8 Best MacBook Pro Alternatives To Consider in 2022

MacBooks have famously been the choice for creatives like graphic designers, videographers, musicians, DJs, and more for a very long time. And now that Apple has come out with their silicon — the M1 chips — MacBooks are becoming more powerful than ever.

However, there are also many reasons why a MacBook might not make sense for you. The cost can be prohibitive, and not everyone wants to switch to Mac OS from Windows, either.

If you don’t want to buy a MacBook Pro, there are thankfully many other alternatives out there that offer a similar experience. This list takes a look at the best Macbook Pro alternatives of 2022.

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Top Alternatives to MacBook Pro in 2022

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Dell XPS 15 with OLED Screen

Our Rating: 4.6/5 Stars

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The Dell XPS (13 or 15-inch model) has been known as a Mac alternative for quite some time. But now that the 15-inch model has received a 2021 update that brought it an OLED screen, amongst other things, it’s become a better choice than ever before. The new Dell XPS 15 also provides plenty of power, thanks to the various configurations you can choose (though prices change depending on the components selected).

Here are some of the features at a glance:

  • Comes with Windows 10 Pro or Windows 11 Home
  • 3.5K 15.6” OLED touchscreen OR 15.6” FHD+ Non-touch display
  • Available in 3 options: 11th gen Intel i5-11400H, i7-11800H, i9-11900H
  • Available with Intel UHD Graphics, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 4GB GDDR6, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti 4GB GDDR6
  • 8GB, 16GB, 32 GB, or 64GB DDR4 3200MHz RAM available
  • M.2 SSD options include 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, or 8TB

Dell’s XPS laptops have always been known as the best MacBook Pro alternative because they match many of the same features. The XPS tops the list of laptops that look like MacBook Pros, offering a similar premium feel and power level. The XPS does better because it comes with many ports, unlike its Apple brethren. One thing that the new XPS 15 hasn’t been able to do as well with, however, is its mediocre battery life.

What We Liked

  • OLED touchscreen
  • Beautiful razor-thin InfinityEdge bezels
  • Decent touchpad and keyboard
  • Many ports
  • Very configurable

What We Didn’t Like

  • Battery life isn’t the best
  • Somewhat heavy

Who Should Buy This Laptop?

The Dell XPS 15 (or even 13) is our choice for the best MacBook Pro alternative all around, so we’d be happy to recommend this laptop to everyone. However, in our opinion, this is the best alternative to a MacBook Pro if you are looking for a machine that’s got a beautiful screen and a sleek, relatively-thin design. We’d even say that this is as close you can get to a Windows equivalent of the MacBook Pro.

Out of all the MacBook Pro competitors, we’d say that the Dell XPS 15 is one of the best laptops that look like MacBooks. Of course, it doesn’t have exactly the same design — nowhere near, even — but its sleek, well-designed appearance and sturdy, premium build gives it a very similar feel.

Besides recommending this headset to basically everyone, we’d say that you should buy this laptop (with the appropriate configurations) if you are a creative who works on graphics, video, and 3D type work.

Related: Top 5 Best MacBook Air Alternatives

Razer Book 13

Our Rating: 4.25/5 Stars

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Razer has been a well-known brand for years now, and it wasn’t too long ago that they began producing high-quality gaming laptops. That said, Razer’s Stealth machines weren’t known to be MacBook Pro competitors since they focused more on gaming than on productivity. However, that’s all about to change with the Razer Book 13.

Razer specifically made the Book 13 to compete against various premium laptops. Choosing portability and a thin form factor, Razer decided to omit a discrete GPU in the Book 13, though you can still choose between an 11th generation Intel i5 or i7.

Razer’s sleek Book 13 can almost match the battery life of most MacBooks, clocking in with up to 14 hours of use per charge. However, Razer wins the battle with ports since it has 2 Thunderbolt 4 ports, an HDMI input, one USB-A port, a headphone jack, and even a microSD reader.

What We Liked

  • Sleek, slim design
  • Can be quite powerful depending on your needs
  • Decent battery life
  • Beautiful design with thin bezels

What We Didn’t Like

  • No discrete GPU (not a big deal for many)

Who Should Buy This Laptop?

The Razer Book 13 is a great machine for people who need a productivity machine with a long-lasting battery. Since this machine is rated to last as long as 14 hours on a single charge, you’re likely to be able to take this for a full workday without needing to charge along the way. The Book 13 also has plenty more ports than the MacBook Pro, so in that particular regard, we’d lump it in with the laptops better than the MacBook Pro.

Asus ZenBook 13 OLED UM325

Our Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

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If you’re looking for the best MacBook alternative in terms of appearance, this laptop comes close — minus the distracting (and arguably ugly) numpad on the trackpad. The Zenbook 13 OLED UM325 features a redesigned keyboard and a massive trackpad to help with productivity. An AMD Ryzen 5 or Ryzen 7 provides the beef backing the laptop when it comes to heavy tasks. It’s worth mentioning these processors are pretty close to Apple M1 performance.

This laptop has more ports than an MBP but unfortunately doesn’t support Thunderbolt. And although it does come with an OLED panel, it does worse than MacBooks’ retina display at only 1080P.

What We Liked

  • Great keyboard and large trackpad
  • OLED screen
  • Thin, sleek design
  • Lightweight yet powerful

What We Didn’t Like

  • Numbers on the trackpad are distracting
  • Screen only 1080p

Who Should Buy This Laptop?

If you’re looking for a laptop comparable to the MacBook Pro but don’t particularly want to pay a comparable price, the ASUS Zenbook 13 OLED UM325 might be the choice for you. This machine works well for productivity tasks and may even go a little further into some light photo and video editing work, so it makes an excellent choice for students and professionals.

LG Gram 16

Our Rating: 4/5 Stars

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If you’re looking for a MacBook Pro alternative but aren’t willing to compromise on screen size, the LG Gram 16 makes for a good choice. This large laptop is ultra-thin and ultra-lightweight at only 2.62lbs. You can only purchase this laptop with an 11th-gen Intel i7, but it can still provide plenty of power. The LG Gram 16 is also known to offer excellent battery life, lasting through a workday (your mileage may vary).

This device’s price is unbeatable and certainly more affordable than a 16-inch MacBook Pro. However, it does suffer somewhat due to not having the option for a discrete GPU, which is uncommon considering its size.

What We Liked

  • Beautiful form factor
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Great battery life
  • Large screen size

What We Didn’t Like

  • Only comes in i7
  • No discrete GPU option

Who Should Buy This Laptop?

The LG Gram 16 is a laptop similar to the MacBook Pro 16 — at least in screen size. Beyond that, you won’t be able to get the same level of performance, as the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips are simply much more powerful. Nevertheless, the 11th gen i7 Intel chip powering this machine is more than capable of productivity, multitasking, and light creative work. We would recommend this machine to businesspeople and professionals who need the screen real estate.

HP Spectre x360 14T

Our Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

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HP’s Spectre x360 14 succeeds the 13, its previous model, which was once known as the best Mac Book Pro alternative.

The 14 looks and feels premium, provides more room on the keyboard, and still manages to turn out a good performance. It also starts with at least 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD.

Another thing worth noting is the Spectre x360 14 has a larger screen, clocking in at 13.5 inches and a 3:2 productivity-focused aspect ratio. You can choose between a 1920×1280 IPS screen or a 3000×2000 OLED screen for a better display.

The Spectre x360 14 won’t come near the MacBook Pros in terms of versatility and processing power, but it’s a beautiful convertible machine that can be used in various modes depending on your needs.

What We Liked

  • Convertible, has many modes
  • Available with OLED screen
  • Can choose some specs
  • Sleek and beautiful

What We Didn’t Like

  • Aspect ratio isn’t for everyone
  • No discrete GPU option

Who Should Buy This Laptop?

The sleek and premium design of this laptop coupled with its relatively affordable price (depending on configuration) has us ready to recommend it to students who need a versatile machine with relatively decent power. Its 3:2 configuration also makes it a great choice for writers and other professionals who would benefit from the aspect ratio.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano

Our Rating: 4.75/5 Stars

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You won’t find the ThinkPad X1 Nano on the list of laptops similar to MacBook Pros — at least not when it comes to appearance. However, this 13-inch laptop delivers the same premium feel and performance at a far lighter weight: a feather-light 1.99lbs, lighter than even the 2.8lb MacBook Air. The 13” display is nothing to sneeze at either, with a 2160×1350 resolution supporting Dolby Vision.

The X1 Nano starts at 8GB/256GB, with a Tiger-Lake Intel i5 or i7 at the helm. It’s no slouch when it comes to performance, but it won’t fully compete with the higher-end MacBook Pros. You can, of course, configure it to have higher specifications (at a higher cost).

One of the best things you can get from this laptop is the great typing experience. It also has a few nifty features, like the sliding webcam cover and the mouse button in the middle of the keyboard for extra control. However, it won’t be to everyone’s tastes, so try before you buy!

What We Liked

  • Comfortable keyboard in a small form factor
  • Amazingly light
  • Great battery life
  • Good performance
  • Durable workhorse

What We Didn’t Like

  • The design looks a little “old”
  • Bezels aren’t the thinnest

Who Should Buy This Laptop?

The ThinkPad has always been a well-known and well-received machine. Although it is now part of Lenovo’s umbrella of product lines, ThinkPad used to be an IBM product. From then until now, ThinkPads have shined as outstanding business machines. It’s often used and recommended to businesses, businesspeople, and professionals, and for good reason. We would recommend the same. Those seeking more power can opt for the updated ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10, although you can expect to pay more for that particular line of machines.

Surface Laptop 4

Our Rating: 4.4/5 Stars

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You can’t make a list of the best alternatives to MacBooks without Microsoft’s Surface laptops. The 4, in particular, makes an excellent choice, thanks to how configurable it is. Microsoft gives you many options when you purchase this laptop, such as:

  • Choice of processor between 11th generation Intel i5/i7 or AMD Ryzen 5/7
  • 8GB to 32GB of RAM
  • 256GB to 1TB of SSD storage space

The Surface 4 combines a sleek, premium build with powerful components allowing this device to become your daily driver. It beats out the MacBooks by having a touchscreen, making it a great choice for people who prefer to hand-write their notes (or creatives who want to draw on the screen). We also like how comfortable the keyboard is and how beautiful the 2K screen can be.

It’s similar in price to the MacBook Pros, but it offers similar performance, has some advantages, and has a great 13-hour battery life. It does, however, suffer from the same issue of not having enough ports.

What We Liked

  • Great keyboard
  • Sleek, premium build
  • Great battery life
  • Good 2K touchscreen
  • Configurable

What We Didn’t Like

  • Fabric can get gross through years of use
  • Not a lot of ports
  • No discrete GPU option

Who Should Buy This Laptop?

Thanks to its beautiful 2K touchscreen, the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 is a superb choice for students and professionals on the go. This machine also works well with the Surface Pen, making it an even better choice for those who like to take notes and annotate with a stylus. We would also happily recommend the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 to anyone looking for an iPad Air or Pro replacement, if they’re willing to let go of the iOS apps, that is.

Asus ROG Zephyrus M16

Our Rating: 4.2/5 Stars

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Gaming laptops used to be hefty, bulky, and ugly — but not anymore. The Zephyrus line modernizes portable gaming machines, making them much less unattractive to use in public.

The ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 may divide many because of its appearance. It’s not the most beautiful laptop, but it’s sleek and premium-looking enough that it can make for a good MBP alternative. The M16 fixes some of the M15’s problems, such as the ugly thick bottom bezel on the screen, something near unforgivable in the current year.

If you’re looking for a laptop that can handle both productivity and gaming, this one might be it.

Even if you’re not looking to game, this laptop makes a great choice if you’re looking for performance, thanks to its dedicated Nvidia 30-series graphics. Here’s a quick look at the specs:

  • Intel i9 (11th Gen)
  • 16GB RAM (configurable)
  • 16-inch WQXGA display, 165Hz refresh rate, 2560×1600 resolution, 500 nits brightness, 100% DCI-P3 accurate color gamut
  • 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD (upgradeable at purchase)
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060
  • 1x HDMI port, 2x USB-C 3.2, microSD slot, headphone/mic jack, Thunderbolt port

What We Liked

  • Powerful machine
  • Tons of ports so you don’t need to worry about dongles as much
  • Capable of playing many modern AAA video games
  • Sleek design
  • Large display

What We Didn’t Like

  • Middling battery life (to be expected considering the i9 processor)
  • Not super portable

Who Should Buy This Laptop?

Thanks to the powerful internals in this laptop, this machine is one of the best alternatives to the MacBook Pro for those looking for sheer computing power. The Intel i9 processor and the Nvidia RTX 3060 GPU make for a great combo — with the processing power provided by these components, you can do everything from graphic design to video editing and even 3D rendering on this machine. Add its beautiful display, and you can put this machine high on the list of MacBook Pro competitors for creative professionals. This machine also makes a fantastic choice for those who love to game in their off time.

What to Look For in MacBook Pro Alternatives

When you’re on the hunt for a laptop comparable to Apple’s MacBook Pro, there are quite a few things to consider. You may want to look into the following factors as they can help determine the perfect MacBook Pro alternative for you.

Design and Build Quality

Apple’s MacBooks are known for their sleek designs and durable and premium build quality. Apple has a defined design language and makes design decisions that are often well received, save for a few mistakes here and there (we’re looking at you, Apple butterfly keyboards). The tech giant’s laptop lines tend to be quite consistent across the board.

As you consider your options, you may want to look for laptops that offer similar quality. It doesn’t necessarily have to look or feel as premium, but at the very least it should have durable construction that doesn’t feel cheap. Avoid any laptops that get bad reviews for an uncomfortable keyboard, loose hinges, sub-par touchpads, and so on.

Screen Size and Display

MacBook Pros now come in three screen sizes: 13 inches, 14 inches, and 16 inches. The 13-inch laptops come with a Retina display, while the 14- and 16-inch models get a Liquid Retina XDR display. In summary,

  • Retina displays are LED-backlit with 2560×1600 native resolution and 227 PPI or pixels per inch. The MacBook Pro 13 gets 500 nits brightness, P3 wide color, and Apple’s True Tone technology.
  • Liquid Retina XDR displays are 3024×1964 native resolution with 254 PPI. XDR (which stands for extreme dynamic range) allows for brightness of up to 1000 nits (full-screen sustained) and even more for HDR content. For non-HDR content and standard viewing, the screen reaches 500 nits brightness.

Apple’s displays are known for being beautiful and color accurate. However, they do have their disadvantages as well. For example, the glossy Apple displays make it challenging to see anything on the screen when it’s too bright or if the light reflects off the display. Also, Apple offers no touch screens, and seems to be set on keeping it that way.

Here are a few things you should know about choosing screen sizes and displays:

  • There is a correlation between a machine’s screen size and how powerful its internals can be. Laptops with larger screens generally have more room to add more powerful components (as is the case as well with MacBook Pro 14/16 models). If you want your laptop to be powered by the Intel Core i7/i9 or AMD Ryzen 7/9, chances are you’ll need to size up your display as you often won’t find those chips in 13-inch models.
  • Consider a display’s native resolution. Not everyone cares about 2K or 4K — if you’re happy with 1080P Full HD models, there’s no reason to pay for more.
  • If you know that you’ll be using your laptop outdoors often, choose a laptop with a bright display. 350~ nits is when it starts to be comfortable outdoors, but you probably want something brighter if possible, especially if you’ll be working in direct sunlight.
  • Most displays are IPS these days, allowing you to view them from just about any angle without issue. If a laptop you are looking at has a TFT screen with bad viewing angles, you may want to opt for an IPS display instead.
  • If what you do requires great color accuracy, opt for laptops that offer such features. 100% sRGB or P3 wide color displays are good choices.

Processor

MacBook Pros on sale today run on Apple’s own M1 and M2 chips. The MacBook Pro 13 models use M2 chips, which are the second generation of the Apple silicon. The 14- and 16-inch models still run on M1 Pro (or Max) chips. Going by the M1 chips, chances are good we’ll also see an M2 Pro and M2 Max. Apple’s chips are well-known for being incredibly powerful, so much so that many are saying that Apple’s chips are heralding in a new age in computers.

If you’d like to purchase a MacBook Pro alternative that offers similar power, you’d likely need to go for Intel’s Core i7/i9 chips or AMD’s Ryzen 7/9 chips — though you’ll need often need to size up your laptop for these options. If you don’t need as much power or if you want a smaller, more portable laptop, an i5/i7 or Ryzen 5/7 might be the choice for you.

GPU/Video Card

Since Apple switched to their own chips, all of their MBPs have been powered by integrated graphics processing cores. You won’t see any discrete GPUs in any of the newer MacBook Pros, and you likely won’t see any in the future, either. Despite the lack of discrete GPUs, Apple’s pro line of laptops are still highly capable of performing graphically intensive work.

On the other hand, you’ll likely struggle to do the same tasks on Intel UHD or Iris Xe graphics. For Windows alternatives, you’ll want discrete GPUs to perform graphically intensive work. That means you’ll want at the very least an Nvidia RTX 20-series, but ideally a 30-series. 40-series cards are on the horizon, but there aren’t any solid release dates yet.

It’s worth noting that Iris Xe graphics perform somewhat similarly to M1 MacBook Pros, so you can expect to do general productivity work and light graphics work with Intel’s integrated option. An Nvidia RTX 3050-3060 or AMD equivalent is good enough for graphic/video/3D work, especially when coupled with a powerful processor. However, you’ll want a better card (3060ti, 3070, 3070ti, 3080, 3080ti, etc) if you want to do more, faster.

Memory

When it comes to RAM, more is always better. Apple’s 13-inch MacBook Pros only have 8GB of RAM (configurable to add more) as the M1/M2 chips so well with macOS. The combination of Apple silicon and macOS is so efficient that 8GB is often enough for most users. Power users can configure their laptops to add more memory (16 and 24GB on the 13-inch model). The 14 and 16-inch models start at 16GB, configurable to 32 or 64GB.

On Intel or AMD-powered laptops, you’ll probably want a minimum of 16GB. If you multitask heavily, 8GB won’t quite be enough for you.

Storage

As with memory, more storage is always better. Many laptops start at 256GB, which is hardly enough especially if you work with file types that tend to save as large files. 512GB is generally comfortable for most productivity work, but if you do creative work you’ll want 1TB or more. There’s always the option of an external SSD if you really need more storage. You can also save your files on the cloud and just sync or download the ones you need when you need them, though this option isn’t as convenient.

Connectivity/Ports

The MacBook Pro 14 and 16 models have plenty of ports to suit your needs. You get an SD card slot, three Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports, a headphone jack, and an HDMI port, as well as the MagSafe 3 charging port.

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13-inch models only have a headphone jack and two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports that handle everything from charging to DisplayPort. You’ll most likely need dongles to connect anything to your MBP 13.

Many of the MacBook Pro alternatives on this list have more ports than the MBP 13 and a similar number of ports as the 14/16-inch models. Consider which ports you use daily and look for laptops that have them. Otherwise, prepare to use dongles, USB hubs, and adapters!

Touchscreen/2-in-1 Convertible

As we’ve previously mentioned, MacBook Pros (or any MacBook for that matter) do not come with touchscreens and likely never will. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t consider a touchscreen in your MBP alternative. There are quite a few touchscreen/2-in-1 convertible options for MacBook Pros. Some of them are even configurable to have more powerful internals.

How Much Should You Expect to Spend on a MacBook Pro Alternative?

One of the biggest things you probably consider when it comes to any purchase is price. This statement is especially true the more expensive a purchase might be. Knowing the numbers allows you to set a reasonable budget for yourself. When it comes to a MacBook Pro alternative, how much should you expect to spend?

First, let’s talk about pro-grade laptops. In general, professional-grade…well, anything, comes at a premium — typically because products marketed to professionals tend to be on the higher end, with more features and inclusions. The same is true of laptops. Professional-grade machines, especially the mobile workstation kind, can and will be expensive.

See for example Apple’s MacBook Pros:

  • The new M2 MacBook Pro (13”) starts at $1,299 for the base model and $1,499 for the higher model.
  • The MacBook Pro 14 starts at $1,999 for the base version and $2,499 for the higher model.
  • The MacBook Pro 16 starts at $2,499 for the base version and has two higher versions costing $2,699 and $3,499.
  • Any upgrades and configurations you choose for your machine will go on top of these prices.

Of course, Apple’s machines always tend to have the “Apple premium,” or the price you pay for the name.

You’ll find many MBP alternatives hovering within those price ranges. The good news is, Windows laptops do tend to offer good configurability allowing you to scale a machine’s specifications to exactly what you want, so you only pay for what you want.

Prices for alternatives depend on what you’re looking for. If you want the portability of a 13” MacBook Pro with decent computing power, you can pay as little as $800 to $1,000. However, if you want your MBP alternative to be able to compete with the M1 and M2 chips, you’ll definitely need to pay more — probably within the $1,500 – $2,000 price range.

If you want to be able to match the performance of the M1 Max chip found in MacBook Pro 14/16 models, you might need to shell out around $2,000 – $3,000.

Both Apple and Windows laptops are easy to load with powerful specs. Fully loaded, you can probably easily spend $4,000 or more per machine. However, not everyone needs their laptop to be maxed out, so you’ll likely need to spend much less.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the equivalent to a MacBook Pro?

Looking at this list of laptops comparable to the MacBook Pro, there are a few machines that can compete. We’d say the Dell XPS 15 and the Lenovo ThinkPad Nano (and X1 Carbon) are some of the best choices, though you’d need to upgrade them into much more powerful machines if you want the same computing power. You’d definitely have to throw a lot of money into configuring a machine if you’d like its performance to match the Apple M1 Pro, M1 Max, and M2.

What can I use instead of a Mac?

If you’re not big on Apple’s products or you just want laptops similar to the MacBook Pro, there are tons of alternatives available. Your choice of replacement would depend on your intended purpose for the machine. For example, gamers might want to opt for gaming-type laptops like the ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16. Creative professionals, on the other hand, may want to try the Dell XPS 15.

What is the lifespan of a MacBook Pro?

On average, MacBooks last about five to seven years. Apple will continue to provide updates to every MacBook laptop, as macOS upgrades will always be available for free. A MacBook can generally update to the latest versions of macOS up to seven years from purchase. However, older MacBooks can keep chugging along for a decade running older versions of macOS, though they will eventually run into the problem of not being able to download or update apps because their version of macOS has become phased out and unsupported.

Does Apple make the best laptops?

This question is quite subjective — some may say yes, Apple does indeed make the best laptops. However, there are many alternatives to the MacBook line of laptops, each offering a benefit that Apple laptops may not.

Are MacBook Pro alternatives powerful enough?

They certainly can be, especially if you configure them to have powerful internals. Choosing a more powerful processor and adding a discrete GPU can make a huge difference, so much so that a Windows machine might be able to go toe to toe with an Apple M1 or M2-powered MacBook Pro. Be aware, however, that bumping up specs can (and will) add more to the original price of the machine.

Choosing The Best

When it comes to choosing the right MacBook Pro alternative for you, it’s all a matter of figuring out your needs.

Do you need something powerful? Something lightweight? Or do you need a machine with enough battery to last you through the day? Either way, one of the MacBook Pro alternatives on this list might be right for you.

Knowing what you need will help you put together criteria for picking the right machine to take a MacBook Pro’s place — don’t forget to shop within your budget!

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Chriselle Sy
Chriselle Sy
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Chriselle has been a passionate writer for over 10 years, but she's a geek at heart. When she isn't busy writing, she spends her time streaming video games and learning new skills.

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