The best laptops under $1,000/£1000

best laptops under $1,000/£1000 - Woman using a laptop
(Image credit: Jacob Lund / Shutterstock)

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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Apple MacBook Air 2020

(Image credit: Apple)
The overall best laptop for under $1,000/£1,000

Specifications

CPU: Apple M1
Graphics: Integrated 7-core /8-core GPU
RAM: 8GB – 16GB
Screen: 13.3-inch (diagonal) 2,560 x 1,600 LED-backlit display with IPS technology
Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD
Dimensions: 11.97 x 8.36 x 0.63 inches (30.41 x 21.24 x 1.61cm; W x D x H)

Reasons to buy

+
Brilliant value
+
Amazing battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Old design
-
Fanless design could impact performance

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)

Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook best cheap laptop against a white background

(Image credit: Lenovo)

02. Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook

The best cheap laptop you can buy in 2022

Specifications

CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon SC7180
Graphics: N/A
RAM: 4 GB LPDDR4X 2133MHz
Storage: 256GB eMMC
Display: 13.3" FHD OLED (1920 x 1080) 100% DCI-P3 400 nits touchscreen

Reasons to buy

+
Gorgeous display
+
Phenomenal battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Flimsy keyboard
-
Difficult kickstand

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.

Acer Aspire 5 cheap laptop against a white background

(Image credit: Acer)
A good mid-range laptop for under $1000/£1,000

Specifications

CPU: 11th-gen Intel Core i3 – i5, AMD Ryzen 3 – 5
Graphics: Intel UHD, Intel Iris Xe, AMD Radeon Graphics
RAM: 4GB – 16GB DDR4 SDRAM
Storage: 128GB – 512GB SSD
Display: 14” Full HD (1920 x 1080) 16:9 – 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) 16:9

Reasons to buy

+
Cheap
+
1080p screen

Reasons to avoid

-
720p webcam
-
Battery life is average

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

Best gaming laptop Asus TUF Dash F15 from the side, where you can see the gaming laptop's left-side ports.

(Image credit: Asus)

04. Asus TUF Dash F15

A brilliant gaming laptop for under $1,000/£1,000

Specifications

CPU: Up to Intel Core i7-11375H
Graphics: Up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070
RAM: Up to 16GB DDR4-3200
Screen: Up to 15.6-inch WQHD anti-glare 165Hz IPS-level display with Adaptive Sync
Storage: Up to 1TB SSD

Reasons to buy

+
Battery life up to 10 hours
+
Strong gaming performance in a thin chassis
+
Plenty of ports

Reasons to avoid

-
No webcam
-
Keyboard lighting color can't be changed

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.

best Windows laptop Samsung Galaxy Book2 360 against a white background

(Image credit: Samsung)

05. Samsung Galaxy Book2 360

A great 2-in-1 laptop for under $1,000/£1,000

Specifications

CPU: 12th-gen Intel Core i5 – i7
Graphics: Intel Iris Xe
RAM: 8GB – 16GB
Screen: 13.3" diagonal, FHD (1920 x 1080) AMOLED touch display
Storage: 256GB SSD – 512GB SSD
OS: Windows 11 Home

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent AMOLED display
+
Long battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Just a 720p webcam
-
Some retailers sell for more than a grand

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.

best cheap laptop Dell Inspiron 14-inch against a white background

(Image credit: Dell)

06. Dell Inspiron 14-inch

A solid 14-inch laptop for under $1,000/£1,000

Specifications

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 5825U
Graphics: AMD Radeon Graphics
RAM: 16GB DDR4 3200MHz
Storage: 512GB SSD
Display: 14" FHD+ 1920 x 1200 60Hz Touch

Reasons to buy

+
Thin and lightweight design
+
Great screen

Reasons to avoid

-
High price point for what's on offer
-
Poor screen hinge joints

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.

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3 Chromebook against a white background

(Image credit: Lenovo)

07. Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3 Chromebook

A great choice for students

Specifications

CPU: 1.1GHz Intel Celeron N4020
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 600
RAM: 4GB DDR4
Screen: 11-inch IPS touchscreen, 1,366 x 768 pixels
Storage: 64GB eMMC SSD

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent value
+
Solid build quality
+
Great battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Looks ancient
-
Not terribly compact

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.

Asus Chromebook Flip C536 against a white background

(Image credit: Asus)

08. Asus Chromebook Flip C536

A mid-range Chromebook that looks and feels premium

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i3-1115G4
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics
RAM: 8GB LPDDR4
Screen: 15.6-inch, FHD (1920 x 1080) 250 nits
Storage: 128GB SSD

Reasons to buy

+
Good design
+
15.6-inch full HD display

Reasons to avoid

-
Down-firing speakers
-
Not a lot of ports

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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Matt has been a technology journalist for well over a decade, writing for publications such as T3, MacFormat and Creative Bloq. He's a senior editor of TechRadar, Creative Bloq's sister site, where he can be found writing about and reviewing laptops, computers, monitors and more. He often writes for Creative Bloq, helping creatives find their perfect laptop or PC.