Laptop Computer Review – The Best Laptop to Buy Instead of the 2016 MacBook Pro

laptop computer review

Laptop computer review of the best alternatives to the 2016 15-inch MacBook pro. Reviewed are the Asus UX501, MSI GS 63, Dell XPS 15, Gigabyte Aero 14, the 2015  15 Inch Macbook Pro, and 2016 Razer Blade.

 

2016 to 2017 Laptop Computer Review

This laptop computer review will focus on the best alternatives to the 2016 15 inch MacBook pro. Keep in mind that it’s hard to find a truly comparably device to that 15-inch MacBook Pro because it’s got some pretty unique features – like the touch bar and MAC OS. If you’re comfortable using either MAC OS or Windows and you’re just looking for a premium laptop that has good build quality, good performance, good portability, and comes with a quad-core CPU, then keep on reading this laptop computer review.

Now this is not a complete laptop computer review of Macbook Pro alternatives. There are others. However, these are all quad-core laptop. No surface products or ultrabooks are reviewed in this laptop computer review because those are all dual, or two, core cpus.

2016 – 15-inch MacBook Pro

3 Thunderbolt Ports

best ultrabook

Apple MacBook Pro MLW72LL

Because this laptop computer review is in comparison to the 2016 15 inch Macbook Pro, we have to look first at the 2016 15 inch MacBook Pro itself. This Macbook is super-thin and pretty powerful, but it is also very expensive. Also, it’s only equipped with Thunderbolt 3 ports. If you’re not familiar with MAC terminology, then you may not know what Thunderbolt is. Thunderbolt is an interconnect technology developed by Intel in partnership with Apple. Thunderbolt combines the PCI Express and Display Ports into a single connection.  This allows for a combination of up to six peripherals, like storage devices and monitors, to be daisy-chained (or connected in series, one after another) together.

2015 – 15-inch MacBook Pro

Next up in this laptop computer review is last year’s 15-inch MacBook Pro. It’s bigger, but it’s still a very capable machine. It has more ports, and because it is older by one year, it is cheaper now.

Asus UX501

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ASUS UX501 15-Inch Laptop

The Asus UX 501 is the most premium laptop that ASUS makes outside of their gaming lineup. It is not the thinnest laptop, and it has a really big battery. It is included in this laptop computer review because it is a top of the line laptop and Asus is well know for some very solid computer components – especially motherboards.

MSI GS 63

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MSI VR Ready GS63VR Stealth Pro-034 15.6

The MSI GS63 is one of the most powerful laptops in this laptop computer review. It has a GTX 1060 graphics card. It’s a gaming laptop, but because it’s pretty thin and light, it makes the cut.

Dell XPS 15

laptop computer review

DELL XPS 15

Next up we have the Dell XPS 15. It’s still one of the best laptops ever from Dell. The carbon fiber finish and the Infinity display really make this a strong contender. Dell remains a strong computer manufacturer. The XPS 15 is not the only Dell product worthy of being included in a serious laptop computer review.

Gigabyte Aero 14

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Gigabyte Aero 14Wv7-OG4

We also have the Aero 14 from Gigabyte – another well known and serious motherboard manufacturer. The Gigabyte Aero 14 comes in black, green, and orange, and it’s also equipped with the GTX 1060 graphics card as well. However, the computer has a smaller 14-inch screen.

2016 Razer Blade

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The Razer Blade (GeForce GTX 1060) 14″ HD Gaming Laptop

Last in this laptop computer review is the 2016 Razer Blade also with the GTX 1060 graphics card. This is one of the thinnest laptops available. It has a powerful graphics chip. It also has a 14 inch screen and it has chrome lighting.

Next in this laptop computer review, we will explore some categories. As we do, we will highlight the top picks for each particular category.

Build Quality

  • In terms of build quality the MacBooks are the kings here. They’re really well-built.
  • The razor blade and the XPS 15 are tied for second place.
  • The XPS 15 feels a little more durable the razorblade. It looks cleaner as well.
  • You can actually get skins for all three of these laptops from Hebron and they can look awesome.

Display

  • The 4k display on the XPS 15 is really nice. It’s not the brightest of the group, but it’s still plenty bright. It’s the most color accurate, and it has super thin bezels.
  • The 2016 MacBook Pro has lower resolution, but it’s very bright – which is great if you use your laptop outdoors a lot. It has a very wide color gamut but it isn’t as color accurate.
  • The UX501 also is a great 4k display. None of them have bad screens. That was just a matter of preference for resolution screen size.

Upgradability

  • MacBooks tend to have terrible user upgradability. In fact, the 2016 15 inch MacBook Pro can’t be upgraded at all. The RAM and the SSD are both on board.
  • All of the windows laptops have upgradeable ram and storage except for the Razor Blade.
  • You can only upgrade the storage for the razor blade.
  • The most upgradeable is the MSI GS63. It has two RAM slots and two drive bays.
  • The XPS 15 can also do this but it’s a little bit more complex. It requires ordering some parts.

Keyboards

  • These computers all have good keyboards. None of them are bad personally.
  • The keyboard on the 2016 15 inch MacBook Pro is a good one.
  • While some people have had a different experience, others have reported the ability to type the fastest and most accurate with it.
  • The GS 63 the XPS 15 and the Razer Blade with chrome elating are also good.
  • In a nutshell,  you can’t go wrong with any of these keyboards. They are all enjoyable to use.

Trackpads

  • The MacBooks are still the trackpad leaders – the taptic engine the surface texture of the precision there is still the best.
  • It’s unfortunate that we’re already in 2017 and windows laptops still haven’t perfected the trackpad.
  • Among the computers reviewed here, the best one is the XPS 15.
  • Any of them that can use native windows precision drivers are going to be better.
  • The MacBook track pads are still the best.

Ports

  • The laptop with the best selection of ports is definitely not the MacBook.
  • The winner is the MSI GS 63. It has a ton of ports, but the SD reader is slower.
  • Basically, all the windows laptops have a pretty good selection of ports,
  • The Razor Blade is missing an SD reader.
  • The Aero 14 doesn’t have the Honorable three support.
  • Aside from that, they’re all well equipped with ports.
  • The only one here with rock-solid external GPU support is the Razer Blade. So, if you connect that to the Razor core it works perfectly.
  • The XPS 15 isn’t bad either.
  • The rest of them are still kind of flaky right now.

External GPS

  • Aside from MacBooks, they’re all rocking.
  • The Skylake 6700 HQ processor has very similar cpu performance across the board.
  • The laptops with the GTX 960 are the best performers.
  • Among these laptops, they’re too close to really say which one is the winner.
  • Maybe the GS63 is tops. But they’re all really powerful.

Heat Buildup

  • Thermally, the laptops with the weaker cards are going to produce less heat and have quiet fans.
  • The MacBook and the XPS 15 are the most quiet when they’re under load.
  • The Razor Blade and the Aero 14 are the loudest when they’re being used for gaming.

Speakers/Audio

  • The 2016 MacBook speakers can’t be beat. Absolutely no one is making better speakers right now.
  • Also, all the windows laptop speakers sound similar in overall quality.
  • If the 2016 MacBook has first place, then the 2015 MacBook has second place.
  • Maybe the Razor Blade comes in at third place.
  • None of them are bad.

Battery Life

  • In general, battery life isn’t going to be amazing on laptops.
  • The skylake processors are reasonably energy efficient, but when you take a quad-core CPU and you put into a thin and light chassis you can only expect so much.
  • The 2015 15 inch MacBook Pro has the best battery life. It’s an older processor but it has a big battery and MAC OS is pretty energy-efficient.
  • Of the windows laptops, the UX501 is the longest lasting here.
  • The XPS 15 –  when it’s configured with the big battery – is also pretty good.

Value for Your Money

  • In terms of value, none of these laptops are going to be particularly cheap.
  • They’re all premium in some way or another.
  • I think the best value overall would be the MSI GS 63. You’re getting really good performance for the price. Now, whether or not you need, or even want, that kind of performance is something else, but it delivers a really good bang for the buck.
  • The UX 501 is also pretty well priced – with its 4k screen.
  • A used or refurbished 2015 MacBook Pro can also be a pretty good value.

Conclusion

  • You can’t go wrong choosing any of these laptops, and there’s other really good options out there that aren’t in this review.
  • The Alienware 13 is a good example of another option. It’s a little bit thicker and heavier than the ones being reviewed here. It is a great quad-core laptop.
  • In terms of the best overall laptop, it really depends on what you’re going to use the laptop for. As a video editor the top pic is the XPS 15 – mostly because of the screen. It has really great like color accuracy. Also, the really thin bezels are a good feature.

 

As found on Youtube

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