Six Worthy and Cheaper Alternatives to Apple’s New Laptops

Maybe you don’t need a $2,000+ MacBook Pro

October 22, 2021 11:58 am
Microsoft Surface Laptop Go, now on sale at Amazon
Microsoft's Surface Laptop Go is currently $200 off at Amazon.

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Announced this week, Apple’s new MacBook Pro laptops look fantastic and seem extremely powerful — but starting at $1,999, they may be out of your price range.

Or, honestly, even these high-end computers may not fit your current needs. While built for the creative professionals, they’re certainly too much for, say, writers. Gamers would certainly prefer not to be on Apple, and some users would rather have something smaller, Windows- or Chrome-based, or more akin to a tablet.

With that in mind, and the idea that you may be commuting to the office more and maybe traveling more in general, we present the six ideal laptops for every type of person and every budget. Bonus: They’re all currently on sale.

Apple MacBook Pro (2017), now on sale at Back Market
Apple MacBook Pro (2017)
Back Market

For those who want an affordable Apple product: MacBook Pro Retina 13.3-inch

We’re fans of Back Market, a certified refurbished marketplace where you can find a lot of Apple gear — in various states of wear and tear, yes, but revamped by experts and arriving with a one-year warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee — at ridiculously low prices. This 2017 release features 128 GB of storage, 8 GB of memory and a price range from $520-$700 … or about half of what you might spend on something new.

Dell Precision 7550 Workstation, now on sale at Dell
Dell Precision 7550 Workstation

For a tower workstation in laptop form: Dell Precision 7550

Essentially a desktop workhorse in a (somewhat) mobile platform, Dell’s 15-inch 7550 features an Intel Core Processor i7-10850H (6 Core, 12MB Cache, 2.70 GHz to 5.10 GHz, 45W, vPro), a whopping ten ports/slots and professional-level graphics power (via a NVIDIA Quadro RTX card) designed for creating VR and AR content. At 5.5 lbs, a heavy lifter that’s actually not that heavy … and it’s over 50% off.

MSI - GF65 15.6" 144hz Gaming Laptop, now on sale at Best Buy
MSI GF65 15.6″ 144hz Gaming Laptop
Best Buy

For gamers who want a bargain: MSI GF65 15.6″ 144hz Gaming Laptop

Part of Best Buy’s waaaay early Black Friday event, this slim (0.9-inch) laptop features an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM (note: you’ll want to spend a bit more and upgrade), 512GB solid-state drive and a NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card. It’s also designed to minimize heat and maximize airflow. And, a rarity, under $1,000.

Acer Chromebook Spin 713, now on sale at eBay
Acer Chromebook Spin 713

For those who live by Google: Acer Chromebook Spin 713

A laptop that converts to a tablet, Acer’s convertible Chromebook features a 10-hour battery life and 18% more vertical screen space than a typical monitor. Modestly priced already, you can find one for a bit over $400 if you go certified refurbished through eBay.

Samsung 11.6" Chromebook 4, now on sale at Walmart
Samsung 11.6″ Chromebook 4

For those who think only price matters: Samsung 11.6” Chromebook

At just $130, or nearly half off, Walmart’s sale on this eminently portable (read: small) Samsung Chromebook is ideal for students or anyone just looking for a second — maybe third? — no-frills machine for the road. It’s also “military-grade durable,” and several reviews suggest it’s ideal for children.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go, now on sale at Amazon
Microsoft Surface Laptop Go

For Microsoft diehards: Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 

A sleek 12.4-inch touchscreen that’s under 2.5 lbs and actually kind of colorful (sandstone and ice blue are color options), this is your on-the-go Windows machine. And now they’re $200 off at Amazon — though stock is very low. You can get the same discount directly from Microsoft.

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