quadro M2200, E3-1505M v6, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
4256 Points ∼65%
HP ZBook Studio G4-Y6K17EA
Quadro M1200, E3-1505M v6, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
4408 Points ∼68%
Schenker Key 15
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SSD 960 Pro 512 GB m.2
4328 Points ∼66%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
Quadro M520, 7600U, Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVLW1T0)
4193 Points ∼64%
Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2016 (2.6 GHz, 450)
Radeon Pro 450, 6700HQ, Apple SSD SM0256L
3637 Points ∼60%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
3457 Points ∼57%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
Quadro M2200, E3-1505M v6, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
3641 Points ∼60%
HP ZBook Studio G4-Y6K17EA
Quadro M1200, E3-1505M v6, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
4093 Points ∼67%
Schenker Key 15
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SSD 960 Pro 512 GB m.2
3499 Points ∼57%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
Quadro M520, 7600U, Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVLW1T0)
3232 Points ∼53%
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2016 (2.6 GHz, 450)
Radeon Pro 450, 6700HQ, Apple SSD SM0256L
4914 Points ∼16%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
4825 Points ∼16%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
Quadro M2200, E3-1505M v6, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
7709 Points ∼26%
HP ZBook Studio G4-Y6K17EA
Quadro M1200, E3-1505M v6, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
5516 Points ∼18%
Schenker Key 15
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SSD 960 Pro 512 GB m.2
12633 Points ∼42%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
Quadro M520, 7600U, Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVLW1T0)
2884 Points ∼10%
3DMark
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Score (sort by value)
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2016 (2.6 GHz, 450)
Radeon Pro 450, 6700HQ, Apple SSD SM0256L
14305 Points ∼29%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
13664 Points ∼28%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
Quadro M2200, E3-1505M v6, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
20644 Points ∼42%
HP ZBook Studio G4-Y6K17EA
Quadro M1200, E3-1505M v6, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
17884 Points ∼36%
Schenker Key 15
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SSD 960 Pro 512 GB m.2
25268 Points ∼51%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
Quadro M520, 7600U, Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVLW1T0)
8544 Points ∼17%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
Quadro M520, 7600U, Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVLW1T0)
32374 Points ∼3%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2016 (2.6 GHz, 450)
Radeon Pro 450, 6700HQ, Apple SSD SM0256L
1.53 Points ∼65%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
1.77 Points ∼76%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
Quadro M2200, E3-1505M v6, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
1.92 Points ∼82%
Schenker Key 15
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SSD 960 Pro 512 GB m.2
1.8 Points ∼77%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
Quadro M520, 7600U, Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVLW1T0)
1.85 Points ∼79%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2016 (2.6 GHz, 450)
Radeon Pro 450, 6700HQ, Apple SSD SM0256L
7.23 Points ∼27%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
5.76 Points ∼21%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
Quadro M2200, E3-1505M v6, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
8.61 Points ∼32%
Schenker Key 15
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SSD 960 Pro 512 GB m.2
8.18 Points ∼30%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
Quadro M520, 7600U, Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVLW1T0)
4.03 Points ∼15%
OpenGL 64Bit (sort by value)
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
59.67 fps ∼45%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
Quadro M520, 7600U, Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVLW1T0)
70.93 fps ∼53%
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2016 (2.6 GHz, 450)
Radeon Pro 450, 6700HQ, Apple SSD SM0256L
141 Points ∼68%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
154 Points ∼74%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
Quadro M2200, E3-1505M v6, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
171 Points ∼83%
HP ZBook Studio G4-Y6K17EA
Quadro M1200, E3-1505M v6, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
170 Points ∼82%
Schenker Key 15
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SSD 960 Pro 512 GB m.2
157 Points ∼76%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
Quadro M520, 7600U, Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVLW1T0)
162 Points ∼78%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2016 (2.6 GHz, 450)
Radeon Pro 450, 6700HQ, Apple SSD SM0256L
666 Points ∼21%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
519 Points ∼17%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
Quadro M2200, E3-1505M v6, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
792 Points ∼25%
HP ZBook Studio G4-Y6K17EA
Quadro M1200, E3-1505M v6, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
737 Points ∼24%
Schenker Key 15
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SSD 960 Pro 512 GB m.2
734 Points ∼24%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
Quadro M520, 7600U, Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVLW1T0)
379 Points ∼12%
OpenGL 64Bit (sort by value)
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2016 (2.6 GHz, 450)
Radeon Pro 450, 6700HQ, Apple SSD SM0256L
69.8 fps ∼36%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
102.95 fps ∼52%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
Quadro M2200, E3-1505M v6, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
103.88 fps ∼53%
HP ZBook Studio G4-Y6K17EA
Quadro M1200, E3-1505M v6, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
113.54 fps ∼58%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51s 20HB000SGE
Quadro M520, 7600U, Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVLW1T0)
75.52 fps ∼38%
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > The best alternatives to the Apple MacBook Pro 15
Florian Wimmer, 2018-02- 9 (Update: 2018-06-20)