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

A person using a pen to annotate on theHP Envy x360 15 laptop in tent mode

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 12th-generation Core processors, with your choice of either P-series or U15-series models. To stay under the $1,000 threshold, you’ll need to switch with a Core i5-1235U or a Core i5-1240P, the former being better for battery life, and the latter offering more performance with 12 cores and 16 threads. The laptop also starts with 8GB of RAM, which is already solid, but you can upgrade to 16GB, too. For storage, it starts with 256GB, with upgrade options up to 1TB (though you’ll need to stretch your budget).

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. If you’re willing to go past the $1,000 budget, you can get some upgrades to make it brighter or switch to an OLED panel, which gives you more vibrant colors and true blacks. If you want a sharper option, though, there’s also a Quad HD (2560 x 1440) IPS panel, complete with a 120Hz refresh rate for an extra smooth experience.

Unlike previous generations of the Envy x360, the latest model actually has a fantastic webcam. By default, it already includes a 5MP camera with support for 1080p video, and it’s beefed up by smart features like auto framing and backlight adjustments to make sure you can look your best during video calls and meetings. Plus, Windows Hello facial recognition support is also included.

Design is one area where the Envy x360 15 doesn’t really stand out, but that may not be a problem for you. It’s a metal laptop and it comes in a silver color (you can get the AMD version if you prefer black). It doesn’t look very distinct or particularly appealing, but it’s clean and it’ll fit in anywhere. It comes in at just under 4lbs, so it’s not super light, but it’s not too heavy for a 15-inch convertible.

The port selection on the HP Envy x360 is also pretty great. You get two Thunderbolt 4 ports, two USB Type-A ports, HDMI, a headphone jack, and a full-size SD card reader. For a premium laptop in 2022, that’s a very good supply, and you should be able to connect almost anything to this laptop without a problem. Plus, two Thunderbolt ports give you room for expansion with a Thunderbolt dock.

If you need to spend under $1,000, the HP Envy x360 is one of the best laptops you can buy. There’s also an AMD version that’s almost as good, but it’s running last-generation processors and it doesn’t support Thunderbolt.

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

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Best clamshell laptop: Asus Zenbook 14 OLED

Asus Zenbook 14 OLED on a gradient green background

If you don’t need your next laptop to be a convertible, the Asus Zenbook 14 OLED is another one of the best choices that cost well below $1,000. For just $749.99, this model comes with the latest Intel processors and some great specs to go along with it.

Performance-wise, the Zenbook 14 OLED comes with 12th-generation Intel Core processors – this specific model has a Core i5-1240P, which is already a powerful processor with 12 cores and 16 threads, giving you more than enough performance for all kinds of daily tasks. This model also gets 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD, which covers the basics for day-to-day use. You might be able to find more powerful configurations that still fit the $1,000 budget, but this seems to be the only model available right now, and it’s still solid.

But one of the best things about this laptop is its display. For this low low price, the Asus Zenbook 14 OLED already includes a phenomenal 2.8K (2880 x 1800) OLED panel, which is going to give you one of the best viewing experiences you can get right now. It has a 16:10 aspect ratio, super-sharp resolution, a 90Hz refresh rate, 100% coverage of DCI-P3, and up to 550 nits of brightness in HDR mode. You won’t find that in many – if any – other laptops at this price, and it’s just fantastic. Plus, it supports touch and even a pen, if you want to use it that way.

It’s not all perfect, though, because above that display, we’re still looking at a 720p HD webcam,  which is a letdown in 2022. There’s no Windows Hello facial recognition, either, though you do get a fingerprint sensor built into the power button if you want an easy way to unlock your PC.

Design-wise, the Zenbook 14 OLED is a beautiful laptop without being too flashy. It comes in a subtle Ponder Blue colorway, and the lid is highlighted by the Asus emblem, giving it just a bit of flair. On the inside, it’s a typical Asus affair, including a virtual number pad built into the touchpad for crunching numbers in a pinch. It weighs 3.06lbs so it should be fairly easy to carry around, and it’s 16.9mm thick, so it should fit relatively easily in a bag or sleeve.

As for ports, you get a solid selection considering the relatively small size. Two Thunderbolt 4 ports allow for plenty of expansion, but you still get one USB Type-A, HDMI, a headphone jack, and a microSD card reader. We couldn’t ask for much more from a premium 14-inch laptop.

The Asus Zenbook 14 OLED is definitely one of the best laptops you can buy right now in this budget, and the configuration you can buy right now is already good enough for the majority of people. You can buy it below, or keep an eye on Asus’ website if you want to check out other configuration options when they launch.

    The Asus Zenbook 14 OLED is a sleek laptop packing Intel's 12th-generation processors and an absolutely fantastic OLED display that not many laptops in this price range have.

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Best 13-inch laptop: MacBook Air

macos 12 monterey on macbook air m1

It’s hard to talk about the best laptops you can buy today without mentioning Apple’s MacBook Air. The latest model is already over a year old, but it still absolutely deserves to be on this list, and it doesn’t feel outdated at all.

That’s partly because of the processor at the heart of the MacBook Air, Apple’s in-house M1 chip. This processor, based on Arm technology, delivers a combination of performance and efficiency that wasn’t really seen on any other laptop up until that point. It’s fast enough to still give Intel’s 12th-generation processors a run for their money (especially in the graphics department), but it offers much better battery life at the same time. To stay under $1,000 (excluding deals), you’ll get the model with a 7-core GPU, 8GB of unified memory (RAM), and 256GB of storage, which is already a solid package. There are upgrade options if you can go beyond that price tag, though.

One of the things that make the MacBook Air one of the best laptops you can buy is its display. This 13.3-inch panel comes in a 16:10 aspect ratio and 2560 x 1600, and that’s the standard across every configuration. For the entry price, that’s a fantastic display already. And of course, it has up to 400 nits of brightness, P3 Wide Color, and Apple’s Adaptive Tone technology for a fantastic viewing and creation experience overall.

A potential downside is that the webcam is still 720p resolution, but it’s worth noting that Apple usually uses pretty solid webcams on its MacBooks. Plus, with this model, it’s using the artificial intelligence power of the Apple M1 processor to enhance the image quality, so you should still look pretty good on camera. Aside from that, there’s no facial recognition, but you get Touch ID built into the power button.

Design-wise, the MacBook Air is exactly what you’ve come to expect from Apple. A simple, subdued design in three colors to choose from – Silver, Space Grey, and Gold. It looks and feels premium, though it doesn’t look particularly exciting. It measures 16.1mm at its thickest point and weighs 2.8lbs, which isn’t as impressive as it could be, but it’s still far from being a hard laptop to carry around.

Ports are potentially the biggest downside of the MacBook Air. You get two USB4/Thunderbolt ports and a headphone jack, and that’s it. And that would be acceptable in some cases, but keep in mind that Thunderbolt 4 can only connect one external display at a time, and there’s no support for things like external GPUs, so it’s severely limited compared to Thunderbolt ports on Windows laptops.

Despite its drawbacks, the MacBook air is one of the best laptops around for this price. For day-to-day use, it’s perfectly capable, and it can even handle some content creation better than many others in this price range, and especially at this size.

    The M1-powered MacBook Air is an impressively powerful yet efficient laptop that's great for just about any kind of day-to-day usage.

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Best lightweight laptop under $1,000: Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro

White laptop on black desk

For some of us, having something that’s easy to carry anywhere is the absolute priority, and if that’s the case for you, then this is the laptop you’re looking for. While it’s not officially priced under $1,000, the Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro is often well below that price, and if you want a lightweight laptop, it’s certainly one of your very best options. its predecessor was already great, and this model comes with great improvements.

In terms of performance, the Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro is powered by the latest Intel Core processors up to an Intel Core i7-1260P, but going that far goes over our $1,000 budget. The base model comes with an Intel Core i5-1240P, which is still a powerful 28W processor with 12 cores and 16 threads, plus boost speeds up to 4.4GHz. It also includes 8GB of RAM and either 256GB (for the 13-inch version) or 512GB (for the 15-inch model) of SSD storage. At writing time, both cost below $1,000, but it’s thanks to ongoing discounts, so that may vary.

The display on the Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro is another one of the things that makes it a great choice. Though that’s starting to change in 2022, AMOLED displays aren’t all that common in laptops, and when they exist, they tend to be super-sharp panels that add a lot to the cost and consume more battery. With the Galaxy Book 2 Pro, you get a Full HD AMOLED panel, and that’s in every configuration, so you always get those benefits of OLED without a huge hit to battery life. This year’s model gets a little brighter, but a notable downside of it is that it’s still a 16:9 aspect ratio.

Another notable upgrade that the Galaxy Book 2 Pro makes over its predecessor is the webcam. We criticized the first model for still having a 720p webcam, but Samsung has addressed that and this one comes with a 1080p camera and an increased field of view so you can fit more people in the frame at once.

The true highlight of the Samsung Galaxy Book 2 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 2 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, being Graphite and Silver, but both of them have a sort of dual-tone design where the interior is a slightly different color than the exterior. The Silver model is white on the inside, and the Graphite model is closer to pure black compared to the dark grey exterior.

Despite how thin it is, there’s a decent supply of ports on the Galaxy Book 2 Pro, too. You get one Thunderbolt 4 port, one standard USB Type-C port, a USB Type-A port, a microSD card reader, and a headphone jack. You don’t get HDMI in the 13-inch model, but the 15-inch version does have it, so it’s about what you’d expect for a modern laptop. Considering how thin and light it is, that’s actually impressive.

If portability is your number one priority, and you still want a capable laptop, the Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro is one of the best laptops you can find for under $1,000. You can buy it below.

    The Samsung Galaxy Book 2 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 one of the best cameras out of all the devices 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. We’d like to see a true upgrade soon, but for now, it’s still a great option.

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

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Best business laptop under $1,000: Lenovo ThinkBook 13s Gen 3

Lenovo ThinkBook 13s Gen 3 on gradient purple background

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 3 ideal for work, but there’s more.

The ThinkBook 13s is a modern laptop through and through, starting with performance. It comes with AMD Ryzen 5000 processors, specifically the Ryzen 5 5600U, which already has 6 cores and 12 threads, making it a pretty powerful machine for all sorts of day-to-day work. It also includes 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD, which covers all the basics you might need. There aren’t other configurations available right now, but this is far from a weak one anyway, plus it’s well below the $1,000 threshold.

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 since it mostly benefits productivity. 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. This isn’t the newest laptop around (it’s hard to find new business laptops under $1,000), so the 720p webcam isn’t unexpected. Only in 2022 did most PC makers start moving towards higher-quality webcams. 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 USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port, two USB 3.2 Gen 1 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 so you’re not left out in the cold if you haven’t fully transitioned to USB-C-. Unfortunately, Thunderbolt support isn’t included, and that’s because this is an AMD-powered laptop and Thunderbolt is Intel technology.

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.

    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 15

If you’re more interested in playing games on your laptop, HP has just recently introduced a refreshed Victus lineup including the new Victus 15, which is a great value proposition if you want to get into gaming without breaking the bank. It comes with the latest hardware and a sleek-looking design that looks great anywhere.

Starting with performance, the HP Victus 15 comes with the latest 12th-generation Intel Core processors, specifically from the H series. The base model has an Intel Core i5-12500H, which is a powerful processor with 12 cores and 16 threads, capable of handling the vast majority of modern games without breaking a sweat. It also comes with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 GPU by default, but you can upgrade up to a GeForce RTX 3050 Ti and still be within the $1,000 budget. However, also keep in mind that you only get 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage in the base model, and those are also potentially important upgrades (though you can upgrade them yourself later).

The display on the Victus 15 is a 15.6-inch panel and it comes in Full HD resolution by default, though it only has a 60Hz refresh rate and 250 nits of brightness. There are a few upgrade options, including an IPS panel with better viewing angles, the ability to add a 144Hz refresh rate, or increase the brightness to 300 nits. Unfortunately, those two options are mutually exclusive, so you have to trade outdoor visibility for a smooth refresh rate. By itself, this upgrade is still under $1,000, but you have to keep in mind your configurations for the other specs.

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 15 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 three classy colors: Mica Silver, Ceramic White, 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 5.06lbs, 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, two USB Type-A ports, HDMI 2.1, Gigabit Ethernet, a headphone jack, and a full-size SD 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 always check out out list of the best cheap gaming laptops if you want to explore some other options.

    The HP Victus 15 is a sleek-looking gaming laptop with powerful specs and an affordable price tag.

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Best budget laptop: 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 5825U. 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 4.5GHz, 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 $549.99, 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.

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

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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.

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