Rest assured that you’ll find something in the best laptops under $1,000/£1,000 aisle if you need a notebook that’s powerful but not piggy bank breaking. While most people will be satisfied with a bargain-basement laptop, some of us need just a little more power to see us through our day. But, that also doesn’t mean that you have to splurge more than $1,000/£1,000 for one.
Mobile components powering laptops have gotten cheaper yet more powerful and more power efficient over the last few years. Because of that, cheap laptops are increasingly common and more realistically capable of handling the needs of people who do more than browse the internet and stream videos.
Gamers seeking an affordable laptop and video editors who want to save money with a laptop under $1,000/£1,000 will easily find powerful options. As will regular users who want something that’s just a little more premium than the best laptops under $500.
We’ve tested hundreds of laptops and Chromebooks over the years here at TechRadar, and we’re here to lend our expertise. We found the best laptops under $1,000/£1,000 for different users and different needs below, and included our price comparison tool for good measure.
The best laptops under $1,000/£1,000 2022
If its 2-in-1 version is a little out of your budget, the Dell Inspiron 16 5000 might be a better fit. While the Inspiron line might not be as premium as Dell’s pride and joy, the XPS, these affordable laptops do not get left in the dust in terms of performance. That makes them appealing to budget-minded users who aren’t very particular about having the shiniest toy as long as it sees them through their needs.
The Dell Inspiron 16 5000 gets you a robust configuration for much less than you would think, in fact. For under $600/£600, you can get a powerful 12th-gen Intel Core i5-powered one that should be more than enough for your productivity and general needs. What’s even more astounding is that if you need something more powerful, you still won’t go over that $1,000/£1,000 mark.
Of course, some sacrifices are made to get that low in price. The display is never going to compete with what the XPS line has to offer. But, alongside power, you’re getting a decent battery life and a great design – not to mention, a solidly-built product. What more could you ask for from a laptop under $1,000/£1,000?
The Acer Nitro 5 (2022) is yet more proof that budget laptops are worth something. It might not have the sheer power to deliver smooth-as-butter gaming at the highest or ultra settings, but it’s more than enough to let you experience that new AAA game, albeit at slightly lower settings.
Its base configuration used to be higher, but it has since dropped down in price, now starting at well under $1,000/£1,000. That’s while delivering a solid performance. During our tests, this gaming laptop was able to deliver between 70-130 FPS in low settings and even get up to 50fps on ultra when running Total War: Warhammer III and Cyberpunk 2077. That’s not too shabby for a laptop at this price range.
As for the compromises, you’ll find those in the battery. Not only does it have abysmal battery life, but it charges slow as well. Best keep this one tethered to the electrical outlet.
Read our full Acer Nitro 5 (2022) review
We have chewed over whether or not to include a MacBook laptop in this article, especially because the M2 model is even pricier than its predecessor. Plus, there are excellent Windows options out there that will see you through your video renders for less. However, it is the best we want, and for the best laptop under $1,000/£1,000 for video editing, there’s none better than the MacBook Air M1.
If you stick with the base model, you’re still getting that powerful M1 chip that’s an absolute game-changer. Our tests have not only proven this laptop to deliver as promised – that is, slay through 4K video editing workloads – but that it’s also capable of handling 8K ones as well. And, that’s while having a fanless design and a thin chassis.
Not yet convinced? The up to 15 hours of battery life while web browsing or up to 18 hours of video should make you a convert.
Read our full MacBook Air M1, 2020 review
Asus is among the best laptop brands and lauded for its great-value products like the Asus VivoBook 17 2022. If you insist on getting a laptop while still needing plenty of display space, go for a 17-inch model like this one, which comes with impressive specs.
All that screen real estate combined with a 12th-gen chip from Intel equals a highly capable machine for the less demanding creative workloads like photo editing and graphics design. You probably shouldn’t go for this one if you’re looking for a video editing laptop, as the integrated graphics inside means that you’ll have to suffer through long video rendering times. We wouldn’t play graphics-intensive games on it either.
But, for everything else, this is the best 17-inch laptop under $1,000/£1,000. That’s especially because for something so affordable, it comes with a nice set of premium features like a fingerprint sensor.
HP Envy is to Spectre as Dell Inspiron is to the XPS line. That is, the Envy x360 might not be as premium as HP’s flagship, but it’s just as well-deserving of price. This 2-in-1 oozes in value, and not just because of its hybrid form factor that gives you several devices in one.
This is also the best touchscreen laptop under $1,000/£1,000, touting a fantastic display whose touchscreen prowess is not just responsive, but also premium feeling. So, if that’s what you’re looking for, you need to look no further.
Of course, there are other things to love here. Its battery gave us just over 13 hours in our PCMark 10 battery test, which is just a little longer than the Spectre. All-day battery life might be the new normal within the premium Ultrabook circle, but that isn’t always the case at this lower price point. This laptop is a little heavy, unfortunately, but its affordable price certainly lightens that load.
Read our full HP Envy x360 15 review
An affordable laptops list isn’t complete without at least one Chromebook entry, but since this one’s at a higher price point, we have to insist on a premium Chromebook entry. The Asus Chromebook CX9 takes this laptop type up a notch with powerful specs worthy of a mid-range Windows 11 laptop – only it’s much better since those components aren’t weighed down by a demanding operating system.
We have yet to finish our testing of the CX9, but we’ve already been using it for a while, and we cannot deny we’re great fans. With all that power under the hood, you can run 20+ browser tabs plus a couple of streaming apps without any discerning lags, and we’d recommend this to professionals who need something with actual multitasking prowess.
A few other things to love here are its keyboard that’s extremely comfortable to use, its lightweight, travel-friendly design, the responsive touchscreen, and its trackpad that moonlights as a number pad because it’s just cool.
How to choose the best laptops under $1,000/£1,000 for you
With a 1,000/£1,000 budget, you’ve got more options to choose from. Scratch that; you’ve got more quality options to choose from. And, that should make the decision-making process easier.
Still, there are things to keep in mind. Performance comes first above all else. At this price point, you might not be limited to bargain-basement options, but you’re also unlikely to find something with all the fancy frills. So, focus on what your day-to-day workload is.
If it doesn’t look demanding, you can maybe get something that balances power and features. However, if you do the occasional photo editing and a lot of multitasking, you might need to sacrifice some features to get something that’s slightly more powerful. That is, if you want to keep it below 1,000/£1,000.
Also think about where things might be non-negotiable for you. If you cannot have something that will weigh you down on your travels, find something that’s lightweight. If you need something that will last you an entire day without charging, find one that has all-day battery life.
How we test laptops
We put the laptops we test through rigorous testing and benchmarking to ensure that they are worth your hard-earned cash. Every laptop we test, we use as if it’s our own work, personal, or gaming laptop, depending on its capabilities and power. We use it on a daily basis for most things and for about a week so we have an idea of how it fares in the real world.
We do oodles of benchmarking, of course, including its battery life. And, we test out not just its special features but also things like the keyboard, the trackpad, and the touch display. We use it to consume media and make video calls to check its speakers, webcam, and mic.
Finally, once we’ve gathered all the data we need, we put them all together and consider its price to see if you, the consumer, get a lot of value from it.
For more information, see how we test laptops and desktops.