2016 Laptop Wars: MacBook Pro (TouchBar) vs ZenBook 3 vs HP Spectre


2016 is about to come to a close and we are taking a look back at all that happened in the world of tech throughout the year.

When it comes to laptops, 2016 saw the emergence of sleek and suave laptops with uncompromising specifications. We are pitting the three best laptops of the year against each other. Let's see which one emerges on top:


When we speak about notebook displays, Apple has been significantly ahead of the competition given the tremendous inroads the company has made in display tech. With the new MacBook Pro, the company retains the Retina Display (2560x1600), but some other nifty additions take the attention away from the display.

The HP Spectre and the ASUS ZenBook 3 are using standard 1080p (1920x1080) display panels, so there’s really no contest here.


The ASUS ZenBook 3 comes with a very attractive design on board, something that’s common among Ultrabooks. It’s a lightweight aluminum based laptop, which makes it ultra portable. This comes in handy when compared to conventional notebooks. Given that it packs a 13-inch display, portability was never going to be a problem really.

The HP Spectre x360 comes with a lightweight body much like the ZenBook 3. The keyboard deserves a special mention here as well, considering how well built the laptop is. The display size is 13.3-inches, which makes it comparable to the ZenBook 3.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar is one of a kind really. While the design has been slightly revamped, it’s the Touch Bar where all the action happens. But despite these factors, Apple has managed to keep it lightweight, which will certainly factor into the decision making of prospective customers.

Read : TechRadar India Special: BEST TECH OF 2016


While the HP Spectre x360 and the ASUS ZenBook 3 come with one full-sized USB port, the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar comes with four USB Type-C (Thunderbolt) ports, meaning that you won’t be able to plug in full sized USB devices. This is perhaps the only letdown with Apple’s latest notebook.

But the company more than makes up for it with the presence of the Touch Bar which is also accompanied by a Touch ID sensor for fingerprint authentication. Overall, for the kind of price you would end up paying for the new MacBook Pro, we feel the removal of the standard USB ports will leave a bitter taste in the customers’ mouths.

The MacBook Pro comes with 256 or 512GB of SSD storage coupled with 8GB of RAM. The ZenBook 3 on the other hand, comes with 512GB of SSD storage by default and 8GB of RAM. The HP Spectre is packing 512GB of SSD storage and 16GB of RAM.


The 13-inch MacBook Pro comes with the dual-core Intel Core i5 processor (Iris Graphics 550) clocked at 1.9 GHz.

The ASUS ZenBook 3 is running the 2.5 GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 processor (Intel HD Graphics 620).

The HP Spectre x360 is sporting a dual-core 2.7 GHz Intel Core i7 processor (Intel HD Graphics 620) underneath, making it slightly more powerful compared to the other two.

Also read : HP Spectre review: Crafter to perfection


The Spectre 13 supposedly runs for about 7 hours on a full charge. The ZenBook 3 has been tested to last about 10 hours and 44 minutes on a full charge, while the MacBook Pro can apparently go on for 10 hours of web browsing.

Pricing and availability

The MacBook Pro is the most expensive notebook here, which is not really a surprise. The two 13-inch models will set you back by Rs 1,55,900 and Rs 1,72,900 respectively.

The ASUS ZenBook 3 is relatively cheaper and the prices start at Rs 1,13,990 in India. The HP Spectre x360, on the other hand, is priced at Rs 1,19,990.

While stocks for all three devices aren’t promised right now, we should see them flocking the retail stores over the coming weeks.