The best laptops you can buy for under $1,000 in 2022

The best laptops you can buy for under $1,000 in 2022

Buying a new laptop is quite an important decision. It can be hard to find the exact things you need in a laptop, and this is a device you’re going to use for a few years, so it’s important to choose the right one. To help out with that, we already have a list of the best laptops you can buy, but what if you don’t have an infinite budget? Well, you’re in luck, as we’ve rounded up some of the best laptops you can buy for under $1,000.

Nowadays, the best premium laptops can go well into the thousands of dollars, but a $1,000 budget isn’t too shabby at all. You can get some great laptops at that price, so you’re not really limited in quality here. These laptops may lack some bells and whistles, but they’ll get the job done perfectly fine, and this is a budget where you can already find great laptops in all kinds of categories. So, without further ado, here are the best laptops you can get for under $1,000.

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Best overall: HP Envy x360 15

HP Envy x360 15 2021 feature image

HP’s Envy lineup often gets overshadowed by the Spectre family when talking about HP’s best laptops, but that doesn’t mean these aren’t fantastic laptops. The HP Envy family features more down to Earth designs, but on the inside, it’s often just as good as the Spectre laptops. And the HP Envy x360 15 is one of the very best laptops you can buy right now.

For starters, let’s talk about performance. The HP Spectre x360 15 comes with Intel’s 11th-generation Core processors, all the way up to a Core i7-1195G7. That’s Intel’s most powerful 15W processor right now, featuring four cores, eight threads, and boost speeds up to 5GHz. It’s the only 15W processor that can boost that high, and that makes this one of the most powerful premium laptops around. In addition to that, you can get up to 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD for storage, but you’ll have to make some choices to stay under the $1,000 budget. We’d recommend springing for the 16GB of RAM first and then choosing what you need the most.

As for the display, the HP Envy x360 comes with a 15.6-inch panel, and it has Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080) in the base model. That’s sharp enough to look great for almost anyone, and combined with the relatively large size, this is a great display to get work done. It makes multitasking easier and media consumption is great, too. There is a model with a 4K AMOLED display option, but that would go well past the $1,000 budget, and frankly, it’s a bit too much for what you get.

The HP Envy x360 suffers from the same problem most modern laptops do –  the webcam isn’t the best. This is a 720p camera, and we live in an age where video calls, classes, and meetings are more prevalent than ever, so it would have been nice to see a 1080p camera. However, the vast majority of laptops is still using 720p cameras, even the more expensive Spectre lineup, so this isn’t surprising. This model doesn’t support Windows Hello facial recognition, but it does have a fingerprint reader, so it’s very easy to unlock your PC and sign in quickly.

The big area where the HP Envy x360 cuts back to the Spectre x360 family is the design. The Intel-based models of the Envy x360 15 are mostly only available in silver, which some may find a bit basic. It’s a clean and classic look, so it will fit in well anywhere, it’s just not very exciting. It also doesn’t have trimmed corners or anything fancy like the Spectre lineup. It’s still a fairly thin laptop, though, measuring 18.29mm, and it weighs 4.o2lbs. For a 15-inch convertible made of aluminum, that’s fairly standard, though it’s going to be a bit heavy if you’re carrying it all day.

As for ports, the HP Envy x360 has a solid selection, You get one Thunderbolt 4 (USB Type-C) port for docking and charging, two USB Type-A ports, HDMI, a headphone jack, and a full-size SD card reader. There’s also a proprietary charging port, so the Thunderbolt port is freed up if you need to connect a hub or dock. Of course, you can also use it for charging if you have a USB Type-C laptop charger.

If you need to spend under $1,000, the HP Envy x360 is one of the best laptops you can buy.

    HP Envy x360 15
    The HP Envy x360 is a premium convertible with high-end specs and great build quality.

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Best clamshell laptop: Dell Inspiron 15

If you want something more powerful and you don’t need the convertible form factor, then the Dell Inspiron 15 is one of the best options you can find right now. This is a powerful clamshell laptop with a large display, and it gets a lot right.

First off, in terms of performance, the Dell Inspiron 15 comes with Intel’s H35 series processors, up to an Intel Core i7-11390H. This isn’t the same as the processors in, for example, the Envy x360 above. These are 35W processors, so even though they still have four cores and eight threads, they can boost faster and hold those speeds for longer. The Core i7-11390H goes up to 5GHz, which makes this a very fast laptop, and the processors also include Iris Xe graphics. Additionally, the laptop comes with up to 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD, both of which can be upgraded later on if you need more power.

The display one the Dell Inspiron 15 is, predictably, a 15.6-inch panel and it comes in Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution. There aren’t any upgrade options from there, but that’s not necessarily a problem. a Full HD display is still very sharp for a 15-inch laptop, and it gives you plenty of screen real estate to get work done.

Above the display, there’s the webcam, and once again, this is just a 720p camera. We’ll be seeing that a lot on this list, which is unfortunate. There’s no Windows Hello facial recognition support here, but if you want an easy way to unlock the laptop, there’s an optional fingerprint reader built into the power button. Dell isn’t very clear about which models include the fingerprint reader, though.

In terms of design, the Dell Inspiron 15 is about what you’d expect for a 15-inch laptop. It comes in a Titan Grey color, which is at least somewhat distinct from the majority of silver laptops, but not awfully unique. However, it measures 17.99mm at its thickest point, so it’s fairly thin, and starting at 3.6lbs, it’s not overly heavy. It’s worth remembering that the more powerful 35W processors require more cooling, so it’s natural for this to be a slightly thicker and heavier machine. Another thing to point out is that the Inspiron 15 includes a number pad on the keyboard, making good use of the available space.

As for ports, the Inspiron 15 has a good mix of them. There’s one USB Type-C port with 20Gbps of bandwidth in the Core i5 model, which becomes a Thunderbolt 4 port if you get the Core i7. Aside from that, you get two USB Type-A ports, HDMI, a headphone jack, a full-size SD card reader, and a proprietary barrel charger port. That’s a solid combination overall, and thankfully the Core i7 model is still under $1,000, so you can get Thunderbolt 4 support within the budget.

If you want that extra power in a thin and portable chassis, the Dell Inspiron 15 is a great choice. Right now, the best place to buy it is Dell’s website (listed below), where you can get the Core i7 model with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD for just $799.99 – an absolutely fantastic deal. However, you can also find the laptop on Amazon.

    Dell Inspiron 15
    The Dell Inspiron 15 is packing Intel H35 processors, delivering stellar day-to-day performance.

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Best 13-inch laptop under $1,000: HP Pavilion Aero

Angled view of HP Pavilion Aero 13

Every now and then, there’s a device that seems to combine all the right things at a given price point. Right now, the HP Pavilion Aero is one of those devices; this is a stellar laptop considering its base price, and if you want something affordable that still delivers a great experience, this is it. And thanks to an ongoing sale, you can max out the specs and still be within the $1,000 budget.

Performance-wise, the HP Pavilion Aero comes with the latest AMD Ryzen 5000 series processors, up to a Ryzen 7 5800U. That does mean these are the more powerful versions of AMD’s mobile processors, too, based on Zen 3 cores. The Ryzen 7 model has 8 cores, 16 threads, and it can boost up to 4.4GHz, which gives this laptop fantastic performance for productivity. additionally, it comes with up to 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. Normally, maxing it out would blow through our budget, but with the ongoing sale, you can get all of that for under $1,000.

Not only that, but the display on the Pavilion Aero is also great, This is a 13.3-inch panel, but it comes in a 16:10 aspect ratio, not the typical 16:9. This is a taller screen, and that extra vertical space makes a bigger difference than you might think. It means you can read more text on a page or document, or you just have more space for UI elements in more complex apps like photo and video editing tools. On top of that, while the base model features Full HD+ resolution (1920 x 1200), you can upgrade to a Quad HD+ (2560 x 1600) panel, and it’s not a very expensive upgrade.

One area that doesn’t stand out, however, is the webcam. Once again, we’re looking at a 720p camera, and there’s no Windows Hello facial recognition support. You do get a fingerprint reader if you want to unlock the PC more easily, though, so it’s pretty much in line with some of the more expensive laptops on the list.

The Pavilion Aero continues to impress in terms of its design. For a laptop as affordable as it is, it measures just 17.02mm in thickness, and it weighs under 2.2lbs, making this one of the most portable laptops on this list. That’s because it’s made of magnesium, which is also uncommon for a laptop at this price. Even more uncommon is that this is a magnesium laptop that offers a bunch of color options. They’re all fairly subdued, but you get four colors to choose from when buying the Pavilion Aero, so you can choose something that fits your taste better.

You get a solid selection of ports, too. THere’s one USB Type-C port, two USB Type-A ports, HDMI, a headphone jack, and a microSD card reader. These USB ports aren’t quite as fast as some other laptops offer, and there’s no Thunderbolt support because this is an AMD laptop and Thunderbolt is Intel technology. Still, this covers most basic needs for peripherals and accessories. There’s also a proprietary barrel charger port.

The HP Pavilion Aero officially starts at $749.99, and it’s a great deal at that price already, as we noted in our review. But at writing time, you can get it for as low as $579.99, and even with all the upgrades to the internal specs and the display, it’s still under $1,000, and it’s one of the best laptops you can get at that price.

    HP Pavilion Aero
    The HP Pavilion Aero is a fantastic value laptop with great performance and a lightweight design.

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Best lightweight laptop under $1,000: Samsung Galaxy Book Pro

Galaxy Book Pro in black

We may have said the HP Pavilion Aero is one of the lightest laptops on this list, but if you want the absolute lightest clamshell laptop without sacrificing performance, the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro is for you. And the weight isn’t the only good thing about this laptop.

In terms of performance, the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro is powered by the latest Intel Core processors up to an Intel Core i7-1165G7. That’s a four-core, eight-thread CPU with boost speeds up to 4.6GHz, and it also includes Iris Xe graphics. That puts this laptop on par with other premium laptops, and you also get up to 16GB of RAM (8GB for the 13-inch model) and 512GB of SSD storage. At writing time, you can max out the 13-inch model for under $1,000, but the top-spec 15-inch version costs $1,049. Keep in mind that this is due to an ongoing promotion, though, so those prices will likely go up.

The display is one of the highlights of the Galaxy Book Pro, both on the 13-inch and 15-inch models. This is the only laptop on this list with an AMOLED display, and one of the few laptops that has it across the board. Not only that, but it’s also one of the few laptops that has a Full HD (1920 x 1080) AMOLED panel. Most premium laptops tend to only use OLED for 4K panels, which means they’re always very expensive. This way, you get all the benefits of OLED at a reasonable price. It’s a 16:9 aspect ratio, so it’s not as fancy as some other laptops in that regard, but this is still the most common form factor, and most video content is still designed for it.

Stop us if you’ve heard this already, but the webcam is one of the potential downsides of the Galaxy Book Pro. Just like every other laptop so far, we’re looking at a 720p camera here, and there’s no Windows Hello facial recognition, either. You do get a fingerprint reader built into the power button, though, so unlocking the PC is still convenient and easy.

The true highlight of the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro is its design. This is one of the thinnest and lightest clamshell laptops you can find, especially with this kind of specs. The 13-inch model of the Galaxy Book Pro weighs just 1.92lbs and it measures just 11.18mm in thickness, so it’s incredibly portable. Even the 15-inch model weighs just 2.31lbs and it’s 11.68mm thin. This is the perfect machine for portability. It comes in two colors, too, so you can choose the more tame silver or the slightly bolder Mystic Navy version.

Despite how thin it is, there’s a decent supply of ports on the Galaxy Book Pro, too. You get one Thunderbolt 4 port, one standard USB Type-C port, a USB Type-A port, a microSD card reader, and headphone jack. Of course, there are some ports missing like HDMI, but this isn’t a bad selection considering just how thin and light the laptop is.

If portability is your number one priority, and you still want a capable laptop, the Samsung Galaxy Book Pro is one of the best laptops you can find for under $1,000.

    Samsung Galaxy Book Pro
    The Samsung Galaxy Book Pro is one of the lightest laptops around, and it features high-end specs and an AMOLED display.

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Best tablet: Surface Pro X

Top angled view of Surface Pro X in Platinum

If what you’re after is less so a typical laptop and more of a tablet, then Microsoft’s Surface Pro X is likely your best bet. This is Microsoft’s ARM-powered tablet, and it’s packing some solid hardware in a very thin and light design.

In terms of performance, the Surface Pro X is powered by the Microsoft SQ1, which is a tweaked version of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx. This is an octa-core ARM processor with four performance cores and four efficient cores, and it’s fast enough to handle day-to-day tasks without much of an issue. While some apps have to be emulated, they should still run ok for the most part, plus native support for ARM processors is becoming more widespread. You also get 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD, and that’s going to give you a solid experience all around. You can’t upgrade beyond this without blowing the budget, but you shouldn’t really need to.

The display is one thing the Surface Pro X really gets right. This is a 13-inch panel with relatively small bezels all around, and it comes in the 3:2 aspect ratio that’s typical of Surface devices. 3:2 is one of the taller aspect ratios we see in displays today, even taller than the 16:10 screen of the HP Pavilion Aero we mentioned above. That means even more space for text and UI elements that would normally force you to scroll. This is also an extremely sharp screen, with a resolution of 2880 x 1920, so suffice it to say you’ll have a great time with this display.

The Surface Pro X also has what’s likely the best camera of any device on this list, and that’s one area where Microsoft’s Surface family has always been ahead of the pack. The front-facing camera on the Surface Pro X is a 5MP sensor with 1080p video, which is great for video calls and meetings. Not only that, it supports Windows Hello facial recognition, making this one of the easiest PCs to unlock. And if one camera isn’t enough, you get another one on the back, this one with 10MP resolution and 4K video support.

Design-wise, the Surface Pro X leverages the efficiency of its ARM processors to be very, very thin. Being a tablet without a keyboard, it was already bound to be the thinnest device on this list, but it’s even thinner than other Windows tablets – it measures just 7.3.mm in thickness. It’s very light, too, weighing just 1.7lbs. Of course, if you add a keyboard or mouse, it’ll get slightly bigger, but keep in mind that adding those things will also push you past the $1,000 mark.

As for ports, as you might expect, there isn’t a ton on a device this thin. You get two USB Type-C ports and a Surface Connect port, and that’s about it. Obviously, you’ll need some kind of dock or hub, but that’s not unexpected for a tablet. On the bright side, one thing that makes this device great is that it’s one of the few devices in this price range with LTE support, meaning you can connect to the internet from anywhere, even without Wi-Fi. The base model (listed below) already includes LTE, though there are some models with only Wi-Fi if you don’t need it.

While the Surface Pro X hasn’t changed much in the last couple of years, it’s still one of the best ARM-based Windows laptops you can find, especially if you want something under $1,000.

    Surface Pro X (LTE)
    The Surface Pro X is a premium ARM-powered Windows tablet with an ultra-thin design.

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Best business laptop: Lenovo ThinkBook 13s Gen 2

Lenovo ThinkBook 13s

Computers are tools to get work done, and sometimes, you want something that’s tailor-made for work. Business laptops like the Lenovo ThinkBook 13s are exactly that, and they come with a few benefits like a Windows  10/11 Pro license. Pro versions of Windows include a few extra features for manageability, plus things like BitLocker encryption, Remote Desktop support, and more. This is part of what makes a laptop like the ThinkBook 13s Gen 2 ideal for work, but there’s more.

The ThinkBook 13s is a modern laptop through and through, starting with performance. It comes with 11th-generation Intel Core processors, up to an Intel Core i7-1165G7. This quad-core, eight-thread processor is still one of the best you can find in modern laptops, and it’s going to do a great job at just about any work-related task you might need to do. Not only that, you can get this laptop with up to 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD, all within our $1,000 budget, which is fantastic. Do note that official pricing is higher, so the configurations you can find for less than $1,000 may vary.

One thing that’s especially great about the ThinkBook 13s Gen 2 is its display. As the name suggests, this is a 13.3-inch screen, and it comes in a 16:10 aspect ratio, which is great to see in a business laptop. On top of that, this is a very sharp display, coming in at Quad HD+ (2560 x 1600) resolution, which is arguably the sweet spot for a laptop. 4K displays can use a ton of battery and Full HD doesn’t have quite the same level of sharpness, but Quad HD is a great fit for a laptop screen.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the ThinkBook 13s is another one of those laptops where the webcam only features 720p resolution. That’s still not surprising, but it’s also still not the best it could be for video calls. There’s also no Windows Hello support in the camera, but you do get a fingerprint reader to make it easier to unlock the PC. There’s also a privacy shutter if you’re the kind of person who worries about being spied on.

The design of the ThinkBook 13s is subdued, but that’s probably what you’re looking for in a business laptop. It comes in a silver color, with a bit of a dual-tone look on the lid. The lid also includes a prominent ThinkBook logo, but it’s presented in a clean and professional way, so it doesn’t look too out of place. This is also a fairly portable laptop, measuring just 14.9mm in thickness and weighing 2.78lbs in its base configuration. There are lighter laptops out there, but this is far from heavy.

For ports, you get one Thunderbolt 4/USB Type-C port, two USB Type-A ports, HDMI 2.0, and a headphone jack, which is a solid combination overall. USB Type-A and HDMI cover the needs for most basic peripherals, and the Thunderbolt 4 can handle docking for more modern and complex setups. The lack of an SD card reader may be a bummer to some, but not many users need it these days.

Lenovo’s ThinkPad lineup is a bit more highly regarded in the business space, but the ThinkBook 13s is still fantastic, and in some ways, more modern than many ThinkPads. For under $1,000, this is one of the best business laptops around.

    Lenovo ThinkBook 13s
    The Lenovo ThinkBook 13s is a classy and modern business laptop with high-end specs.

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Best gaming laptop under $1,000: HP Victus 16

An image showing the HP Victus gaming laptop

If you’re more interested in playing games on your laptop, HP’s recently-launched Victus lineup is a great choice. These are thin and light gaming PCs that still pack enough power to run most modern games, and they’re fairly affordable, too.

Starting with performance, the HP Victus 16 comes in both AMD and Intel variants, though the AMD models tend to be cheaper and offer comparable performance. If you go that route, you can get up to an AMD Ryzen 7 5800H processor, with 8 cores and 16 threads, plus boost speeds up to 4.4GHz. This is a 45W processor, so it’s much faster than the typical 15W processors in most laptops we’ve mentioned so far. On top of that, you get dedicated NVIDIA graphics, and for the budget we’ve set, we can go up to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti. You can also get up to 32GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD storage, but you have to make some choices with this setup if you want to stay under the $1,000 budget.

The display on the Victus 16 comes in a few configurations, and but it’s always going to be a 16.1-inch panel. The basic model has a 60Hz refresh and Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution, but only 250 nits of brightness, meaning it’s not great for outdoor use. You can upgrade to a 300-nit screen, jump to a 144Hz refresh rate, or go all the way to a Quad HD (2560 x 1440) 165Hz panel. Again, though, you’ll need to make choices here. A good setup, in our opinion, includes a Ryzen 5 5600H processor, GeForce RTX 3050 ti for graphics, 16GB of RAM, a Full HD 144Hz screen, and 256GB of storage. Thanks to an ongoing sale, that’s still under $1,000, but it will vary. You can always sacrifice some things for others, and you have some wiggle room to do that.

Gaming laptops typically don’t have the best cameras, and that holds true here. Like most other laptops on this list, you’re getting a 720p camera without Windows Hello support. In fact, there’s no Windows Hello support at all, which is one of the bigger downsides of this laptop.

Design-wise, the HP Victus 16 doesn’t look like what you might expect of a gaming laptop, and we consider that a good thing. This laptop looks clean and elegant, and it comes in two classy colors, being Mica Silver and Performance Blue. This is a laptop you can use anywhere without getting much unwanted attention. That is, as long as you’re willing to carry it. Despite its slick looks, the Victus 16 is 23.62mm thick, and its weight starts at 5.44lbs, so it’s not the most portable machine. Of course, many gaming laptops are like that, but it’s worth keeping in mind.

For ports, you get one USB Type-C connection, three USB Type-A ports, HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet, a headphone jack, and a full-size SSD card reader. That’s quite a big supply of ports, and the inclusion of Ethernet is definitely welcome for online gamers who need a more reliable connection than Wi-Fi tends to offer. Of course, there’s no Thunderbolt support since this is an AMD laptop, but all the USB ports only have 5Gbps of bandwidth, which isn’t the greatest.

While it makes some sacrifices, the HP Victus 16 is a sleek-looking and powerful machine capable of running most modern games, and it’s one of the best gaming laptops you can get for under $1,000. You can read our review of the Victus 16 (though this is a slightly different model) to learn a bit more about it, and if you want something else, we have a list of the best cheap gaming laptops you can also check out.

    HP Victus 16
    The HP Victus 16 is a sleek-looking gaming laptop with powerful specs and an affordable price tag.

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Best budget laptop: Surface Laptop Go

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go

If you’re looking for an especially affordable laptop, then the Surface Laptop Go is one of the best choices for a premium-feeling experience at a reasonable price. It’s obviously not on the same level as some of the more expensive laptops on this list, but it has quite a bit to offer.

First off, the Surface Laptop Go comes with an Intel Core i5-1035G1 processor, and that’s standard across all the configurations. That’s not the latest hardware anymore, but it’s still a very capable CPU for day-to-day tasks and school work. It has four cores, eight threads, and it can boost up to 3.6GHz, so it’s certainly not a bad processor. Additionally, you can get up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD storage, which is still comfortably under the $1,000 ceiling we set. In fact, thanks to an ongoing sale at writing time, it’s far cheaper than that, costing just $699.99 for the top-tier configuration.

For the display, Microsoft made some interesting decisions for this 12.4-inch panel. The Surface Laptop Go retains the 3:2 aspect ratio of other Surface devices, and by itself, that means you get more vertical space, which is great for productivity. However, the resolution is just 1536 x 1024, which isn’t super sharp. At this size, though, we’d say this is still going to look pretty good for the majority of users. Plus, it supports touch, which isn’t something you’ll find often in laptops at this price.

As we mentioned above, Microsoft has typically been ahead of the class in terms of the webcam, but that doesn’t apply with the Surface Laptop Go. This is still a 720p camera, and there’s no Windows Hello facial recognition, which is something every other Surface PC has. Instead, you can get a fingerprint reader, but even that’s not included in the base model. It’s included as part of the two higher tiers, though.

Design-wise, the Surface Laptop Go retains most of the elements of the premium Surface products. The lid is still made of metal, though the base is mostly made of plastic and carbon fiber, and it comes in the classic Platinum color in addition to Ice Blue and Sandstone. These are fairly subdued but still unique color options, so you can choose a style that suits you better. It measures 15.69mm in thickness and it weighs 2.45lbs, so this is also a very portable laptop.

As for ports, the Surface Laptop Go comes with one USB Type-A port, one USB Type-C, a headphone jack, and a Surface Connect port, which is going to be your go-to for docking. This is a decent supply, and very typical of Surface devices, but the lack of HDMI is still a bit inconvenient since that’s the input most displays support.

It makes compromises in some areas, but the Surface laptop Go still delivers a great experience with some premium elements that make it worth your time. At writing time, you can get up to $200 off, which makes this an even better deal.

    Surface Laptop Go
    The Surface Laptop Go is a budget laptop that delivers a premium experience in many ways.

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And those are what we’d consider the best laptops you can get for under $1,000. Our best overall pick goes to the HP Envy x360 because of its combination of high-end, versatility, and a premium design with plenty of ports. It can do just about anything you’d need to do, and it’s the easiest to recommend for the majority of buyers. Of course, if you’re specifically looking for something a bit different, there are other great laptops on this list that may fit your needs better.

If you’re looking for something else, why not check out our list of the best laptops for creators? There are some great powerful devices that can handle creator workloads like video and photo editing out there, especially if your budget is higher than $1,000.

About author

João Carrasqueira
João Carrasqueira

Editor at XDA Computing. I've been covering the world of technology since 2018, but I've loved the field for a lot longer. And I have a weird affinity for Nintendo videogames, which I'm always happy to talk about.