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The 5 Best Laptops Under $1,000 - Spring 2024 Reviews

Best Laptops Under $1,000

While the price of laptops has risen steadily over the years, with premium workstations and gaming laptops costing many times that, it's still possible to find great models that cost less than $1,000. Mid-range and budget options have gotten better in quality, and many premium ultraportables start around that price for their base configurations. 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 110 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 (2022), a 13-inch ultraportable designed for general productivity. It has an exceptionally sturdy all-aluminum build, a bright and sharp Retina display, a spacious keyboard, and Apple's industry-leading haptic touchpad. You also get great-sounding speakers and an excellent 1080p webcam. Performance isn't a problem; its M2 SoC can easily handle general productivity tasks and even some light programming and video editing. Port selection is its biggest drawback, as it only has two USB-C ports with support for a single external display.

    Configuration-wise, the only model under $1,000 is the base model with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. RAM is probably the biggest limitation, as you can always get external storage drives, so make sure you can live with only 8GB. If you need more, you can try Apple's refurbished section or third-party sellers, where you might find a 16GB model that's close to $1,000. Otherwise, upgrading the RAM costs $200 USD more.

    If you can stretch your budget slightly over $1,000, you can get the newer M3 Apple MacBook Air 13 (2024). The upgrades are fairly minor, though. They include Wi-Fi 6E, slightly better performance, and support for two external displays, though the latter only works with the laptop closed. Also, the Midnight model has a supposedly more smudge-resistant coating. We'll have a full review of this model soon.

    See our review

  2. Best Windows Laptop Under $1,000

    Our best pick under $1,000 on the Windows side is the ASUS Zenbook 14 Flip OLED (2023). Sporting a full aluminum chassis, this sleek ultraportable feels as well built as the Apple MacBook Air 13 (2022) above. Plus, it's a 2-in-1 convertible with support for pen input. It comes with a stylus, although there's nowhere to dock the pen for transport. This new model sports an Intel 13th Gen P-series CPU. For under $1,000, you can get a Core i5 configuration with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, which is more than adequate for general productivity tasks.

    As its name suggests, this laptop has an OLED display. It looks incredibly sharp, gets bright enough to combat glare, and produces deep, inky blacks. Also, it has a 90Hz refresh rate, resulting in a more responsive desktop experience. The keyboard feels great to type on, and the touchpad is large and responsive. You get two USB-C/Thunderbolt 4, an HDMI port, Wi-Fi 6E, and a facial recognition camera for quick logins. Battery life sits around eight hours of light use, so depending on your usage, you may need to plug it in for a quick charge to get through the day.

    See our review

  3. Best Chromebook Under $1,000

    The best Chromebook under $1,000 we've tested is the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 (2022). It has a 14-inch screen that gets bright enough for use in most indoor settings and provides just enough space for split-screen multitasking. Since this is a 2-in-1, you can set it up in tent mode for media consumption or use it as a tablet. The display supports pen input, and the laptop comes with a stylus that you can dock into the side of the device for transport. Ports include one USB-A, two USB-C/Thunderbolt 4, and an HDMI port. Battery life is amazing at over 13 hours of light use, and you can charge over USB-C. Unfortunately, there's no fingerprint sensor or facial recognition IR camera.

    Regarding specs, this laptop is available with various Intel 12th Gen CPUs, ranging from a Core i3 to a Core i7. These CPUs are more than fast enough for anything you'd need to do on a Chromebook. The problem is availability. The Core i5 model with 8GB of memory and 128GB of storage is the most widely available, and even that model is getting hard to find. There's a newer 20203 model with Intel 13th-generation CPUs, which we haven't tested but looks largely the same design-wise. The only other upgrade besides the CPU is the higher-resolution 1440p webcam. You can get the 2023 model on Amazon or at Best Buy.

    See our review

  4. Best 2-In-1 Tablet Under $1,000

    The best under-$1,000 2-in-1 tablet we've tested is the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 (2021), a tablet Windows PC with a built-in kickstand and detachable keyboard. With this versatile form factor, you can detach the keyboard to make the device lighter and easier to hold or to save space, like on a kitchen counter or airplane tray table. Its 3:2 display looks incredibly sharp and gets bright enough for outdoor use. Plus, it has a 120Hz refresh rate, which makes the system feel more responsive, especially when using pen input.

    Unfortunately, you must buy the stylus separately; the same goes for the keyboard. The stylus is optional, but the keyboard is a near necessity because Windows isn't particularly touch-friendly, and the keyboard also helps protect the screen from scratches. The webcam is excellent and among the best on the market, and you also get an IR camera for quick logins via facial recognition. Battery life is passable at around seven hours of light use or six hours of video playback.

    One thing to note is that Microsoft has already released the Surface Pro 9. It's identical to the Pro 8 in design; it just has a faster Intel 12th Gen processor. The performance increase likely isn't noticeable in light productivity workloads, so you aren't missing out on much. As for the Surface Pro 8, you can easily find the base model for as low as $700 since it's an older device, although that's without the keyboard and stylus, so expect to spend a bit more for the whole package. See the Surface Pro 9 on Amazon.

    See our review

  5. Best Gaming Laptop Under $1,000

    Our best gaming pick is the ASUS TUF Dash F15 (2022), a 15.6-inch model. For around $1,000, you can get an Intel 12th Gen Core i5 model paired with an NVIDIA GeForce 3050 Ti GPU, a 144Hz FHD display, 8GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage. The Core i5 and RTX 3050 Ti combo can deliver a solid 60 fps in demanding games at 1080p, but to get the most out of the system, you'll have to upgrade the memory to 16GB in dual-channel mode. Like the RAM, the storage is also user-replaceable; you can upgrade to a larger drive or install a second SSD since there are two slots. Ports include two USB-As, two USB-Cs (one Thunderbolt 4), and a full-size HDMI.

    Other than the RAM and storage, another compromise is the display. The 144Hz panel has a slow response time, resulting in visible ghosting behind fast-moving objects, and it doesn't support VRR to reduce screen tearing. Thermal throttling is minimal under load, so you'll get a consistent gaming experience when playing for an extended period. The laptop does get hot and loud, though. The overall build quality is excellent, and it isn't overly bulky or heavy, so it's relatively portable.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • LG gram 14 (2023): The LG gram 14 (2023) is more portable than the ASUS Zenbook 14 Flip OLED (2023) and lasts longer on battery; however, it doesn't feel as well-built, and its display doesn't look as sharp. Also, the only configuration under $1,000 is a model with 8GB of RAM. See our review
  • Lenovo Yoga 7i 16 (2023): If you want a bigger screen, the Lenovo Yoga 7i 16 (2023) is a good alternative to the ASUS Zenbook 14 Flip OLED (2023). It has longer battery life and a wider port selection, but its webcam and touchpad aren't as good. See our review
  • Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 (2021): The Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 (2021) is cheaper than the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 (2021). It has an OLED display better suited for media consumption, but its SoC doesn't perform as well as the Surface Pro 8's Intel CPU, and its keyboard isn't as comfortable to type on. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Apr 05, 2024: Replaced the Apple MacBook Air 13 (M1, 2020) with the M2 Apple MacBook Air 13 (2022) because the M1 model is discontinued.

  2. Feb 05, 2024: We've confirmed the accuracy and availability of our picks. Some text edits for clarity.

  3. Dec 08, 2023: Minor text changes to improve clarity and readability. No change in recommendations.

  4. Nov 10, 2023: Verified that all picks are valid and available. No change in recommendations.

  5. Sep 11, 2023: Replaced the Lenovo Legion 5 Gen 6 15 (2021) with the ASUS TUF Dash F15 (2022) because the Lenovo is hard to find. Added the LG gram 14 (2023) and the Lenovo Yoga 7i 16 (2023) as Notable Mentions.

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.