If you are a Windows user, you will be able to build your own computer when you don’t find a model that meets all your requirements. But, what about Mac users? This is where things get difficult because, since Apple’s software and hardware do not come separated, building custom Macs is a very difficult process. However, if you really need a fully functional custom-made computer that runs on macOS, and have the time and money to spend on the same, you should consider building a Hackintosh.
What is a Hackintosh?
As the name suggests, a Hackintosh refers to a non-Mac system that has been ‘hacked’ or made to run the Apple operating system, macOS. The system used for this purpose can be anything, a custom-built computer that you made on your own or a usual commercially manufactured unit. As mentioned before, the macOS operating system is known to be incompatible with any regular PC; however, when you have the determination, resources, and the right hardware, it is actually possible.
When it comes to building a Hackintosh, the wise choice would be to do so in a custom-built machine. While this means having to deal with the various technical issues on your own, which could be a matter of concern for many, the fact that this method will save you a hefty sum while leaving you with a reliable and powerful machine is an attractive prospect.
So, if you have decided to Hackintosh a laptop, here are our best picks for the same:
5 Best Hackintosh Laptops of 2019 – Our Favorite Picks
|Model||Check Latest Price||Processor||RAM||Storage|
|Dell XPS 15 9570||Intel Core i5-8300H||8GB||256GB SSD|
|HP Spectre x360||Intel Core i7-8565U||16 GB||512GB SSD|
|LG Gram 15Z980||Intel Core i5-8250U||8 GB||256GB SSD|
|Lenovo S145||Intel Core i7-8565U||12 GB||256 GB SSD|
|Dell Inspiron 15 5000||Intel Core i7-8550U||8 GB||128GB SSD + 1TB HDD|
Below we’ve listed a recommended laptop and a laptop which offers the best value for money. If you want to jump to our awarded laptop directly, then you can click the button below.
Top Hackintosh Laptops Reviews
1. Dell XPS 15 9570 Laptop
Processor: Intel Core i5-8300H | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB SSD | Display: 15.6″ FHD | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 4GB | Weight: 4.5 lbs | Battery Life: Up to 8 hours
The XPS range of laptops from Dell, where XPS stands for Xtreme Performance System, is one of the most desired lineups available on the market. As their name suggests, these are laptops that are offered as a combination of modern designs and high-end specifications and components, which together make them a great choice to Hackintosh.
In general, XPS laptops come with some unique features that most other Dell laptops do not carry. Two of these features are their machined aluminum chassis and carbon fiber palm rest. The 9570 is a relatively recent introduction in the XPS lineup, one that comes with some amazing specifications, making the laptop a wise choice to Hackintosh.
First of all, if you want your Hackintosh to be equally good-looking as it is efficient, you wouldn’t be disappointed with the Dell XPS 15 9570 laptop. The overall design of the laptop is sleek, modern, and professional. Weighing 4.5 pounds and with a thickness of 0.6 inches, this is certainly a portable model and the device is known to be thinner than the MacBook Pro, which is indeed a highlight.
With its 15.6-inch full HD 1080p InfinityEdge anti-glare non-touch IPS display, the laptop gives you really decent display features, preventing reflections and providing great viewing angles. Moreover, the InfinityEdge feature, with the 5.7mm bezel, maximizes screen space, giving your Hackintosh a good display to work with.
The device includes the 8th generation Intel Core i5-8300H processor, with maximum clock speeds of 4 GHz. If you need something more powerful, you also have the 8th gen Intel Core i7-8750H processor, with 4.1 GHz as maximum clock speed. The latter is known to be 50% faster at processing tasks, which will be a perfect option for you if your regular tasks with the Hackintosh will be very demanding.
When it comes to system memory, you can choose between an 8 GB RAM and a 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) RAM, and the storage space for both these models is 256 GB PCIe SSD. For graphics, the laptop includes NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 with 4 GB GDDR5, which gives you sufficient power to play high-resolution games in their medium to high graphics settings.
As far as choosing the Dell XPS 15 9570 to Hackintosh, the device is being vouched by a lot of users who have performed the transformation. The laptop supports Apple operating system with a wide range of its features, including support for the high-end processor, FHD screen, and the dedicated GPU.
2. HP Spectre x360
Processor: Intel Core i7-8565U | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 512GB SSD | Display: 15.6″ 4K | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce MX150 | Weight: 4.5 lbs | Battery Life: Up to 14 hours
Known for its extremely stylish looks and high-end specs, the HP Spectre x360 is a powerful machine available on the market today, and when it comes to the best Hackintosh laptops, this one is a no brainer. This is mainly because the laptop uses standard RAM and Intel processors, which makes it easy for you to convert it into an almost fully functional Hackintosh.
The HP Spectre x360 is, without a doubt, one of the stunning laptop models of all time. The device looks really stylish, with its dark ash silver exteriors. The sandblasted finish gives it a sophisticated look, and when the brass trims combine with these design aspects, you easily get a device that stands out from all Apple machines. Therefore, if you are looking for an extremely stylish device, even better than Apple’s MacBook, then this should be it. The device weighs around 4.5 pounds and has a thickness of 0.8 inches.
This best Hackintosh laptop comes with a 15.6-inch diagonal 4K IPS eDP micro-edge BrightView WLED-backlit display, with resolution 3840 x 2160. While the laptop is also available with 1 13.3-inch display, choosing the 15-inch one gives way to upgradability, by enabling you to remove the Wi-Fi card, the SSD, and also the RAM for your changing needs in the future. Obviously, the 4K display gives you great visual and color output, and the micro-edge display provides a bigger screen space. The touchscreen is really responsive to natural finger-touch navigation.
The Spectre x360 is powered by the newest 8th generation Intel Core i7-8565U processor, which is one of the fastest and most powerful processors available in the market today. With such a powerful processor, your Hackintosh can be used to perform even the most demanding tasks, let alone regular multitasking.
The device comes with 16 GB system memory and 512 GB SSD for storage, which you can upgrade when Hackintoshing. If you wish, you can also choose between 1 TB and 2 TB storage options straight off the bat. The GPU option here is the NVIDIA GeForce MX150 with 2 GB GDDR5 dedicated video memory, which is powerful enough to let you play your favorite games as well as use the Hackintosh for some creative tasks.
3. LG Gram 15Z980
Processor: Intel Core i5-8250U | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB SSD | Display: 15.6″ FHD | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | Weight: 2.5 lbs | Battery Life: Up to 14 hours
For those of you looking for an extremely lightweight machine to make a Hackintosh, weighing less than 2.5 pounds, the LG Gram would be an excellent choice. This ultraportable laptop comes with many impressive features, which make it a good choice to be hackintoshed.
It is the weight of this laptop that will catch your attention first. As mentioned, the device weighs just 2.4 pounds and has a thickness of 0.6 inches, which makes it an ultraportable laptop that can be used by frequent travelers without any concern about portability. The fact that it is indeed a 15-inch laptop in this weight is what makes it score high. Though the laptop is extremely light in weight, it is still really durable, which is also made evident by the many military-grade tests performed by the company.
The LG Gram 15Z980 Hackintosh laptop comes with a 15.6-inch full HD IPS LCD screen. Firstly, the 15.6-inch screen is accommodated in the laptop’s compact body is a remarkable achievement, and this can be beneficial to you regardless of your purpose behind building a Hackintosh. The full HD display is able to deliver vivid colors and good overall visual output; but, the brightness could have been better. However, the viewing angles of the laptop are really good.
This Hackintosh device is powered by an Intel 8th generation i5-8250U processor, which is capable of delivering the level of performance you demand. Of course, you can easily change the processor while hackintoshing. One more processor option you get with the device is Intel Core i5-8265U processor, which is an updated version and allows you to use the Hackintosh for various demanding tasks. In terms of system memory and storage, you get an 8 GB RAM and a 256 GB SSD, both of which can be upgraded to meet your requirements in your Hackintosh.
The graphics processor included in the LG Gram 15Z980 is Intel UHD Graphics 620, which only enables casual gaming and some basic editing tasks. However, when you transform the system to Hackintosh, you can upgrade the graphics card to a version that you know will suit your needs.
4. Lenovo S145
Processor: Intel Core i7-8565U | RAM: 12GB | Storage: 256GB SSD | Display: 15.6″ FHD | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | Weight: 4.08 lbs | Battery Life: Up to 7 hours
If there is a strict budget that you need to stick to, but also need a laptop with good specs and features for hackintoshing, take a look at the 2019 Lenovo S145. This is one of the mid-range laptop models from Lenovo, and of course, comes with both benefits and a few pitfalls. Regardless, this is one of the few laptops you can rely on when it comes to running macOS on it.
The latest Lenovo S145, unlike most other Hackintosh laptops on our list, carries a really minimalist look. Regardless of this simple design, it does look stylish and elegant and will be a popular choice among students and working professionals alike. The dual-tone interior of this laptop is another great aspect in terms of its design. The device weighs 4.08 pounds and has a thickness of 0.8 inches, which means this is one portable laptop that you can easily carry around.
The display you get with the 2019 Lenovo S145 is a 15.6-inch full HD LED-backlit non-touch display, with a screen resolution of 1920 x 1080. While the overall display is capable of delivering good color and visual output, as well as decent levels of brightness, the anti-glare coating on the screen helps prevent reflections when you use the laptop in different lighting conditions. Once again, this laptop is also designed with a narrow bezel, which gives you plenty of screen space as well as makes the laptop look sharp and clean, unlike those with heavily thick bezels.
Powering up this Hackintosh laptop is the latest 8th generation Intel Core i7-8565U quad-core processor, which has a maximum clock speed of 4.6 GHz, thanks to the eight-way processing power. This high-efficiency power of the processor makes it an incredible choice for those of you who will be performing heavily power-intensive tasks. For system memory, you get a 12 GB DDR4 RAM, and for storage, you have a 256 GB SSD, with which you can expect to get good performance and speeds. However, you can also choose to upgrade these specs in your Hackintosh.
The 2019 Lenovo S145 carries an on-processor graphics card, the Intel UHD Graphics 620, with shared graphics memory, and this GPU is capable of enabling you to perform only some basic tasks, such as casual gaming and basic photo or video editing. If your daily tasks are graphics intensive, then you may have to think about upgrading this feature as well in your new Hackintosh.
5. Dell Inspiron 15 5000
Processor: Intel Core i7-8550U | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD | Display: 15.6″ FHD | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 | Weight: 4.4 lbs | Battery Life: Up to 8 hours
The last best Hackintosh laptop on our list is the Dell Inspiron 15 5000 (5575), a mid-range laptop from the popular Inspiron series. The device comes packed with some really useful features and specifications, right from a powerful processor to a whole lot more, which makes this laptop a viable option to hackintosh.
In terms of looks, this Inspiron laptop is pretty basic, carrying a shiny silver finish. Though the silver finish on the device gives it a sophisticated look, a huge drawback pertinent to design is that it is made entirely of plastic. Regardless of the plastic used in building the machine, its quality remains and is one of the most durable laptops you can rely on. The laptop is built in such a way that it doesn’t flex under pressure. It weighs 4.4 pounds and has a thickness of almost 0.9 inches, which leaves its portability at the average range.
The display you get with the Dell Inspiron 15 5000 (5575) is a 15.60-inch full HD TrueLife LED-backlit display, which is what you commonly see on laptops in the price range. With a screen resolution of 1080p, the display is able to deliver good color and clarity, and the brightness is good as well. However, the viewing angles still need improvement, and this could be a troublesome aspect when you use your Hackintosh for longer durations. And unlike many other Hackintosh laptops on our list, this one has a thick bezel, which is yet another display-related downfall.
The device is powered by the 8th generation Intel Core i7-8550U quad-core processor, which delivers eight-way processing performance, and similar to every other processor, you can get that extra boost in performance using the Turbo Boost mode. The Inspiron 15 5000 (5575) has a system memory of 8 GB and when it comes to storage space, you can choose between a 256 GB SSD and a combination of 128 GB SSD + 1 TB HDD. As always, if you are not satisfied with one or more of these specs, you can upgrade the same on your Hackintosh.
Frequently Asked Questions
As mentioned earlier, hackintoshing is definitely not an easy process. Therefore, it is natural for everyone to have a lot of doubts and questions on the topic. Following are some of the frequently asked questions and answers to the same:
💡 Can I Hackintosh?
While you may be interested in hackintoshing, not everyone would be the right candidate to do it. To know that you will be able to do it, there are some minimum requirements in terms of knowledge pertinent to technology, computers, and more. Some of those requirements are:
- The utmost minimum requirement is, you should be able to surf the internet. This might sound absurd because it is something so basic, but this is definitely a requirement any person interested in hackintoshing should meet.
- You must have sufficient knowledge about your computer or laptop. Some of this knowledge includes knowing: the brand, model and generation of the CPU; size, speed and timing of the RAM; model of the laptop, which gives you the motherboard information; the different types of ports available on the device, such as USB ports, ethernet port, audio and video input, etc.; the storage type and size supported by your machine; the type of firmware supported by the motherboard; and, GPU details;
💡 How can I find out if my laptop can be Hackintoshed?
As you would be aware, first and foremost, when you choose a laptop to Hackintosh, you need to make sure that its hardware is suitable to run macOS. To do this, take a look at the device’s specifications. Any laptop powered by the Intel I series processors will be automatically suitable for the transformation.
When it comes to the other specs in the laptop, such as Wi-Fi, graphics card, sound, etc., the most important of them all would be the graphics card, which should also support the Apple OS. This you can easily determine by performing a simple web search. And when you know that all the important components are supported for hackintoshing, you can proceed with the purchase.
💡 How much does it cost to Hackintosh a laptop?
The cost associated with hackintoshing a laptop basically depends on the type of device you want. Based on your requirements, you can build a machine that costs under $300 and the cost can go all the way up to $5000 or more. The one thing you should keep in mind is that the amount you spend on hackintoshing a laptop shouldn’t exceed what you would otherwise spend on the latest MacBook, which is naturally higher.
💡 My laptop runs on an AMD processor, will I be able to Hackintosh it?
No. Since only Intel processors are supported by Apple, you wouldn’t be able to Hackintosh your device.
💡 Will my Hackintosh be a replacement for a real MacBook?
When you choose a laptop for Hackintoshing, there will be some models that require absolutely no modifications done to the hardware to make it work properly. On the other hand, there will also be those devices that require at least some level of hardware modifications, even if it is something as simple as changing the Wi-Fi card. But, it has to be understood that no Hackintosh will ever be a real MacBook.
Remember, when you choose to Hackintosh a laptop, what you ultimately get is a decent laptop and not the best one at that. Also, keep your expectations low and do not expect it to be as good as a MacBook in any way and it wouldn’t do well as your primary laptop. And there is every chance for the hardware to become incompatible, to an extent that you can no longer update the same.
💡 How long will it take to Hackintosh a laptop?
Hackintoshing a laptop actually takes more time when compared to hackintoshing a desktop. This is mainly because, since you don’t get to decide upon the laptop hardware, laptop hackintoshing usually involves higher trial and error scenarios that you must successfully overcome. If you will be starting from scratch and there are quite some changes to be done in the hardware, hackintoshing could take a few weeks, and sometimes even longer.
One effective way to reduce the time you spend on hackintoshing a laptop is to join an active forum where there is an ongoing discussion about hackintoshing the laptop of your choice. It could either be a completed or an ongoing process. This will get you all the information you need on a single platform, thus significantly reducing your hackintoshing time.
💡 Will a Hackintosh adapt to software updates?
Perhaps the biggest downfall of a Hackintosh laptop would be the concern about the system becoming useless after specific updates, especially major ones. While you don’t really have to be concerned about most of the minor application updates, which can be done easily without the system getting damaged, with major OS updates, however, the system can break.
💡 Will all MacBook software or applications run on a Hackintosh laptop?
No. While most of the applications, programs or software will run on a Hackintosh laptop, there are a few that check beforehand to make sure that they are indeed running on a Mac device.
💡 Do I need any additional components to build a Hackintosh laptop?
When building a Hackintosh laptop, first and foremost, you, of course, need compatible hardware, including the processor, graphics card, display, and more. As a result, you wouldn’t need any additional components for hackintoshing. However, if there is one component that is not supported by a Hackintosh, it would be the Wi-Fi card. For instance, if your Hackintosh laptop includes an Intel Wi-Fi card, it wouldn’t be supported by Apple’s operating system, in which case you need to change it to a different one in order to be able to use the Wi-Fi feature on the device.\
Buyer’s Guide for Hackintosh Laptop:
Why Build a Hackintosh?
There are a lot of reasons why building a Hackintosh would be the right choice, and some of the best ones are as follows:
You Choose the Specs
One of the top reasons why building your own Hackintosh would be a good choice is because you can choose the device’s specs on your own, based on your requirements. When it comes to a computer or laptop’s specifications, users generally think about the different processor options and storage solutions available to them. But, it actually goes beyond that and also includes the number of ports available in a device and more. For instance, if you know that you will need several ports and the new Mac doesn’t offer that many, you can easily build a Hackintosh that has as many ports as you need.
Right from something as straightforward as the processor speed to the size of the system memory, and everything in between, you can choose every single aspect of the device. In addition, you can also make your computer future-proof, by including upgrading options in very hardware you can.
In addition to having the flexibility to choose your own specs, with building a Hackintosh, you also get the flexibility to use various device options. A Hackintosh allows you to break all standard barriers and run macOS on a wide range of devices, including your smart home system, media center, or even a tablet. This level of flexibility was previously available only with Windows. On the whole, you get to look beyond the standard designs you otherwise get from Apple.
MacBooks are always known for their durability. However, like any electronic device, they will grow old and become dated, at which point you will have to analyze the market for new devices, look at their prices, which usually tend to be on the higher end. And as you know, Apple laptops are always on the premium end of the spectrum. But, when you choose to build your own Hackintosh, you will be spending a significantly lesser amount for a similar quality laptop. And things will be much easier if your old machine already runs on macOS because you will have easy access to the software and other components you will need to build a Hackintosh.
Above all, this is an excellent opportunity for you to learn something new, challenging, and interesting. While building a Hackintosh laptop is not as hard as many of you might think, it is not an easy feat either. There are a lot of steps involved in the process, each of which should be completed with the utmost care, and no matter how careful you are, you will most likely face challenges along the way. But, what matters here is that you get the chance to learn everything about your PC or laptop, which will be useful to you in many future endeavors
💡 How Do You Know that a Laptop Can be Hackintoshed?
If you think Hackintosh is as simple as 1-2-3, you are wrong. It is important that you be realistic and expects to encounter struggles and bugs along the way and the efforts you need to invest in order to overcome the same. Before anything, you need to be able to identify that any particular laptop can be Hackintosh, which can be done using the following tips:
- The device you choose should run on a latest Intel processor and not an AMD processor because AMD processors are not compatible to be Hackintosh.
- The laptop you choose should come with a price tag that is significantly lesser than that of a MacBook.
- Of course, the laptop should be able to work with the latest version of the Apple operating system.
- You should be able to find a guide to install macOS on the laptop of your choice.
- You should be able to find an exclusive forum or any other platform where users discuss the installation of macOS on the device, the issues with the same, and various other important information.
Hackintosh laptops are certainly not perfect, because even after you make sure that your laptop meets the hardware requirements to be converted into a Hackintosh, supporting macOS, you are still likely to encounter petty issues, such as with the Bluetooth, Wi-Fi card, etc. Not just that, it could be quite hard to install and configure macOS on certain Hackintosh laptops. And as mentioned before, updating the operating system can sometimes lead to huge problems and can go as much as breaking the system.
Even if you have your own reasons to not build a Hackintosh laptop, go through some online articles, comments, and other sources, and you will definitely be impressed by knowing what many users were able to achieve with their hackintoshed machines. Yes, it is clearly worth it to build a Hackintosh laptop.
Whether it is the cost factor that attracts you, the fact that you get to learn something new, or the satisfaction of building your very own machine, hackintoshing a laptop will be beneficial to many in different ways and would be one of the smart decisions you make. Just remember that hackintoshing a laptop voids any warranties that the hardware components come with.