Today we are looking at laptops. And not just any laptops. In this post, we have carefully selected our favorite models for under $1,000. From business notebooks to gaming laptops, you will find lots of interesting options with great value for money.
The Best Laptops Under $1,000 in 2021
Getting a good laptop doesn’t have to threaten your mortgage payments. The thing is, these days, you can find lots of great devices that deliver stellar performance, impressive battery life and functional portability without breaking the bank. Here are just a few of them.
HP Envy 13: The Best Laptop Under $1,000 Overall
CPU: 11th-gen Intel Core i5/Core i7
GPU: Intel Iris Xe Graphics/Nvidia GeForce MX350
Display: 13.3-inch, 1080p/4K
Dimensions: 12.07 x 7.66 x 0.67 inches
Weight: 2.88 pounds
- Pros: beautiful design, very portable, bright display
- Cons: low battery life on the 4K display version
The HP Envy 13 gives other laptops a lot of things to be envious of. It is portable, and sleek, comes with 4K and 1080p display options and boasts really fast performance.
Plus, the latest model comes with additional privacy features, including a webcam kill switch and fingerprint sensor. Another improvement on the older model is that the laptop comes with a great set of speakers.
The only issue with the Envy 13 that is definitely worth pointing out is that the 4K version of the laptop is not the best when it comes to battery life and doesn’t last long on a single charge.
Apple MacBook Air: The Best macOS Laptop Under $1,000
CPU: Apple M1 chip
GPU: 7-core GPU/8-core GPU
Display: 13.3-inch LED-backlit Retina display
Dimensions: 0.63 x 11.97 x 8.36 inches
Weight: 2.8 pounds
- Pros: fast and powerful processor, excellent battery life, great keyboard
- Cons: low-resolution webcam
Apple products rarely make it into budget gadget lists. But the Apple MacBook Air (late 2020) is a notable exception to this trend. With lots of battery life, a super-powerful M1 processor and a smooth trackpad and keyboard setup, the laptop offers great value for money. And at $999, it just about makes it into our list.
This version of the laptop is almost identical to the mid-2020 MacBook Air. But there are two important changes: the Intel processor has been replaced with the Apple-made M1 processor, and there are no fans. The new processor has received 7,667 points in Geekbench 5 and makes the laptop perform better than lots of laptops twice its price.
One of the best features of the notebook, however, is its battery life. The laptop runs an astonishing 14 hours and 44 minutes on a single charge — and with moderate use, it can even make it through an entire day without recharging.
The laptop comes with the aluminum chassis, Retina display and sleek portable design that Apple is known for.
HP Envy x360 13: The Best Convertible Laptop for Under $1,000
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 4500
GPU: AMD Radeon Graphics
Display: 13.3-inch, 1080p
Dimensions: 12.1 x 7.7 x 0.7 inches
Weight: 2.9 pounds
- Pros: solid performance, bright and vivid display, stylish and compact design, long battery life
The HP Envy x360 13 is one of the best laptops for under $1,000 when it comes to 2-in-1 capabilities. You can flip the laptop into a tent or use it in tablet mode. Unfortunately, there is no stylus on board.
Another feature that adds a lot to the laptop’s great value for money is the entirely aluminum design.
The insides are just as impressive. The HP Envy x360 runs on the Ryzen 5 4500U CPU and can outperform laptops with 10th-gen Intel chips. The laptop has a bright and vivid 13.3-inch display and a very comfortable keyboard.
Lenovo Legion Y545: The Best Gaming Laptop Under $1,000
CPU: 2.2-GHz Intel Core i7-9750H CPU
GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GPU with 6GB of VRAM
RAM/Storage: 16GB/128GB SSD
Display Size/Resolution: 15.6/1920 x 1080
Dimensions: 14.22 x 1.05 x 10.5 inches
Weight: 5.2 pounds
- Pros: simple design, comfortable keyboard
- Cons: low battery life, heats up when gaming
If you are looking for a strong gaming laptop and don’t mind modest designs, the Lenovo Legion Y545 might just be the perfect fit. The laptop comes with a simple business-like design and stellar gaming performance. There is the Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti GPU on board paired with the Intel Core i7 CPU. The Nvidia graphics chip delivers a surprising amount of power and above-average performance results. With that, the laptop’s Core i7 processor is more than enough for creating spreadsheets, doing some light video- editing, watching movies, and more. Plus, the laptop’s non-flashy design makes it perfectly suitable for an office environment — with all the gaming power resting comfortably under the hood.
The Lenovo Legion Y545 also comes with a comfortable keyboard and great audio. Summing things up, it’s at the top of our list of the best budget gaming laptops under $1,000 for 2021.
Lenovo ThinkBook 14s Yoga: The Best Convertible Laptop for Business Under $1,000
CPU: Intel Core i7-1165G7
GPU: Intel Iris Xe
Display: 14-inch, 1080p Corning Gorilla Glass
Size: 12.6 x 8.62 x 0.67 inches
Weight: 3.3 pounds
Pros: good build quality, stylus included, fingerprint reader in power button
Cons: quiet speakers, chassis easily fingerprinted
The Lenovo ThinkBook 14s Yoga wants to stand out from other sub-$1,000 business convertibles on the market. And it does. The laptop comes with a very interesting design that lets it move into several different positions, including tent mode and tablet mode.
Unlike the HP Envy x360, the Lenovo ThinkBook 14s Yoga comes with its own dedicated stylus and also features a silo for rapid charging while it’s not in use. Along with strong performance and good battery life, the ThinkBook 14s Yoga is perfect for business. It makes it super easy to make notes, work with documents, hold video conferences, and more.
One downside that we would note is that ThinkBook’s speakers are more on the quiet side.
Microsoft Surface Pro 7: The Best Business Laptop Overall Under $1,000
CPU: 11th-gen Intel Core i3/Core i5/Core i7
GPU: Intel UHD or Iris Pro
Display: 12.3-inch, 2736 x 1824-pixel
Size: 11.5 x 7.9 x 0.33 inches
Weight: 1.7-1.74 pounds
- Pros: speedy performance, colorful display, comfortable keyboard
- Cons: low battery life
You can think of the Surface Pro 7 as the Surface Pro 6 with a power boost. The new version of the laptop delivers outstanding performance but comes with slightly less impressive battery life.
When it comes to looks, everything has stayed mostly the same. There is one small addition: the Surface Pro 7 comes with a USB-C port for charging and connecting peripherals.
You can pair the laptop with Microsoft’s popular Surface Pen to take quick notes on the bright 12.3-inch display.
Inside, there is the 11th-gen Intel Core processor, typically seen on much pricier models. And this is one of the many reasons why the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 firmly keeps its place among the best business laptops under $1,000 in 2021.
While the Surface 7 Pro offers one of the best value-for-money deals on the laptop market, there are still a few things that could be improved. For instance, the laptop comes with rather chunky display bezels, and upgrading to get more RAM and storage is a rather expensive enterprise.
Asus Chromebook Flip C434: The Best Chromebook Under $500
CPU: Intel Core m3-8100Y
Storage: 64GB eMMC
Display: 14-inch, 1080p touch screen
Dimensions: 12.6 x 8 x 0.6 inches
Weight: 3.1 pounds
- Pros: sleek design, thin display bezels, large bright display, long battery life
- Cons: mixed performance
The Asus Chromebook Flip C434 is a great follow- up to the Flip C302CA. The laptop comes with a stunning thin-bezel 14-inch display. The display is bright and colorful and definitely makes it into the list of the laptop’s best features.
Thanks to its large display and sleek aluminum design, the Flip C434 has a more premium feel than most other Chromebooks. Plus, it lasts about 10 hours on a single charge.
Acer Aspire 5: The Best Laptop Under $500
CPU: Intel Core i5-1135G7
GPU: Iris Xe Graphics
Storage: 256GB SSD
Display: 14-inch, 1920 x 1080
Size: 12.9 x 8.8 x 0.7 inches
Weight: 3.75 pounds
- Pros: solid performance, long battery life, bright 1080p display
- Cons: not the best build quality, moderate graphics
The Acer Aspire 5 is on our list for not one but several reasons:
It comes with the 11th-gen Core i5 processor.
There is a 1080p display on board.
Battery life is remarkable: close to 10 hours on a single charge.
And, finally, the laptop costs under $500.
All of this makes the Aspire 5 one of the best laptops currently available in this price category.
The Aspire 5 comes with a beautiful display that emits 276 nits of brightness. Plus, the bezels on the screen are really thin — especially for a laptop in this price range.
Asus ZenBook 13: The Best Ultraportable Laptop Under $1,000
CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 5800U
GPU: AMD Radeon Graphics
Storage: 1TB SSD
Display: 13.3-inch, 1080p, OLED
Size: 12.0 x 8.0 x 0.6 inches
Weight: 2.6 pounds
- Pros: stellar performance, beautiful OLED display, long battery life, sleek design, good speakers
- Cons: cramped keyboard, sticky touchpad
If what you are looking for in a laptop is portability, check out the Asus ZenBook 13 UM325S, a great ultraportable laptop.
The laptop is a breeze to carry around because it is incredibly compact. Plus, it offers good performance, stellar battery life, a beautiful OLED display, and powerful speakers.
Naturally, there are a few shortcomings as well — and most of them are expected with a laptop this small. For instance, the keyboard that comes with the ZenBook 13 is quite small, and the touchpad is not very easy to use.
Acer Swift 3: The Best High-Performing Laptop Under $1,000
CPU: Intel Core i7-1165G7
GPU: Intel Iris Xe
RAM: 8GB | Storage: 512GB SSD
Display: 13.5-inch, 2256 x 1504
Dimensions: 11.91 x 9.21 x 0.63 inches
Weight: 2.62 pounds
- Pros: strong performance, powerful CPU, great battery life, fingerprint scanner
- Cons: dim display
The Acer Swift 3 is all about performance. The laptop runs on the Intel Core i7-1165G7 CPU and, according to numerous tests, has outperformed not only other laptops in its price range but also some more advanced top-tier devices, like the Dell XPS 13.
Another great thing about the Acer Swift 3 is the laptop’s impressive battery life: it can last for over 11 hours on a single charge.
There is one thing you’ll need to sacrifice for the great price tag: the laptop’s display has been reported to be quite dim.
Dell XPS 13: The Best Thin Laptop Under $1,000
CPU: Intel Core i3-1115G4
Storage: 256GB SSD
Display: 13.4-inch 1920 X 1200 Infinity Edge
Dimensions: 11.6 x 7.8 x 0.6 inches
Weight: 2.64 pounds
- Pros: very portable design, strong performance, bright display, good battery life
- Cons: few ports, shallow keyboard
Despite all the great new arrivals in on our list, the Dell XPS 13 (2020) continues to be one of the best laptops for under $1K. With the Dell XPS 13, you are getting a remarkably slim chassis, a stunning Infinity Edge display and solid internals. This includes a 11th-gen Intel Core i3 processor and a strong battery that can keep the device running for almost 11 hours.
And this concludes our list of the best laptops for under $1,000. So, is a 1000-dollar laptop worth it? That’s up to you to decide. But from what we see today on the market, there are more and more great models staking their claim — with many already outperforming more expensive devices.