The best laptops under $1,000 will rock the best features, offer outstanding performance, excellent battery life and portability without poking holes in your pockets. And, getting a great laptop doesn’t have to be an expensive affair. There are tons of sub-$1000 out there; whether you’re looking for a svelte business laptop that lets you work on the go, an inexpensive gaming laptop or a 2-in-1 that you can use in laptop or tablet mode.
The Asus ZenBook 13 UX333 tops our best laptop under $1,000 list. It’s a midrange laptop with class-leading performance thanks to its solid feature set including a cutting-edge CPU, premium build quality, and a vivid display that’s hard to find at its price.
Our favorite picks for the best sub-$1,000 laptops have been selected from the hundreds of laptops we’ve reviewed and some that we’ve tested, spanning all price points, all kinds and after spending hundreds of hours doing so.
For sure, it’s not an easy task to decide which laptop is good or bad, but the experience and interaction we’ve gained over the years has given us. Insight into what makes a good laptop, and what really holds a laptop back.
Best laptops under $1,000 at a glance
- Best laptop under $1,000 overall: ASUS ZenBook UX333FA-DH51
- Best gaming laptop for under $1,000: Lenovo Legion 5
- Best business laptop for under $1,000: HP Pavilion 15-cs3019nr
- Best laptop for students for under $1,000: Asus VivoBook 15 (F512JA-AS34)
- Best laptop for photo and video editing for under $1,000: MSI Modern 14 A10RB-459
- Best 2-in-1 for under $1,000: Microsoft Surface Pro 6
- Best Chromebook for under $1,000: Acer Chromebook Spin 311
Best laptop under $1,000 overall
CPU: Intel Core i5-8265u 1.6GHz | Graphics: Intel HD | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 13.3″ FHD (1920×1080) | Storage: 256GB PCIe G3x2 SSD
The ASUS ZenBook UX333FA is a direct competitor to Dell’s XPS 13 that has hogged our top spot for the past few years. Though not as quite as good as the Dell XPS 13, the ZenBook 13 manages to deliver great performance, practical portability and a very affordable price tag. Unlike most laptops in the sub-$1,000 realm, it’s slimmer, compact and sport an alluring blue-and-gold look Asus debuted earlier on the more expensive ZenBook 3.
Even its internals are quite impressive, and that adds to more reason we think it’s one laptop that’s likely going to dethrone the Dell XPS 13. The display has thin bezels, something you can find on earlier models, and the chassis is constructed from durable metal that feels luxurious in-hand.
Read our full ASUS ZenBook UX333FA-DH51 Review
Best gaming laptop for under $1,000
CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 4800H| Graphics: Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 15.6″ FHD (1920×1080) | Storage: 512GB SSD
Lenovo is known for business laptops, but in recent years they have popped into the gaming category with a punch. Last year, they released the Ideapad L350 that was a strong contender in the midrange gaming category, and for 2020, we have the Legion 5 that features a graphics card powerful enough to run the latest games without turning detail settings way, way down. For under a grand, you simply won’t find a better gaming laptop, a and the Lenovo Legion 5 (82B1000AUS) is without a peer when it comes to gaming performance on a budget.
Best business laptop for under $1,000
CPU: Intel Core i7-1065G7 | Graphics: Intel iris Plus | RAM: 16 GB | Screen: 15.6″ FHD (1920×1080) | Storage: 512GB SSD
These days, an ideal business laptop isn’t so different from any other productivity laptop. That’s why the refreshed HP Pavilion 15 is such a perfect fit — or simply said, it’s a gorgeous 15.6-inch laptop, with a 10th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, lots of RAM, fast SSD storage, a comfortable keyboard and excellent battery life. Connectivity is great for all your gadgets, it even includes USB Type-C, and audio is offered by Bang & Olufsen. With integrated graphics, it won’t be good for complex gaming, but that’s not why you’re buying this laptop, after all.
Read our full HP Pavilion 15-cs3019nr Review
Best laptop for students for under $1,000
CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core i3-1005G1 | Graphics: Intel HD | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 15.6″ FHD (1920×1080) | Storage: 128GB SSD
Both college and high school students will love this iteration of our favorite VivoBook 15. And, there’s another group that will appreciate what this laptop had to offer – those working from home, but in need of something reliable and capable to handle most day-to-day tasks.
This notebook has the specs to act as a family laptop, and it equally suffices for schools with its full-sized, backlit keyboard with a numeric keypad and speedy performance thanks to the latest 10th Gen Intel Core i3 processor. If you’re shopping on a tight budget, you should seriously start here.
Read our full Asus VivoBook 15 (F512JA-AS34) Review
Best laptop for photo and video editing for under $1,000
CPU: Intel Core i5-10210U| Graphics: Intel MX250 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 14″ FHD (1920×1080)| Storage: 512GB SSD
It’s never easy to find a sub-$1,000 that perfectly fits into the photo editing and video editing needs. For video editing to run smoothly and fast, you require both a dedicated GPU and higher core count processors. On the other hand, both photo and video editing require a well-calibrated screen with accurate colors.
Unfortunately, the Dell XPS 15, MacBook Pro or the Razer Blade you need are never under $1,000. For now, a good option has to be the MSI Modern 14, with its Nvidia GeForce MX2502G graphics card and vivid IPS display.
Best 2-in-1 for under $1,000
CPU: Intel Core i5 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 12.3” 2736×1824 | Storage: 128GB
Sleek. Portable. Versatile. That’s how best we can describe the Surface Pro 6. This is one of those gadgets you grab when you need something portable with a stylus for a mobile workstation with a creative side, but a typical laptop can’t just cut it. The Surface Pro 6 is solid performer, and the touchscreen and active pen offer the best combination for a mobile professional creative.
Again, the fact that it’s very portable with excellent battery life, it stands out as one of the best drawing surfaces around.
Best Chromebook for under $1,000
CPU: Intel Celeron N4020 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 600 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 11.6″ HD 1366 x 768 | Storage: 32GB eMMC
If your budget is especially tight, and Windows isn’t must in your short list, a Chrome OS device is never far away. The adorable Acer Chromebook Spin 311 will get you watching contempt online and a few other basic tasks done, and t outlasts many of its more expensive Windows-based brethren with an awesome 11-hour battery life.
Also, being a 2-in-1 convertible, it lets you enjoy your content in tablet mode, and later work on other tasks in lap2top mode – all at a very palatable price.
Read our full Acer Chromebook Spin 311 (CP311-2H-C679) Review
How good is a sub-$1,000 laptop?
Very good! As we mentioned early in the introduction, you’ll be careful when buying a laptop to ensure that the manufacturer didn’t cut any corners that you care about. But to be honest, the same applies to premium laptops – you’d spend over $2,500 on a laptop that won’t meet your needs if you don’t carefully ascertain what’s more important to you.
Which one – Windows, Mac or a Chromebook?
It all depends on what you want to do with that machine, and the kind of tasks that are important to you. For that, we advise that you first identify the tasks at hand, any available programs/apps that you’ll be using on your device, then identify compatibility.
Chances are that if you’re sticking to the sub-$1,000 price range, you won’t get a Mac, unless you’re willing to do with an older model. That leaves a choice of Windows and Chrome OS, and in that case, it gets down to the question of what software you need to run.
If you need a wider selection of software across various categories, Windows is you best bet. However, if all you need to is browse the web, run simple productivity apps and leverage Android equivalents, the Chrome OS is a safe buy.