Hackintosh laptops have been trending recently. They are usually regarded as the best of both worlds. Hackintosh is a combination of two words, “hack” and “Mackintosh.” A Hackintosh is actually a modified non-Apple laptop that operates on the macOS system. The laptop you select for running the Apple operating system must have hardware compatible with macOS. This is a feature that separates it from Windows and Linux OS. Since you are hacking your way towards Hackintosh, you may have to modify your laptop in a few places.
It is no secret that macOS is one of the best operating systems. But the prices of Apple laptops soar high in the sky. Many people who want to have the luxury of using the macOS but can’t pay the outrageously high prices can go for Hackintosh. You can install macOS on your custom-select laptop that has compatible hardware.
If you are into developing specific apps, then you’d need a macOS system. Also, with Hackintosh, you have the freedom to upgrade your laptop however you want. If you’d like to try the same with Mac, it’d be hard. Hackintosh laptops perform better in benchmark tests. Their seeds and rendering times are faster than Mac. A Hackintosh is safe from hacker attacks because it belongs to the Unix platform. Plus, it has an impressive GUI that you won’t be able to get with Windows.
Requirements for Hackintosh
If you want a Hackintosh, make sure that you have a laptop that will be able to run the operating system. You can check multiple forums and websites for this purpose. If you feel like the laptop that you own is not up for the task, there are many high-quality laptops available in the market that’ll perform better. However, the laptop must have the following:
- At least 8GB space, preferably on a flash drive
- OS image
- Clover bootloader
When you have the above, you can search and find instructions online on how to install the operating system on your laptop. You can use the help of a Hackintosh wizard; they mostly work remotely.
How We Made Our Selections
We researched for several hours and finalized 20+ laptops that can operate with macOS. Then, we carefully reviewed and filtered through them and came up with this list of the ten best and most affordable Hackintosh laptops. We are optimistic that you will get the best macOS experience with them.
Our Top Picks
This model of laptop is a direct successor of the Asus UX303 series. It is a light, thin, and very portable 13.3-inch laptop. When it comes to this laptop’s looks, we will dare to say that it is better looking than Macbook Air. It has a metal finish and spun-metal glare on top of that. You’ll be enchanted by the concentric circles around the Asus logo. The 13.3-inch screen has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Asus has made sure that the bezels are as thin as possible. It weighs around 1.4kg and has a thickness of 18.3 mm, so it is very portable.
The FHD panel of this laptop has wide viewing angles. It is also anti-glare, so no complaints there. There is no edge burn when the screen is off. The color accuracy is good and has a good depth. The keyboard may require getting used to as it depresses a little in the middle when you press hard. But it is nothing too big and can be ignored. The same goes for the trackpad; it might take some time for you to use it well. The trackpad doesn’t recognize the pinch-zoom gesture.
This laptop has a charging port, an HDMI port, a USB-C port, and a mic and headphone combo jack on the left. There are two USB 2.0 ports and an SDcard slot on the right. The sound quality of this laptop is impressive. It is very detailed and warm. We noticed that the laptop fan is always on; it makes some noise, but it is not obnoxious.
This laptop is very reasonably priced, so it is a very good choice for Hackintosh. It is a bit old, but the hardware is compatible with macOS and runs without any hiccups. It has enough storage, so you won’t have to replace the SSD. Plus, it uses an Intel graphic card, which won’t present any problem with macOS. However, you’d be required to change the native card for using WiFi and Bluetooth of macOS.
This laptop performs well in all benchmark tests thanks to its Intel Core i7-6500U processor. It uses Intel HD Graphics 620. However, it is not ideal for long gaming as it gets hot. It has 8GB of DDR4 RAM. You can upgrade this if you want your Hackintosh to perform faster.
- Reasonable price
- Lightweight and thin design
- Operates well with macOS
- Can be upgraded
- Generous connectivity ports
- Battery life is poor
- Need to replace the card for using WiFi and Bluetooth with macOS
Battery: The battery of this laptop lasts for around 5 hours. This is not much, but it is not a deal-breaker either. It just takes away slightly from its portability.
Lenovo is a reputable provider of reliable laptops and mobile PCs. The manufacturer has tried to make this laptop thinner, simpler, versatile, and more stylish. This laptop has a 14-inch IPS panel with 1600 x 900-pixel resolution. The colors are vibrant and the images sharp.
The display is sensitive to touch. The 10-point touch screen is sensitive ad responsive to all kinds of touches. This laptop lets you change batteries on the fly, thanks to Lenovo’s Power Bridge technology. As long as the internal battery has power, you can swap batteries. This feature proves useful since this laptop has a 14-inch display that drains the battery quickly.
The hot-swap feature in this laptop comes at a price. To be able to hot-swap, the laptop uses an internal battery. This adds more weight and thickness to the already hefty machine. It weighs 3.9lbs, which is not ideal for carrying around. This laptop has a black casing with a carbon fiber lid. The ThinkPad logo on the back of the lid looks cool. The “I” in the think blinks red whenever the laptop is in sleep mode.
This laptop can take some hard knocks. The integrated roll cage let it survive some drops. It also has a spill-resistant keyboard, which is good to have.
The audio would pass for video conferences and chats, but its music playback is not the best. The speakers are loud, but the sound loses detail at full volume. The keyboard is very comfortable to use. It has a backlight and good key travel. You can also adjust the backlight intensity with three options: off, low, and high. The trackpad offers precise navigation and accuracy, and it is also sensitive, responsive, and pleasant to use. The webcam quality is commendable. It takes good pictures, even in a poorly lit area. This laptop is also generous with ports.
This model is old now, and you can only find its refurbished versions now. That is why we recommend it for a budget Hackintosh. All of its major hardware components work pretty well macOS Mojave. You’ll only face slight problems with the SDcard reader and dock port. But that is common with almost every Hackintosh out there. It is very sturdy and an affordable choice for Hackintosh.
This laptop comes with an Intel Core i5-4200U processor that works at the speed of 1.6GHz. It has 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD. It operates well even with demanding tasks. Its booting time and transfer speed, etc., are fast. It also has Intel HD 4400 graphic card that works fine, but it is not suitable for gaming.
- Very affordable
- Very robust build
- Powerful enough for demanding tasks
- Large LED display
- Hot-swap option available
- Long battery life
- Very compatible with macOS
- Only has refurbished versions available in the market
Battery: Its battery can last for 14 hours, which is a lot. However, that does add some thickness to the bottom of the laptop.
This laptop is a gaming laptop, so it has a solid build and also an outstanding performer. It can handle other tasks such as media editing, entertainment, and word processing pretty well. This laptop has an angular design, which is probably why it looks bigger than it actually is. It is very sturdy but not very portable. It is thick but not that heavy (5.5lbs).
The 15.6-inch display of this laptop has a resolution of 1920 x 1080. We expected more for a gaming rig, but since that is not your purpose for this machine, it’s not a big deal. The screen has an anti-glare coating so that you can use it for long without much discomfort. The exterior of the laptop consists of black plastic. There are red flourishes on the Dell logo, which looks cool. The trim around the touchpad, the exhausts, speaker, and the rubber feet have also got the red color on them. This would definitely attract people who are looking for unique designs.
This laptop has a webcam in the lid above, which works fine and has ok picture quality. It has Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity and 802.11ac dual-band WiFi. The keyboard has a white backlight. The keys feel hard and are durable. The touchpad in itself is smooth and very responsive.
This laptop has three USB 3.0 ports, a headphone jack, an HDMI port, an SDcard slot, an Ethernet port, and one Kensington slot.
This unique looking laptop is powerful enough to work well with macOS. Most of its hardware parts are up to date and compatible with macOS. Its system works fast and is convenient. You may have to upgrade the card reader since it most probably will not work with macOS. The processor and the 4GB GDDR5 video memory will allow the operating system to run smoothly.
This laptop is equipped with a Kaby Lake Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor. It has a memory of 8GB, which is what you need for a Hackintosh. Additionally, it also features a Nvidia GeForce GDDR5 graphic card. Hence, you will breeze through most of the tasks you throw at it. You can always upgrade the system as you wish if you want it to perform even better.
- Solid construction
- Unique design
- Versatile ports
- Supports Catalina
- Powerful processor
- Good display
- Not very portable (heavy and angular design)
Battery: Since it is a budget machine, battery life isn’t impressive. If fully charged, the battery will last up to 5 hours even if you web-surf. At the price that it comes in, it is not a bad deal.
This laptop is for those who want looks and functionality in one unit. It is thin and weighs 1.5kgs. This makes it very portable. It looks very stylish with its all-metal build and metal brush finish. The keyboard of this laptop is designed ergonomically and is very comfortable to use. It is backlit and looks very sophisticated. Its key travel is decent and will let you work without showing any signs of exhaustion. The keyboard had a fingerprint sensor so you can safely use it without having to go through the hassle of putting passwords and then memorizing them.
Its 15.6-inch screen has a resolution of 1920 x 1080. The panel has wide viewing angles so you can enjoy visuals even from a far distance. The display is truly color-enriched. All the images and video content will look vibrant on it. You can further change the display according to your needs. It brings the user four display options, including manual, vivid, eye care, and normal.
The audio quality of this laptop is also impressive. It is very detailed and clutter-free, thanks to the Asus SonicMaster technology. The perfect mix of all the highs and lows gives a crisp and clear sound you’ll enjoy. This laptop is equipped with Asus IceCool technology so that you have a pleasant experience while using it. It uses a combination of pipes and fans to keep to prevent overheating. This laptop comes with one USB 2.0 port, a USB-C port, a reversible USB-C port, an SDcard slot, and one HDMI port. You’ll hardly miss anything here.
This laptop is affordable and has fully functional hardware that operates well with macOS. Its processor and graphics card work just fine with Catalina. Using the disk utility, you can create a partition and install macOS on the SSD. That way, you’ll have faster speeds. The keyboard and the touchpad will interpret all the gestures that you use on Mac. All of its ports also work fine with Catalina, which is impressive.
This laptop uses Intel Core i7-8550U, which ensures its high performance. It has 8GB DDR4 RAM, which allows it to operate smoothly. It has a 12 GB drive and 1 TB HDD storage. The WiFi is supported by dual-band 802.11ac. It will easily handle all of your demanding tasks with ease.
- Most of the native hardware is supported by macOS
- Fast performer
- Simple Hackintosh setup
- Generous with ports
- Good cooling system
- Backlit keyboard
- Stylish build
- MacOS doesn’t support the fingerprint sensor
- RAM needs to be upgraded
Battery: The lithium-polymer battery of this laptop works for more than 8 hours, which is not bad.
This popular budget ultrabook is packed with features and is very portable. It is fast and very well-built. Hence, it will handle all demanding tasks with ease. It looks very clean and professional and hides all the scratches and smudges well. Lenovo has used metal for the whole exterior of the laptop. It is very sturdy, but you can still notice some flex in the keyboard deck. But since it is a budget machine, we cannot expect much from it.
All that aside, it is a fairly compact laptop with narrow bezels and a good performer. The total weight of the laptop is 3lbs. It is light enough for you to carry around. The chiclet-style keyboard has keys with a smooth coating. The overall performance of the keyboard is good but requires some getting used to. It has a white backlight with two levels of brightness. The touchpad is of average size; it rattles a little when you tap it. But it works fine, so there is nothing to complain about.
This laptop has a 14-inch IPS panel. The color accuracy and contrast are suitable for daily use. The two fans and the heat pipe keep the laptop cool during energy-intensive tasks. The sound quality is decent with well-defined highs, lows, and mids. It has an HDMI port, a charging port, a USB-C port, and an audio jack on the left. On the right, you will find two USB 3.0 ports and one SDcard slot.
For a budget machine, it gives good Hackintosh performance. Its graphic card works with macOS Catalina. Its 14-inch display does nothing fancy, but it provides very good visuals on Hackintosh. MacOS support the keyboard, but the fingerprint sensor won’t work. Unlike many other laptops, the ports in this machine work just fine with macOS. However, you will have to replace the WiFi card.
It uses the Intel 8th generation Core i5-8265U processor with a clock speed of 1.6GHz, which goes up to 3.9GHz. Additionally, it doesn’t take much toll on the battery. It has 12GB DDR4 RAM, which is better than standard RAM. Additionally, it has 256GB SSD storage, which you can upgrade later if needed.
- Powerful performer
- Sturdy build
- Stylish appearance
- Generous with ports
- Good dual storage
- Good battery life
- Fingerprint sensor doesn’t work with macOS
- Requires replacement of WiFi card
Battery: The manufacturer claims that the battery lasts more than 9 hours with light use.
If you want a laptop that can keep up with your multitasking demands, you should keep this under consideration. This laptop consists of a combination of plastic and aluminum. The laptop’s base is the same color as the outside, which gives it a modern look. It weighs 2kgs and has a thickness of 19mm, so it is relatively portable.
The hinges are not stiff so that you can open the lid easily. It offers IR face recognition, which works fast. The keyboard is average, with no backlight and slightly shallow keys. It works fine, though with minimal misreads. Moreover, the regular-size touchpad is very accurate and responsive. There is also a fingerprint scanner on the right of the base.
The speakers can be found on top of the keyboard, which is good since it is harder to cover them like this when you put the laptop in your lap. The cooling system is efficient, and most of the hit air blows out through the laptop’s left end. It is good news for right-handers but not so much for lefties. You will find a USB-A port and an SDcard slot on the left. On the right, you can access the HDMI port, charging port, USB-C port, RJ-45 port, two USB-A ports, and a headphone jack.
The 15.6-inch IPS panel display has a resolution of 1920 x 1080. The color accuracy is good for daily tasks, and the viewing angles are wide.
This laptop will help you build a Hackintosh that works without many errors. The keyboard and trackpad work well with the macOS. All the ports also support macOS. What we liked a lot is that you won’t have to replace the WiFi card for wireless connectivity with this laptop, unlike many other options.
This machine uses an Intel Core i5-8265U processor. This quad-core CPU performs better than 7th or 6th generation processors, and it has the ability of Turbo Boosting up to 3.9GHz. The large amount of storage and RAM is impressive. It provides 32GB DDR4 RAM, which is way higher than the industry standard. The improved 1 TB SSD provides you enough space for your files, documents, and dual boot with macOS and Windows.
- Compact and reasonably portable
- Can multitask
- Good connectivity
- Build a stable Hackintosh
- Decent battery life
- You won’t have to replace your WiFi card
- Good storage space
- Graphics are not great
Battery: The battery works for at least 8 hours on a single charge, which is more than enough to get you through a single day of work.
This is a real budget laptop that offers more than you’d expect it to at its price. It is very customizable, which is a good thing. It has a 15-inch screen. Other laptops of this size might look big but not this one.
The weight is evenly distributed across the body of the device. It is also comparatively lightweight. However, this also means that it is a bit flimsy. The panel has some hollowness to it, so don’t be too harsh with the lid when you open it. The HD screen has wide viewing angles. Sadly its color contrast is not good, which means the display is rather dull.
The buttons on the keyboard are solid and well-spaced. The keyboard has a backlight and works well. The touchpad is large and allows you to have extra space for your palm. It supports multiple gestures. This laptop has a USB 2.0 port, a USB-C port, an HDMI port, an Ethernet port, a VGA port, and an optical drive. The good thing about this laptop is that you can upgrade it very easily; all you have to do is remove the back cover.
This laptop, with its 15.6-inch display, is a very reliable choice for Hackintosh. Most of its hardware components work with the macOS system. You can also disable the Nvidia GTX 940MX to prolong the battery life in the macOS system. We also liked the fact that the operating system supported the VGA and Ethernet ports. However, the SD card slot, USB 3.1 Type-C port, and HDMI output won’t work with Hackintosh.
It is equipped with an Intel Core i5 processor. It has 8GB of RAM, which can be upgraded. Still, it is a fairly good multitasker. It has 1 TB HDD storage. Thanks to the processor, it performs well in benchmarking tests. It also features Nvidia GeForce 940MX; however, this doesn’t work well with Hackintosh.
- Very affordable
- Success rate with Hackintosh is 100%
- Can be upgraded with ease
- Fairly portable
- Keyboard and the touchpad work well
- The dedicated graphics might not work with Hackintosh (not uncommon)
Battery: The battery lasts more than 4 hours, which is not very good, but we cannot complain when considering the price.
3. Lenovo Z50
This series by Lenovo has several black and white laptops. This laptop is all black and is made of plastic. It has a kind of futuristic design with its angular edges. The display cover has a matte finish and is a bit shimmery. The top of the base has a metal brush finish, which quickly gets marred by fingerprints.
The keyboard is comfortable to use, but it depresses a little when you push on it, which doesn’t leave a very good first impression. However, it works well, but there is nothing majorly praiseworthy. The regular-sized touchpad is sensitive and decently accurate. There are two left and right-click buttons in place as well.
The 15.6-inch TN display is full HD and has a pixel density of 141 PPI. The color accuracy and brightness are also decent, considering it is a budget notebook. It weighs around 2.3kg, so it is slightly heavy. It has two USB 2.0 ports, a USB 3.0 port, an SDcard slot, a fold-out Ethernet port, an HDMI port, a VGA port, and a headphone jack. For wireless connectivity, it uses an 802.11ac WiFi card.
The cooling system is efficient and arguably silent, even in a quiet environment. The laptop remains cool in everyday usage, but it can get slightly hot when it performs energy-intensive tasks. The speakers perform well. There is not too much detail to the sound, but it is passable.
Most of the hardware components of this laptop are compatible with macOS Mojave. It delivers well with macOS. The 8GB memory is low for a fast experience with macOS but don’t fret; you can get it upgraded. You can also try SSD storage for better performance. The superior display will provide a better viewing experience with macOS. The Hackintosh setup of this laptop is not hard, but you may face some glitches, which is normal.
This laptop uses an Intel Core i7-4510U processor that works at the speed of 3.1GHz speed. It has 8GB memory and 1 TB HDD storage space. The processor is fast and a decent multitasker, but its performance in benchmark tests is a bit erratic.
- Large screen with full HD
- Can multitask
- The processor is fast
- Very affordable
- Generous with ports
- Very compatible with macOS
- Low computer memory
Battery: The battery lasts for four hours with medium brightness while you are browsing the internet. This is not much, but you can’t expect more at this price point.
This Thinkpad model is the third-generation model of its series. With this model, Lenovo has finally achieved what they promised with the first one. This laptop is thin, lightweight, and generous with ports. This laptop is sturdy and well-built. It has a matte black finish that fights off smudges and scratches very well. This 14-inch laptop has still managed to give its users the convenience of an HDMI port, a mini DisplayPort, two USB 3.0 ports, an Ethernet port, and an audio jack. Some users might desire an SDcard slot that’s missing here.
The lid is held tightly by the hinges, and you won’t see any pooling of the display by pressing on it. The trackpad doesn’t click loudly as some other Thinkpad models. You can also find a fingerprint scanner on the right of the keyboard. The cooling system of this laptop is very impressive. It keeps the machine cool, even during energy-demanding tasks, and it is almost silent.
The keyboard buttons are durable and have excellent accuracy. The key travel is praiseworthy. Writers would definitely love it. The trackpad also works very well. The 14-inch touch-sensitive IPS display has an anti-glare coating with a 2560 x 1400-pixel resolution. The matte finish is pleasing to the eyes, while the contrast and color accuracy are pleasing.
This laptop will embrace the macOS warmly. It will provide you an excellent Macbook pro experience. Every hardware component works with the High Sierra, and the laptop performs quite well. However, you’ll have to replace the native card for WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity as they don’t work with the macOS. The docking port also doesn’t work.
This laptop comes with an Intel Core i7-5600U CPU. It has 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD storage. For everyday use, this laptop is strong. If you want to use it for demanding work, you may have to upgrade some components.
- Powerful processor
- Large and vibrant display
- Backlit keyboard
- Fingerprint scanner
- Highly compatible with macOS
- Only has refurbished models in the market
Battery: The battery, when fully charged, can last for eight hours. The charging speed of the battery is very good. In half an hour, the battery charges up to 50% of its capacity.
This 13-inch laptop is compact and a very good performer. The feature that stands out a lot is its Infinity display that has almost no bezels. That is probably why the display looks bigger than it actually is. The rest of the laptop is also attractive but not very thin. The top and the bottom of the laptop consist of aluminum, which gives the laptop a robust feel. The deck on the side uses soft to touch carbon fiber that has a checkered pattern. It is available in rose gold and silver colors.
The non-touch model weighs 2.7lbs, and the touch-sensitive version weighs 2.9Lbs. The difference is not much, but it is still lighter than Macbook Air. This laptop has two USB 3.0 ports, an SDcard slot, a USB-C port (Thunderbolt), and a headphone jack. The non-touchscreen version is available in a 1920 x 1080-pixel resolution with a full HD and matte finish. The color accuracy and contrast is nice.
The audio quality is good, but it gets a bit harsh on full volume. The keyboard is fairly comfortable to use and has good key travel speed. The touchpad is smooth and offers accurate scrolling. Its Killer 1535 WiFi card lets you stay connected to the internet from a respectable range. The webcam quality is good, but we don’t like where it’s been placed. It is at the bottom of the lid. The laptop’s cooling mechanism works pretty well and doesn’t let it get hot after extensive use.
This laptop has also been in the market for a while, so you can find better deals on it. It is a good choice for Hackintosh and will be a stable performer. All of its parts work well with macOS, but you need to make some upgrades to enjoy your Hackintosh to the fullest.
This laptop uses an Intel Core i7-6560U processor that runs at 2.3GHz speed. It has 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD storage. If you want to run the dual-boot on it, you may have to get a 512GB SSD.
- Good display
- Lightweight and thin
- Good audio quality
- Keyboard and touchpad work well
- Supports macOS
- SD card reader doesn’t work on macOS
Battery: The battery has a decent life of 8 hours, but it can decrease on macOS.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Is Hackintosh legal?
Yes, they are legal. If you are building the Hackintosh for your personal use, then it won’t be an issue. However, if you are building it to sell it in the market, you may run into trouble.
2. Do Hackintosh laptops last long?
Hackintosh laptops are mostly used for personal projects. It is more of a luxury item. You can rely on the features and functions of such laptops. But because you mostly build it yourself, you may often run into issues that make it less reliable. They are great if you want a Macbook experience but don’t want to spend a lot.
3. Are Hackintoshes expensive?
It depends on what kind of system you want to integrate it with. If you want to build a reliable Hackintosh and buy an expensive laptop, it might be costly. Otherwise, the main reason for making a Hackintosh is that people want to experience Apple OS without having to pay a lot for it.
4. Can Hackintosh laptops operate with all Mac software?
Many users have found out that Hackintosh can run all software programs that macOS run. Some apps may not run on it, but you can find their alternatives easily.
Hackintoshes have been becoming very popular, and more and more technology enthusiasts are starting to use them. It is always better to learn more about it and then make a decision.
Our favorite laptop among the bunch is the Lenovo Ideapad S540. It is cheap and very compatible with macOS. The final decision is still yours to make. Good luck!