You can find a laptop to match just about any budget. You can get an inexpensive Chromebook for casual web browsing, or a high-powered machine for video editing or gaming. However, many people feel that the sweet spot is around $1,000 or less.
This price range gives you the option of an entry-level premium notebook or a fully-loaded mid-range device. If you’re looking for the best performance and portability, though, it’s worth spending a little extra.
Among laptops that cost less than $1,000, we particularly like…
These are the best laptops under $1,000:
- Apple MacBook Air M1 (2020)
- HP Envy x360 15z
- Microsoft Surface Laptop 4
- HP Spectre 13
- Dell Inspiron 3501
The new MacBook Air M1 is a powerful machine that easily surpasses its predecessor. With a longer batterylife,a faster processor, and a smoother design, the MacBook Air M1 is the clear winner in the laptop market.
We’re currently evaluating the latest version of this laptop as the model we reviewed here appears to be no longer available. If you’re in need of a laptop now, we recommend checking out one of our other top picks.
The HP Envy x360 is a great laptop for those who need a larger screen without breaking the bank. We’re usually wary of $500 laptops, but this one proved that you can get a great laptop without making sacrifices. Inside its beautiful body, the HP Envy x360 houses a
Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 4 is a slim, portable machine that packs a lot of features. It has a beautiful high-resolution display with a 3:2 aspect ratio perfect for web browsing, a smooth and accurate trackpad, and a quiet backlit keyboard with 1.3mm of key travel. Plus, eight hours of battery life assures you can get through the workday on a single charge.
This laptop has some great features, like face recognition for quick login, a touchscreen, USB-C and USB-A ports, and a Windows installation without all the extra bloatware from the manufacturer.
It does still come with the usual pre-installed games like Candy Crush and Farm Heroes, but at least you’re not getting bothered with notifications all the time from those (like you do from the antivirus trials that come on so many laptops these days).
The Surface Laptop 4 has a few small issues. The keyboard has a bit of flex and Microsoft’s proprietary charger is more annoying to use than a standard USB-C charger.
However, the charger does have an extra USB port in the power brick, so you can charge your phone at the same time. I also worry about the fabric keyboard discoloring over time, but these are minor nitpicks.
Although there are a few things we would change about the Surface Laptop 4, they are very minor. For example, the keyboard has just a slight amount of flex to it and Microsoft’s charger is not as easy to use as a standard USB-C charger would be. However, the charger does come with an extra USB port so that you can charge your phone at the same time.
Additionally, the fabric keyboard may discolor over time, but this is a very small detail and Microsoft claims that it can be cleaned easily with soap and water.
We tested the Intel Core i7 model and found it to be one of the fastest laptops we’ve reviewed. The AMD Ryzen model is available with even better performance and battery life.
We only managed to squeeze eight hours of battery life from our unit, but many users claim they can get north of ten hours or more. This inconsistency holds it back from being the best Windows laptop we’ve tested, but it’s still a good laptop.
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