The Alienware 15 and Macbook Pro 15 are arguably the two best laptops you can get your hands on. The latest Macbook Pro is always the benchmark for Windows laptops to be compared to when they are released. That’s for good reason, as Macbooks pretty much always have the best build quality as well as great performance and very good specs. An Alienware gaming laptop is known for being a monstrous powerhouse of computing power, so this battle is between meticulously designed style and raw muscle—David and Goliath.
Which one is actually better for you depends on what exactly you plan on using it for and what you value most in a laptop. If you’re going to use it for gaming and need the best possible specs to gain the edge over the competition, then Alienware is definitely your best option. If you care less about gaming power, and more about the efficiency of day to day tasks and usage, then Macbook Pro wins.
Let’s take a look at each of these beastly machines and count off a few pros and cons compared to each other first. We’ll be referring to the flagship Macbook Pro 15 with a 15” retina display rather than the 13” version.
The Macbook Pro 15 is thinner, lighter and more portable. It has a very durable metal casing that protects it very well. Alienware’s shell is reinforced plastic, which Alienware claims to be very sturdy. They both have 16 GB of RAM. Alienware’s 6th generation Intel Core i5 processor clocks in at 2.9 GHz, while the Macbook’s Core i7 runs at 2.5 GHz. Even with the updated graphics card by AMD in the new Macbook Pro, it’s still no comparison to Alienware’s NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M with 2GB GDDR5.
The Macbook has SSD internal storage with a capacity of 512 GB. The Alienware 15 has a combo 128GB SSD and 1TB HDD, giving it far greater storage capacity. The award for superior display goes to the Macbook Pro for its retina display and anti-glare tint. However, colors do look quite accurate on the Alienware’s 4K display, but with the Alienware’s 15.6” screen size, it’s hard to tell the difference between 4K and HD.
Each has a pretty good HD webcam. Neither of them have excellent speakers, but Alienware does have slightly louder and better quality audio. The battery power of the Alienware is nothing special at between five and six hours of regular use. The Macbook on the other hand lasts around nine hours. The Alienware 15 also automatically dumbs down its performance to conserve battery power, while the Mac doesn’t need to.
They both have a backlit keyboard, but Alienware has a neat feature that allows you to customize the color of the lighting all over the laptop You can make your track pad glow too. It’s pretty cool. Apple’s new Force Touch track pad offer some neat new functionality that Alienware’s doesn’t, but can it glow bright green? Nope.
Obviously the Alienware is geared completely toward entertainment, but it happens to be highly capable of all other things as well. Apple is, well, Apple. Its products are uniform, sleek and professional. But if you’re planning on doing some business with your laptop or even just group work at your university, would you rather show up to a meeting with a large plastic, gaming laptop that is glowing hot pink, or a professional-looking Macbook Pro?
You can still play games on the Macbook Pro 15. If you install a program called Boot Camp, you can run Windows and play games through that. The performance in Boot Camp is more than adequate for most games. Alienware would obviously run the most current games much better, especially since it’s so easily upgradable, but the Macbook Pro 15 can definitely still be used for gaming.
Now, let’s talk numbers. The 15” Macbook Pro 15 with retina display costs about $2,400 while the Alienware 15 costs around $1,000. Since the Macbook Pro costs double, it’s difficult to justify spending so much more. There are cheaper models if you’re willing to bump it down to 13” or take a reduction in specs though, but Alienware simply offers better value.
If you can afford either one, and are willing to spend the money in order to get the best laptop for yourself, then you should decide what you prefer, hardcore gaming capabilities, or general efficiency and roll with it.
Apple Macbook Pro 15
- Better build quality
- Thinner, lighter, more portable
- Has OS X but can run Windows with Boot Camp
- Superior retina display with anti-glare tint
- Classy, sleek design
- Longer lasting 9-hour battery
- Superior processing power
- Better graphics card
- More customizable and easily upgradable
- 4K display
- More internal storage space
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