The best laptops under $1,000

You could spend $1,000 on an iPhone, or buy one of these awesome laptops instead

Finding a laptop for less than $1,000 isn’t as hard as it used to be, but finding a good laptop for less than $1,000 is still tricky. In that price range you have to be careful, because each manufacturer prioritizes different features over others in order to keep costs down. Some might offer a powerful CPU on the cheap, but skimp on build quality. Others might spring for a sleek, solid chassis and settle for a sub-par processor. It’s about finding the right balance for your needs.

It should be noted that there are a number of laptops that sell for the marketing price of $999, such as the Google Pixelbook, but those don’t really match the spirit of this category. The laptops listed below are well south of a thousand and prove you don’t need to break the bank to get a decent computer.

At a glance

Product Category Rating
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UA Best laptop overall 4 out of 5
Acer Aspire E 15 Best value 4 out of 5
HP Chromebook x2 Best Chromebook 4 out of 5
Dell G3 Gaming Laptop Best gaming laptop 3 out of 5
Surface Pro 6 Best 2-in-1 laptop 4 out of 5
Dell XPS 13 Best stealth budget laptop 4.5 out of 5

Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UA

The best budget laptop

Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UA
Riley Young/Digital Trends

If you’re willing to compromise a bit on a more premium build quality design, the Asus ZenBook UX331UA is an excellent choice. It’s our pick for best laptop under $1,000. It starts at just $800, and for that price you still get a 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD.

The upgrade to 8th-generation Intel Core processors is probably the most meaningful update in the newest model and brings it up to speed with the other laptops in this price category. Those 8th-generation processors offer a substantial performance boost, even during everyday use, and they’re also more efficient when you’re not pushing the CPU to the max.

Read our full Asus ZenBook 13 UX331A review

Buy it now from:


Acer Aspire E 15

The best value

Acer Aspire E 15 Review
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Available for as little as $350, the Acer Aspire E 15 comes well under our $1,000 threshold, but while it’s price tag may be lacking, its hardware certainly isn’t. Available with 8th-generation i5 CPU, a 1080P display, up to a terabyte of storage and even a discrete MX150 graphics chip if you’re willing to pay a little more, it’s an impressively capable laptop.

Able to offer basic gaming ability with solid battery life despite the use of a full HD 1080P display, this laptop offers a lot for your money. It doesn’t look the most modern, with chunky bezels and thick plastic in places where more expensive hardware might trim the fat a little, but for what you pay you get a lot.

You might find greater performance or a prettier shell in other entries on this list, but none offer as much bang for buck as the Acer Aspire E 15.

Read our full Acer Aspire E 15 review

Buy it now from:


HP Chromebook x2

The best Chromebook

best chromebooks hp chromebook x2

Speaking of saving money, maybe you don’t quite need all that extra horsepower. If you just need a device for checking email, writing papers, or reading Reddit while on the go, the HP Chromebook x2 is a compelling Chome OS 2-in-1. Starting at just $600, the Chromebook x2 is very Surface Book 2-like in it’s tear-off display and stable keyboard base. Chrome OS is a little limited compared to Windows 10 (in that you’ll only be able to run web apps and the occasional Android app), but there’s no need to pay for a full Windows machine if you don’t need to do much more.

The Chromebook x2 performs well during everyday use, has a battery that will see you through a workday and then some, and it’s a thin and light laptop that won’t weigh you down or take up too much room in your backpack.

Read our full HP Chromebook x2

Buy it now from:


Dell G3 Gaming

The best gaming laptop

Dell G3 Gaming Laptop Review
Dan Baker/Digital Trends
Dan Baker/Digital Trends

Just a few years ago it would’ve been unthinkable that you could find a laptop under $1,000 with graphics card powerful enough to run the latest games without turning the detail settings way, way down. The Dell G3 Gaming is something of a novelty in that regard. Starting at just $800, it features a fast 45-watt Intel Core i5 processor, a 256GB SSD, and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card. During our time with the G3 Gaming we were consistently impressed by its robust gaming performance — even if we were underwhelmed by its display quality.

At this price range, you simply won’t find a better gaming laptop. The G3 Gaming is without peer when it comes to gaming performance on a budget.

Read our full Dell G3 Gaming review

Buy it now from:

Amazon Dell

Surface Pro 6

The best 2-in-1 laptop

apple ipad pro vs microsoft surface 6 3

Sometimes a typical laptop just doesn’t cut it. If you need a reliable stylus or a mobile workstation with a creative side, the Surface Pro 6 is your best bet under $1,000. Starting at $900, the latest Surface Pro features an 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage space. It’s a solid performer, and the touchscreen and active pen — which will run you an extra $100 — make this one of the best digital drawing surfaces around.

As a 2-in-1 with best-in-class handwriting recognition and Windows Ink, it’s a versatile mobile workstation with features you won’t find elsewhere, at least not at this price. For that reason, it’s hard to beat if you’re looking for something ultra-mobile and stylus-friendly.

Read our full Surface Pro 6 review

Buy it now from:


Dell XPS 13

The best stealth budget laptop

dell xps 13 vs hp spectre gold 2016 front angle 2 1500x1000
Digital Trends

Including the XPS 13 feels a bit like cheating. The quad-core option the majority of people will opt for — and the one we recommend — starts at $1,100. However, if you don’t necessarily need the extra multitasking power that comes with those two extra cores, there’s the Core i3 model, which currently sells for $850.

That model comes with the same fantastic build quality, trimmed-down bezels, and excellent keyboard you’d get with the higher-end models. So, while the ZenBook UX331UA is a better performer for the money, if you want a budget laptop that doesn’t look or feel like one, this entry-level XPS 13 is a great way to go.

Read our full Dell XPS 13 review

Buy it now from:



Check out the best Green Monday deals for those last-minute gifts

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, but that doesn't mean you've missed your chance of finding a great deal. We're talking about Green Monday, of course, and it falls on December 10.

Here are the best laptop deals for December 2018

Whether you need a new laptop for school or work or you're just doing some holiday shopping for a special someone, we've got you covered: These are the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.

These laptop makers produce the most reliable, quality hardware today

If you want to buy your next laptop based around a specific brand, it helps to know which the best brands of laptops are. This list will give you a good grounding in the most reliable, quality laptop manufacturers today.

These cheap laptops will make you wonder why anyone spends more

Looking for a budget notebook for school, work, or play? The best budget laptops, including our top pick -- the Asus ZenBook UX331UA -- will get the job done without digging too deeply into your pockets.

Leaked AMD Ryzen 3000 mobile benchmarks look fit for thin, low-power laptops

AMD is poised to give Intel a run for its money in the ultra-low-power processor space for laptops. Leaked benchmarks for the Ryzen 3000 APU series show the AMD processor besting Intel's Core i7 Y series in multicore performance.

Apple is spending $1 billion to hire up to 15,000 new employees in Austin

Apple has announced a series of expansions across the U.S. -- including a massive expansion to the company's Austin campus that will see it spending $1 billion to accommodate for up to 15,000 new employees.

Leave the laptop at home, the iPad Pro is the travel buddy to take on vacay

The iPad Pro is a powerful tablet that's perfect for creatives and professionals. How does it fare when traveling with it as a laptop replacement? We took it on a two week trek in Japan to find out.

Will Windows 95 be reimagined? Microsoft’s tweet hints at a throwback

The classic Windows operating system may just be getting a reboot of its own. Microsoft tweeted a cryptic message involving the Windows 95 logo and saying that it had a special announcement for its customers today.

Microsoft Surface Pro 6: Everything you need to know

The Surface Pro 6 is officially here, though it's not as big of a redesign as you might have hoped. With a new coat of black paint and an 8th-gen processor, this is a small update. If you've been eyeing a Surface Pro, you may want to wait…

Style up your MacBook Air with one of these great cases or sleeves

Whether you’re looking for added protection or a stylish flourish, you’re in the right place for the best MacBook Air cases. We have form-hugging cases, luxurious covers and padded sleeves priced from $7 to $130. Happy shopping!

Want to make one hard drive act like two? Here's how to partition in Windows

If you don't want all of your files stored in one place but only have one drive to work with, partitioning is your best way forward. Here's how to partition a hard drive in Windows 10, step by step.

Does Qualcomm's latest laptop processor hold up against Intel's Core i5?

Qualcomm has been nipping at Intel's mobile CPU heels for years and now it might finally have overtaken it. To find out whether it's new SoC can hold its own in mid-range computing, we pitted the Snapdragon 8cx vs. Core i5.

Not just for Lightroom anymore, Loupedeck+ now works with Photoshop

Loupedeck+ can now help photographers edit in Photoshop too, thanks to physical controls for swapping tools, running actions, and more. The photo-editing console expanded to include Photoshop in the list of compatible editing programs.

Turn your Raspberry Pi into a Steam streaming hub with Valve’s Steam Link app

Valve's Steam Link app is now fully supported by Raspberry PI hardware, meaning that just about anyone with a few dollars to spare can build their own Steam streaming box in a matter of minutes.