Where do you turn if you want to run a Mac OS but you don’t want to pay Macbook prices? Increasingly, the answer is ‘to a Hackintosh’ – a non-Apple PC that’s set up to run a Mac OS.
Of course, it’s not only cost that steers people away from Macs – the Apple model range is fairly limited, whereas the wider world of non-Apple PCs is much more diverse, both from a specification and hardware point of view.
Creating a Hackintosh isn’t always plain sailing though; when you bring together hardware and software that’s not designed to work together straight out of the box, you’re potentially opening up a can of technically difficult worms.
With this is mind, we’ve explored 6 of the best laptops for Hackintosh in 2018, with some detail around what you can expect when you’re running a Mac OS…
- Dell XPS 15 9530
Dell make some great laptops and their top flight XPS range stand out as excellent choices for Hackintosh builds. Most significantly, Mac OS runs without any issues, thanks largely to the Intel Core i7-4712HQ processor.
Some machines struggle to match the Apple Retina displays, offering 2880 x 1800 resolution – but the XPS has no problem in this regard, with a potential 3840 x 2160 screen resolution, meaning you get to see your Mac OS arguably better than a Mac user!
Although the XPS range are more-costly than some others on this list, the processor quality, 512gb SSD and Intel HD 4600 graphics card put it up there with some of the best performing laptops you’ll find on the market today. This is a machine that’ll run Mac OS flawlessly and still have some performance left over…
- Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro
Generally, you’re not going to be creating a Hackintosh in an effort to look better than Apple’s iconic designs – but if you were, the Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro would be the machine you’d opt for. It’s a good looking piece of equipment – some might argue even better looking than a Macbook…
Specs wise, the Mi Notebook Pro is impressive – it’s got the 8th Gen Core i7 processor and 16gb of RAM, along with 256gb NVMe storage – but does that make for a good Hackintosh build?
Well, for the most part it does – but you’re going to render the Bluetooth and fingerprint scanner useless by running Mac OS – and unless you’ve got the skills and steady hand of a brain surgeon, you’re not going to be able to get under the hood and do much about that.
You might face some booting issues without properly installing the right Nvidia graphics card drivers – but when you do, you’ll get a crisp display wrapped in a stunning looking machine.
- Dell Inspiron 7560
While Dell aren’t going to be challenging Xiaomi in the looks department with their mid-range machines, the Inspiron 7560 is a solid performing laptop with a strong heritage – you’re not going to have any trouble finding other people who are running Hackintosh builds on Inspirons if you’re looking for some after-market help.
Specs wise, the Inspiron looks good, with an Intel Core i7 7500U chip, 8gb DDR4 x 2 RAM, Sandisk X400 128gb storage and a Nvidia GeForce 940MX GPU.
Like the Xiaomi Mi Notebook, you’re going to need to find the right drivers for that Nvidia GPU if you’re doing anything beyond the onboard graphic card, but again, you’re not going to struggling finding people who’ve done exactly the same on this machine.
The Inspiron 7560 has got all the performance you need to run the latest Mac OS without any issues – and, backed up by solid hardware and an incredible battery life, you could do a lot worse than use one as a platform for your Hackintosh.
- HP ProBook 450 G4
If money is a little tight but you’re looking for a solid Hackintosh platform, the HP ProBook 450 G4 is a good place to be looking.
In terms of specs, it’s not quite up there with some of the others on this list, but it’s perfectly adequate for running a Mac OS build; with an Intel Core i5 7200U chip, 8gb DDR4 x 2 RAM, 128GB SSD and the Nvidia GeForce 930MX GPU.
It’s worth noting that our Bluetooth and HDMI failed to work with a Mac OS – but it’s questionable whether or not that’s going to cause you a big problem. When minor issues cropped up elsewhere we had no problem seeing quick and easy work-arounds.
It’s not the fanciest or quickest laptop on this list, but we didn’t experience any lag with our Hackintosh build – and it’ll get you up and running with some wallet breathing space…
- Lenovo Yoga 710
If you’re looking for a Hackintosh that’s going to offer more physically than a Macbook, then the Lenovo Yoga 710 is going to be well worth some further investigation.
The Yoga 710 is a new breed of laptop that ticks the laptop and tablet box by having a 180-degree hinge that gives you plenty of configuration options – something you won’t get with Apple unless you’re happy to spend further on an iPad.
Looks and physical function aside, the Yoga 710’s got plenty under the hood to make a good Hackintosh build; an Intel Core i7 7500U processor, 16gb DDR4 RAM, Intel HD Graphics 620 and 512gb SSD.
It’s another popular Hackintosh build too – so you won’t have any trouble finding decent walkthroughs online.
A word of warning though, if you’re buying the Yoga hoping the touchscreen will work with Mac OS you’ll need to manage your expectations back down – it’s not going to, but that said, I don’t support you’re browsing this list looking for a tablet and you can run Mac OS on.
- HP Spectre x360
Want a laptop that’s probably got enough power to run Mac OS twice over? The HP Spectre x360 is the piece of kit for you.
This is a really nice-looking machine – with a premium build quality that probably outstrips the Macbook series. The performance is powered by a 5-3.1Ghz Core i5-7200U Kaby Lake chip, 8GB DDR3 RAM, Intel HD Graphics 620 and a 512gb NVMe Samsung SSD.
Again, the touchscreen won’t work and the Thunderbolt ports aren’t going to be recognised – but it’s questionable how important this is going to be to you.
The Spectre is a great machine that’s going to run a Mac OS without batting an eyelid – and better still, there’s plenty of support out there from 3rd party developers, meaning that any issues you do come across will either already be solved – or well on their way to being fixed.
Premium looks, outstanding performance and HP build quality. You really won’t go wrong, even if it’s slightly more-costly than some of the alternatives.