Although MacBooks have grown in popularity over the past decade, Microsoft is making a bit of a comeback among consumers with the release of Windows 10 a few years ago. In fact, there are some benefits of using Windows 10 over MacOS X, such as functionality, ease of use, and touch-ability. Believe it or not, you can actually use many Windows 10 laptops like tablets.
Moreover, Windows-based laptops are catching up with MacBooks in terms of design and looks. PC laptops have always gotten a bad name since they have historically prioritized function over style thanks to cheap materials and awful looking displays. Apple computers, on the other hand, integrate form and style into one beautiful machine.
Manufacturers like Huawei and Lenovo have taken it upon themselves to create great looking PC laptops that are made with premium materials like aluminum and glass, while Microsoft also started to take cues from Apple. The computer company has started to make their own laptops that are specifically built for Windows 10 for the best possible user experience.
Windows 10 is much cleaner and intuitive to use with more power and options than Apple could ever offer with their laptops. In addition, Windows is better for gaming than Apple overall, with more powerful machines that can handle just about any graphically intense video game out there.
Does Apple offer 4K or touchscreen displays? Nope. Can you get 32GB of memory in a MacBook Pro? No again. PC laptops are built for a wide range of people, from casual users to hardcore video editors and gamers. There’s a Windows 10 laptop for everybody — yes, even diehard Apple fans.
Although there is a bit of a learning curve if you’re switching from Mac to Windows, the transition takes a few days to relearn how to use a computer. But once you’re acclimated to Windows 10, you might not ever return to MacOS X again.
Unflattering webcam • No SD slot • The laptop fans can get loud • Average battery life
The Bottom Line
The Huawei MateBook X Pro is one of the best, if not the best, Windows 10 laptops on the market today. This laptop is a great alternative to the Apple MacBook Pro thanks to its brilliant display and performance.
The Huawei MateBook X Pro is such a great Windows laptop that it might actually make devoted Apple fans blush and consider making the switch from Mac to PC. Why is that, you might ask? Well, the laptop is powerful with its Intel Core i7-8550U processor and Intel UHD Graphics 620 and Nvidia GeForce MX150 graphics card working together to deliver fantastic performance again and again. The laptop runs Windows 10 Signature Edition, so there’s no bloatware or free trial software slowing you down with annoying pop-ups and clutter. In fact, the Huawei MateBook X Pro gives you the best and cleanest Windows 10 experience yet, which makes it ideal for people thinking about making the switch. Not to mention the laptop’s sleek and sexy design that looks pretty familiar. There’s no doubt about it, Huawei designed the MateBook X Pro to mimic the Apple MacBook Pro, which explains its name and design. In fact, the laptop even comes in Space Gray, as a possible way to attract Apple users to make the leap to Windows 10. However, the MateBook X Pro’s design is also functional thanks to the laptop’s impressive, near bezel-less display, which is also a touchscreen. Huawei achieves a massive 91% screen-to-body ratio with a clever design by eliminating the laptop’s webcam placement. Believe it or not, but the webcam is hidden as a handy pop-out in the keyboard itself. This design choice works to give more screen real estate to the display and to keep the webcam covered when not in use. (So there’s no need for unsightly tape to cover it up.) Although it’s already hidden and out of the way, it does give unflattering views when it’s on, which might get annoying if you’re always in video meetings or conference calls. The laptop is compact and lightweight too, weighing just under 3 lbs. The Huawei MateBook X Pro is perfect for commuting and traveling, while the laptop has fantastic usability with an assortment of ports, such as one USB 3.0, one USB-C (Thunderbolt 3), one USB-C 3.1, an HDMI port, and a VGA port. While the laptop is a winner in most categories, the MateBook X Pro features a ho-hum battery life with an average of eight hours of use on a single charge. Overall, while there are some minor flaws, the Huawei MateBook X Pro is designed to impress and built for work and entertainment, as a brilliant Windows 10 laptop. Although it heavily copies what makes the Apple MacBook Pro great, the Huawei MateBook X Pro is a legit MacOS alternative for Windows 10 users. With its sleek and sexy build and design, the laptop will turn heads, while also considered one of the best PC machines out there. The Huawei MateBook X Pro starts at $1,199.99 on Amazon.
Lightweight and ultra portable • Strong performance • Comfortable keyboard and touchpad • Easy login • Long battery life
Webcam placement is awkward • Touchscreen is not standard • Not as premium as the price suggests
The Bottom Line
With different configurations, the Dell XPS 13 is built as a great Windows laptop, whether you work from home, the office, or on the road. The laptop is refined for ease of use, durability, and outstanding performance.
The Dell XPS 13 is a powerful laptop that’s designed to show off the very best of Windows 10. Armed with a brilliant display and a powerful processor, the ultrabook is built for portability and business.
Storage: 256GB PCIe SSD
Features: two USB-C (Thunderbolt 3), one USB-C 3.1, microSD slot, 13.3-inch, Ultra HD 3,840 x 2,160 UltraSharp InfinityEdge display, Intel Core i5-8250U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
In 2015, Dell started a trend in ultrabooks with the original Dell XPS 13. The computer company offered near bezel-less screens to highlight what Windows 10 can do better than MacOS, which is deliver amazing looking applications on brilliant and vibrant displays with an Ultra HD and UltraSharp “InfinityEdge.” Today, Dell has packed more real estate to the 13-inch display at a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 with an option to go full 4K. They achieve this feat with a unique placement of the webcam. Instead of living at the center top of the display, it lives at the center bottom. While this might lend to some awkward video calls with the webcam pointing up towards you, it gives more room to showcase the true power of Windows 10. REVIEW: Dell’s new XPS 13 is a good alternative if the MacBook Pros make you angry Trust us when we say that this is the best Windows 10 has ever looked on a laptop. But Dell didn’t just include a brilliant display on the XPS 13. The company also packed the ultrabook with an Intel Core i5-8250U processor and Intel UHD Graphics 620 graphic card that work together to deliver fantastic performance with a top-notch Windows 10 experience — the Pro Edition of the operating system is included out of the box. This means the laptop is built for productivity, with almost 22 hours of battery life and an assortment of workhorse applications like Microsoft Office 365 included. The laptop also features a wide range of specs, including two USB-C (Thunderbolt 3), one USB-C 3.1, and a microSD slot for additional storage. Amazon customer Gregory Reiber writes:
“Great laptop at the right price. Fast processor (even though it’s not 8th Gen), great display, and I love the touch screen. It’s almost as light as the 12 inch MacBook, about the same size, just a little thicker and it has more external connections which makes it more user friendly. Does run a bit hot, so a laptop cooling pad is recommended.”
Powerful performance in either laptop or tablet mode • Amazing battery life • Top-notch fanless design
Expensive • Surface Pen 3 not included • Display wobbles in kiosk mode
The Bottom Line
If you want the best Windows 10 experience imaginable and money is no object, then the Microsoft Surface Book 2 is the perfect ultrabook for you. The laptop is one of the most powerful with high-end specs and features. The Microsoft Surface Book 2 is the most ideal way to showcase everything Windows 10 can do for you.
In 2015, Microsoft started to make their own laptops and tablets to fully showcase what Windows 10 could do with hardware specifically made for the operating system. Years later, the Microsoft Surface Book 2 is the refined version of the original ultrabook to go along with Windows 10. Microsoft was like John Hammond from Jurassic Park when designing the Surface Book 2; the computer company “spared no expense” to bring it to market (only the laptop won’t turn on you and try to eat you). The mighty 2-in-1 features impressive Intel Core i5 processor in its base model and Intel HD Graphics 620 graphics for creatives and gamers alike, while the “PixelSense” touch display with a resolution of 3,000 x 2,000 is perfectly compatible with the Surface Pen 3 (not included). REVIEW: Microsoft’s Surface Book 2 really is a beautiful beast Although this laptop is one of the most powerful Windows machines out there, you’ll never hear it push its limits with the Surface Book 2’s fanless design. Believe it or not, this powerful laptop is completely silent, so you could focus on your work and daily tasks with a whopping 17 hours of battery life. The laptop also features an assortment of ports, such as two USB 3.1, one USB-C, and full SD slot reader, which is pretty rare in today’s ultrabooks. One of the few downsides with the Microsoft Surface Book 2 is its hefty price tag starting at $1,499.00 for the base model. While Microsoft spared no expense designing the Surface Book 2, they passed on the price to the consumer. But if you want the best of what Windows 10 can offer, then you should experience the operating system on the Microsoft Surface Book 2. Amazon customer RN writes:
“I have had this gem for about 6 weeks. I am a heavy computer user with between 8-10 hours daily for work. I have owned several computers from various companies. This is by far my favorite! Quick loading even with multiple programs and browsers open. The battery will last me all day even with heavy use. And it’s lightweight! Love it!
5 month update – still going strong. I have not found anything that I dislike about this computer. By far the best I have owned. I feel like I have the microsoft equivalent of another brand without the learning curve that a new operating system would require. Battery will still last all day with heavy use and multiple programs. Purchased the docking station and a 27 inch screen to connect and have a great home office.”
The base model of the Microsoft Surface Book 2, which includes a 13.5-inch display, is going for $1,499.00 on Amazon. Read our full review here.
So much power • Surprisingly affordable • Outstanding refresh rate
Runs hot at times • Very loud fans • Average sound
The Bottom Line
The Acer Predator Helios 300 is a powerful workhorse and fantastic dedicated gaming laptop for a little more than $1,000. Rest assured, you’ll have no problem playing graphically intense and demanding games on this machine.
The Acer Predator Helios 300 is a mighty powerful gaming laptop at an affordable price. While it might run a little hot after hours of use, the laptop is one of the most powerful machines with a seamless refresh rate for flawless gaming mechanics.
Storage: 256GB SSD
Features: one USB-C 3.1, two USB 2.0, HDMI port, SD slot reader, 15.6-inch FHD 1,920 x 1,080 ComfyView IPS display, Intel Core i7-8750H, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 and Intel UHD Graphics 630
For under $1,100, the Acer Predator Helios 300 is one of the best gaming laptops, but at an affordable price. Armed with 8th generation 6-core Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics card with Intel UHD Graphics 630 at 16GB of RAM, the gaming laptop can handle just about any graphically intense and demanding video game out there with ease — yes, even Project Cars and Metro: Last Light Redux. The laptop features an impressive 15.6-inch FHD “ComfyView” IPS display with a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 to bring out the best color and performance in any video game with an impressive refresh rate of 144Hz. Needless to say, the Acer Predator Helios 300 is a powerful beast with the specs and ports to prove it, such as one USB-C 3.1, two USB 2.0, an HDMI port, and a full SD slot reader. And when you consider the gaming laptop’s affordable price point, it’s really easy to see how the Acer Predator Helios 300 gives gamers the best bang for their gaming buck. SEE ALSO: Best gaming laptops for the ‘PC Master Race’ While Acer did cut a few corners to get the gaming laptop’s price down, like its tinny and subpar speakers and its dual-fan cooling system that makes the machine run hot after a few hours of use, the Acer Predator Helios 300 is comparable to more high-end gaming laptops (like the MSI GS65 Stealth, which starts at $1,879.00), but at a fraction of the cost. We fully recommend picking up a good desk fan and headphones when purchasing the Acer Predator Helios 300 to make up for its shortcomings. But at $1,099.99, you can’t do any better with how much power the Acer Predator Helios 300 can deliver. Amazon customer Kyser P. writes:
“So far I have had little to no issues, I bought a 1tb firecuda hard drive along with it and use it mainly for gaming, I run most the games on high or ultra, people on reviews might complain about the screen but I actually think it looks great. Keyboard is nice, the laptop does get a lil warm, 80c but after changing a battery from high performance to balanced it stays around 73 with same high settings. But they say laptops are meant to get warmer so nothing really to worry and that’s after a good gaming sesh. Overall I love it for the price. Def get a gaming mouse and hard drive though because the 256 ssd just isn’t a whole lot. Don’t forget to update bios and drivers!”
Although the laptop comes with a hefty price tag starting at $1,649.00, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga is one of the most powerful laptop/tablet hybrid machines running Windows 10. Under the hood, the laptop runs an eighth generation Intel Core i5 8250U processor working with an Intel UHD Graphics 620 graphics card for optimized performance for business use. Along with 14-inch IPS display at a resolution of 2,560 x 1,440, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga also features support for Dolby Vision HDR and 4K for movie lovers as well. Avengers: Infinity War never looked so good. In addition, the hybrid includes one of the best hinges among 2-in-1s, as the laptop is capable of being folded back to be used as a tablet, or in tent or kiosk mode for some amazing viewing angles. Although the laptop comes with an assortment of ports and expansion options, such as two USB-C, two USB 3.0, an HDMI port, a microSD slot, and a micro-SIM card slot, Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga is pretty expensive with its premium features, which goes through battery life pretty quickly. The laptop only averages about eight hours on one charge, which is pretty ho-hum considering its price. However, Lenovo included a quick charge feature that gives the laptop about 80% of power with just an hour of charge. With a superb design and high-end build, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga is a fierce workhorse, even with a hefty price tag. Considering that the laptop will last you for a few years, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga is an investment for the future and an assurance that your work and entertainment needs will be met, whether your at home, at the office, or on the road. It’s also so versatile that you probably won’t even think of it as a laptop. The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga starts at $1,649.00 on Amazon. Read the PC Mag review here.
Very good build quality • Great value • Brilliant display
Tricky hinge • Not good for gaming • Underpowered for Adobe Creative Suite
The Bottom Line
For less than $450, the Acer Switch 3 is a great budget laptop for getting basic tasks and work. If you want something better than a Chromebook, but less expensive than a MacBook or Microsoft Surface Book 2, then the Acer Switch 3 is your best option.
If you’re looking for a great Windows 10 laptop and tablet combo at the fraction of the cost of the Microsoft Surface Book 2 or the Huawei MateBook X Pro, then look no further than the Acer Switch 3. While the hybrid is underpowered for graphically demanding jobs like gaming and photo/video editing, the Windows 10 machine is very adequate at everyday tasks with its the Intel Pentium Quad Core N4200 Intel Core i3 7100U and Intel HD Graphics 505 graphics. These chips are perfect for word processing, spreadsheets, internet research, and entertainment consumption. But no matter what you do with the laptop, the Acer Switch 3 makes everything look good with its brilliant 12.2-inch IPS LCD touchscreen display with a resolution of 1,920 x 1,200. Running Windows 10 on the Acer Switch 3 is a joy because the touch-enabled laptop comes with the Acer Active Pen and keyboard cover. Most 2-in-1 machines with this kind of performance don’t include a stylus or keyboard, but the Acer Switch 3 does, even with its budget price point of less than $450. It’s true. The laptop is underpowered with its selection of processor and graphics card, but the Acer Switch 3 makes it up with its aggressive price, included peripherals, and an assortment of ports, like one USB-C 3.1, one USB 3.1, and a microSD slot reader for additional storage. The hybrid also works well for less intense use and light computing. But make no mistake about the Acer Switch 3, it’s no chump. If your computer needs are on the basic side, then this laptop is a really good option for avid and novice Windows 10 users alike. Amazon customer Sylvie Jouan-Meyers writes:
“I recently ordered this wonderful tablet, and am in love. It took me a little while to get adjusted to the pen, and we are now best friends. I am back to typing at high speed, enjoying how easy and user friendly this is. When I change computer, I am always a little hesitant, but this one took no time. It travels well, streams splendidly. Just love it!”
While the Samsung Notebook 9 might not turn heads with its bulky design, the laptop is surprisingly ultra portable and lightweight at just 2.84 pounds and powerful with its 8th generation Intel i7-8550U and Nvidia GeForce MX150 graphics card with an amazing 12-hour battery life. The laptop is a strong workhorse for creative and business professionals, while powerful enough for gamers too. Everything on its 15-inch LED display looks fantastic, especially with its 1,920 x 1,080 resolution. That said, this laptop is crafted for what’s under its hood instead of its exterior. Despite its appearance, the laptop has an aluminum frame to mimic Apple’s MacBook Pro. In fact, the Samsung Notebook 9 is more powerful than a standard MacBook Pro with its assortment of killer specs and ports, including one USB-C (Thunderbolt 3), two USB 3.0, one USB 2.0, HDMI port, and a 3-in-1 card reader. The MacBook Pro only has two USB-C (Thunderbolt 3) ports. REVIEW: Samsung’s svelte 15-inch Notebook 9 is one mighty Windows 10 laptop In addition, if you’re a Samsung mobile device user, then the Samsung Notebook 9 is the perfect addition to the Samsung Galaxy S9 or Samsung Note9. You know how MacBook Pro can “talk” to iPhones and iPads? Well, Samsung laptops and devices can do the same thing. The laptop even perfectly syncs with most Samsung mobile devices in a fantastic integration between Windows 10 and Android with features like “SideSync,” which can reproduce your Samsung mobile device’s home screen on the laptop, and “WiFi Camera,” which can let you use your device’s shooter instead of the laptop’s webcam. While the ultrabook has some minor flaws like a mushy keyboard and lackluster audio, the Samsung Notebook 9 is one of the best laptops you can buy from Samsung. Walmart customer MER73 writes:
“After much research, I’ve decided to buy the 15″ Samsung Notebook 9 for my business. This model is fast, super light, and has amazing, crisp resolution. I’m very impressed with the long battery life and security features. It’s also nice to sync my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 to my laptop. This is a great laptop for business use. Although this is a pricey laptop, I feel it’s still an overall excellent value.”
Includes HP Pen • Amazing audio • Insane battery life
Awkward keyboard layout • Flimsy hinge • Runs hot at times
The Bottom Line
For less than $1,300, the HP Spectre x360 is a premium laptop/tablet hybrid from HP. The machine features the latest and greatest from Windows 10, while the laptop is comfortable to use, no matter how you use it.
The HP Spectre x360 is a trusty Windows 10 machine that will keep users surprised with how much it can do at a reasonable price point for an ultrabook. The laptop comes with the HP Pen, a dongle for Ethernet, and a professional carrying case.
Storage: 256GB SSD
Features: two USB-C (Thunderbolt 3), one USB 3.0, microSD slot reader, 13.3-inch FHD 1,920 x 1,080 WLED and IPS Gorilla Glass touch panel, display, Intel Core i7-8550U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
There’s a lot to love with the HP Spectre x360. The laptop is a speedy machine that’s a complete workhorse with its Intel Core i7-8550U processor and Intel UHD Graphics 620 graphics card working together to deliver a great Windows 10 experience. The hybrid features a 13.3-inch FHD WLED and IPS touch panel at a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 with additional durability from Corning’s Gorilla Glass, so it won’t shatter if it falls from a table to the floor. With an amazing battery life of over 16.5 hours, the HP Spectre x360 is more than capable of lasting throughout the day with moderate workflow and entertainment use. Out of the box, the laptop comes with the highly rated HP Pen for drawing and taking notes on the fly. The laptop also comes with a stylish pleather sleeve for portability at the office and on the go. It also features a wide range of ports, including two USB-C (Thunderbolt 3), one USB 3.0, and a microSD slot reader, along with a quick fingerprint sensor on its side for additional security. The HP Spectre x360 includes an excellent pair of Bang & Olufsen audio speakers, so you don’t need to cover it up with a pair of headphones to listen to music, while the laptop also includes one of the best keyboards on a Windows 10-based ultrabook. It’s just comfortable to use with very good travel and not at all mushy. This machine is full of surprises that will always keep you interested during everyday use. Amazon customer Max H writes:
“I’ve done some serious research and wasn’t willing to fork over $1000+ to Apple for a moderately speed computer. The i7 processor is snappy, and although it can get warm sometimes, I can play Skyrim on low graphics with a laptop cooling pad no problems. It is a little on the heavy side, but that’s expected with the full aluminium build. I get looks from people with macbooks often mistaking it for an apple computer. The 1080p (non Qhd) is more than adequate in terms of clarity and color accuracy, and doesn’t kill battery as much (normally charge once every two days for schoolwork and the occasional video). Overall awesome laptop!!”
The Alienware 17 R5 is a premium gaming laptop that can handle almost any graphically intense video game, while the massive machine is also good enough for everyday use like watching YouTube and using Microsoft Office 365.
Storage: 256GB PCIe SSD/1TB HHD
Memory: 8GB (Upgradable up to 32GB)
Features: wo USB 3.0, one USB-C 3.0, one USB-C (Thunderbolt 3), HDMI port, Mini DisplayPort, 17.3-inch, QHD 2,560 x 1,440 display, Intel Core i7-8750H Hexa-core, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 OC
The Alienware 17 R5 is no joke. The gaming laptop is armed with the blazing-fast Intel Core i7-8750H Hexa-core processor with an overclocked Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 OC graphics card to deliver gamers seamless high-frame rate gaming in a laptop with a brilliant Ultra HD QHD display at a resolution of 2,560 x 1,440. This machine isn’t messing around here. Starting at $1,699.99, the Alienware 17 R5 is configurable and upgradable for Intel Core i9-8950HK processor and up to a whopping 32GB for a hefty price tag of more than $3,700.00. The gaming laptop features an assortment of ports, such as two USB 3.0, one USB-C 3.0, one USB-C (Thunderbolt 3), an HDMI port, and a Mini DisplayPort. The workhorse machine takes gamers to the next level of performance for even the most graphically demanding and intense games, including Final Fantasy XV, Battlefield 1, and Kingdom Come: Deliverance. The laptop is also excellent for everyday use, as it runs Windows 10 Home Edition with a 256GB SSD (upgradeable to 1TB). However, we don’t recommend you take this laptop to the office or your local Starbucks. It’s pretty much a portable desktop, weighing in at a whopping 10.3 lbs. But overall, the Alienware 17 R5 is a real heavy hitter (no pun intended) and one of the best gaming laptops around. Amazon customer Penguin writes:
“The laptop works great and I’m planning to add in another stick of ram just to make it easier to multitask. I’m very satisfied with this purchase. The price was great for what it’s worth and this laptop is great for gaming. If you’re looking for more of a work laptop then I would say look elsewhere. I do both, but I game a lot more so this suits my needs. Love the LEDs by the way. 10/10 would recommend!”
The Alienware 17 R5 VR-ready gaming laptop retails for $1,699.99 on Amazon.
Very good battery life • Fast fingerprint reader • Brilliant display with small bezels • Affordable
Chintzy touchpad • Glossy body will make it hard to clean • USB-C is not Thunderbolt 3 compatible
The Bottom Line
With its compact build and brilliant display, the Asus ZenBook 13 is a solid mid-range laptop for casual Windows 10 users. The laptop is more than capable of completing daily tasks for work, but just don’t ask it to take on graphically demanding games and video editing.
While it might not be the fastest or most stylish laptop out there, the Asus ZenBook 13 features one of the best graphics cards thanks to the NVIDIA GeForce MX150 and Intel UHD Graphics 620, which makes it a stealth gaming laptop. It can expertly handle moderately demanding video games like Grid Autosport and Borderlands 2, while it also has a full HD with a 13.3-inch wide view touch display at a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080. In addition, the laptop is near bezel-less, which creates the illusion of a bigger display on a compact laptop. Armed with an Intel Core i5 8250U processor, the Asus ZenBook 13 has buttery smooth performance with a comfortable keyboard and a easy-to-use trackpad. The laptop features a wide range of ports, including two USB 3.0, one USB-C 3.1, an HDMI port, and a microSD card reader for expansion in a super compact presentation. The Asus ZenBook 13 is just a solid ultrabook running Windows 10. It’s not going to blow anyone away with its raw power or high end all-around specs. However, Asus was smart to include some premium materials like its world-class display with very small bezels, super fast fingerprint reader, and an intense graphics card when it could. For less than $1,000, the Asus ZenBook 13 is a well built Windows 10 mid-range laptop that’s ultra portable and compact. The Asus ZenBook 13 retails for $987.99 on Amazon.