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Need More Horsepower Than the New MacBook Pros? Here Are 3 Alternatives

For creative professionals who were “let down” by the new MacBook Pros, try these.


The new 2016 MacBook Pro line left many creative professionals disappointed. Sure, they are thinner, lighter and brighter than their predecessors, and they have faster processors, faster graphics, faster charging, faster storage (plus that Touch Bar) — but they also had some things taken away.

The new MacBook Pros only have four ports, all Thunderbolt 3, meaning dongles are required to connect with most existing cords. Their displays aren’t touchscreen, like the Surface Studio or even Apple’s iPad Pro, and they only have 16GB memory, max. If you were one of the many photographers, graphic designers, musicians or businessmen who were hoping for more, below are several non-Mac alternatives worth your consideration.

Microsoft Surface Book Intel Core i7

The Surface Book is more than a traditional 2-in-1. You can use it in three ways: like a laptop, tablet or in “draw mode” (the keyboard flips 360 degrees and rests against its display). The Surface Book is also extremely powerful, running Windows 10 Pro on the Intel’s latest Core i7 professor, and has a beautiful display, with a pro-grade Nvidia GeForce dGPU. Plus it has the memory and storage capacity to handle a heavy workload. And instead of that Touch Bar, try a full-screen PixelSense touch-screen display.

Display: 13.5-inch PixelSense touchscreen display (3,000 x 2,000) resolution
Resolution: 3,000 x 2,000 resolution
Processor: 2.6 GHz Intel Core i7
OS: Windows 10 Pro
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce dGPU
Ports: 2 USB 3.0, full-size SD card reader, 2 Surface Connect
Memory: 16GB RAM
Storage (SSD): 512GB

Buy Now: $2,699

Dell XPS 15

The XPS 15 beats the new MacBook Pro’s in several ways. It has a 4K touchscreen display — Apple’s new Pro has neither 4K nor touch functionality. It has twice the memory (32GB) and just as much storage (256GB), and a variety of ports: Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.0, HDMI and an SD card reader.

Display: 15.6-inch FHD InfinityEdge
Resolution: 1920 x 1080
Processor: up to 3.5 GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ Quad Core
OS: Windows 10 Home
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M with 2GB GDDR5
Memory: up to 32GB RAM
Storage (SSD): 256GB SSD

Buy Now: $1,850

Asus ZenBook 3 UX390UA

The ZenBook 3 is Asus’s latest from the ultra-portable ZenBook line. At just two pounds and less than 0.5 inches in width, it’s lighter and thinner than anything in Apple’s new MacBook Pro line. It also comes with plenty of power in the form of an Intel Core i7 processor, despite the lean frame.

Display: 12.5-inch full HD
Resolution: 1920 x 1080
Processor: Intel Core i7-7500U
OS: Windows 10 Pro
Graphics: Intel Integrated Graphics
Ports: Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.0, HDMI, SD card reader
Memory: 16GB RAM
Storage: 512GB SSD

Buy Now: $1,545

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