We examine three great laptops comparable to MacBook Pro, since it is a coveted laptop by many, but not affordable to all. Here we review three laptops, Dell, HP and Microsoft Surface, all comparable to a MacBook Pro in terms of features, such as excellent RAM capacity, stunning graphics, and great battery life, each costing less than $1,000.

Dell XPS 13 Silver Edition Windows 10 Laptop

Hard Drive

This Dell XPS 13 has a 128 GB hard drive which puts it at the lower end of the scale, however, it is not everyone who needs a massive amount of hard drive space. With the increasing use of multiple devices, having everything stored on one device can often make less sense than using a cloud storage service.

Even so, 128 GB is not exactly puny and, in practical terms, means the equivalent of 57,000 photos or 18,000 music tracks.


This where this Dell laptop competes well with its competitors with 8 MB of RAM. This allows the Dell to start without delay, and when using apps, surfing or playing games on this laptop, you see no noticeable delays and certainly no crashing or freezing.

There are top-end laptops with more RAM but unless you need it, you’d just be paying for extra memory your laptop is never going to use.


The processor in this Dell laptop is one of its most appealing features. It uses an Intel Core i5-7200U processor rated at 3.1 GHz with a 3MB cache. To give you an understanding of the processing power it gives you, it allows for lightning-fast graphics and functions when playing games, and more mundane programs used for office or student work, for example, operate seamlessly.

Display and Graphics

The screen size is 13.3 inches and has Full HD for the best possible clarity. Dell are masters at maximizing the screen size into the smallest possible frame with their groundbreaking ‘InfinityEdge’ displays and that is exactly what they have achieved here.

Other visual enhancements are the anti-glare nature of the screen, and not forgetting it is also a touchscreen display.

At the heart of the stunning display is the graphics card which is no less impressive. It is an Intel Graphics 620 which does an amazing job of producing images and videos with superb color depth, and a sharpness which must be seen to be appreciated.

Battery Life

If you didn’t already know, battery life will very much depend on what you are doing with your laptop at the time. This Dell laptop will give you up to 22 hours for normal use, which will reduce to around 13 hours if you are streaming videos, for example. Even so, this is mighty impressive form one charge and compares very well with some MacBook models which have a maximum of 12 hours battery life.

Pros Dell XPS 13 Silver Edition Windows 10 Laptop

  • Excellent battery life
  • ‘InfinityEdge’ display maximizes viewing area
  • Powerful Intel i5 3.1 GHz processor
  • Touchscreen display
  • Lightweight – Only 2.65 lbs.

Cons Dell XPS 13 Silver Edition Windows 10 Laptop

  • Cooling fan is louder than it should be
  • Webcam is located below the screen.

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HP Envy 13-inch Laptop

HP ENVY 13.3 Inch Thin Laptop w/ Fingerprint Reader, 4K Touchscreen, Intel Core i7-8565U, NVIDIA GeForce MX250 Graphics, 16GB SDRAM, 512GB SSD, Windows 10 Home (13-aq0044nr, Natural Silver)
  • Cutting-edge security: state-of-the-art security Features include webcam kill switch and integrated fingerprint reader
  • 4K display: 13.3-Inch diagonal 4K IPS micro-edge WLED-backlit touchscreen with durable protective corning(r) Gorilla) Glass nbt(tm) (3840 x 2160) to stand up to everyday bumps and scrapes. 8.2 million pixels bring your content to life in mesmerizing quality with 178-degree wide-viewing angles
  • Bios recovery and protection: automatically checks the health of your PC, protects against unauthorized access, secures local storage and recovers itself from boot-up issues
  • Distinctive design: high-quality, durable, all-metal case Built to last, with premium design features including a brilliant backlit keyboard and geometric pattern speaker grill
  • Super Fast Processor: 8th Generation intel(r) core(tm) i7-8565u, quad-core, 1.8 GHz Base frequency, up to 4.6 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost Technology (8 MB Cache)

Hard Drive

This HP Envy 13-inch Laptop has a 512 GB SSD hard drive which is what you would expect at least from a device of this standard. Its read/write speed is impressive with tests showing it took less than 25 seconds to save almost 5 GB of data, which is speedy compared to may similarly size drives.


This comes with the standard 16GB SDRAM, which you will find is more than adequate for everyday use. Even for gamers, this will be more than enough to allow you to play without lapses and delays. Other software and apps will be equally stable with this memory specification.


This is where the Envy has the edge over many of its competitors as it uses the newer generation Intel i7 quad-core processor which can operate between 2.5 GHz and 3.5GHZ. This is a faster and more responsive processor which gives users the ability to have multiple folders, apps, and websites open at the same time, without any noticeable drop in speed, nor any sign it can’t cope with that level of use.

Display and Graphics

The display is 13.3 inches, corner to corner, so it is comparable with most laptops of this type. No fewer than 5 million pixels combine with the HD technology to give very clear and sharp images with a color array which is equally impressive.

When games were being played, the frame refresh rate of 48 fps impressed and is higher than a lot of screens in laptops of this grade, although it doesn’t get up to the lightning-fast speeds of those machines specifically designed for gaming.

Battery Life

On average the battery life of this laptop is around 9 hours 45 minutes, which includes time spent connected to Wi-Fi. This allows you to watch a least 3 or 4 movies, or surf for several hours.

It has less battery life than the MacBook Pro but not by much and given you will rarely be online with a laptop continuously, it should be long enough to see most people get through their day’s activities between charges.

Pros HP Envy 13-inch Laptop

  • Weighs just 2 lbs.
  • Intel quad-core i7 processor
  • 256 GB SSD Hard drive
  • 8 GB Ram
  • 5-million-pixel screen

Cons HP Envy 13-inch Laptop

  • Fan is very loud
  • Audio can sound tinny

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Microsoft Surface Laptop – Platform

Microsoft Surface Book PA9-00001 Laptop (Windows 10 Pro 64-bit, Intel Core i7, 13.5" LCD Screen, Storage: 1 TB, RAM: 16 GB) Black/Silver
  • 13.5-inch PixelSense Touchscreen Display (3000 x 2000) resolution
  • Intel Core i7-6600 6th Gen Intel with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M with 2 GB GDDR5
  • 1TB Flash Memory Solid State
  • Drive, 16 GB RAM Memory
  • 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x Mini DisplayPort, Two Surface Connect ports, 3.5 mm headphone jack, Full-size SD card reader

Hard Drive

The Microsoft Surface offers the ultimately in flexible hard drive space, starting at 256 GB and upgradeable to 1 TB. For comparison, 1 GB is the equivalent of over 80 images or photos, 75 music tracks, and just over 4 minutes of video. For those of you who need more, you have the option to upgrade to 256 GB, 512 GB, or if you have the motherlode of files you need to transfer, there’s also a 1 TB model.


Once again, the laptop is customizable to 16 GB RAM. 4GB of RAM might have seemed adequate 5 years ago, but in today’s competitive market it is sorely lacking. Despite this, the laptop seemed to perform well, and there did not seem to be any noticeable difference when watching videos or even playing games.


Our old friend the Intel Core i5 is the processor running the show inside this Microsoft laptop. It copes admirably with everything you might throw at, including opening multiple windows, multiple tabbed browsing, and some very dynamic games.

Display and Graphics

The high-resolution screen produces very clear images and the colors are vivid. With a size of 13.5 inches, it is slightly bigger than the others we’ve reviewed, and its aspect ratio is different too. This has 3:2 versus the 16:9 you’ll see on the others. Neither one or the other is ‘correct’ and for many users, it is their preference.

Battery Life

This is one of the features many users report being one which has most impressed them, and we can see why; it is normally at least 8 hours and often can go over 10 hours depending on what it is being used for at the time.

Bear in mind it is a continual 8-10 hours, so if you are using it at various times during the day, it should last from morning until night

Pros Microsoft Surface Laptop – Platform

  • Great battery life of up to 10 hours
  • Touchscreen display
  • Surface pen compatible
  • Ultra-thin design – only 0.57 inches deep
  • Many upgrade options

Cons Microsoft Surface Laptop – Platform

  • Touchpad is sluggish
  • Not enough connection ports

Conclusion Laptops Comparable to MacBook Pro

Having assessed all three laptops and looked at the main features they would need to be able to compete with the MacBook Pro, we believe the HP Envy 13-inch Laptop wins. Its 256 GB hard drive beats the other two, and when you also consider it has the quad-core Intel i7 processor then it races further ahead. The excellent graphics package and 13.3″ touchscreen, with 5 million pixels of clear, vivid images, add to its appeal, as does the fact it is extremely thin and light. Since it was first introduced by Apple in 2006, the MacBook Pro has built a reputation as being one of the top laptop computers in the world. With its excellent RAM capacity, stunning graphics, and great battery life, it is not hard to understand why it has so many ardent fans who would never swap their MacBook Pro for anything else, but here we offer you an excellent alternative.

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