This Dell laptop is the best Windows alternative to the Apple MacBook Pro 16

(Image credit: Dell)

Let’s be clear, straight off the bat; the 16-inch Apple MacBook Pro is the most powerful lightweight laptop money can buy right now. There is no laptop of this size on the market that boasts 8TB of storage and 64GB of RAM. At just over 16mm in thickness and with a weight of 2kg, it truly is a technological feat.

The Macbook Pro's nearest rival, however, has to be the Dell XPS 15 9500. It doesn’t quite carry the same cachet as Apple’s newest machine, but still has a few cards up its sleeve if you're looking for a Windows 10 PC that's at least in the same ballpark.

Note, this particular XPS 15 model is not currently on offer and is only available in the US. For some reason, Dell thinks the rest of the world doesn't deserve a thin-and-light laptop with 64GB of memory.

Gunning for the MacBook Pro

The top-of-the-range XPS 15 model actually shares a lot of similarities with the MacBook; it has a similar CPU (8-core, 16MB cache and a 45W TDP), 64GB of memory and 2TB PCIe SSD.

It features a smaller 15.6-inch touchscreen display, but it's an OLED model with a 4K resolution, making it sharper than Apple’s. It's powered by an Nvidia Geforce GTX 1650 GPU with 4GB of video memory, which is more than a match for the AMD Radeon Pro 5500M in the MacBook Pro.

As you might expect, Dell has the upper hand when it comes to pricing. At $3,049.99 (around £2,500/AU$4,500) with Windows 10 Home instead of Pro, the XPS 15 undercuts Apple’s equivalent by a staggering 27%, with the equivalent MacBook Pro 16 coming in at $4,199 (roughly £3,370/AU$6,200).

The comparison becomes even less favorable for Apple when you factor in warranty and services. AppleCare+ for the new MacBook Pro costs $379 and includes a three-year warranty, two incidents of accidental damage and 24/7 priority access to Apple experts. Dell, on the other hand, provides 4-year ProSupport Plus (with next business day onsite service and accidental damage service) for $360, which is both better value and cheaper.

The XPS 15 might not garner the same attention and acclaim as Apple's machine, but its many qualities and cheaper price tag make it a serious contender.

Bear in mind

  • If this XPS 15 model is not available in your territory, you may have to use a specialist parcel forwarding service if you want to take advantage of the deal.
  • If you've managed to get hold of a cheaper product with equivalent specifications, in stock and brand new, let us know and we'll tip our hat to you.
Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.