Hackintosh laptops are Windows laptops that have been ‘hacked’ to run a Macintosh operating system. Unfortunately, Apple laptops are not cheap. Buying a new laptop can run over $2000, a heavy hit to anyone’s wallet. For many people, these prices simply aren’t feasible.
The most common reason for running a hackintosh is to save money.. regular laptops can be hundreds of dollars cheaper, so why not just buy one of those and then install a Mac operating system?
Depending on your specific model, common problem areas for hackintoshes include wifi issues, graphics card compatibility, and problems with card readers or touchscreens.
In spite of these problems, many users still find that the advantages of a hackintosh make it a valuable alternative to an expensive Apple computer.
The five best hackintosh laptops
Here’s a list of the best hackintosh laptops:
The best hackintosh laptop
Our #1 pick for best hackintosh laptop is the Lenovo Flex!
The Lenovo Y50-70 is a beautiful laptop and one of your best bets for turning your laptop into a hackintosh. This laptop meets our baseline requirement of being able to run Mac OS X. It comes with a 4th Generation Intel Core i7 (4720HQ), suitable for turning your laptop into an amazing hackintosh.
If you’ve never turned this laptop into a hackintosh, there is plenty of help available on the web. A simple google search will give you a number of options for instruction manuals.
In terms of price, this laptop is one of the more expensive on our list, but still a great savings over most Apple laptops at around $850.
This laptop comes with some great general features, including that i7 CPU and plenty of RAM. If you should decide that a hackintosh isn’t for you, you’ll find yourself with a great all-around laptop with some solid graphics processing abilities and that’s powerful enough to support gaming.
The four other hackintosh laptops we tested
The Lenovo IdeaPad is another great pick for hackintosh laptop, and placed second on our list for good reason. In addition to being capable of running OS X El Capitan and Yosemite, this laptop has a fantastic 4th gen Intel i7 (4500U) processor.
As with our Top Pick, there is plenty of help available for turning your IdeaPad into a functioning hackintosh. You can always find the guide of your choice on google, but here’s a great place to start.
The price on the IdeaPad is about the same as that of the Y50-70, a good price for what it has to offer overall and a nice savings over an Apple computer.
In terms of all-around quality, this laptop has plenty to offer. With a solid portability profile, an i7 CPU, and good connectivity, you won’t be disappointed if you end up leaving the hackintosh behind.
- 4th Gen Intel Core i7-4500U mobile processor
- 4GB system memory， 500GB hard drive
- 14" HD+ 10-point multitouch screen, 2-in-1 hybrid hard drive provides both size...
Coming in third on our list is the Dell Inspiron 15 7559. This laptop is OS X compatible and offers a 6th Gen Intel Quad-Core i5 (6300HQ) processor.
There are a number of manuals available to help you crack this model, so make sure to find one that is actively being updated.
The pricing on this laptop will save you hundreds over a Mac at just under $700. And at that price, the all-around quality is a bargain in its own right. With 8GB of RAM, an SSD, and a Full HD display with IPS panels, you’ll love this laptop even if you change the way you use it down the line.
- Intel i5-6300HQ 2.3 GHz Quad-Core (6M Cache, Turbo up to 3.2 GHz)
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M 4GB GDDR5
- 8 GB DDR3L / 256 GB Solid-State Drive
Our fourth pick for best hackintosh laptop is the HP ProBook. The ProBook has a fourth gen i5 CPU and is suitable for conversion to the Mac OS X.
There is also plenty of help out there to get you started with converting your laptop to a hackintosh, so don’t be afraid to reach out and ask questions on hackintosh internet forums.
This laptop falls in the same price range as our other laptops and can be found even cheaper if you’re willing to go with a quality refurbished option for some great additional savings.
When it comes to all-around quality, the HP ProBook will keep you moving with 8GB of RAM and a full Terabyte of disk storage. The anti-glare screen is ideal for those who are susceptible to eyestrain when using their laptops.
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The Acer Aspire is a great final addition to our list, coming in 5th with an excellent balance of features and pricing.
Like of all our picks, this laptop is Mac OS X compatible. It features a 4th gen i5 (4210U) processor to keep your hackintosh going, as well as plenty of help online if you’re in need of instructions or advice.
The Aspire is the cheapest laptop on our list, going for as little as $300. At these prices, you’ll have plenty left over for any extras or upgrades you might like to get as you personalize your hackintosh.
In terms of all-around quality, the Aspire will keep you comfortable with a built-in DVD drive, decent portability, and a 500 GB HD.
The downside of this laptop is that it has only an HD display, rather than the FHD we’d like to see. Still, this device has the potential to be a competent hackintosh and all-around laptop for the price, and will save you tons of money over a Mac.
- Intel Core i5-4210U 1.70 GHz with Turbo Boost Technology up to 2.70 GHz
- 4GB DDR3L 1600 MHz - 500GB 5400 RPM HDD - SD/SDHC card reader - DVD SuperMulti...
- 15.6 in HD widescreen CineCrystal LED-backlit (1366 x 768), 10-finger...
How we chose the best hackintosh laptop
Not all Windows laptops can be turned into a hackintosh. A number of features have to be in place for the transition to work. The most important things to keep in mind are:
- OS X Compatibility
- Available Manuals
- All-Around Quality
We determined this final list by looking at industry reviews and user feedback to determine what makes the best hackintosh laptop and what features users find the most important in selecting their device.
The most important consideration when choosing the best hackintosh laptops
The most important feature to consider is whether or not the laptop is capable of running OS X Yosemite, Sierra, or one of Apple’s other OS X systems. If the laptop can’t run the operating system in the first place, the party’s over. There’s nothing you can do without this capability, so it’s vital that you choose a laptop that can get the job done.
Other considerations when choosing the best hackintosh laptops
Another vital feature to consider is what kind of processor the laptop has. AMD processors can be extremely problematic in a hackintosh, and in many cases, an AMD processor will make it impossible to proceed with the hack.
It’s imperative that you choose a top-of-the-line, recent generation Intel processor. Although Intel processors such as the i5 and the i7 can be more expensive than other processors, they are well worth the price and can still be found in cheaper laptops that will save you a bundle over a MacBook.
With one of these quality CPUs in place, turning your laptop into a hackintosh will be that much easier.
The next thing to keep in mind is whether or not instructions exist to help you create your hackintosh. The process is not simple, especially for the uninitiated. Trying to figure it out yourself might run from frustrating to impossible, and could render your attempts to own a fantastic hackintosh useless.
Luckily, there is a vibrant, friendly community of hackintosh users out there who are constantly updating and adding to manuals that give you the instructions you need for to turn your laptop into a hackintosh.
Always make sure that there is an instruction manual available for the laptop that you want to buy, preferably one that is currently being contributed to and updated.
It’s also a good idea to make sure that there are active forums for your particular laptop model. Forums are great place to head if you find yourself getting stuck or want to find tips and tricks to get the most out of your hackintosh. Here is one a great place to start looking.
Price is another important consideration, because hey, if you had the money for an Apple laptop you’d probably just buy one. Besides being good for your wallet, finding a quality laptop at a great price is a good idea because it may not be your only expense.
Sometimes, users find it necessary or desirable to purchase additional parts to boost the compatibility of wifi, graphics, and other features and to generally make their hackintosh run at its best.
If you spend all of your budget on the laptop itself, you won’t have any leftover for fun or necessary additions to your hackintosh, so finding a laptop that’s cheap enough to provide financial breathing room is always a good idea.
Don’t need a hackintosh but still want a great low-price laptop? Check out our list of Best Laptops under $200-$2000.
A final consideration is the all-around quality of your laptop.
The truth is that even the best hackintoshes can be problematic. You may try turning your laptop into a hackintosh only to find that it’s more trouble than it’s worth. Or you may be successful, only to decide that you don’t want to deal with the downsides of owning a hackintosh. In either scenario, you might decide to go ahead and turn your hackintosh back into a regular laptop.
If that’s the case, you’ll want to be left with a quality, functioning laptop. Your device should be able to meet your needs all on its own, regardless of how you’re running it.
A great all-around laptop will leave you satisfied even if you choose not to continue using it as a hackintosh.
The bottom line
In the end, a hackintosh laptop can save you money while giving you access to some of the best features of a Mac.
However, turning your laptop into a hackintosh is not a choice that should be made lately. It can be a complex process for even seasoned hackintosh users and may require that you upgrade certain parts of your hardware.
Even with the best of knowledge and effort, your hackintosh will still have some limitations and will never truly be as capable as an actual Apple computer. Before choosing a hackintosh laptop, make sure to confirm the existence up-to-date user manuals and don’t be afraid to get involved in the hackintosh community!
That being said, there are some excellent options out there for those who want an Apple operating system at a Windows price. The Lenovo Y50-70 is our top pick, with an excellent balance of features and pricing. The Acer Aspire came in last due to its features but soars in price comparison.
Each of the laptops on our list represents an excellent investment for hackintosh laptop.