But unfortunately, not all of us have the money to splurge on a high-powered high-end machine. Some of them as so powered up and priced so high it’s as if they can fly you to space – and back. But you’re probably not thinking of flying to space –at least not anytime soon. You’re probably looking for a good mid-range laptop. No, that’s not right. I know you are looking for the best laptop under $1000.
Before I show you some amazing laptops under the $1000 mark, let’s first look at what makes a good laptop. This will help you to make your final selection of your next workhorse, diary (or blog as they are now called), or business partner – whatever you use the laptop for.
The Makings of a Good Laptop
What makes a good laptop? I wish it was one single factor, it really would make it easy, unfortunately, it’s not. A good laptop is a result of a number of variables that, when they strike the perfect balance with your needs, it becomes the best laptop for you. Here then, are those variables.
1. Battery Life
For me, and I know for you as well, battery life is one of the most important things that make a good laptop great. After all, the purpose of a laptop is to give you the ability to carry your work around with you, is it not? If a laptop’s battery is poor, then the laptop becomes poor, no matter how great the other functions may be. I mean, what good is the best laptop on earth if it dies in the middle of a presentation? Bummer.
A good laptop should have at least 8 hours of battery life, in my opinion. That is sufficient to get you through a day’s work without having to waste time looking for a power port – theirs is one near you (digital nomads work in the strangest places, some with no power).
Another factor that makes a good laptop is the speed. Let’s face it, we live in a fast world, and that world won’t stop to wait for your laptop to boot or open an app. Besides, who has the time for lag, when you’re trying to quickly finish off a game of “Assassins Creed” before lunch break is over.
So look out for those when you are looking for the best laptop under $1000.
Performance and speed are closely related but performance goes a step further than speed. When it comes to performance, it’s a matter of how fast and efficiently your laptop executes the tasks you throw at it.
Again processors are very important here. But other factors that can influence the performance of your machine are the OS you are running and the onboard storage you have. Speaking of storage, if you can get a machine with solid state drive (SSD), that will be a great bonus as it will enhance your laptop’s performance. But be warned though, SSD is more expensive than conventional hard disk drives.
Bottom line here, you need a laptop that will give you satisfactory performance – always.
4. Ergonomic Design
Ergonomic design deals with how comfortable your laptop feels and how easy it is to operate on the physical level. How easy is it to press every key on the keyboard? How easy is it to operate the touchpad? Do you have to contort or stretch your fingers unreasonably? Where is the webcam placed? Is it easy to align the lens with your face (without showing people your nose hairs)? All these are factors that you need to consider when looking for your next laptop.
Yes, the brand does play a role in helping you choose a laptop. And no, I’m not saying be a stickler for one brand. When it comes to brands, choose a brand that is known for reliability and good customer support. Laptops are machines that are mass-produced, and that means one or 2 might have the misfortune of having some faults. Reliable brands have near perfect systems for quality control that ensure that little or no units miss the quality mark.
As for good customer support, it’s a good safety net for the chance that you get the odd lemon.
These are the biggest factors that, when they strike a good balance, give you the best laptop. And now we can continue to look for the best laptop, and not just any laptop, but the best laptop under $1000.
The Top 5 Best Laptops Under $1000 - Comparison Table
1. MacBook Air 13.3 Inch
2. Dell XPS 9350
4. Asus ZenBook UX303UA
5. Lenovo Yoga 710
Full Review Of The Top 5 Best Laptops Under $1000
MacBook Air 13.3 Inch
The new MacBook Air retains the slim and light body that its fans love and trust, thanks to its beautiful, sturdy aluminum shell. Under the “hood” is the same sleek keyboard that is one of the best and easiest to work with. The island-style keys just feel good to the touch, almost therapeutic.
When it comes to speed and performance, Intel Core i5-5250U may not be as powerful as the 7th generation ones available but it is sufficient enough to give you a good boot up speed and seamless performance of all your apps. The RAM on the new MacBook Air is twice the size of its predecessor and comes at an impressive 8GB to help you run your hardware and software intensive apps with greater ease.
As for battery life, the MacBook Air is one of the top contenders in this category with a battery that can last you a whopping 12 hours. This ultra-thin laptop only has one major drawback, the lack of a full HD screen. Otherwise, for $946.99, it’s a great bargain. Good enough to be labeled best laptop under $1000
Dell XPS 9350
The Dell XPS (Xtreme Performance System) definitely lives up to its name. The XPS range from Dell always features laptops with great hardware configurations and beautiful sleek designs. The Dell XPS 9350-1340SLV offers a futuristic and yet elegant look with a gorgeous near bezel-less display, brushed aluminum covers, and a carbon fiber palm rest. When it comes to ergonomics, Dell did an excellent job of creating a laptop that you can work on without feeling fatigued – even after prolonged times at the keyboard.
The XPS 9350 is powered by a Skylake Intel Core i5-6200U processor and 8GB of RAM, enabling it to effortlessly tackle any challenge you throw at it. With 128GB of solid state drive memory, booting speed is also very quick and performance once on is so good it feels like you are working on a premium machine. If you are one to store a lot of multimedia, the storage might be a bit of a letdown to you. Despite the fact that the XPS 9350-1340SLV only has a maximum resolution of 1920×1080, it still manages to produce vivid colors, and that at wide viewing angles.
For those who are always on the move, Dell has managed to shave off some weight on the XPS 9350 to leave it at a mere 2.8lbs. The battery life is also great as it can last you 8 hours on average. Pretty good for a laptop this size and at such a price point
Microsoft’s Surface Laptop took the world by storm when it was released and that for some good reasons. Built to take a jab at Apple’s MacBook, it did that quite well, possibly landing a strong left hook in the process. From its sleek ultramodern design to its hardware configurations, the Microsoft Surface is a strong contender for best laptop award. But let’s look at its specs before you decide.
The keyboard on the Surface Laptop is also special. It’s made from plastic (gasp). It also features an Italian fabric called Alcantara which is laser-cut to fit the keyboard, giving it a very pleasant feel. The keys themselves are very responsive and travel a near perfect 1.5mm for better feedback.
The display on the Surface is something of an oddity – a wonderful oddity though. While most screens come with an aspect ratio of 16:9, the surface comes with a 3:2 aspect ratio. It's with a resolution of 2256 X 1504. In practical terms, this simply means the screen is taller and gives you room when working. A4 documents actually look best on this screen than on other screens.
As for the big question you’re asking, Microsoft claims a battery life of over 12 hours, but tests show it to be 11 hours, and that is an excellent figure, considering the MacBook Air only lasts an hour longer.
Best laptop under $1000? Possibly - especially with its paltry 1.25 kg in weight and $999 price tag.
Asus ZenBook UX303UA
When it comes to stylish looks, the Zenbook range by ASUS could probably take home the title of the best-looking laptop. And that has been a strong selling point for them, after all, who doesn’t want to spot a cool laptop? But beauty is not all the Asus can brag about.
The ZenBook comes with a 13.3 Full HD display that produces sharp images that can make other its top contenders turn green with envy. Powered by the latest generation Intel Skylake Core i56200U processor which runs at 2.3GHz and with 8GB RAM, multitasking and running more demanding applications is a breeze.
The Asus ZenBook loses a few points for its average battery life of 7 hours. Sure this is way better than other laptops out there, but Asus could have done better in this department. This 1.45 kg could easily take the top spot in this race if it were not for the battery. But with a starting price of $700, it is a very tempting choice.
Lenovo Yoga 710
When it comes to flexibility, nothing beats the yoga. And no, not just flexibility in the sense that it can bend over backward, but the flexibility that you can use the Lenovo Yoga for practically anything.
Sporting a lightweight aluminum body that is beautiful to look at but tough enough to withstand abuse. The Yoga also comes with powerful internals. The Lenovo Yoga 710 comes with an Intel Core i5-6200U processor and 8GB of DDR4 2133MHz RAM, which will offer very good performance for everyday tasks. It can even handle more intensive photo and video editing apps. With 256GB of SSD on board, the Yoga can boot into windows with lightning speed. Of course, it can handle most of your work or college files.
The Yoga’s In-plane switching technology offers vibrant colors that are easily viewed from wide angles on its 1980 X 1020 resolution screen. The multi-touch display is also very responsive and gives a very good experience whether you’re browsing the net or working. As for the 360-degree gymnastics, it is capable of, nothing can beat that.
As for battery life, the Yoga comes packed with enough power to keep you going for approximately 9 hours. This is enough to do most of, well, what you want to use the laptop for.
With a base price tag of $975, the Lenovo definitely qualifies for best laptop under $1000.
Best Laptop under 1000 – And the Winner Is…
Well, only you can determine which laptop takes the coveted prize of going home with you. But if I were to buy a laptop under $1000 today, the best laptop under $1000 for me would be the Yoga 710. I just feel, well, it bends over backward for my needs. But then again, the MacBook does have a lot of pros in its favor and is probably the best laptop, period. Well, I leave it to you.