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Best MacBook Air alternatives for 2020

  • 13. mars 2020

id=»article-body» class=»row» section=»article-body»> For years, Apple’s popular MacBook Air set the bar for what you could expect from a $1,000 laptop. And a couple of years ago, the Mac-maker announced that it would raise expectations with a new version of the MacBook Air.

The new device featured some welcome, though nonessential, upgrades including USB ports, a higher-quality display and Touch ID. And, significantly, Apple also jacked up the starting price to to $1,199, a 20% increase. Since then, the company has debuted yet another version of the MacBook Air, adding True Tone display technology and lowering the list price to $1,099 — though you can often find it for even less.

Some people, however, simply don’t like the new model’s butterfly keyboard or the limits of its eighth-gen Intel Core i5 processor. Despite having what’s arguably the best computer operating system around, MacOS, Apple rarely delivers the best value on major components (processor, RAM and hard drive capacity), battery life, and ports and connections. And Apple still doesn’t offer a laptop with a touchscreen option — a useful feature found on an increasing number of competitive models. 

All six laptops highlighted below as Macbook Air alternative options cost roughly as much as the MacBook Air, have a 13-inch screen, weigh less than three pounds (1.4 kg), and are reasonably streamlined and stylish. Each will make a worthy alternative to Apple’s MacBook Air. Check them out.

Read more: Best laptops of 2020

Lighter, thinner, cheaper

Lenovo IdeaPad 730S

Sarah Tew/CNET At 2.4 pounds, the 13.3-inch Lenovo IdeaPad 730S is lighter and thinner than the MacBook Air. Its quad-core Intel Core i5 processor, faster 2,400MHz memory and speedy Samsung PCIe solid-state drive give it better performance than the Air. And starting around $620, this sleek device is plenty cheaper, too. Read the Lenovo IdeaPad 730S review.

$621 at Lenovo Read more: The best gaming laptop performers of 2020

Strong battery, great keyboard

HP Spectre x360 13

Sarah Tew/CNET The Spectre x360 starts at around $900 and comes equipped with specs that are mostly superior to the MacBook Air’s including longer battery life and better storage. It gives you an eighth-gen Intel Core i7 CPU (the Air has a Core i5), 16GB of RAM (versus the Air’s 8GB), a 512GB SSD (the Air has 128GB), a microSD card slot (the Air has none) and superior battery life (more than 13 hours versus the Air’s 11.5). Plus, users get the Spectre’s great HD touchscreen display, which can be rotated between tablet and laptop mode, and a terrific keyboard.  Read our HP Spectre x360 (13-inch, 2019) review.

$999 at Amazon $1,063 at Best Buy Read more: Best laptops, desktops and tablets for designers and website ( creatives in 2020

Now playing: Watch this: HP’s Spectre x360 puts a premium on design and battery… 1:54 A superb Windows laptop

Dell XPS 13

Sarah Tew/CNET If you’re a Windows person and want a balance of portability, power and price, it’s hard to find a better laptop than the XPS 13. Starting at $1,000, this laptop is attractive, easy to use, incomparably slim and offers a ton of configuration (and price) flexibility. And though the last few versions of the XPS 13 were subverted by a poorly positioned webcam, that has now been fixed with the 2019 model’s web camera. Dell also makes a 15-inch version, which starts at $1,000. Read our Dell XPS 13 (2019) review.

$1,697 at Amazon Read more: Best 2-in-1 PCs in 2020 for when you need a laptop and tablet in one

A lightweight performer

Samsung Notebook 9 Pro

Sarah Tew/CNET Samsung’s Notebook 9 Pro is less expensive than the newer MacBook Air, but includes mostly superior specifications and a 13.3-inch touchscreen. The base configuration features an eighth-gen Intel Core i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD, and at 2.8 pounds, it’s one of the lightest ultraportable two-in-ones we’ve seen. The 12-hour plus battery life it delivers doesn’t hurt, either. Read our Samsung Notebook 9 Pro (13-inch, 2019) review.

$1,000 at Amazon $1,000 at Best Buy Microsoft’s laptop

Microsoft Surface Laptop 2

Sarah Tew/CNET If you’re looking for a great laptop that’s a couple hundred dollars cheaper than the new MacBook Air, the entry-level Surface Laptop 2 will do the trick. You get a slim, modern design; a great 12.3-inch touchscreen; a solid keyboard and trackpad; and a decent set of ports. 

That noted, it may be worth waiting. There’s a strong chance that Microsoft will introduce new Surface devices at its Oct. 2 event, which could result in steep discounts on this particular laptop. Read our Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 review.

$870 at Walmart $879 at Amazon $1,235 at Best Buy Read more: Best 15-inch laptops for 2020

Lenovo’s top 2-in-1 perfected

Lenovo Yoga C930

Sarah Tew/CNET Lenovo has spent years refining its premium two-in-one design to deliver a laptop that convincingly doubles as a tablet. The Yoga C930 is the form perfected. The keyboard and display are very good, the speakers are great, and there’s sufficient power for any productivity or entertainment task. Though it’s not cheap, it’s a solid value — you’re getting a laptop and a tablet that offers flexibility and features beyond any version of the MacBook Air.  Read our Lenovo Yoga C930 review.

$1,055 at Amazon $1,105 at Best Buy Read more: HP Spectre x360 13 vs. Lenovo Yoga C930: Which is the best laptop and tablet in one

Originally published last year.

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