The best laptops under $1,000 in 2024

Forget the myth that stellar laptops require exorbitant prices. Finding a fantastic notebook under $1,000 is entirely possible, striking the perfect balance between performance, battery life, and portability without sacrificing your budget. Naturally, priorities shift based on your specific needs.

Those primarily browsing the web or using basic productivity apps can find solace in a more affordable CPU. However, power users constantly on the go might find sacrificing screen brightness or extended battery life unbearable. No worries, my friends. Thanks to the launch of Intel's Core Ultra and AMD's AI-infused CPUs, the days of poor performance and battery life are a thing of the past, and yes, you can enjoy this experience for under $1,000!

That said, there are plenty of brilliant sub-$1,000 options to fit any workflow, though this list focuses on the best of the best on a budget. You may notice a couple of old timers that can still hold their own amongst our picks. Trust me, we're also stunned at just how well the M2 MacBook Air holds up over two years later — it is seriously still that good! 

Chromebooks are finally flexing their muscles, promising premium specs and features that could shake up the budget market. However, save some money while enjoying the much-improved performance and battery life thanks to the latest gen of CPUs. Let's have a peek at some of today's best laptops for $1,000. 

Just know that this list will be evolving a great deal this year as we start receiving more review units. 2024 is going to be a year of major change. 

Curated by
Laptop Mag: About Us
Curated by
Rami Tabari

Rami can spot a budget laptop from a mile away, but there are some that guise themselves in the mask of premium laptops. Those are the entries that Rami has slotted onto this page. We shouldn't have to sacrifice quality just to fit something within our budget. Rami knows that better than anyone, especially after reviewing dozens of laptops under $1,000. It's not just about components, either. The laptop has to be good as well. Rami knows which are the best laptops under $1,000.

The Quick List

The best laptops under $1,000 you can buy today

Why you can trust Laptop Mag Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

After rigorous testing, we've culminated a list of the best laptops under $1,000 just below. You'll find our mini-reviews linked out to more extensive reviews, but you should get all of the information you need right here.

Best overall

Everything you could want from a laptop within a triple-digit budget

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core Ultra 7 155H
GPU: Intel integrated Arc GPU
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 1TB
Display: 14-inch WUXGA (1920 x 1200) touch display
Weight: 2.9 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Intel Core Ultra CPU/ARC GPU is a revelation
+
Stylish, sturdy, all-aluminum build
+
Excellent Webcam
+
Improved Battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Weak speaker performance
-
The base display could be more colorful

Acer's Swift Go 14 ushers in a new era with its impressive AI capabilities. Gone are the days of lackluster integrated graphics — the Swift Go's Arc GPU tackles most tasks effortlessly while its NPU optimizes performance for a seamless user experience. 

This translates to smooth 4K video editing, even unplugged, making it a compelling alternative to the pricier MacBook Air M2. Even in our lab, the Acer Swift Go 14 achieved a multi-core average of 11,815 on the Geekbench 5.5 overall performance test. That put the Macbook Air M2 and Macbook Pro 13 M2 to shame, with the M2's score being 8,919.

The Swift Go 14 improved over last year’s entry, netting an additional 2 hours of battery life for a total of 9 hours and 50 minutes. It’s not the best, but it lasts a whole work or school day. Its 14-inch, WUXGA (1920 x 1200) resolution touch display is no joke, either. It covered 79.1% of the DCI-P3 color gamut and averaged 374 nits of brightness. That’s vibrant as hell for a laptop at this price.

You may or may not know this, but laptop webcams suck. Not this one, though. The Swift Go 14’s QHD (2560 x 1440) webcam is excellent. You get improved image quality thanks to the high resolution and Acer’s included AI tools.

All that is packed into a sturdy aluminum build, which comes in at 2.9 pounds and 12.32 x 8.58 x 0.68 inches. Budget laptops can get a little chunky, so it’s quite refreshing to see a machine that not only looks good but is extremely portable.

With its powerful performance, ample storage, affordability, and top-notch webcam, the Swift Go 14 emerges as a serious contender for budget-conscious students, creators, and professionals on the move.

See our full Acer Swift Go 14 review.

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Best Gaming Laptop

Squeeze every ounce of your coin for the greatest budget gaming laptop

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i7-11375H
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD
Display: 14-inch, 1080p
Weight: 3.8 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Strong performance and graphics
+
Solid battery life
+
Relatively affordable
+
Bright and colorful display

Reasons to avoid

-
Keyboard and touchpad could use some work
-
Quiet audio

You might notice that the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE is a slightly older model of gaming laptop. That's because gaming laptops are getting more expensive, so slotting one into our best laptops under $1,000 page is challenging. But age cannot define or contain this beast. It's still my favorite affordable gaming laptop, especially since the price dropped significantly. This Predator is a 14-inch gaming laptop sporting a bright 1080p screen with a 144Hz refresh rate.

It crushed the average mainstream gaming laptop (at the time of review) on AAA titles such as Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. The Triton nailed 73 fps on the Far Cry New Dawn benchmark, matching or beating the competition. 

The Predator Triton 300 SE offers a solid battery life as well, so you won't be running for a charger so quickly. It survived for 6 hours and 41 minutes. While it might not get you through a full work or school day, you can watch The Fellowship of the Ring twice on this machine (the theatrical cut).

You're not sacrificing the display with the Triton. The Predator Triton 300 averaged nearly 300 nits of brightness on its 14-inch, 1080p, 144Hz display. That is impressive for an affordable gaming laptop. In terms of color, the Triton nailed 80.6% of the DCI-P3 color gamut, which is more colorful than laptops you'd have to take a loan out to buy.

Laptops at this price usually stick us with a chunky gaming laptop with a thick deck. The Triton arrived in style, however, clocking in at 3.8 pounds and 12.7 x 9.0 x 0.7 inches. It's nearly unheard of to find a gaming laptop that’s affordable and compact.

Tally up its wins, from its size, performance, and battery life. The Acer Predator Triton 300 SE is the perfect laptop to game on and bring to work or school. You might still have to travel with a charger, but you won't be plugged in for very long.

See our full Acer Predator Triton 300 SE review.

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Best Chromebook

Impressive performance for a Chromebook — you can get anything done

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i5-1335U
GPU: Intel Iris Xe Graphics
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 256GB SSD
Display: 14-inch 1920 x 1200 (WUXGA) touchscreen
Weight: 3.2 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Almost 13 hours of battery life
+
Stylish chassis
+
Decent keyboard
+
1440p webcam
+
Bright display

Reasons to avoid

-
Quiet speaker

The Acer Chromebook Spin 714 is one of the best Chromebooks you can buy. It's a prodigious, potent, productive 2-in-1 Chromebook with subtle chrome accents that give it a hint of posh curb appeal. 

This Intel Evo-certified laptop is packed with an Intel Core i5-1335U processor, Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage — the Spin 714 is not your garden-variety Chromebook. On our lab tests, the Chromebook Spin 714 averaged a Geekbench 5 multicore score of 6,335 while the average Chromebook scored 5,299. While not the snappiest performance on this list, it is impressive for a Chromebook.

The Spin 714 is a super portable, productivity-focused laptop meant for doers, whether they’re students, teachers, or remote workers. It weighs in at 3.2 pounds and measures 12.3 x 8.8 x 0.71 inches. And with its “Spin” design, you can use it however you like, whether in tablet, tent, or clamshell mode.

For a sub-$1,000 laptop, the Spin 714’s display is praiseworthy. Its 14-inch, 1920 x 1200-pixel panel covered 76% of the DCI-P3 color gamut and achieved 389 nits of brightness. I’ve seen worse displays on laptops that cost twice as much.

My favorite part? The battery life. The Acer Chromebook Spin 714 lasted 12 hours and 43 minutes on a single charge. That’s a whole workday and a lot of overtime (paid, or else).

Like catching two shiny Pokémon in a row, this budget laptop also features a great webcam. Its QHD, 2460 x 1440-pixel shooter captured a range of bold colors and balanced the contrast rather well.

Tying it all together is that satisfyingly tactile keyboard. Chromebooks are great for people who write, work in spreadsheets, or even focus on shopping. The keyboard is a vital experience to that, and the Spin 714 will serve you well.

See our full Acer Chromebook Spin 714 review.

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Best MacBook

Yes, you can get a MacBook under $1,000, and it's great

Specifications

CPU: M2
GPU: M2
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 256GB
Display: 13.3-inch, 2560 x 1664-pixel
Weight: 2.7 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Good performance
+
Bright, colorful screen
+
Comfortable keyboard
+
Excellent battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Few ports
-
SSD somewhat slower than M1 Air

Apple's powerful M2 MacBook Air made the cut thanks to its brilliant $999 price tag. Even better, you'll find plenty of deals knocking down that price even lower. You get unrivaled performance along with 14 hours and 6 minutes of battery life. This is a combination you'll only find from the very best Windows 11 laptops, and even most of them struggle to compete with the MacBook Air M2's combination of battery life plus performance.

In our lab performance tests, the Macbook Air M2's Geekbench 5.5 score of 8,919 is not the best, bur it’s nothing to scoff at. The Acer Swift Go 14 scored a higher average of 11,815. The Apple Macbook Air 13 M3 also has a high performance benchmark in Geekbench 6, with a multi-core average of 12,087. However, the MacBook Air M2 offers more than enough power for web surfing, photo and video editing, and checking your emails.

Apple's least expensive 13.3-inch model is also its most portable, coming in at only 0.44 inches thick and 2.7 pounds. Despite the size, the keyboard offers springy feedback and is gloriously quiet. 

Let’s not count out its 13.3-inch, 2560 x 1664-pixel display. It registered 75.9% of the DCI-P3 color gamut and averaged a whopping 489 nits of brightness. Since the MacBook Air has a glossy panel (which makes colors more bold), it needs more brightness to compensate for the glare. This model does exactly that.

With a lower price tag, still solid performance, and excellent battery there's a lot to love about the Macbook Air M2. It's one of the best college laptops around, and for those looking to spend just under $1,000, you're in for a treat.

See our full 
MacBook Air M2 review.

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Best business

Show up to work in style with this excellent business notebook

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i7-1355U
GPU: Intel Iris Xe Graphics
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 512GB SSD
Display: 14-inch FHD (1,920x1,200)
Weight: 3.3 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent build quality and sleek design
+
Fine performance smoothly handling diverse workflows
+
Bright display with solid saturated colors
+
Good audio
+
Good webcam

Reasons to avoid

-
Under 8-hour battery life

With people returning to the office and traveling for work, the Lenovo ThinkPad E14 Gen 5 is perfectly positioned to take center stage in this new hybrid work landscape. 

This portable workhorse is an ideal travel companion thanks to its MIL-STD 810H certification, which proved that it can withstand the average drops and tumbles on top of extreme temperatures, dust, shocks, and more. Its IR camera, webcam shutter, and fingerprint sensor also make it less susceptible to security breaches.

On the performance side, the ThinkPad E14 is packing an Intel Core i7-1355U processor, which scored 8,000 on the Geekbench 6 overall performance test, beating the average laptop in its category at the time of the review. Its 512GB SSD is also quite speedy, clocking in at 1,258 megabytes per second.

I love it when a display brightens my day — the ThinkPad’s 14-inch, WUXGA (1920 x 1200) resolution touch display averaged 366 nits of brightness. However, there are a few clouds in the forecast, as the panel covered a measly 46.3% of the DCI-P3 color gamut. That means the display is half as colorful as the average laptop in its category.

If you’re familiar with the ThinkPad brand then you’d know how famously comfortable their keyboards are. The ThinkPad E14 is no different, boasting a super responsive keyboard with excellent bounce. The spacing between the keys is great, and the pointing stick users will be satisfied to know this machine has the nub.

However, a big hit to business users is the battery life. The ThinkPad E14 lasted only 7 hours and 48 minutes on a single charge. That almost completes a workday, but won’t be enough to get you over the finish line. As long as you’re okay with reaching for a charger at the end of the day, the Lenovo ThinkPad E14 Gen 5 is a great business laptop.

See our full Lenovo ThinkPad E14 Gen 5 review.

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Best for students

This is the most gorgeous display you'll find on a budget

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core Ultra 7 155H
GPU: Intel Arc Graphics
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 1TB SSD
Display: 14-inch, 1920 x 1080, OLED
Weight: 3 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Almost 16 hours of battery life!
+
Snappy performance
+
Quality audio
+
Smooth, comfortable keyboard

Reasons to avoid

-
Display could be brighter

Going to college? Struggling through exams? The Asus Zenbook 14 OLED (Q425M) is the killing machine for you. A stunning display, incredible battery life and an affordable price are the three key pillars of this laptop. Get a couple school days in with the Zenbook's jaw-dropping 15 hours and 52 minutes of battery life. This is an excellent example of Asus killing it with its laptops lately. Now what about that display?

The Zenbook's 14-inch, 1080p, OLED display is one of the biggest highlights. Whether you're watching study videos or streaming your favorite content at the end of the day, this OLED panel will grace you with 79.8% coverage of the DCI-P3 color gamut and 339 nits of brightness.

Performance? Check out Intel's latest Core Ultra 7 155H, which sports the power to get you through a modest number of tasks. We photo-edited, browsed the web with a couple dozen Chrome tabs opened, and managed a few spreadsheets. The Zenbook 14 purred like a cat.

Don't worry about typing those long essays, the Zenbook 14’s comfortable keyboard will ensure you don't get exhausted. The 1.4mm key travel offered a great click-to-pressure ratio, which made typing across the keyboard a satisfying endeavor.

The Zenbook 14's Harman Kardon and Dolby Atmos-certified super-linear speakers had us headbanging subconsciously. These speakers captured quality mids and highs along with a wide bass.

Coming in at 0.59 inches, the Zenbook 14 is ridiculously portable, and at 3 pounds, it's lighter than most science textbooks. You should be able to slot that into any sort of backpack. The webcam privacy shutter is also another neat feature. We don't see that often, especially at this price.

See our full Asus Zenbook 14 OLED (Q425M) review.

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How to choose the best laptops under $1,000

When shopping for one of the best laptops under $1,000, there's an awful lot to consider. Here's a good breakdown of how to find the best laptop for you.

What's your budget?

Sure, you can find some diamond-in-the-rough Windows laptops and high-quality Chromebooks for under $500, but you may have to deal with a low-performing CPU or a poor multitasker. If you're a light laptop user, those will be OK, but if you need something more powerful, you may want to aim higher — the best mainstream laptops typically cost more than $700. If you can, we suggest aiming for the $700 to $900 range.

You just need to watch out for specs and quality, which we thoroughly cover in our reviews, but if we haven't reviewed it, we recommend typing the laptop's name into your favorite search engine followed by "review." You should find what you need to make an informed decision.

Do you want a 2-in-1 or a clamshell?

If you enjoy the awesomeness of converting your laptop into a tablet, 2-in-1 laptops are a good choice. Just keep in mind that most times, you'll be able to get a lower price and stronger-performing features with a traditional laptop.

How much battery life do you need?

If you're on the go, you're going to need to make sure you snag a laptop that lasts more than 10 hours.  But if you're a homebody or you're tied to your desk all day, perhaps you can sacrifice some battery life and save some money in the process. Check out our laptops with the best battery life list.

What specs do you need? 

Aim for a Core i5 CPU if you want decent performance. Memory and storage, you should aim for 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. As far as display, don't get anything less than a 1080p screen — your eyes will thank you later.

You can spend a lot of time delving into specs, but here are the key components to think about. If you just want really good mainstream performance, go for a Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and a 1080p screen.

Gamers and content creators will likely want a laptop with discreet graphics, but finding a high-performing GPU under $1,000 might not be an easy task. 

How we test the best laptops under $1,000

We put each laptop through extensive benchmark testing — both synthetic and real-world — before they end up in the hands of our reviewers. We evaluate each aspect of the laptop, including its performance, battery life, display, speakers and heat management.

In our benchmark testing, we use a Klein K10 colorimeter to detect the brightness and DCI-P3 color gamut of the laptop's display. For performance testing, we run the laptop through a gauntlet of benchmarks, including Geekbench 5 and 6 and 3DMark professional graphics tests. 

To determine real-world performance, we task the laptop to convert a 4K video to 1080p resolution and to duplicate a 4.97GB multimedia file. Our real-world graphics test is the Sid Meier's Civilization 6 Gathering Storm benchmark with medium settings at 1080p resolution.

We also run heat tests by playing a 15-minute full-screen video and measuring temperatures in different areas of the laptop. Last but not least, our battery test consists of continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness. For MacBooks and premium Windows 11 laptops, a runtime of over 9 hours is considered a good result whereas gaming laptops and workstations that can stay powered for longer than 5 hours deserve praise. 

These tests are complemented with extensive hands-on testing from our reviewers who critique everything from the laptop's materials to the feel of its touchpad.

See this page on How We Test Laptops for more details on our benchmarking procedures.

Why Trust Laptop Mag

Laptop Mag reviews over one hundred different laptops every year, from paperweight ultralights to everyday workhorses to lumbering gaming notebooks that scorch the frame rates of even the hottest AAA games. We're not just experts in the laptop field, as we go one step further by meticulously testing smartphones, tablets, headphones, PC accessories, software, and even the latest in gaming. 

We are 100% independent and have decades of experience to help you buy with confidence. In fact, Laptop Mag has been testing and reviewing products for three decades, and we continue to deliver trustworthy reviews you can rely on. 

Our experienced team of writers and editors scour the available information about the laptop and put it through its paces to determine which is best for you. But before they start, the testing team subjects each system to a rigorous regimen of synthetic and real-world tests to see how a system handles the type of work and games you’re most likely to throw at it. 

Our editorial trustworthiness is enforced by one of the world's largest technology publishers, Future Publishing. As a company, we have unrivaled experience across every tech sector — and we're the group's specialist for all things mobile tech. 

Rami Tabari
Editor

Rami Tabari is an Editor for Laptop Mag. He reviews every shape and form of a laptop as well as all sorts of cool tech. You can find him sitting at his desk surrounded by a hoarder's dream of laptops, and when he navigates his way out to civilization, you can catch him watching really bad anime or playing some kind of painfully difficult game. He’s the best at every game and he just doesn’t lose. That’s why you’ll occasionally catch his byline attached to the latest Souls-like challenge.