MacBook Pro alternatives

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Samtb, Nov 3, 2016.

  1. Samtb macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2013
    #1
    what are good alternatives? Is the HP spectre x360 good?
     
  2. colorfuel macrumors member

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    Oct 13, 2015
    #2
    If you want MacOS, there are none outside of Apple.
     
  3. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    #3
    Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Asus all make excellent machines and are priced more competitively then Apple. There's also the Surface Book, but I don't consider that something that is priced under what Apple sells, i.e., its expensive.

    There's also performance based machines like Alienware and Razer
     
  4. Ma2k5 macrumors 6502a

    Ma2k5

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2012
    #4
    HP Spectre x360 (Kabylake version), Razerblade Stealth or XPS 13 Kabylake if you don't need a dGPU. These will still be slightly less powerful than the touch bar version of the rMB 13" due to 15w instead of 28w, but YMMV in terms of noticable difference. I think the Kabylake version of x360 is the best one here though.

    If you want dGPU, Razer Blade 2016, Alienware 13 and XPS 15 (if you wait for the pascal GPU update).

    Surface Book imo isn't worth the price, it is just too expensive for a 15w computer. Surface Pro isn't worth it either due to low battery life and screen size for that price (and having to pay extra for a keyboard...)

    That is my take on it personally.
     
  5. adoniteking macrumors newbie

    adoniteking

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    #5
    I have looked at the landscape and I have to say, the PC mobile market is pretty impressive. Incredible specs and prices for what you get:

    Its a shame how Apple's strategy has changed over the years but just looking at the Alienware 13" spec and pricing, you cannot help but feel the remorse that consumers, developers and professionals feel.

    http://hexus.net/tech/news/laptop/98770-alienware-13-laptop-updated-h-class-cpus-pascal-gpus/

    Allot of these PC laptops even have the ability to use an external GPU to further boost perfomance on their laptops.

    Apple isnt trying to match spec/performance anymore and instead focused on mainstream consumer experience and this has really damaged their reputation considering their core mac users are professionals and creatives. I honestly cannot see them changing this strategy unless the revenue stream has a significant decline.
     
  6. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #6
    Professionals and creatives just don't need any more than Apple is supplying in their laptops if you need a heavy lifting machine a notebook is not for you.

    They have never been for you, the CPUs in the 15 inch are benching the same as most desktop parts and you have never been able to get truly high spec GPU performance in a laptop without it being pointless as a laptop.

    The Polaris 460 has the same performance as a PlayStation 4 thats enough performance for any use case at a decent speed, anything that needs any moreover should be passed off to a desktop anyway....

    The MacBooks can also use egpu's why would you think they couldn't??
     
  7. The_Interloper macrumors member

    The_Interloper

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2016
    #7
    I have to disagree with this. The Surface Pro 4 is an incredibly versatile device and since moving away from the Mac as my main computing platform this year I haven't looked back. I am a writer and course designer so I don't need crazy amounts of power (for those that do, the power/price ratio with PCs can't be beaten, IMO). I have the 8GB/256GB Core i5 and it performs superbly.

    I use it as my main computer AND tablet. There are very little actual tablet apps I need an iPad for and virtually everything I use it for (Netflix, Spotify, reading the news, catch up TV etc) is available as a Windows app or program. For everything else, there's a web browser (YouTube and so on).

    Snapping on the type cover, I have a perfectly functional laptop with, in my opinion, vastly superior keys to both the iPad Pro Smart Keyboard and the new butterfly keyboard. As someone who writes thousands of words every single day, I find the new butterfly switches absolutely terrible. They are actually a dealbreaker for me.

    When I get to my office, I drop the Surface into a dock and it becomes my desktop, immediately connecting to a 27 inch monitor and regular keyboard and mouse. I also use the pen for handwritten notes in OneNote and, vitally, marking up manuscripts in Drawboard PDF. I also use it for course creation (screen capture via Camtasia Studio and light video editing).

    It's not a device for everyone, but for anyone who wants use of the pen and a single computer that does everything, it can't be beaten.

    Truthfully, it breaks my heart what Apple has become. They are just way too expensive now for what they are offering and they've completely lost their way with creatives. The Surface Pro 4 is frequently on offer and I managed to get my model for just over £800 (UK) including the type cover. Even at full RRP it’s about £1100. I even got a free year of Adobe Photoshop CC included!

    An equivalent new MacBook Pro 13 (base model, no touch bar) plus 9.7” 32gb iPad Pro, Smart Keyboard and Pencil would come to £2,246. Almost three times the price…

    I know an awful lot of people who have simply had enough. PCs offer great value, yes. But Apple has really lost the plot on pricing. When the initial rush of first adopters die down, it’s going to start to hurt them really badly.
     
  8. adoniteking macrumors newbie

    adoniteking

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    #8
    I think you are subjectively speaking here. You only have to look at the numbers of threads in this forum to realise that your statement doesnt hold true for others.

    This, I am unaware of because to my knowledge, it hasn't been advertised or endorsed by Apple as a feature of their OS.
     
  9. xWhiplash macrumors 65816

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    Oct 21, 2009
    #9
    Besides a truly "Pro" system, would need to have a Xeon processor and Quadro graphics. The Macbook Pro has never had this.

    Complaining about graphics on 1) an Apple system and 2) on a laptop is just ridiculous. Apple has never provided the best gaming experience, even with Bootcamp the hardware has NEVER been the best for gaming. These systems are for doing work, not for gaming. I have used gaming laptops in the past. Not worth it.
     
  10. Ma2k5 macrumors 6502a

    Ma2k5

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    Dec 21, 2012
    #10
    I don't think it is a bad product, I think it is a bad product for the premium they charge. I would still wait for Surface Pro 5 as some of the stuff on the 4 is now rather outdated (including port selection). Battery life is just way too low I am sorry.

    If we compare to the non-touch rMBP 13", firstly it isn't a good comparison for a variety of reasons, just because the Pro has a touch screen doesn't mean you add an iPad Pro to it to compare cost. The Surface Pro lacks many things the rMBP has, but I don't see you adding the components needed to match that.

    In the end though, I'd like to wait and see thunderbolt and a much better battery life on this Surface Pro, before I recommend it. It is just too expensive for what it is.
     
  11. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #11
    The people in these threads have yet to even try the machine I'll take their spouting off as what it always is utter nonsense...
     
  12. marc55 macrumors 6502a

    marc55

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    Oct 14, 2011
    #12
    IMHO, you are also "subjectively speaking here" if you are using the number of negative comments on this forum as any type of a guideline. As has been noted numerous times in the past, a high percentage of folks go on forums to voice complaints, and I would venture to say If you were to total up the complaints on this forum overall, I'm sure they would far exceed those who come here with positive experiences. It's just human nature; heck, people in general are so resistant to change, that if it were up to certain percentage, I'm sure we'd still have optical drives and older legacy cables in the MBP.

    Additionally, Apple recently stated "our online store has had more orders for the new MacBook Pro than any other pro notebook before. So there certainly are a lot of people as excited as we are about it."; to me, that statement speaks volumes about the popularity of the new MBP.

    m
     
  13. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #13
    If you watch/listen to the latest version of Macbreak weekly, you'll hear from Alex Lindsey who is a creative professional and he has a major issue with the new MBPs on a number of fronts.

    Andy Ihnatko a professional (just not a creative), is also harsh on the new MBP for a number of reasons

    Honest question, how have you come to the assumption that the current crop of MBPs are good enough for most professionals?
     
  14. Uplift macrumors 6502

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    Feb 1, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #14
    If you want 13" you have lots of choice, if you want 15" it gets a little harder.

    I would have likely tried the Surface Book if they done 15".

    I decided to stop kidding myself and got the 2016 15" :D
     
  15. The_Interloper macrumors member

    The_Interloper

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2016
    #15
    I can't wait for a SP5 (due April maybe?) as I need it for business now. It's the current model and that's that. Since Microsoft issued the last set of firmware updates I easily get 6-7 hours of general use - not mind-blowing but more than good enough as I dock it so frequently anyway.

    As for the comparison - I have to add the iPad Pro to compare cost for the simple reason Apple does not make a desktop-class convertible and I NEED a tablet for marking up/editing PDFs (a major part of my workflow). So in order to get an equivalent laptop, occasional desktop and pen-enabled tablet (SP4), Apple forces me to buy a Macbook Pro, iPad Pro and Apple Pencil.

    It may not be an ideal comparison, but it's the only one Apple will allow.

    Plus what are the components the SP4 lacks compared to the rMBP? I (like many others right now) have almost zero interest in two USB-C ports and a bag of dongles. I literally do not own a single thing I can plug in to the new rMBP out of the box. The rMBP is similarly lacking SP4 functionality - USB-A, microSD expansion, magnetic (MagSafe-like) power connector etc.

    And, again, the keyboard on the rMBP is a dealbreaker for me. After 20 years of owning Macs, I am dismayed at it. It's purely to satisfy Ive's obsession with thinness, a complete abomination of form over function. No-one wanted it or needed it since Macbook keyboards were great already.
     
  16. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #16
    Because most professionals use their laptops for the normal things everyone else does. They have the performance to run any currently available software they have the gpu's to perform all but the most intensive graphical computation (anything that matches a PS4 has enough GPU power for all but the most demanding of "professionals" whatever that means).

    So honestly why would you say they aren't?? It's not a serious question though!!
     
  17. DMoggo macrumors regular

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    Sep 27, 2013
    Location:
    UK
    #17
    Where did you get it at that price?

    Many thanks.
     
  18. adoniteking macrumors newbie

    adoniteking

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    Oct 26, 2007
    #18
    While Apple has never made use of the Xeon or Quadro(GPU) branded processors in their mobile line, the upper tier (performance line for intel) in the consumer segment has always been utilised for professional purposes especially due to their performance/price per dollar.
    Some of the benefits of the Xeon and quadro line in terms of their accuracy, error checks, certifications etc is simply not the priority for most of the professionals that tend to buy the macbook pro as a mobile workstation.
    Performance improvements that would last them a good number of years is what I believe holds priority to this sector.

    I wasnt complaining but simply commenting on my findings.

    The one area that I find irritable is the idea that a laptop designed to attract gamers/PC ethusiast cannot be utilised for work. Like Apple, creative professionals for a while has been there biggest spenders and focus in how their products were tailored in design and productivity. The PC market's biggest spenders are still gamers and this is reflective in some laptop designs (although in this case, alienware as a brand, is dedicated to the gaming market). This doesnt mean the product cannot be used for a work or productivity scenario and as we have seen, the design language is the PC environment is changing. More vendors are now using premium materials without sacrificing the internals of the PC.
     
  19. The_Interloper macrumors member

    The_Interloper

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    Oct 28, 2016
    #19
    Currys in the UK. It was 10% off (£971) with a free Xbox One S FIFA 17 bundle. Had no need for it so sold it on eBay the same afternoon for £225. They sold me a Type Cover for £69.

    £971- £225 +£69 = £815.
     
  20. leman macrumors 604

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #20
    The problem of most non-Apple laptops is the lacklustre battery life and subpar keyboard/trackpad. Of course, there are exceptions.
     
  21. cmaier macrumors G4

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    Jul 25, 2007
    Location:
    California
    #21
    One time my HP laptop, about a month in, started randomly blue screening. I called support. They refused to provide any support unless I wiped the computer and tested it for a month without installing any software.

    That was the last windows machine I bought, and I'll never buy another.

    Things I don't miss: random bits of broken hardware (hinges, feet, eject buttons), randomly corrupted system registries, rolling back windows to an earlier state to fix weirdness, two week repair processes involving waiting for an empty box, two month repair processes where they can't find your computer...
     
  22. theitsage macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2005
    #22
    Are you telling the professionals and creatives who need more powerful computers to go with a 3 year old Mac Pro? A workstation even at its best configuration would be trashed by competitors 1/3 its price.

    I have first hand experience with both eGPU and Polaris GPUs on several Macs. eGPU is a pita to build and implement. The Radeon 460 card is a budget GPU. It's not an upgrade.
     
  23. The_Interloper macrumors member

    The_Interloper

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2016
    #23
    I think you'll find the new Macbooks now have the subpar keyboard. Apple has always had superb trackpads but some of the high-end Windows machines are catching up - plus there's the small issue of a giant screen you can just touch instead. For anything that requires more precision, I'd just plug in a mouse anyway. Any USB-C ones available yet? ;)

    To get back to the OP's question, Paul Thurrot is currently trialling the new HP Spectre x360 and so far has glowing things to say about it:

    https://www.thurrott.com/windows/windows-10/83869/hp-spectre-x360-2016-first-impressions
    https://www.thurrott.com/hardware/83901/hp-spectre-x360-2016-vs-surface-book
     
  24. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Location:
    Boston
    #24
    Yes, and other apps that most people don't use and that's the rub, the apps they need on a mobile machine may be ill suited on the MBP.

    I can't fully define it, because I'm not in their shoes but I will say for me, and I think I'm a professional, because I use my computers for work.

    1. keyboard - its awful and I hate it.
    2. USB-C (yes a temporary issue), I now will need dongles.
    3. Lack of magsafe. Sorry but this is a major issue, especially when you're working in a hotel, conference or other location with foot traffic. Tripping over a cord is a major headache and magsafe was a great solution.
    4. Lack of SD slot. Yes, I can buy yet another adapter but its exclusion is yet another knock on the it just works mantra because it doesn't just work out of the box
    5. Value - what am I getting for the price - the new MBPs have less ports that I need, less battery but a higher price. I will be required to buy dongles and cables that I currently don't need. The risk of forgetting/losing them is high and its just more crap that I have to be sure to pack when I travel. Gone are the days of just throwing the computer into my backpack and heading to the airport.

    On a non-personal front, i've seen enough people wanting more then 16GB of ram on a mobile machine and Apple's decision to cap the ram at 16GB is a real issue. I understand the move, because of battery, low power mode, etc, but that still doesn't help those people who use laptops and need more then 16GB of ram.
     
  25. PhoneI macrumors 65816

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    Mar 7, 2008
    #25
    I have owned every version of the Surface Pro since version 1. To me, it's a terrible tablet and a mediocre laptop. It doesn't come close to my MacBook in terms of quality and usability.

    Obviously this is just my opinion, but anyone going from a MacBook to a Surface Pro, you should consider this a serious downgrade (don't get me started on the Surface Pro touchpad....awful).
     

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