If you’re sick of your basic Windows layout but can’t afford to fork out on a Mac, a ‘Hackintosh’ may be the perfect alternative for you.
The Hackintosh community is a new custom-computer-building community that has been alive and thriving for many years. It essentially allows you to run macOS on non-Apple hardware, hence the term “Hack-intosh.”
There are a few reasons why people choose to do this, but the most popular is the price difference. Mac products are notoriously expensive and many people consider them to be overpriced, with some in the Hackintosh community referring to this overcharge as “Apple tax”.
The newest Mac model is priced at nearly $6,000 and Apple tends to aim these premium models toward large corporations and studios, not your average consumer.
To achieve the same quality performance as these expensive models but for a fraction of the price, we recommend considering a Hackintosh.
They give you the freedom to customize your own hardware parts, if they’re compatible of course, and even allow you to enjoy all of the perks that come along with owning a Mac computer without having to buy one.
If you’re interested in building your own Hackintosh on a laptop but don’t know where to start, be sure to read on. In this article, we’ve hand-picked the best laptops that are Hackintosh compatible and reviewed their features. There’s even a handy Buyer’s Guide at the bottom to assist you in your search along with an FAQ section.
1. Dell XPS 15 9500
Dell laptops are well-loved among the Hackintosh community and their new XPS 15 9500 model is no exception.
It’s beginning to become known as the ‘Macbook Pro Killer’ by computer builders due to its excellent compatibility with Hackintosh and heavy-duty performance and build quality. Powering this beast of a machine is a 10th generation Intel Core 17-10750H processor and a base clock speed of 5GHz.
This makes it more than capable of handling features such as FPC and XCode which you’ll have access to after building your Hackintosh. In terms of how it operates internally, we think this laptop would be an Intel-igent choice.
If storage is important to you, it comes complete with 16GB of DDR4 SDRAM and a 1 TB hard disk. This allows you enough storage to run multiple operating systems if you plan on dual-booting. It also boasts a 15-inch 4K+ display with touchscreen technology.
This laptop is a prime choice for those looking to undertake a Hackintosh build, as the touchscreen remains after modification and is fully-functioning even when interacting with macOS.
The keyboard on this model is of a greater build quality than most Macs and has little to no keyboard flexing. However, the fingerprint scanner that comes along with newer Mac models isn’t available on this laptop.
- Excellent compatibility
- 4K+ display touchscreen
- High-quality keyboard
- Easy installation
- Subpar battery life
Buy Here: Amazon
Dell XPS 15 - 15 Inch FHD+, Intel Core i7 10th Gen, 16GB Memory, 512GB Solid State Drive, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti 4GB GDDR6, Windows 10 Home (Latest Model) - Silver
2. HP Spectre x360
The HP Spectre x360 is another great laptop to choose if you’re building a Hackintosh.
With HP being the best selling PC manufacturer on the planet, it’s easy to see why the custom-computer-building community love to modify them. Much like some of the other laptops in this list, The Spectre x360 also uses an Intel Core i7-8565U, which comes with a base clock speed of 1.8GHz.
It can go up to 4.0GHz, which comes in very handy when using CPU intensive apps such as QuickBooks, Microsoft Excel, Photo Editing apps, etc. However, being a lightweight 2-in-1 device, this model doesn’t include a dedicated graphics so you’re going to have to endure the integrated UHD graphics from Intel.
This model features 2 thunderbolt ports which are positioned at an angle on the corner of the device, this unique feature prevents cable tangles and helps to optimize space.
We also love that it comes equipped with a webcam hardware shut-off switch rather than the standard cover switch. Amazon reviewers mention that the trackpad reaction speed is pretty much instant and that the keyboard is high-quality and rigid.
The 1080p display may seem a little average, but it zaps only 1 watt of power, which HP claims makes their battery life much longer than similar models on the market.
- 2-in-1 convertible design
- Full touchscreen compatibility
- Sufficient RAM and storage
- Long battery life
- This laptop won’t support iMessage and FaceTime once it’s a Hackintosh
- Doesn’t support the fingerprint scanner
Buy Here: Amazon
- Stunning style from any angle: Amazingly thin and light in a visually stunning metal body, this convertible PC is a masterful blend of design and performance.
- Processor: Intel Core i7-7500U with Intel HD Graphics 520 (2.7 GHz, up to 3.1 GHz, 4 MB cache, 2 cores) with Intel Turbo Boost Technology
- Impressive performance. All day portability. Enjoy lightning-fast performance throughout the day on this premium x360 with a longer lasting battery life for your non-compromising schedule.
- 13.3" diagonal FHD IPS Radiance Infinity LED-backlit touch screen (1920 x 1080) Display, Up to 12 hours battery life, Windows 10 Home 64 bit
- 256 GB M.2 SSD storage, 8 GB DDR3L-1600 SDRAM, 802.11ac (2x2) and Bluetooth 4.0 combo wireless, Intel HD Graphics 520, 2 USB 3.1 Type-C Gen 2(Thunderbolt); 1USB 3.1 Gen 1 1 headphone/microphone combo
3. HP Probook 450
Our next product is another one from HP, but you’d be forgiven for mistaking this model for a MacBook.
Their Probook 450 laptop’s sleek exterior resembles that of a Macbook as well as being compatible with the latest macOS. The Probook 450 is powered by the Whiskey Lake Intel Core i5 Quad-Core processor paired with 16GB of memory and 256GB SSD and 1TB hybrid storage.
This latest processor can achieve up to 3.9GHz clock rate and can manage most MacOS tasks you throw its way.
This model comes equipped with several ports including the latest USB Type C and HDMI. The fingerprint scanner also happens to work on the Probook 450, even when running macOS, so your Hackintosh will look and feel just like the real deal.
The Probook comes with a 15.6-inch HD screen but the display which isn’t terrible, but it isn’t fantastic either. If you’re looking for a reliable and durable machine to build a Hackintosh with, we recommend checking out the HP Probook 450.
- High-quality aluminum body and bezel
- Hybrid SSD and HDD combination for speed and storage
- Backlit keyboard and fingerprint sensor available
- Great selection of ports
- Average screen quality
Buy Here: Amazon
- 16GB DDR4 RAM; Storage: 256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD + 1TB HDD (Seal is opened for upgrade ONLY, Professional Installation Service included)
- 15.6" HD Anti-glare LED-backlit (NON-Touch) | Integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 - Max Support (DP) 4K 4096x2304 60Hz
- 8th Generation Intel Quad-Core i5-8265U 1.60 GHz (4 Cores 8 Threads, Turbo up to 3.90 GHz, 6MB SmartCache)
- Wireless 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2x2) + BlueTooth v4.2 | Webcam | Backlit Keyboard | USB Type-C | HDMI | NO OPTICAL DRIVE
- Windows 10 Professional 64-bit - Ideal for Home, Enterprise, Professionals, Small business, School Education
4. Dell Inspiron 15 7567
Next up on our list is a great option from Dell if you’re looking for a budget-friendly laptop to transform into a Hackintosh.
Their Inspiron 15 7567 is cheaper than any Macbook on the market and still has some great features. This machine is backed with the Intel Core i5-7300HQ processor, which is a Quad-Core chip and can deliver up to 3.50GHz clock speed.
Moreover, there is 8GB of memory along with a 256GB solid-state drive, that’s enough for most tasks, but if you need a little more you can always upgrade it later.
The Dell Inspiron 15 7567 also comes complete with a dual-fan mechanism for efficient cooling during gaming. It also comes packed with a full HD 15.6-inch widescreen LED panel, which has impressive picture quality.
As it’s a gaming laptop, the battery life isn’t spectacular and it’s a little chunkier than similar models on the market. Overall, this machine can provide effortless performance and compatibility with macOS and is a great option for those who want to save some cash.
- Supports macOS and functions almost fully
- Dual fan for better cooling
- Vibrant full HD display
- Upgradable storage
- Backlit robust keyboard
- Subpar battery life
Buy Here: Amazon
- 15.6 inch FHD (1920 x 1080) Widescreen LED Backlit Display
- 7th Generation Intel Core i5-7300HQ Quad Core 2.50 GHz
- 8GB 2400MHz DDR4 RAM, 256GB Solid State Drive
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, Built in media reader, Bluetooth 4.2
- Windows 10 Home 64 bit English
5. Acer Aspire 7
Acer is well known for manufacturing high-quality laptops at the most competitive prices, whether we talk about Predator, or Aspire series notebooks.
This Acer Aspire 7 laptop is offering a 17.3-inch full HD IPS display, along with fantastic picture quality. This impressive model is fitted with an Intel Core i7-8750H Hexa-Core processor, which supports up to 4.10GHz clock rate.
There is a 16GB of memory is installed along with 256GB SSD storage. It doesn’t matter how many tasks you need to complete, this beast can handle it.
The Aspire series is also easily upgradeable so if you need to increase the memory or storage, you can do it yourself. We also enjoy its modern features such as a backlit keyboard and the latest USB 3.1 Gen Type-C port.
However, it’s a heavy machine, which is expected for its screen size and price range. Nonetheless, if you’re ok with a larger machine the Acer Aspire 7 is one of the best Hackintosh notebooks that can blend with macOS and still delivers stable performance.
- Great price for the features included
- Robust hardware configuration
- Great compatibility and upgradability
- Latest USB C port and backlit keyboard
- Quite heavy so lacks portability
- Poor battery life
Buy Here: Amazon
Best Laptop for Hackintosh Buyers Guide
What you Should Consider Before Purchasing a Laptop
Before committing with your choice of laptop, you must check its compatibility with macOS.
Some laptops support more features than others so we recommend making sure that your Hackintosh is going to run as smoothly as possible with your laptop. Compatibility with macOS is mainly dependent on the motherboard and CPU.
It’s important to note that the process of building a Hackintosh isn’t always straight-forward and will require a lot of patience, so make sure you’re skilled enough and have enough time before diving in headfirst.
If you lack experience in computer building, there are dozens of helpful tutorials on YouTube to guide you through the process. It’s also important to keep in mind that even when your machine has macOS, if it’s not an Apple product then it won’t qualify for Apple Support services.
Why choose a Hackintosh over a Mac?
The number of perks that come along with owning a Hackintosh is endless. If you rely on software that is specific to macOS but you don’t want to pay Apple prices or you need more power than a Mac, then building a Hackintosh is a great loophole.
Mackintosh machines can support Dual-Boot and Triple-Boot, which essentially allows you to enjoy Mac software as well as still keeping a Windows operating system. This means that you can still use Windows for the things you love such as gaming as well as having access to macOS-specific features such as FaceTime and FinalCutPro.
Apple recommends a minimum of 8GB RAM for macOS to perform effectively. However, if you purchase a laptop with a lower RAM, it’s still cheaper to purchase extra RAM on Amazon than it is to buy a new Mac model.
As we’re discussing customization, another benefit of having a Hackintosh is having the freedom to swap out parts and make it personal to you, if you know what you’re doing of course.
It’s also notoriously more difficult to Hackintosh a laptop than it is to Hackintosh a desktop. But providing you have the stamina, this building process can be heaps of fun and the results can be super rewarding.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Hackintosh Laptop?
A Hackintosh is a normal laptop powered by an Intel processor, that has been modified to run macOS even though it’s not made by Apple.
What Laptops Can Run Hackintosh?
Although some great options have been featured above, there are some basic ground rules you should consider before making a purchase. These include:
- The laptop should have a contemporary Intel Processor
- There should be a guide available for the laptop model to install macOS, these can be found on online forums and tutorial videos on YouTube.
- Find an open forum for getting support for issues that can occur during installation and to gain knowledge on troubleshooting
Is Hackintosh Reliable?
A Hackintosh isn’t as reliable as a normal computer, and you’re not going to get a stable or efficient performant OS X system out of it.
When mimicking macOS using non-Apple hardware, you could face a multitude of issues.
Is Hackintosh Safe?
As a Hackintosh can’t guarantee complete reliability, we recommend backing up all of your data, just in case.
Does Hackintosh Receive Apple Updates?
Yes, but a Hackintosh might not survive it. Therefore, you should check how other people have found their experience with the same model.