If you want to run OS X, but you can’t bring yourself to buy a Mac, you can find a notebook that is able to run OS X, and hopefully pick up a Mac software experience on the cheap. Be warned, finding a hackintosh notebook isn’t as easy as walking into your local Best Buy.
Most commonly theses systems are referred to as a hackintosh, aka a hacked Mac. There are a number of guides out there for building your own hackintosh mini or hackintosh desktop, but if you want to run OS X on a notebook or laptop you need to be careful which notebook you purchase.
Because this is a hack, you can’t always guarantee perfect results, but with a little bit of research, you can find compatible laptops and notebooks.
The best resource I have found is the OS X 86 Project Wiki. Here, you can find compatible OS X Laptops. You can see which laptops work with which versions of OS X from Snow Leopard to Lion. These notebooks claim to have been tested by contributors to ensure that they work with OS X.
Each of these listings will tell you what system components work, and which need special configurations. Before you buy one of these notebooks, I highly suggest searching the model name and hackintosh to see how smooth the process is for other people. Also, look closely at the final model numbers, as small variances in parts can cause issues. Wireless is often not working, or requires much fussing about.
Below you can see a user who has gotten OS X Lion running on his HP G62-b53SE notebook. You can check out the YouTube description for more details on how he got OS X Lion running on an HP laptop.
If you can use a smaller screen, netbooks often offer easier compatibility with OS X. The Dell Mini 10V was a perfect netbook to hackintosh, but has been discontinued. There are other netbooks out there that are able to function as a hackintosh, which you can see on the Mac OS X netbook compatibility page, a portion of which are listed below.
The basic installation process for OS X can be performed by most tech savvy users. If you aren’t comfortable messing around with files to get the machine working, a hackintosh laptop may not be for you. You can get a feel for the installation process at the OS X 86 Project Installation Guides.
It is important to avoid automatic updates, which could break your system. Keep in mind that if you don’t purchase a copy of OS X Lion from Apple, you are pirating software, which has the potential to land you in trouble.