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April 23, 2013

Preview: New Hackintosh Laptops of 2013

As we've mentioned before, it's extremely difficult to find laptops that can easily be turned into Hackintoshes. Last year, we attempted to address this problem by releasing The Best Hackintosh Laptops of 2012, a list of commercially-available laptops that could run Mac OS X without the need to replace any hardware. The list was eventually divided into two iterations, one for Lion and one for Mountain Lion.

However, the year 2012 has long since drawn to a close; most of the laptops on our 2012 list have been discontinued and are no longer widely available on the retail market. Macbreaker's goal has always been to make Hackintoshing easier for everyone, so with that in mind, a new compatibility list is in order.

LATEST UPDATE (APRIL 18, 2014): Check out our updated list, The Best Hackintosh Laptops of 2013-2014.

Making The New List
Unfortunately, we do not have an extensive list of Hackintosh-compatible laptops ready for publication yet. To be added to our new list, a laptop must fulfill three basic requirements: first, it must use Intel's newest 3rd-generation processors. Second, all of its major features must work with Mac OS X. This includes graphics, WiFi, sound, and sleep mode, among other things (we're more lenient with minor features like SD card readers or HDMI). Third, the laptop must not require any hardware replacements to achieve full functionality in Mac OS X.



This third requirement presents the main difficulty with finding new laptops to add to our compatibility list. There are many laptops with 3rd-generation processors that have all major features working with Mac OS X, but an overwhelming majority of these laptops require you to replace the WiFi card inside. Mac OS X only supports a limited number of Atheros and Broadcom WiFi cards; nowadays, most new laptops are using Intel WiFi cards instead. Since the initial goal of our compatibility list was to find laptops that could run Mac OS X "without the need to replace any hardware", the limited WiFi support of Mac OS X immediately disqualifies these new laptops.

As a result, many of the current favorites in the Hackintosh laptop community still do not meet the standards of our list, including the Lenovo Z580, Lenovo U310, and Samsung Series 7 Chronos. Even the ProBook 4540s, the most popular 2013-model laptop on tonymacx86 right now, still requires you to replace the built-in WiFi card with a more compatible Atheros model. On the other hand, if you don't mind replacing the WiFi card in your laptop (which is actually a relatively easy and pain-free procedure), any of the laptops mentioned above would be a great choice as a Hackintosh.

NOTE: Previous versions of this article mentioned the Dell Latitude E6230 as the top contender for our 2013 list, because its WiFi card was listed as working on the laptop compatibility list on OS X Latitude. Unfortunately, this has since been proven as untrue: the WiFi card in the E6230 still needs to be replaced for full OS X compatibility.

Conclusion
Rest assured, a complete list of Hackintosh-compatible laptops for 2013 is coming. However, to complete this list, we need your help! If you're aware of any 2013-model laptops that fit all three requirements (especially the third requirement about hardware replacements), please leave a comment on this article or privately contact us through info@macbreaker.com. Thank you!

SEE ALSO: The Best Hackintosh Laptops of 2012 - For Mountain Lion