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The 5 Best Laptops Under $1,000 - Fall 2022 Reviews

Updated
Best Laptops Under $1,000

If you're shopping for a laptop, a $1,000 budget can get you a lot, as many premium laptops start around that price range. You can get an exceptionally well-built laptop with a metal chassis, like an Apple MacBook Air, a 2-in-1 convertible, or even a gaming laptop with a powerful CPU and GPU. Mobile workstations are generally more expensive, but if you're okay with some compromises, you can get a gaming laptop as an alternative.

We've tested over 55 laptops, and below you'll find our recommendations for the best laptops under $1,000 you can buy. See our recommendations for the best laptops, the best Chromebooks, and the best laptops for business.


  1. Best Laptop Under $1,000

    The best laptop under $1,000 we've tested is the Apple MacBook Air 13 (M1, 2020). Even though it's a model from 2020 and there's a newer M2 MacBook Air, we still recommend the M1 MacBook Air because it's an incredible value. Its build quality beats anything in this price range, and it provides the best user experience with a sharp display, a comfortable keyboard, and a large and responsive haptic touchpad. It's very portable thanks to its thin and light design, and its battery lasts easily through a typical 8-hour school or workday. Apple's M1 SoC has enough processing power to handle light tasks like web browsing, text formatting, video playback, and even the occasional photo editing and gaming session.

    There's a fingerprint sensor built into the power button so you can log in quickly and get to work. The webcam's video quality is excellent even though it's only 720p, and voices sound clear through the microphone. You don't need to worry about any loud fan noise since it's a fanless device. It only has two USB-C ports, so you'll likely need dongles or a dock, and unfortunately, it only supports one external display.

    See our review

  2. Best Windows Laptop Under $1,000

    If you prefer a Windows laptop, we recommend the Lenovo Yoga 7i 14 (2021). It's a compact 2-in-1 convertible with exceptionally long battery life and plenty of processing power to handle most general productivity tasks. Its 360-degree hinge lets you flip the screen into tent mode for presentations and media consumption or to use it as a tablet. It supports pen input if you want to take notes or sketch, although you need to buy the stylus separately, and there isn't a place to store it for transport. Its port selection includes one USB-A and two USB-C/Thunderbolt 4 ports; the latter lets you transfer data quickly and supports up to two external 4k displays at 60Hz. The main downside with this laptop is that the display doesn't get very bright, so it isn't ideal for use in well-lit settings or outdoors in broad daylight.

    See our review

  3. Best Chromebook Under $1,000

    Our pick for the best Chromebook under $1,000 is the Google Pixelbook Go (2019). It's a 2019 model, but as most Chromebooks are usually more budget-friendly laptops with a cheap plastic build, this remains the best option if you want something high-end. It's very portable thanks to its thin and light design, and it feels sturdy with its magnesium alloy chassis. The battery life lasts around 13 to 14 hours of light use, so you likely won't need to charge it on a typical 8-hour school or workday. You can configure the laptop up to an Intel Core i7 CPU, although for most people doing light work like web browsing, text formatting, and video playback, the base Core M3 or the mid-range Core i5 is likely more than powerful enough. Also, the Core i7 comes with a 4k display, which will drain the battery significantly faster. The keyboard feels comfortable to type on and doesn't cause fatigue, and the touchpad is large and responsive. It only has two USB-C ports, one of which is for charging, meaning you'll probably need a dock if you want to plug in multiple peripherals or external displays.

    See our review

  4. Best Multimedia Laptop Under $1,000

    If you want a compact device for watching videos, TV shows, or movies, get the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 (2021). It's a 13-inch Chrome OS tablet with a kickstand and detachable keyboard. You can take the keyboard off to make the device easier to hold as a tablet or to save space, like on an airplane with small tray tables. You can snap the keyboard back on when you need to type something out, although the keyboard itself feels cramped and isn't ideal for typing out a long essay.

    Its OLED display is the main reason we recommend it. It looks sharp, gets bright enough to combat glare, and like all OLEDs, it produces deep, inky blacks. The display supports pen input if you want to take notes or draw, but you have to buy the stylus separately. Unfortunately, although the speakers get reasonably loud, they don't have much bass and sound slightly unnatural, so you're better off with a pair of headphones. The battery lasts around eight hours of video playback, enough time to get through a couple of TV show episodes or movies.

    See our review

  5. Best Gaming Laptop Under $1,000

    For gaming, we recommend the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 (2021). It's a 15.6-inch laptop with a sturdy build and multiple configuration options. You can choose between an AMD Ryzen 5 5600H or Ryzen 7 5800H CPU, both of which are powerful enough to handle demanding tasks like gaming. GPU options range from an entry-level NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 to an RTX 3060. For 1080p gaming, it's best to get at least an RTX 3050 or 3050 Ti, as the GTX 1650 might not be able to handle the newest AAA games. The top-end RTX 3060 will provide the highest frame rates, but you need to pair it with the 1080p 165Hz display to make the most of it, pushing the laptop's price over $1,000. That said, the memory and storage are user-upgradeable, which means you can get less memory and storage space to start and upgrade it yourself later. Unfortunately, it isn't very portable as it's a little bulky and heavy, and you'll also need to carry the power adapter because the battery only lasts an hour when gaming.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 (2021): The Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 (2021) is a good alternative to the Lenovo Yoga 7i 14 (2021). It has a brighter display and comes with a stylus; however, it's a little over $1,000. See our review
  • Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (2020): The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (2020) is a great Chromebook, and a cheaper alternative to the Google Pixelbook Go (2019). However, it's hard to find because it's discontinued. See our review

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best laptops you can get for under $1,000. We factor in the price (a cheaper laptop wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no laptops that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).

If you prefer to make your own decision, here’s the list of all the laptops we've tested, sorted by price from low to high. Keep in mind that most laptops are available in various configurations, and the table only shows the results of the model we tested, so it’s best to see the full review for information about other variants.

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