It’s almost impossible to think of life without laptops. As silly as that may sound, we've become completely reliant on computers and the technology we find in them today. Laptops are much more convenient than desktop computers, as you can take them with you practically anywhere you go.
From home to the office, to school, laptops will make sure you are as productive and successful. If you're searching for the best laptop under $1000, you've come to the right place, as we have them all right here.
To find the laptop which suits you best, we first need to set expectations. At this price point, you're not going to get a super-powerful gaming computer as most laptops are not designed for this, anyway.
While there are gaming laptops out there, these are designed for light-to-mid-range gaming. What they're perfect for is general computing, browsing, data entry, writing papers, studying, and some mid-level graphic design/photo/video editing.
Laptops Under $1000 Compared
512GB SSD +
Buying Guide: What to Look for in Laptops Under $1000
Screen Size & Display
You probably aren't going to want a 4K display at this budget, not only because of the price but because of how fast it'll consume your battery. That’s not to say that you can’t get a great display, though.
Choose your screen size based on if you need to see tiny figures or an incredible display. 15-inch displays are the "sweet spot" for most users, though 17-inch displays are more comfortable to work on.
RAM & Storage Space
With RAM, we recommend aiming for 8GB minimum, though this will also depend on what you’re using your laptop for. 8GB is perfect for running Mac and Windows OS, and if you're going to be doing a bit of gaming, it'll do just fine. However, if you like more advanced games or will also be doing some professional work on here, then boost that up to 16GB.
Expect a nice processor here – even a Whiskey Lake 8th-Gen Intel Core 5 if you’d like! You'll have more than enough power to cut through any task like butter while still taking care of your battery life, so you don't have to stay stuck to an outlet.
Battery Type & Life
One of the biggest appeals of a laptop is the fact that it’s portable. However, if your battery can’t survive without being plugged in, you’re not going to be very mobile. There are various benefits to workout outside of your typical workspace: from inspiring new ideas to developing a healthier state of mind.
However, we’ve all experienced a time where we don’t have direct access to an outlet. While that may be an issue for many, it shouldn’t be a one for you as your laptop should last for hours on end without being plugged into an electrical source. We recommend at least an 8-hour-long battery life.
What will you be using your laptop for? If you're using it for design or taking notes, you may prefer to have a 2-in1 convertible model, which can be used as a tablet, too. Your traditional/clamshell laptop is often more durable, and if you don’t need a tablet function, you can often save money by opting for the more traditional version.
Even if you plan on using your laptop just at home, there’s a high chance a time will come when you need to take it somewhere else. You'll want to take a look at the thickness of the laptop when folded, the screen size, and the weight.
A 15-inch screen size or smaller is considered easier to transport as it'll fit easier in a backpack or laptop bag. We also recommend you try to ensure your computer weighs less than 7-8 pounds.
Does your laptop have multimode abilities? This can be helpful if you’re working in groups/with presentations or need something thin and lightweight. Offline mode is found in more modern computers and allows you to work offline while still accessing projects and software for a week or so without logging in again.
A battery saver option is also helpful, as you can set your battery to use less power when you’re performing simple tasks or browsing the internet.
It doesn’t apply to every laptop, but generally speaking, you’ll find longer warranties with higher-priced laptops. It’s not just the upfront price you should look at when making your decision, but also the length of the warranty as this will save you money, time, and hassle.
8 Best Laptops Under $1000 Reviewed
1. Apple MacBook Air Gold MWTL2LL/A
- Stunning 13.3-inch Retina display with True...
- Backlit Magic Keyboard and Touch ID
- Tenth-generation Intel Core i3 processor
- Intel Iris Plus Graphics
Our Top Pick
10th Gen Intel Core i3
2560 x 1600 pixels
Just about everyone has heard of the Apple Macbook Air or has used one. Whether you're editing photos or videos or simply want a high-performing laptop for other tasks, this is one of your top options. While previous models were also top contenders, the 2021 MWTL2LL/A is more powerful and user-friendly than ever before.
Let's start with the display because it's one of the top features Macbooks are known for.
The Verge says, “The Retina Display is commendably sharp, but it doesn’t have the P3 wide color gamut of the MacBook Pro and it runs at an effective 1440 x 900 by default.”
However, when you consider how lightweight and compact it is, the display is one of the best out there at this price point.
Coming in either Gold, Silver, or Space Gray, the exterior has that sleek and modern appearance we’ve come to expect from Apple. The all-aluminum body is also very durable, making it great for travel – even if it's just to the coffee shop.
With a 10th-Gen Intel Core i3 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of internal storage, it's more than enough for just about any task at hand. This also makes it the best video editing laptop under 1000 dollars, due to the power and speed at which it operates.
If you’re a heavy user that isn’t going to be editing videos or photos, it’s also a good option and comes with a user-friendly trackpad size and keyboard.
Now, let’s talk about ports, because everyone seems conflicted. The best laptop for photo editing under 1000 dollars comes with two USB Type-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports and a single 3.5mm headset jack.
While we appreciate the speed and modernity of the Thunderbolt 3s, the fact that there’s only 2 can be limiting if you use external accessories or are plugging in your camera and other gear.
Apple claims the battery life lasts up to 11 hours, though this will obviously depend on what you’re using it for. Overall, you should expect a premium experience but not perfection.
2. HP 2021
- 【17.3" HD+ display】BrightView glossy...
- 【10th Gen Intel Core i5-1035G1】Smart...
- 【Upgraded to 16GB System Memory & 1TB PCIe...
- 【Additional port & Accessories】2 x USB...
Best 17 Inch Laptop Under $1000
Intel Quad-Core i5
1600 x 900 pixels
17-inch laptops are great if you need to see small details or figures, like what's required for design, Excel, etc. However, there needs to be a nice balance with the screen size and bulkiness, which the new HP 2021 has.
You'll benefit from a rather large display but still be able to transport it with ease. The BrightView glossy screen offers vivid colors, and the 1600 x 900 resolution allows for fine detail in photos, videos, games, and more.
If you’re someone who travels often or need something that can hold up to regular use, then the HP 2021 is right up your alley. It may have a plastic body, but it’s notably sturdy and durable enough for daily use.
Its 10th-Gen Intel Core i5 processor is sturdy enough to handle just about any task that you throw at it, too. Customize efficiency based on how demanding your work is; if you need extra power, simply engage the Turbo Boost Technology.
With an entire terabyte of SSD storage, it’s also a great alternative to the MacBook Air for photo and video editing, gaming, and more. One thing’s for sure: you won’t have to worry about running out of space!
Ports and accessory compatibility is super user-friendly, with two USB 3.1 Gen 1 and one USB 2.0 port, an HDMI, one combo audio jack, an RJ-45 connector, multi-format SD media card reader, and more. It even includes an HDMI cable, USB extension cord, and a mouse pad, which are handy and a nice touch.
Also Recommended: Best HP Laptops for College Students
3. Lenovo Yoga 730
- 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS Touchscreen...
- 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8265U Mobile Processor...
- 1 x Thunderbolt 3, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C, 2 x...
- 802.11ac, Bluetooth, Backlit Keyboard, HD...
Best Business Laptop Under $1000
8th-Gen Intel Quad-Core i5
1920 x 1080 pixels
“The Lenovo Yoga 730 has a premium look and feel”, says CNET, and is “a pretty nice little two-in-one for students or the home office where some added flexibility which comes in handy and a thin-and-light design is appreciated.”
This model is a convertible that is compact, making it perfect for workers on the go.
The best work laptop under 1000 is notably thicker than most clamshell models out there, though this is to accommodate the robust hinge, which lets it rotate all the way around to operate in tablet mode.
However, this means that you only have to bring one device instead of two when traveling, which ultimately makes it more convenient. The iron-gray metal chassis not only looks expensive but also adds to the durability. The slim bezels around the full-HD touchscreen add to this, perfectly guarding the excellent display.
The color is great, but we wouldn’t really recommend this one for editing photos or videos. However, if you are using it for work presentations or taking notes, you’ll fall in love. With two USB-C ports and a headphone port, it’s not “bad” by any means, but we would like to have seen at least an HDMI port.
One of our favorite aspects of our user experience with this best 2 in 1 laptop under 1000 is the touchpad. The Windows Precision touchpad offers full multitouch gesture support for 3-finger and 4-finger gestures, which makes switching between programs, hiding windows, etc. a breeze.
Not to mention it's perfect for when you’re giving a presentation as you don’t have to worry about accidentally clicking other links or slides.
Also Recommended: Best Work Laptops Reviewed for Business and Office Work
4. ASUS ZenBook 13 Ultra Slim UX333FA-AB77
- Powerful & fast for effortless on-the-go...
- Durable & reliable: meets the ultra-demanding...
- Long battery life: powered by a high-capacity...
- Exclusive ErgoLift design: an engineering...
Best Option for College Students
8th-Gen Intel Core i7
1920 x 1080 pixels
Are you a college student looking for something easy to carry around and reliable enough to trust it to hold all of your notes and assignments? Then look no further than the ASUS ZenBook 13 Ultra Slim. As the name suggests, it features a thin, lightweight design that is sure to be easier on your back than your textbooks.
With a military-grade metal case, it’s made to be put through the abuse you’ll surely provide throughout the school year and during finals season. The brushed metal finish comes in a few different rich colors – all of which look premium.
However, it doesn’t matter much how a laptop looks if you don’t feel good using it. The ErgoLift design ensures a comfortable position, even after hours of typing. This works by automatically tilting your keyboard, depending on how you have it placed. Not only that, but it works to remain cool, even during long sessions.
For data entry, the ZenBook 13 simply can't be beaten. The ASUS NumberPad transforms your touchpad into a numeric keypad in just a single touch, which is incredible if you’re dealing with numbers. To further the level of user-friendliness found here, you’ll find a USB-C port, USB-A port, HDMI port, and a microSD card reader.
With an i7 processor and 512GB of storage, it's definitely hefty enough to handle regular workloads, no matter what you’re studying. However, don’t expect it to be the fastest on the market.
Also Recommended: Best Laptops for College Students Under $400
5. Microsoft Surface 3
- Clean, elegant design — Thin and light,...
- Choose from rich tone-on-tone color...
- Improved speed and performance to do what you...
- More ways to connect, with USB-C and USB-A...
Best Windows Laptop Under $1000
Intel Core i5
2256 x 1504 pixels
If you look at the best PC laptops under 1000 dollars, you’re very likely to see the Microsoft Surface 3 headlining.
"The craftsmanship of the Surface Laptop 3 is top notch, as it should be for a premium machine" and "is Microsoft's vision of what a tradional laptop should be," says The Guardian.
With an aluminum body that comes in either Matte Black, Sandstone, Cobalt Blue, or Platinum Alcantara, it’s certainly luxury in looks and functionality.
Both the keyboard and trackpad feel natural and intuitive to use, with the trackpad allowing for precise clicks and navigation with its high level of responsiveness. The aluminum casing is durable and smooth yet allows the laptop to remain lightweight and easy to transport.
The 10th-generation Intel Core i5 processor is powerful and quick, and with the 128GB of storage offers a nice amount of space, too. Overall, we found it to be a nice balance of power and compact-ness.
Battery life also proved to be impressive, lasting up to 11 hours with routine tasks. However, when the battery does run low, you'll love the fast charge feature, taking it from 0 all the way up to 80% charge in just an hour!
While they include a USB-C port, it doesn’t support Thunderbolt, which we would’ve liked to have seen. In addition, you get a USB-A port and a 3.5mm headphone port, along with Microsoft's Surface Connect port, which you'll also use as a power socket.
6. HP Pavilion
- Powerful professional performance for your...
- Amazon Alexa: Just ask and Alexa can check...
- BIOS recovery and protection: Automatically...
- Display: 15.6-inch diagonal Full HD IPS...
Best Laptop Under $900
Intel Core i7
1920 x 1080 pixels
If you aren’t looking for flashiness nor the most lightning-fast machine out there, then we encourage you to take a good look at the HP Pavilion 15. It is often considered the best all-around laptop by many; it can run just about anything and is also great if you're a light gamer with Vega 8 graphics.
While plastic construction often feels a bit flimsy, that’s not the case here. In fact, it feels anything but cheap, offering a premium look and user experience. The 15” display is the perfect balance between size and ease of transport as it’s not too heavy but still offers detail.
The 512GB SSD makes for a rapid boot-up and is convenient if you're someone who regularly transfers or downloads large files. Combine that with the 10th-Gen Intel Core i7 processor, and you have a machine that's powerful but still available at an affordable price.
The 10-hour battery life is great for if you travel often so, you don't have to be stuck to a wall outlet. However, keep in mind that if you're watching videos, you're not even going to get 6 hours out of it.
7. Dell 2021 Inspiron 5000 Series
- 【Upgraded】Original Seal Is Opened For...
- 【10th Gen Intel Core i7 Processor】Intel...
- 【High Speed RAM And Enormous Space】RAM Is...
- 【Tech Specs】802.11ac 1x1 WiFi and...
Best 15 Inch Laptop Under $1000
10th-Gen Intel Quad Core i7
1920 x 1080 pixels
512GB SSD + 1TB HDD
If you liked the last model's size but are looking for a laptop with a bit more power, then check out the Dell 2021 Inspiron 5000 Series. Starting with the build quality, we have a plastic body and a metal lid, which offers an excellent combination of durability with flexibility.
You can absolutely rely on the 5000 Series to be tough enough to take with you, no matter how far you’re traveling. The appearance is very sleek with a brushed metal and a natural color that looks industrial yet sophisticated.
A nice selection of ports makes it easy to attach accessories, with 3 USB ports, an HDMI output, and Gigabit Ethernet in addition to an SD card reader. This is great if you regularly need to move files between devices, as well.
The keyboard is convenient enough, with a full-sized num pad, though the keys aren’t the best for extensive typing projects. However, the touchpad is smooth and responsive. The display is average in just about every way, but we wouldn't recommend it for editing photos or videos.
Where it really exceeds, however, is in speed and processing power. 512GB SSD plus 1TB HDD and an Intel Quad Core i7 give it extreme processing power to handle any task with ease.
Couple that with the 16GB of RAM, and you'll have more than enough memory for smooth operation at all times. Put it all together, and it's easy to see why it's the best i7 laptop under 1000 out there today.
8. ASUS ROG G531GT-BI7N6
Best Gaming Laptop Under $1000
Intel Hexa Core i7
1920 x 1080 pixels
If you're searching for the best gaming laptop under $1000 but are feeling overwhelmed with how many options are out there, then look no further. Even the most CPU-intensive tasks can be performed with incredible ease on the ASUS ROG G531GT-BI7N6.
The polycarbonate body is the best you’re going to find in terms of a durability-portability balance. Polycarbonate is made to hold up against bumps throughout travel and heavy use while remaining incredibly low-profile and lightweight.
The two-tone brushed metal finish on the lid looks incredible, and we appreciated the improved view thanks to the narrow bezels on the top and sides. It’s important to note, however, that it does not come with a webcam.
All the heavy gamers know how rapidly machines heat up during intensive gameplay, but due to a heavily ventilated 3D Flow Zone, this is of no issue with this gaming laptop under 1000 dollars. The keyboard feels nice and practical for both gameplay and writing, so if you need something for work, it is also a great selection.
The 15.6" LCD panel offers 1080p full HD resolution with an impressive brightness and accurate colors. However, the biggest selling point is hands-down the way it handles anything from light internet browsing to serious multitasking.
The Intel Hexa-Core i7 processor, along with 16GB of DDR4 RAM and 1TB SSD, means that operation is smooth, even under heavy CPU loads. If you're someone who has a ton of space-sucking files or needs to transfer large ones regularly, it'll make the task much quicker.
Also Recommended: Best Gaming Laptops Under $1000
Extra Laptop Features/Specs to Factor In
Do you want a system based on Windows or Mac? This is all down to personal preference; however, with Windows you can span it across multiple monitors, which is great if you're into video/photo editing, gaming, etc.
USB Type Ports
It’s not enough to just look at how many USB ports a laptop has; you also need to be aware of the type of USB port. Ideally, you’ll have at least one Thunderbolt 3, Type-C, and USB 3.1. The 3.1 is the standard port you’ll use for mouses, many printers, external hard drives, etc. Type-Cs are thinner and more modern, and Thunderbolt 3s are also Type-Cs but are even faster (capable of up to 40Gbps).
The smallest SSD you'll typically find is 128GB, which amounts to about a quarter of the amount a 512GB hard drive can store. 1 TB is a huge amount of storage space, great if you have large files or programs on your laptop. However, a good middle ground would be the 512, where you have a solid amount of space but not so much that it costs you over your budget.
You'll almost always find laptops with integrated graphics; however, we recommend choosing one with at least Nvidia’s GeForce MX150/GTX 1050. This goes double if you’re going to be editing photos or videos or gaming.
One of the most annoying things while using technology is slow load speeds. To avoid this, you'll want a laptop with 4G LTE support, Wi-Fi 6 support, and 802.11ac Wi-Fi for faster download speeds.
No matter what you’ll be using your laptop for, you’ll want a keyboard with excellent tactile feedback that feels nice under your fingertips. Ergonomics aren’t always a given, so look out for this, along with plenty of key travel.
Laptop Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting
The key to keeping your laptop operating and lasting as long as it should is regular maintenance. This is common sense for most of us, though it is easy to forget.
We recommend always keeping foods and liquids away from your laptop and charger, always washing your hands after handling food to avoid oils and crumbs from getting on your keyboard. Regardless, make sure to clean the screen and keyboard at least once a week with a laptop-cleaning spray and soft cloth.
On top of that, try to avoid overcharging the battery to prevent overheating and potentially burning it. However, most laptops also cease charging once it hits 100%. Other issues may include:
Laptop Not Turning On
First, make sure your battery is charged. If it is, hold down the power button for 30 seconds to drain any leftover power that remains, then plug the AC adapter back into your laptop. Once connected, press the power button to turn it back on.
If the power supply is working, it may very well be an issue with your screen. Disconnect all unnecessary external display devices like another monitor.
If your laptop power button is turned on or you hear fans or operational noises but do not see an image, try taking your laptop to a dark room to see if you see any faint image or lights at all. If so, your screen's inverter will need replacing, or your brightness button may be faulty.
If your screen is working along with your power supply, check to see if you’ve left a memory card, USB, etc. in one of the ports. Make sure to remove any as they may be "stuck."
Always make sure you have anti-virus software installed on your laptop. Most will already come with at least a 1-year free subscription of McAfee. Run updates regularly and perform a scan at least once every month or so.
It’s also important to note that if you do end up deleting something suspicious, you must also empty out your recycle bin to rid your laptop of it completely.
First, ensure your laptop isn't sitting in the heat. Don't let it in the path of direct sunlight, as this can cause it to heat up quickly. Check the fans and see if you can feel air coming out of them. If very little or none at all, clean them.
Canned air is probably the easiest and most efficient way of going about this. In addition, elevating your laptop on a stand or using a lap desk are great ways of making sure your laptop doesn’t overheat.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
Are i7 laptops really better than i5 in terms of performance?
While i5 laptops are still great, there is a big difference between the two, which is Hyper-Threading. This allows you to multitask more effectively. It’s ultimately up to you, though – both are excellent options.
How long do laptops typically last?
You should expect it to last up to 5 years with regular maintenance and care.
Is it okay to buy refurbished or renewed laptops?
You can do it and may very well not encounter any issues, though it's not a guaranteed thing, and you're likely to experience more problems than you would a brand-new one.
Where is the best place to start browsing for top laptops under $1000?
Amazon is definitely the best place to go. They have unbeatable prices and offer real reviews from real users, so you know what you're getting. On top of that, shipping is quick, reliable, and will keep your laptop safe.
Now that you know the ins and outs of the best laptops under 1000 dollars, do you know which model you'll use from here on out? No matter which one you get, we are sure you'll be more than happy with it.
However, allow us to once again recommend the Apple MacBook Air 2021. It's lightweight yet durable, speedy, and hefty only in terms of processing power and storage. Not to mention it looks beautiful! We hope that our guide has helped you select the best laptop for you and your needs.
Holly Curell is a US-based freelance writer & editor extraordinaire. With over a decade of writing technical manuals, blog articles, & even company communications, Holly has a passion for providing value to readers on everything she knows about tech-related topics. When she’s not writing, Holly enjoys reading, hiking, wine, & wandering the aisles of Trader Joe’s. Holly is currently based out of North Carolina, where she lives with her husband Ken & their three children.