When buying a laptop, you get what you pay for. Thus increasing the price of a laptop usually means a significant boost in quality. With that said, let’s take a look at a list of the current best laptops under $1000 in 2021 available on the market!
When sticking to a tight budget is less of a concern, you have more room to find extra features packed in with high-end specs.
To get the most value for your money, you need to ask yourself what options are most appealing to you. What features do you think you’ll actually use regularly, and which are window dressing that can be skipped?
Hybrid laptops that flip around like a tablet are plentiful at this price point. Do you actually intend to use that feature on a regular basis, though, or do you want a traditional computer design?
Recommendation for January 2021
Reviews Of Best Laptops Under $1000 In 2021
LG Gram – Best Battery Life
There are a staggering number of options in laptops today, and not everyone loves a touch screen. If you are in that boat but still want an ultra-thin device, the LG should be one of your top contenders.
At slightly over two pounds, there are very few machines out there that even come close to the weight. Of course, the overall profile is incredibly slim as well, so this is one of the most portable devices on the market right now.
To achieve such a thin style, you do take a hit on the specs, however. LG’s Gram has noticeably less RAM and a slower processor than our other contenders.
Due to the tiny design, there’s no built-in optical drive or fingerprint reader, either. In exchange, you get an absurdly high battery life of up to 24.5 hours for normal office usage!
The LG Gram is such a fantastic laptop, especially when you consider the battery life and ultra-slim profile. There just is not another thin and light laptop on the market that can compare.
Recommended configuration for LG Gram
CPU: Intel Core i5-8265U | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 13. 3″ 1920×1080 Full HD Display| Storage: 256GB SSD| Operating System: Windows 10 | Battery Life: 24 hours | Weight: 2.19 pounds
Acer Predator 300 – Best Gaming Option
Acer’s Predator gaming line is one of the highest regarded, and the Helios 300 is its budget gaming option. It has tons of features that will catch the gamer’s eye, all for under a thousand dollars!
Gamers need a high refresh rate on their monitor in order to have the edge on other players. Luckily the Helios 300 has a 144Hz display, giving you all the competitive advantage you need!
With a 6 core i7 inside, the Acer Helios 300 is great at multitasking. Combine that with 16GB of RAM and you have a gaming laptop that has plenty of resources to handle even the most demanding games.
Like most gaming laptops, the fans on this computer are extremely loud under gaming loads. Without great ventilation and a cooling pad, you will get some thermal throttling that will negatively affect your gaming experience.
For under $1000, you will not find a better gaming laptop on the market. Just make sure you give it plenty of air and you will have a great time playing the newest games.
Recommended configuration for Acer Predator Helios
CPU: Intel Core i7-9750H | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 15. 6″ 1920×1080 Full HD IPS Display | Storage: 512GB SSD | Operating System: Windows 10 | Battery Life: 7 hours | Weight: 5.29 pounds
Dell Inspiron 15 – Best 4K Option
Dell is known for making laptops at all price ranges with varying specs. The Inspiron 15 7000 series has many SKU’s, but few as impressive as the one we have chosen here.
While there are many other stronger graphics processors on the market, the inclusion of the 940MX is great at this price point. Not only does it crush any dedicated graphics, but it is low power as well.
While often under $1000 you will have to make sacrifices in either the processor or the RAM capacity, that is not the case here. With 16GB of RAM and an i7 processor to boot, you will not be left wanting with this laptop.
Under the most intense workloads such as video editing or gaming, this laptop will definitely get hot and bring down performance. Cooling isn’t strong enough to keep up with the high specs.
All of the specs here are great, and that 4k display knocks it out of the park. You really don’t get any cut corners on this computer, making it a great pick up in this price range.
Recommended configuration for Dell Inspiron 15
CPU: Intel Core i7-8550H | Graphics: NVIDIA 940MX | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 15. 6″ 3840×2160 Full 4K HD IPS Display | Storage: 512GB SSD | Operating System: Windows 10 | Battery Life: 6 hours | Weight: 5.06 pounds
Asus VivoBook S – Enormous Storage
While Intel is the processor of choice for tons of laptops on the market, it’s implementation on the ASUS Vivobook S is great. The overall computer has the specs and attractive appeal to make it a great choice for anyone.
Intel has many lines of processors, from the i3’s to the i5’s, up to the i7 processors in laptops. This laptop has a top-of-the-line, power-efficient i7 that has enough power to plow through all of your daily tasks.
To pair with the i7 processor, ASUS has included an Nvidia MX150 graphics processor. This will make the overall laptop snappier, and even allow for some light gaming.
The touchpad on the Vivobook S is underwhelming to say the least. It skips and jumps at times, and just isn’t the most accurate nor the best feeling.
While Intel has it’s processors in hundreds and thousands of laptops, the Vivobook S has a fantastic implementation and use of their processor. While there are some let downs, overall this laptop is a great choice.
Recommended configuration for Asus VivoBook S
CPU: Intel Core i7-8550H | Graphics: NVIDIA MX150 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 15.6″ 1920×1080 Full HD IPS Display | Storage: 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD | Operating System: Windows 10 | Battery Life: 9 hours | Weight: 3.7 pounds
Asus TUF – AMD Powered Gaming
While most people will be drawn towards an Intel-powered laptop, there is another competitor out there that makes fantastic CPUs…AMD. ASUS has filled its TUF Gaming Laptop with all the AMD power you can handle.
The TUF Gaming Laptop is powered by a Ryzen 7 3750H CPU which is a fast and capable processor. It has 4 cores and 8 threads, giving you plenty of room for multitasking.
This ASUS laptop is also packing an NVIDIA GeForce 2060 GPU, which is great for consuming your media as well as playing games. It one of the most high powered GPU on the market, it is fast and can handle gaming and content creation.
The build quality of this laptop is extremely strong. It feels nice and sturdy in the hand, and there is very little flex anywhere on the surface.
Just because all of your friends have Intel-based laptops doesn’t mean you need to join the crowd. ASUS has given you a fantastic AMD option here in the TUF Gaming Laptop!
Recommended configuration for Asus TUF
CPU: AMD Ryzen 7-3750H | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060| RAM: 16GB | Screen: 15.6″ 1920×1080 Full HD IPS Display | Storage: 512GB SSD | Operating System: Windows 10 | Battery Life: 6 hours | Weight: 4.85 pounds
Dell Inspiron 14 – Best 2-in-1 Option
The 2-in-1 market is booming, with laptops in all price ranges available. At under $1000, the Dell Inspiron 14 5491 is the best of the best.
This Dell laptop has a speedy i7 10510U processor which is one of the most capable mobile processors on the market. It is fast, efficient, and has more than enough horsepower to run even the most demanding programs.
One of the best parts of using a 2-in-1 is the thing and light profile. The Inspiron is definitely not the lightest or thin on the market but is still much more portable than the normal laptop profile.
The display on the Inspiron 2-in-1 is lackluster in both brightness and color reproduction. It just doesn’t get bright enough for us, and therefore it makes it more difficult to use indirect light.
If you are looking for a laptop under $1000, you should think about grabbing a 2-in-1. It gives you all the positives of a laptop and a tablet all mashed together. The Dell Inspiron 14 is a great option in this area.
Recommended configuration for Dell Inspiron 14
CPU: Intel Core i7-10510U | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 14″ 1920×1080 Full HD Touchscreen Display | Storage: 512GB SSD | Operating System: Windows 10 | Battery Life: 8 hours | Weight: 5.59 pounds
Lenovo ThinkPad E590 – Bang For The Buck
Searching for the best laptop for your business endeavors is one of the most daunting tasks you may face. If you have a budget of under $1000, the Lenovo ThinkPad E590 has a lot of great qualities.
The i5 8265U processor is not only fast but super-efficient. This is one of the reasons you get great performance to go along with excellent battery life.
When you choose a business laptop, most people would put reliability at the top of their list as the most important quality. Lenovo is known to be one of the most reliable companies and creators of laptops, especially for business professionals.
Lenovo has hardly changed the look of their business laptops since their inception in the 1990s. While it may not be the prettiest laptop, it simply oozes stability and sturdiness.
If you are looking to impress your business partners or show a new investor that you are a real player, the Lenovo ThinkPad E590 is a great companion laptop. The sturdiness and reliability are married to great performance to make a fantastic business laptop.
Recommended configuration for Lenovo ThinkPad E590
CPU: Intel Core i5-8265U | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 15.6″ 1366×768 Full HD Display | Storage: 256GB SSD | Operating System: Windows 10 | Battery Life: 10 hours | Weight: 4.7 pounds
MacBook Air – Best Mac Option Under $1000
Not a fan of Windows 10 and prefer the Mac OS instead? You’ve still got options for a great laptop in this price range by looking at the MacBook Air series.
The big draw here, besides the more secure operating system, is the high-quality screen. The retina display has both vibrant colors and fantastic pixel density.
With Thunderbolt, USB 3.0, and card reader ports, you aren’t lacking in options for connecting storage or external devices. Even more, expansion is possible with dongles and extensions if you are a hardcore user.
Another of the positive points of this Macbook is the fast SSD. We wish it had more storage, but you can always add an external hard drive if you need more space.
Some people just prefer Mac OS to Windows. If you are one of those people, we highly suggest taking a look at this Macbook Air.
Recommended configuration for MacBook Air
CPU: Intel Core i5-8th Gen| Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 13.3″ Brilliant Retina Full with True Tone Display | Storage: 128GB SSD | Operating System: macOS | Battery Life: 10 hours | Weight: 5.56 pounds
Google PixelBook – High-End Chromebook
While most Chromebooks are considered “cheap” or at the very least low end, the Pixelbook breaks that mold. Offering higher-end specs and a beautiful screen, this is a great laptop for under $1000.
Sleek and stylish are two words that describe this laptop perfectly. Thin without being flimsy, and stylish while straying away from ugly colors and extra “bling.”
While there are many SKUs of the Google Pixelbook, the one you can grab for under a thousand dollars only has an i5 processor. Definitely not the fastest processor, but Chrome OS is so fast and efficient it doesn’t affect it as severely as it would on a Windows or Mac computer.
Much like the Macbook which we just covered, this Chromebook has a very limited amount of storage space. You will definitely want to pick up an external storage solution if you plan to use it as a daily laptop.
Chromebooks often get a bad rap, but Google has engineered a fantastic laptop in the Pixelbook. Chrome OS has matured a ton and is now a worthy competitor.
Recommended configuration for Google PixelBook
CPU: Intel Core i5-7th Gen| Graphics: Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 12.3″ 360-Degree Touchscreen Display | Storage: 128GB SSD | Operating System: Chrome OS | Battery Life: 10 hours | Weight: 2.45 pounds
HP Pavilion Gaming – Cheaper Gaming Option
Gaming laptops are generally filled with the best parts available, thus making them the best overall laptops on the market. The HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop is the best buy you can make under $1000.
The design of this laptop is stylish. While it does come off as a touch “gamey,” the overall design is very pleasing to the eye.
Equipped with a GTX 1050 Ti GPU, this laptop is equipped to handle even the newest games on the market. It is also capable enough to handle 3d modeling, video rendering, and much more!
The full HD display that comes on the Pavilion Gaming is a fantastic 144Hz refresh rate. This means you won’t miss any of the action in your games, and even everyday tasks will feel extremely smooth.
It comes with 512GB SSD which is more than enough to store more games and files.
Overall the HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop is as good as it gets. It does everything well and does not have many weaknesses to speak of.
Recommended configuration for HP Pavilion Gaming
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5-3550H| Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 15.6″ 1920×1080 Diagonal IPS 144 Refresh Rate Display | Storage: 512GB SSD | Operating System: Windows 10 | Battery Life: 11 hours | Weight: 4.96 pounds
Picking The Best Laptop Under $1000 In 2021
When buying a laptop under $1000, consider getting acceptable frame rates and the best graphics card for decent graphic settings.
In order to stay under the $1000 price tag, a very powerful dedicated graphics card normally won’t be a feasible option. But there are decent GPUs that can suffice your gaming needs and could even let you run anything on high settings.
At this price range, we recommend having at least 2GB dedicated graphics card, an integrated GPU would suffice if there are other features that can balance the lack of dedicated GPU which is the case of other laptops in the list.
There are many use cases to be considered when buying laptop and under $100 budget you can expect powerful graphics, yet if you don’t need the graphics power you can always look for other features that may benefit you much more rather than just having powerful GPU.
Keep in mind that any integrated graphics card utilizes the RAM so the higher the RAM of your laptop then you can expect a better graphical experience, while dedicated GPUs have their own built-in RAM so it is not dependent on your laptop’s RAM and would do its thing on its own.
If you want to save more money and don’t want to top up the 1000 dollar budget, always aim for the most RAM and fastest processor available.
At a thousand dollar price range, you can ditch anything that only comes with 4GB of RAM no questions asked. That just simply won’t work for most games and other demanding tasks so don’t sacrifice the RAM just to cut for saving some money, it’s not worth it.
In the vast majority of cases, we highly recommend a minimum of 8GB of RAM to any laptop. In a thousand dollar budget, you can certainly say that 8GB is very feasible that there are even 16GB variants available though 32GG of RAM is not really into this price range.
In terms of processor speed, in this price range, it is better to avoid core i3 processor and go for i5 and up which is very feasible in this budget, and if going for AMD processor consider at least Ryzen 5 up for better performance. Core i3 just won’t suffice your expectation in terms of this budget price range so take note on that.
Never forget that the newer the processor version the more optimized it is and much faster than old gen processors.
When it comes to finding a laptop neither for work or gaming, never overlook the resolution of the screen so you won’t end up with sub-par viewing experience.
While it is true that the RAM, GPU, and CPU has the greatest impact on your laptop’s performance, don’t forget to take into account a laptop’s ability to display crisp and clear visuals. Having a good viewing experience is also a great investment.
At this price point, you can expect to have a decent high definition resolution or even IPS or Retina display so never go for a mediocre resolution that would hurt your eyes and expectations.
The minimum resolution at this price range should be at least 1080 which is the basic resolution when getting to this budget.
A laptop’s with these resolutions can get you vivid and crispy images for the great viewing experience, there is even a 144ms refresh rate available at this price range that is very good for gamers. You don’t need to stoop lower than 1080 resolutions to save extra money, it is not worth having a mediocre resolution, trust us.
Also having a decent resolution would help a lot in terms of productivity, the crisper the display the more focus you become.
With budget model laptop, you need to balance quality and speed and sacrifice storage. But in terms of under $1000 budget, you must pick decent storage.
At this price range, you can get SSD storage of at least 128GB and a maximum of 512GB which is more than enough for file storage, however, 128GB is so low, but you can always use cloud-based storage to maximize the laptop’s storage capacity.
There are even SSD and HDD combinations in this price range which is really good deal for those who need enormous storage for their work or gaming needs. SSD is the norm in this price range so don’t make a bad decision of getting an HDD storage, it affects the bootup time and transfer speed.
Storage is one of the most important factor in getting your next laptop as storage is responsible for how much files and applications you can save or install at your laptop while still having room for anything else so the bigger the storage the more you can do.
Processor speed, storage capacity, GPUs, and RAM shouldn’t be the only features you must consider — don’t forget the extras that make or break a machine at this price range.
Everything from number of ports to overall battery life can radically change weather a laptop meets your needs.
To figure out what you need, we recommend you start by asking yourself a few questions. For instance, do you need a card reader for transferring photos from your camera’s SD card?
Do you still need an optical drive for burning DVDs or transferring data from old CD installation discs?
How many USB ports will you need for external devices like a mouse, optical drive, or external monitor? Will you need to buy a USB hub to make sure you have enough ports?
For the best experience, make sure to answer these questions before looking for your top contenders!
What Do I Absolutely Need In A Computer At This Price?
Before getting into memory, processor speed, and storage capacity, there are two main issues you want to consider. Specifically, what are the build quality and longevity of the laptop?
It isn’t hard to find a computer with an 8th gen processor and 8 – 16GB of RAM at well under this price range. If you are going to drop more than $900 on a computer, it needs to last.
Always take a look at the reviews, and specifically be on the lookout for reviewers mentioning how long they’ve owned the machine. Some reviewers will give 5 stars after having a computer for a day, while others wait 8 months to a year or longer.
Those longer time period reviews will be much more helpful in determining if a particular model is still going to work properly after extended usage. Hinges break, screens lose quality, and fans get noisy over time if manufacturers skimp on the build quality.
When you know whether a $900+ portable computer is going to last long enough to be worth the investment, next up is time to consider the specs.
At this price point, you typically want a top-of-the-line processor and a minimum of 16GB of memory. There a few possible exceptions however, as noted below.
What Are Acceptable Trade Offs In This Price Range?
Each manufacturer focuses on a different set of specifications in each price range. Some will give you more processor speed, while others will go for battery life, storage capacity, and so on.
In general, you should only be willing to drop down to 8GB of RAM if there’s a very compelling trade off.
Getting a high end dedicated graphics card for gaming is one such reason, as is finding a 2-in-1 device with a larger screen.
When you get close to a thousand dollars in your initial investment, a solid state drive is almost always the way to go.
Solid state drives are always going to be faster than their HDD counterparts, but unfortunately they tend to have smaller storage space.For the cost of a 256GB SSD, you could get a full 1TB of hard drive space for instance.
If you haven’t used an SSD before and wouldn’t notice the difference in speed anyway, you can save some money by picking an HDD model.
What Do I Get If I Spend Over $1000?
If you decide to dip a little deeper into the bank account, there are some very attractive features to be found in any given laptop. In general, you’ll get similar specs, but without any trade offs.
For instance, you may find a full size 2-in-1 touch screen model with the best processor and most RAM. There won’t be any reduction in the specs on any end.
Besides features like touch screen functionality, any laptop in the $1,000 – $1,500 range is usually going to be meant for gaming.
These devices typically put in dedicated graphics cards with much higher processing ability. That means you can either run high end engineering software, or play cutting edge games at very high graphics settings.
If you don’t need those features and primarily use your computer for school, work, or web browsing, there isn’t much reason to spend that amount of money.
The only potential reason to spend more if you don’t play games is to get high end specs in an ultrabook that is more portable than the typical laptop.
Finding The Best Value Laptop
Did we help you find the best laptop under $1000 for your needs? Let us know what you think of our picks, and be sure to leave a comment if you end up buying one of these contenders!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you play games on laptops that cost under $1000?
Yes! We have listed a couple of gaming laptops right here in this list. If you are looking for something capable of gaming, the main thing to look for is if it has a dedicated GPU.
Does the brand of the laptop make a difference?
No. The brand doesn’t affect the specifications. You need to pick the brand you have the most confidence in, and has a good track record of making great laptops.