Recently, I was searching for a hackintosh laptop – I wanted to learn making iPhone apps (and Swift seemed as a neat programming language).
I already had tried out Mac OS X using virtualization. It seemed just the right time to upgrade my laptop anyways and the idea of a hackintosh captivated me. And I didn’t want just any laptop – I wanted the best hackintosh laptop within my budget.
When searching for the hackintosh compatible laptops, the most irritating bit is that most recommendations and lists are polluted with outdated and discontinued laptops or notebooks that often cost even more than the MacBook itself. The lists I found were full of loose ends with little help on what to do beyond the purchase.
And there’s a reason for it – it is hard to compile a list of recent laptops and it is even harder to find all the resources required to kick-start this usually exhaustive laptop transformation.
That’s why I ended up writing this guide. I quickly weeded out the laptops with a set of strict criteria. All laptops I’m going to recommend:
- have 4-th and 5-th gen processors (Haswell and Broadwell)
- are compatible with OS X Yosemite
- are still in the market
- are cheaper than MacBooks themselves or equivalent (at the time of writing all are under $1,000)
- have step-by-step guides specific for their EXACT models or at the very least for their type of laptop with people known to have successfully used them
- have alive forum threads with people who were/are in your current situation
Since most of the laptops I have selected are rather new in the hackbook market – there are risks involved.
So here goes a word of caution!
This is not a list for best hackintosh laptops off ALL TIME. Yes, there are a few a lot more compatible laptops from 2010 – 2012 era but this list is not for that. There are enough guides about these old computers anyways.
I’ll focus on laptops with either good documentation or laptops that are more welcoming to OS X and in result require less manual work to work properly.
There is no perfect laptop for hackintoshing. If you’re building your own tower PC, you can get “golden builds” – a set of parts with either no or minimal issues when installing OS X. In the laptop world – forget about it.
Do not expect that it will install easily and without any problems. You can pray that it will, but do not expect it. If you want 100% compatibility – buy a MacBook.
I’m also here to get you ready for the journey by showing you the best path to a hackbook that was already proven by other people.
If you’re new, you’ll be pleasantly surpised by the hackintosh community. There are many hubs where these wonderful people gather. In this post you’ll see quite a few links to TonyMacx86 since there you can find most guides to laptop hackintoshing.
But no matter how amazing this community is – you’ll have to solve the technical problems by yourself at the end (or maybe your tech friend).
OK, I’ve got it. What now?
Well, I’ll start off from the key requirements for your new PC/MacBook hybrid, the common difficulties and finally – an EXACT list of laptops that you should consider.
Let’s jump right in.