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Best MacBook Alternative 2024: The top options replace your Apple laptop

MacBooks are often stellar laptops, if a tad on the pricy side. Whether it’s the cost or just a desire to move on from MacOS, there are plenty of MacBook alternatives on the market in 2024. Here are the best Apple dupes we’ve tested.

If you’re wondering how we decide what to put on this list, it’s all based on testing from the seasoned experts that contribute to Trusted Reviews. We put laptops through their paces by using them for around two weeks, to get a true understanding of what it would be like to be a regular user of any given device. Then, to validate manufacturer claims, we conduct industry-standard benchmarking tests, sometimes with specialist equipment, to make sure everything is ship-shape before comparing them with rival machines. Key features like the typing experience, the quality of the screen and battery life are all expertly tested.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to laptops however, with some users needing an ultra-portable machine for productivity and others needing something that can handle video editing workloads – as well as plenty more criteria to fulfil in between. For this MacBook alternative guide, we’ve covered both sides of the Apple laptop coin, providing alternatives for the thin-and-light Air laptops as well as dupes for the powerful Pro machines.

Want to explore the best laptops around beyond devices that provide a direct counterpoint to MacBooks? Well, we’ve got those guides too. Be sure to take a look at our best laptopbest ultrabookbest student laptop and best budget laptop round-ups if nothing grabs your interest here. Though, if you are feeling unsure about your decision to look elsewhere than Apple, we do also have a fully-tested best MacBook guide.

Best MacBook alternatives at a glance

How we test

Learn more about how we test laptops

Every laptop we review goes through a series of uniform checks designed to gauge key things including build quality, performance, screen quality and battery life. 

These include formal synthetic benchmarks and scripted tests, plus a series of real world checks, such as how well it runs the most frequently used apps. 

We also make sure to use every laptop we review as our primary device for at least a week to ensure our review is as accurate as possible.

Asus Zenbook 14 OLED

Best MacBook Air 13-inch alternative
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  • Great performance in mainstream apps
  • Good gaming performance by iGPU standards
  • Fantastic OLED screen
  • No compromises on the connectivity or ergonomics


  • GPU speeds constrained by slimline form factor

The Asus Zenbook 14 OLED is our pick for the best laptop you can pick up if you’re looking for an alternative to the 13-inch MacBook Air M2.

The Zenbook line has been one of the best ranges in the world of Windows laptops for the past few years now, arguably replacing the Dell XPS series at the top of the mountain during its trials and tribulations. But the Zenbook S 13 OLED had a rocky edition last year and that left the door open for the slightly larger Zenbook 14 OLED to take centre stage.

This new model is one of the first laptops to sport Intel’s new Core Ultra chips (codenamed Meteor Lake). The promise of the chips in this range made for thin and light devices was to provide strong productivity power along with the ability to dabble in some graphically intensive work, like basic video editing. Not only that, but strong battery life was a key pledge too. Essentially, a Windows laptop that offers something closer to a MacBook Air. Well, the Asus Zenbook 14 OLED delivers, providing immense productivity capabilities and the ability to dabble in some gaming and creative workloads comfortably. And, it all comes in a surprisingly thin and light chassis.

The 15mm thickness and 1.29kg make this a portable wonder, and its stylish lid only adds to its fashion points too. But, the most eye-catching feature is the luscious 14-inch OLED display. With a 2880×1800 resolution and 120Hz, it offers plenty of detail and a solid refresh rate for a smooth experience. The OLED technology means your day-to-day, whether gaming, watching videos or editing, looks marvellous.

Previously, having all this packed into thin Windows laptops would’ve left many concerned that the battery life would take a serious hit. But, the Zenbook 14 OLED manages around 13 hours of light productivity use, meaning you should comfortably make it through a full day.

Reviewer: Stuart Andrews
Full Review: Asus Zenbook 14 OLED review

Acer Swift Edge 16

Best MacBook Air 15-inch alternative
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  • Impressively well-rounded performance
  • Bright and rich 3.2K OLED display
  • Impressively lightweight
  • Top-tier port selection


  • Odd trackpad click
  • Poor speakers
  • Eager fans

Few laptops can truly tussle with the excellent MacBook Air 15-inch and that means, to get some of the Apple device’s key selling points but on a Windows device, you’ll be required to make some compromises. We think the Acer Swift Edge 16 is your best bet. It has some shortcomings but in terms of a big-screen yet portable and powerful machine, this is a strong 15-inch MacBook Air alternative.

The Swift Edge 16 is a striking laptop in many ways. Immediately, you’ll notice how large yet thin it is. Despite its size, it’s remarkably easy to lug around, especially due to its low 1.23kg weight – you just might need a bigger bag. The low weight doesn’t mean it feels cheap at all though, with a magnesium-aluminium alloy being the material that enables this unique chassis.

Admittedly, the Acer can’t keep up with the Air in the sense that Apple’s laptop can go without fans, while the Swift Edge 16 does have occasional loud ones when pushed. However, the performance is pleasingly strong. It’s an ideal machine for those with demanding productivity needs, who also want a big screen for a good amount of multi-tasking. The battery life isn’t stunning, coming in at 8 hours, but you should be able to manage beyond a full day of low-demand work.

The large display is remarkably impressive, as it needs to be when it’s such a big part of this machine, physically and metaphorically. The panel comes in at a crisp 3.2K resolution and can manage up to a 120Hz refresh rate. It’s an OLED panel too, meaning colours are rich and bold. The multimedia experience is hindered by some disappointing speakers, meaning it does fall short of the MacBook Air’s excellent capabilities in that area.

Reviewer: Adam Speight
Full Review: Acer Swift Edge 16 review

Asus Zenbook Pro 14 OLED (2023)

Best MacBook Pro 14-inch alternative
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  • Powerful, and ready to play games
  • Pixel-rich OLED screen
  • Quality keyboard and touchpad
  • Unusual DialPad virtual rotary controller


  • High-pitch fan noise
  • Portable design does involve performance concessions

Choosing a MacBook Pro 14-inch alternative is no mean feat, with it being up there as one of the very best laptops around, but the Asus Zenbook Pro 14 OLED (2023) is one of the few machines worthy of a comparison.

A requirement for a 14-inch Pro is impressive power that flies in the face of portability, and the Zenbook Pro 14 OLED does just that. Its combination of an Intel Core i9-13900H CPU and RTX 4070 CPU makes for a potent team-up that can tackle challenging professional and creative workloads, like demanding editing and 3D modelling. Then, unlike a MacBook, these specs allow this non-gaming laptop to cosplay as just that whenever you’d like, with strong video game prowess.

Of course, it can’t match the power that a MacBook Pro is able to offer when not plugged in and the battery life falls short of its rival but on top of gaming capabilities, you’re also getting a luxurious OLED panel to soften the blow. The 2880 x 1800 OLED display, with impressive accurate colours, makes this ideal for photo and video editors.

Like Asus’ impressive gaming laptops, the Zenbook Pro 14 OLED has features a keyboard with plenty of travel and feedback. The MacBook Pro 14-inch keys are strong performers but Asus has Apple beat with bags of travel and a hugely satisfying click.

Reviewer: Andrew Williams
Full Review: Asus Zenbook Pro 14 OLED (2023) review

Lenovo Yoga Pro 9i 16

Best MacBook Pro 16-inch alternative
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  • Bright Mini LED touch-enabled 165Hz IPS display
  • Powerful sound system
  • Easy to add more storage
  • Strong creative and gaming performance


  • Poor battery life
  • Only one USB-C port

A lot of laptops claim to be a viable alternative to Apple’s most powerful MacBooks but few are up to the job. The Lenovo Yoga Pro 9i 16 hits all the right notes, with a dose of gaming power for good measure too.

Just like the larger MacBook Pro, the Yoga Pro 9i can be configured with a Mini LED 16-inch display. This display can get impressively bright and offers up a solid up to 165Hz to satiate gamers too. The colours are lush and accurate. Whether you’re multi-tasking, gaming or doing some editing work, this is a luxury all-rounder of a screen.

The capable display is backed up by a potent combination of an Intel Core i9-13905H CPU and RTX 4070 graphics chip. For productivity, this device won’t even come close to flinching, so you’re well served there. To truly take advantage of this powerhouse, you’ll be delving into AAA games, which this laptop can perform up there with the best of them. The Yoga Pro 9i managed to keep up with the much more gaming-focused Alienware M16 in much of our testing, despite its wider priorities. You can do some seriously intense editing on this device too.

Admittedly, the Yoga Pro 9i doesn’t have cutting-edge looks, sticking with a design in keeping with the “Yoga” lineup. Nevertheless, you get a dose of luxury from the all-aluminium chassis, a thin 18.2mm and 2.23kg weight. It is far from the lightest laptop around but you’re getting a lot of power, and the rounded corners make this comfortably to carry around too.

Reviewer: Adam Speight
Full Review: Lenovo Yoga Pro 9i review

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What is the best MacBook alternative for students?

The best MacBook alternative for students will depend on the requirements of your classes. Creative study will likely require a laptop with a dedicated graphics card while those focused on essay writing can hone on productivity and portability. For the latter, the Lenovo Yoga Slim 9i (2022) is your best option.

Is it better to get an iPad or MacBook for college?

iPad tablets are now hugely capable devices and will be great for college if the apps you need are available on iPadOS. For some apps, you’ll need MacOS and consequently, a MacBook.

What are the disadvantages of having a MacBook?

A key disadvantage of MacBook laptops, when compared with alternatives, is a lack of support for gaming. Windows machines offer far wider access to games and greater gaming capabilities overall.

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