The best laptops under $1,000/£1,000 prove that you don't have to spend a small fortune to get a fantastic device. These days, many of us simply don't have the spare cash to spend a lot of money of new devices - but that doesn't mean we have to make do with old and slow laptops.
The good news is that there are plenty of great laptops out there for under a grand, and this means that no matter what kind of laptop you're looking for – be it a budget laptop for your kid to take to university, or a portable device to do your creative work on - there will be a laptop in this guide for you. If you'd like to spend a bit more, though, head over to our best laptops for graphic design guide.
There's plenty of other reasons why you may not want to spend more than $1,000/£1,000 on a laptop. For a start, if you've already got a laptop, and are looking for a second one, then you're not going to want to spend a lot of money. Getting a laptop for a student below $1,000/£1,000 is also worth considering, as you don't want an expensive laptop going somewhere where it could get damaged or lost (see our best student laptops post for more options).
Crucially, you may just not need the kind of performance laptops that cost more than a grand offer. If you're going to be doing photo editing, or just web browsing and document creation, then paying over $1,000/£1,000 means you're spending money on something you really don't need. We've tested many of these laptops ourselves (see how we test laptops for more), and when we haven't we've gone on expert opinions, industry reputation and customer reviews. So, read on and let us save you money.
The best laptops under $1,000/£1,000
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The Apple MacBook Air (M1, 2020) remains the best laptop you can buy right now for under $1,000/£1,000. Despite launching two years ago, and with a newer version now out, the MacBook Air with Apple's own M1 chip remains a stunning laptop, especially at the price it's now selling for.
While Apple has released the MacBook Air (M2, 2022), it has also continued to sell the M1 model. The M2 version is quite a bit more expensive than the older version, and sells for well over a grand – meanwhile the MacBook Air (M1, 2022) can be found for around $899/£899 – and sometimes even lower.
Despite its age, it's still a fantastic laptop that can rival more expensive devices. When it comes to creative apps, this laptop works a treat, especially since major applications such as Adobe Photoshop now support the M1 chip natively. Combine with excellent build quality and design, and excellent battery life, and you have easily the best laptop you can buy right now for under $1000/£1,000.
Read the full review: MacBook Air (M1, 2020)
If you're looking for a great laptop that costs significantly less than $1,000/£1,000, then a Chromebook is a great choice. These are incredibly affordable, yet still offer good performance and long battery lives, especially compared to Windows laptops that sell for around the same price.
The Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 is, in our opinion, the best Chromebook for people on a budget, with a fantastic OLED touch display and comfortable keyboard. While this won't be able to power heavy-duty creative applications, for day-to-day use, this offers plenty of power to do what you need. As with other Chromebooks, it runs Chrome OS rather than Windows 10 or 11, and this allows it to run on lower-powered hardware – so prices are lower and battery lives are longer.
While not every creative app is available on Chrome OS, Chromebooks like the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 can also run Android apps – and there are hundreds of creative apps available.
The Acer Aspire 5 (2022) is an affordable laptop with modern specifications, and it’s aimed at people who want a laptop that can handle the basics without costing a lot of money. However, digital creatives may find the Acer Aspire 5 struggles with certain tasks, despite its modern specifications.
In our own testing we saw respectable performance for day-to-day tasks, as well as a decent battery life of up to 10 hours. Despite its budget price, the Aspire 5 feels solidly built, and you can carry it around without worrying that it might break.
If you want a solid laptop that can run most creative apps available for Windows, then this is a very good choice.
Read our full Acer Aspire 5 review
The Asus TUF Dash F15 is a rare laptop: a gaming laptop for under $1,000/£1,000 that offers excellent performance with modern games. Sometimes budget gaming laptops cut too many corners, and that can mean they struggle playing particularly demanding titles – but that's not the case with the Asus TUF Dash F15.
It comes with modern Intel processors and Nvidia RTx 3000 laptop GPUs, which are more than capable of playing games at 1080p resolutions.
It's also robustly made with military-grade protection against knocks and drops, but it's not big and bulky – like many gaming laptops are. It also has a good battery life - another rarity with gaming laptops that have power-hungry components. Even if you're not interested in playing games, the Asus TUF Dash F15 is worth considering for creatives who want an affordable laptop for 3D projects or ultra high definition video editing where a dedicated graphics card can seriously speed up workflows.
If you want a 2-in-1 laptop that doubles as both a traditional laptop as well as a tablet-like device, then the Samsung Galaxy Book2 360 is an excellent choice that can be found for under $1,000/£1,000.
Samsung is known for making excellent – and desirable – TVs and smartphones, but its lesser known laptops are also worth considering. Unlike its TVs and phones, Samsung's laptops are also often cheaper than its competitors, while offering some great features.
It comes with 12th generation Intel processors that offer excellent performance, while being more energy efficient than ever – and that results in some very impressive battery lives as well. It also has a stunning AMOLED display that makes film, TV and photos looks spectacular. You'll be hard pressed to find a better screen on a laptop under $1,000.
The Dell Inspiron 14-inch is a solid and dependable laptop that you can find for under $1,000/£1,000. While it's not as flashy as many other laptops, including many of Dell's premium XPS lineup, if you're looking for a no-nonsense laptop that will do everything you need without being too expensive, this is a great choice.
It comes with some decent specs, including an AMD Ryzen 7 5825U 8-core processor, and 16GB of RAM. For most creative tasks and apps, this will be plenty. Dell has kept the design of the Dell Inspiron 14 thin and light enough to easily carry around with you where ever you go, and you can get versions with a 2-in-1 design which gives you the option to use it as a laptop or a tablet-like device.
The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3 is an excellent sub-$1,000/£1,000 laptop for students, thanks to its rugged build quality that means it can be carried around in a bag across schoolgrounds and campuses without being damaged, and the large keyboard is comfortable use, and built to withstand any frantic late night tappings as deadlines approach.
As with other laptops on this list, the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3 is a Chromebook, but these days that doesn't mean students are missing out on any apps or tools for their studies. It also has an incredible battery life of over 16 hours, so you can use it for a whole work or school day without having to plug it in.
The Asus Chromebook Flip C536 is one of the most stylish Chromebooks you can get right now, and even for a Chromebook, it offers excellent value compared to its competitors.
Along with the design, it comes with a large 15-inch screen that's great for working on, especially for artists, and the Intel processor and 8GB of RAM make this a relatively powerful Chromebook that offers excellent performance for day-to-day tasks.
Battery life is also decent at almost eight hours, which will keep you going through almost a whole work day without you needing to plug it in. While there are Chromebooks out there that offer longer battery lives, for the price, this isn't a bad laptop at all, and will easily outlast Windows laptops of the same price.
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