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The best laptops under $1,000 you can buy right now

The Asus ZenBook 13 OLED is the best laptop under $1,000. It's a budget PC with great performance, thanks to a cutting-edge CPU, a near-premium build quality, and a low-power and high-quality display that's very hard to find at such a low price.

We're not just picking our favorite sub-$1,000 laptops out of thin air, though. We've reviewed hundreds of laptops of all kinds and at all prices, spending thousands of hours doing so. It's a Herculean task for sure (and a lot of fun, frankly), and it has given us great insight into what makes for a good laptop and what holds a laptop back.

ASUS ZenBook Flip 15 Q528EH

ASUS ZenBook Flip 15 Q528EH

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Asus ZenBook 13 OLED

Asus ZenBook 13 OLED

The best laptop under $1,000
HP Victus 16

HP Victus 16

Best gaming laptop under $1,000
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Dell Inspiron 15 Laptop

Dell Inspiron 15 Laptop

The best business laptop for under $1,000
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Apple MacBook Air M1

Apple MacBook Air M1

The best MacBook for under $1,000
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Microsoft Surface Laptop 4

Microsoft Surface Laptop 4

The best thin and light laptop under $1,000
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Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 (Intel)

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7

The best CPU performance under $1,000
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Lenovo Yoga C940 (2022)

Lenovo Yoga C940 (2022)

Best 2-in-1 for under $1,000
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Acer Aspire 5 A517

Acer Aspire 5 A517

The best 17-inch laptop for under $1,000
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Pixelbook Go

Google Pixelbook Go

The best Chromebook for under $1,000
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The ASUS ZenBook Flip 15 Q528EH.

ASUS ZenBook Flip 15 Q528EH

Pros
  • 11th-Gen Intel processor
  • 16GB of RAM
  • Large 15-inch touchscreen
  • Dedicated GeForce GPU
Cons
  • 15 inches is a little large for tablet mode

Why you should buy this: It's the best overall laptop you can buy for less than $1,000.

Who's it for: Anyone who wants the latest performance on a large laptop, but doesn't have a huge budget.

Why we chose the ASUS ZenBook Flip 15 Q528EH:

This Asus Zenbook Flip not only packs an extra-large 1080p 15-inch screen, but it includes a broad range of impressive specs that make it truly impressive just how affordable the laptop remains. We're talking about an 11th-gen Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM to keep up with whatever you have planned, and a 512GB SSD for storage. Those are specs worthy of a desktop replacement, but you don't have to break the bank to get them.

This model also includes a dedicated GeForce GTX 1650 GPU (not the best GTX, but suitable for more casual gaming), plus Amazon Alexa built in. Ports include Thunderbolt 4/USB-C and HDMI.

The "Flip" design means you can switch to a tablet mode whenever you want, with touchscreen capabilities ensuring a smooth experience. That's a little more cumbersome with such a large laptop, but it's useful to have the option, and it underlines that this model really is ready for anything.

ASUS ZenBook Flip 15 Q528EH

ASUS ZenBook Flip 15 Q528EH

hp victus 16 review
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

HP Victus 16

Best gaming laptop under $1,000

Pros
  • Excellent productivity performance
  • Solid 1080p gaming performance
  • Comfortable keyboard
  • Display is good for both productivity and gaming
  • Reasonably priced
Cons
  • Build quality is subpar
  • Keyboard backlighting is limited
  • Poor battery life

Why you should buy this: It's a powerful gaming laptop that doesn't break the bank.

Who's it for: Gamers who don't have a lot of money to spend on a portable gaming machine.

Why we chose the HP Victus 16:

Just a few years ago, it would’ve been unthinkable that you could find a laptop under $1,000 with a graphics card powerful enough to run the latest games without turning the detail settings way, way down. The HP Victus 16 is something of a novelty in that regard. Starting at just $800, it features a fast Intel 11th-gen Core i5-11400H processor, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card. But for just $130 more, you can get the RTX 3050 Ti GPU, which is a great entry-level option for today's most popular titles, and you can configure up to an RTX 3060.

In addition, for just $20 extra, you can upgrade the 16.1-inch Full HD display to 144Hz, helping to avoid tearing during heated gaming moments and providing a much smoother experience at high frame rates. That's not the highest resolution for a large display, but it will match up well with the GPU and enable top performance. In our review, we found the Victus 16 to punch above its class in terms of both productivity and gaming performance.

At this price range, you simply won’t find a better gaming laptop. The HP Victus 16 is without competition when it comes to gaming performance on a budget. If you have more money to spend, then you should head over to our best gaming laptops list.

HP Victus 16

HP Victus 16

Best gaming laptop under $1,000

Dell Inspiron 15 Laptop

The best business laptop for under $1,000

Pros
  • Fast productivity performance
  • Good battery life
  • Solid build quality
  • Good connectivity
Cons
  • Display limited to Full HD
  • No business-specific features

Why you should buy this: It offers everything a business user needs without a business-class price.

Who's it for: Business users who need a fast and functional laptop without needing to take out a loan.

Why we chose the Dell Inspiron 15 Laptop:

These days, an excellent business laptop isn't so different from any other laptop. That's why the updated Inspiron 15 Laptop is such a perfect fit — it's simply a great 15.6-inch laptop with ideal specs for all kinds of business purposes.

You'll find everything you need for your work, including a fast 11th-generation Intel Core i5-11300H processor, HDMI for plugging into televisions and projectors, and a Thunderbolt 4/USB-C port for charging and extra-fast data transfer. Models start at 8GB of RAM and a speedy 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD. Graphics are handled by the Intel Iris Xe, although if you're doing more than basic gaming, you'll want a laptop with a more powerful GPU.

If you're looking for a laptop that will fit your business needs, though, the Dell Inspiron 15 Laptop is an option that will leave some cash left over for additional accessories.

Dell Inspiron 15 Laptop

Dell Inspiron 15 Laptop

The best business laptop for under $1,000

Apple MacBook Air M1

The best MacBook for under $1,000

Pros
  • Apple's M1 blows Intel away
  • Phenomenal battery life
  • Excellent keyboard and touchpad
  • Rock-solid build quality
  • Simple good looks
Cons
  • Supports only one external display

Why you should buy this: It's fast and power-efficient, and will fit in well in the college environment.

Who's it for: Students who want a fast and long-lasting laptop with an awesome keyboard and display, without taking out a student loan.

Why we chose the Apple MacBook Air M1:

When the M1 MacBooks arrived, they completely changed the landscape of the computer industry. Apple’s M1 chip is incredibly powerful and power-efficient. While you could get more performance from the M1 MacBook Pro, theM1 MacBook Air offers a very similar experience at exactly $1,000. Users also get 8GB of unified memory and a 256GB SSD.

The M1 MacBook Air looks a lot like the last few iterations of the lineup, but the M1 comes without any fans. That means you get a powerful and completely silent experience. If you want to upgrade your Mac for a reasonable price, the M1 MacBook Air is an absolute bargain at its price point.

Apple MacBook Air M1

Apple MacBook Air M1

The best MacBook for under $1,000
microsoft surface laptop 4 review

Microsoft Surface Laptop 4

The best thin and light laptop under $1,000

Pros
  • AMD chips widely available in configurations
  • Thinnest 15-inch laptop
  • Superb build quality
  • Great typing experience
  • Long-lasting battery life
Cons
  • Older AMD chips hold back performance
  • Thick bezels, poor webcam

Why you should buy this: It looks great and is incredibly thin while keeping within our $1,000 budget.

Who's it for: Anyone who wants an inexpensive thin and light laptop that looks great and provides good performance.

Why we chose the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4:

Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 3 left a lot to be desired, so the turnaround in just a generation has been fantastic. The Surface Laptop 4 upgrades to 4000 series Ryzen chips, which significantly improve performance. As we note in our review, Ryzen 4000 chips are the most significant jump in performance for AMD’s laptop processors ever, making them a compelling alternative to Intel.

Buyers also get 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD, aiding snappy operation and fast boot times. Combine that with the soft and aesthetically pleasing Alcantara fabric and the laptop’s thin profile, and you have one of the most functional and appealing laptops under $1,000. Battery life and built quality are excellent too. It’s a perfect option for students who want something decently powerful that is a MacBook alternative.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 4

Microsoft Surface Laptop 4

The best thin and light laptop under $1,000
lenovo ideapad slim 7 review 01

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7

The best CPU performance under $1,000

Pros
  • Incredible performance
  • Tiny footprint
  • Record-setting battery life
  • Can handle light gaming
Cons
  • Screen is a bit dim

Why you should buy this: It provides great CPU-intensive performance at a budget price.

Who's it for: Anyone who needs to edit videos and photos but doesn't have the funds for a more powerful workstation.

Why we chose the IdeaPad Slim 7:

Whether it's photo editing or video editing, finding a laptop under $1,000 that can handle your needs will be tough. At least, it used to be that way before AMD released its fantastic Ryzen 4000 line of CPUs. Now, you benefit from a seriously fast processor (albeit a couple of generations behind) for under $1,000, along with reasonably quick graphics.

Fast video editing often requires both a fast GPU and higher core-count processors, and Lenovo's IdeaPad Slim 7 provides a reasonable mix of both thanks to its Ryzen 7 4800U CPU. Meanwhile, both photo editing and video editing require a well-calibrated screen with accurate colors. Unfortunately, the XPS 15, MacBook Pro 15, or Razer Blade that you need are never under $1,000.

Right now, the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 AMD version is hard to find. The product listing leads to Intel-based models with 10th-generation Core i5-1035G4 and i7-1065G7 CPUs. The starting model includes the Core i5 CPU, 8GB of memory (soldered), a 512GB PCIe SSD, an IR camera, and a fingerprint reader. The $1K plus model includes the Core i7 and 16GB of RAM.

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 (Intel)

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7

The best CPU performance under $1,000
The Lenovo Yoga C940 (2022) model.

Lenovo Yoga C940 (2022)

Best 2-in-1 for under $1,000

Pros
  • Versatile 2-in-1 design
  • USB-C connection
  • Excellent build quality
  • 12GB of RAM
Cons
  • Not for gamers

Why you should buy this: It's an updated 2-in-1 that remains affordable.

Who's it for: Busy people who want a portable 2-in-1 that can still do everything.

Why we chose the Lenovo Yoga C940 (2022):

With Lenovo's latest 2-in-1, you don't have to give up anything to get a compact laptop with a tablet mode. In fact, this model sports 12GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and a 10th-gen Intel quad-core processor, so it's more than up to the challenge. Since this 14-inch touchscreen Yoga is a more recent version, you also get benefits like a USB-C connection along with HDMI and USB-A. It comes with a fingerprint reader for security and a fully backlit keyboard when you're ready for laptop mode.

All this being said, you do have to sacrifice some specs to get the price under $1,000, but they're small concessions. We're choosing the Windows 10 Home version instead of the Pro or Windows 11 versions, and a lower option for RAM and SSD storage — which are still high enough to handle basically any laptop activities you have in mind.

Lenovo Yoga C940 (2022)

Lenovo Yoga C940 (2022)

Best 2-in-1 for under $1,000

Acer Aspire 5 A517

The best 17-inch laptop for under $1,000

Pros
  • Large 17.3-inch display
  • Good productivity performance
  • Good connectivity
  • Attractive styling
Cons
  • Display is only Full HD
  • Not Thunderbolt 4 ports

Why you should buy this: It's a large-screen laptop that doesn't require a large investment.

Who's it for: Anyone who needs a larger display for multitasking.

Why we chose the Acer Aspire 5 A517:

Acer has turned its Aspire series into a compelling budget option for many users. The Aspire lineup consistently strikes a balance between price and performance, and the Aspire 5 A517 is an excellent option for those looking for an affordable 17-inch laptop.

The Acer Aspire A517 comes with a powerful Intel Core i7-1165G7 and 16GB of RAM, making the Aspire a competent machine for photo and video editing. It also has robust ports including an Ethernet jack, HDMI, three USB-A (two USB 3.2 and one USB 2.0), and a USB-C port.

Combine that with its roomy 17.3-inch 1920x1080 display, and you’re getting a lot for an affordable price.

Acer Aspire 5 A517

Acer Aspire 5 A517

The best 17-inch laptop for under $1,000
google pixelbook go review 3
Riley Young / Digital Trends

Google Pixelbook Go

The best Chromebook for under $1,000

Pros
  • Portable design
  • Bright, colorful display
  • Speakers are impressive
  • Excellent battery life
Cons
  • Chunky bezels
  • No fingerprint scanner

Why you should buy this: It's the best Chromebook you can buy at any price.

Who's it for: Anyone who wants a Chromebook with a great display, keyboard, and performance.

Why we chose the Google Pixelbook Go:

Chromebooks are excellent budget options, particularly for students. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t some fantastic options in the midrange for Chromebooks. Google’s own Pixelbook Go is not only great by Chromebook standards, but it’s also an excellent laptop in its own right. The typing experience and trackpad, in particular, are exceptional and easily go head-to-head with Apple’s lineup.

ChromeOS has also developed significantly in the past few years, primarily since it now supports Android apps. That makes the Pixelbook Go a functioning Android-like laptop instead of a glorified Chrome browser.

If you’re looking for a Chromebook — either as a student or for travel — the Pixelbook Go is the best you can get right now, and it is well under $1,000.

Pixelbook Go

Google Pixelbook Go

The best Chromebook for under $1,000

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a laptop under $1,000 any good?

Of course! As we said in the introduction, you'll want to be careful when buying a budget laptop to be sure that the manufacturer hasn't cut a corner that you care about. But frankly, the same is true for premium laptops — you can spend over $2,000 and get a laptop that won't meet your needs if you don't carefully identify what's important to you.

In the world of cars, the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla have been two of the best-selling cars for some time now, and for good reason. They're affordable, safe, provide decent performance, and won't break the bank when it comes to maintenance. If you're looking for basic transportation, then you can't go wrong with either of these options.

The same principle applies to budget laptops. You won't get a new Ferrari at a new Honda Civic price, but if what you need is good performance and reliability at an affordable price, then our list proves that you can get quite a bit of computer for well under $1,000.

Should I buy Windows or Mac, or try a Chromebook?

The choice depends on what kinds of tasks are important to you. We suggest that you check out our Windows, MacOS, and Chrome OS buyer's guide, which goes over the differences between each operating system and some of the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Chances are, if you're looking for a laptop that's less than $1,000, then you won't be looking at a Mac unless you're willing to buy the base MacBook Air model. That leaves a choice between Windows and Chrome OS, which is primarily a question of what software you need to run.

If you want the widest selection of software across most categories, then Windows will be your best bet. If you just need to browse the web, run simple productivity apps, and can get away with Android equivalents, then Chrome OS could work.

What processor should I buy?

There are more choices now than ever. You can stick with Intel and get Tiger Lake 11th-generation Core i7 CPUs in laptops that are under our $1,000 threshold. On the flip side, AMD now has a very competitive platform in its Ryzen 5000 series CPUs.

If you want to go well under $1,000, you can get a very fast Ryzen chip or an Intel Core i5, both of which are highly capable processors that will churn through most productivity tasks without hesitation — but the AMD Ryzen will be much faster overall. You can also enjoy good battery life with any of these CPUs.

If you buy a Chromebook, then you can get away with a slower processor, such as an Intel Core i3 or Pentium processor. And, chances are, you won't find many laptops with Core i7 processors in this price range. That leaves the Core i5 and AMD Ryzen 5 as the most logical — and available — processor choices for budget laptops.

How much RAM do I need?

The sweet spot for memory — for any laptop, really, not just budget machines — is 8GB. We answer the question of "how much RAM do I need" in more detail in our buyer's guide, but whether you're running Windows, MacOS, or even the more lightweight Chrome OS, 8GB will provide you with plenty of headroom for multitasking and more complex applications. If you want to do some gaming or video editing in your off-hours, though, 16GB wouldn't hurt.

What graphics hardware should I look for?

Many budget laptops include integrated graphics, traditionally some variation of Intel’s UHD Graphics technology built into its Core CPU. This means that even the most basic laptop can run older games, though they’ll be low res, while still managing your other daily tasks. However, if you’re willing to consider AMD, you’ll get improved performance over Intel’s integrated options.

We’ve included budget laptops with acceptable graphics on our list. These will provide a much better gaming and content-creation experience than Intel’s integrated graphics can manage. If you’re willing to settle for 1080p and lower graphical details, you can get some real gaming done with a few of them.

Can I afford a laptop with a 4K display?

If your budget is less than $1,000, you probably won’t be able to buy a laptop with a 4K display. It’s worth noting that it was challenging to locate Full HD displays under this price until recently. Your average laptop on a budget won’t have the battery strength it needs to support a 4K display. The display would drain your battery immediately, so you’d have to be always charging it, which defeats the purpose of having a laptop.

If you don’t want to fork over the money now, wait for a little while. 4K and batteries adequately supporting this resolution will become the baseline specs seen with today’s Full HD-based laptops.

Are there budget laptops with touchscreens?

There are, although they may be more difficult to find. Our Lenovo Yoga pick is currently a good example, as is the Surface Laptop 4 and other popular choices.

How much storage should a budget laptop have?

This, fortunately, is one of the most flexible laptop specs. You could choose a Chromebook, generally very affordable laptops, that focus on cloud storage, and add an SD card later if you need more space. Or you could choose a laptop with powerful specs and choose one of the lowest storage models to help you save more money. Storage can always be augmented by cloud storage or an external hard drive, so you have room to work here.

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