The best laptops under £1,000

From Apple to Acer, we've rounded up the best laptop under £1000 deals

Laptops that cost less than £1000

by Kirk Schwarz |
Updated on

Unlike the old days, back when laptops were the weaker cousin of desktops, you can find plenty of excellent laptops with impressive specs. In fact, you can get yourself one of these handy workstations for under £1,000 now, and it will still pack some incredible specs.

That said, the more you want from your laptop, the more it’ll cost you… normally. There are always exceptions to the rule when you know where to look, and you can actually grab some great deals on mid-range laptops that give you beefy stats and performance for a cut-price cost. These laptops aren’t even last-gen or outdated - you can still get something relevant for your hard-earned cash.

The specs to keep your eye on vary depending on your intended usage, but they're all worth paying attention to. The CPU is the processor, and together with RAM is responsible for keeping things running smoothly and minimising loading and slow down. The GPU is the graphics card, mostly relevant for gaming or other intense programs. Storage is the file capacity of your laptop, and while the total does differ between models, you should be able to get a hefty amount, even sticking to a £1,000 budget.

Best laptops under £1,000 at a glance:

Best overall laptop under £1,000: Apple MacBook Air 2020 - View on Amazon

Best office laptop under £1,000: HP ENVY x360 2-in-1 Laptop - View on Currys

Best touchscreen laptop under £1,000: ASUS ZenBook Duo Touchscreen Laptop - View on Amazon

Best laptop under £1,000 for working from home: Acer Aspire 3 Laptop - View on Argos

Best budget laptop under £1,000: Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3 Chromebook - View on Currys

Best student laptop under £1,000: Acer Aspire 5 Laptop - View on Amazon

Best travel laptop under £1,000: MSI Modern FHD Laptop - View on Amazon

Best laptop screen under £1,000: ASUS Laptop Zenbook 14 - View on Amazon

If a laptop doesn't quite take your fancy, seems far too bulky, or just isn't your style, you might just be interested in our picks for the best tablets for students. Of course, if £1,000 is too much, you can always check out our best budget laptops to get you on the ladder without destroying your finances.

We’ve searched the internet to find the best laptops for under £1,000 that don’t know the meaning of compromise. Among our favourites, you’ll find plenty of RAM and meaty processors, allowing you to run image editing apps such as Photoshop, and even pull out some gaming. For gaming dominance, you might just need a little more throttle on your side, here are the best laptops for gaming for top-tier performance. Our round-up of the best laptops under £1,000 has some brilliant prices, check out our top picks below:

The best laptops under £1,000 in detail:

Please note: All prices correct at time of writing. Prices, stock and deals subject to change without notice.

Best overall laptop under £1,000

The Apple MacBook Air 2020 has a little bit of something for everyone. Don't let that 2020 in its title fool you; this is still a powerful piece of equipment. The Apple M1 chipset ensures it can handle plenty of tasks, so you don't need to hold back with it. The 8GB RAM keeps load times minimal, and while 256GB storage isn't amazing, it is an SSD, so it is fast and reliable. The battery life is also worth noting, coming in at a very impressive 18 hours.

The only thing that holds the MacBook Air back is its screen size. While you can go smaller than 13 inches, most laptops sit around the 14 and 15 range, so this feels a bit outdone by its peers.

Pros

  • Impressive performance on heavyweight tasks
  • Excellent battery life
  • Reliable M1 CPU

Cons

  • Only a 13-inch screen

Best office laptop under £1,000

The HP ENVY x360 is a 2-in-1 laptop that can have its screen folded around like a tablet. This versatility makes it a great choice for an office laptop, and the specs back that up. A 15-hour battery life is always great to see, but it's the i5 CPU, 8GB RAM, and 512GB SSD that really make this a dependable pick for office work.

Whereas the MacBook Air struggled with being a bit too small, the HP ENVY is slightly on the bigger size. A 15.6-inch can be a blessing for some but might be too much of a burden for others, so think ahead for what screen size is best for you.

Pros

  • Processor is capable of handling various tasks
  • The two-in-one design makes it very versatile
  • Solid battery life for the price

Cons

  • A bit large compared to some other laptops

Best touchscreen laptop under £1,000

For those searching for the convenience of a touchscreen, consider the ASUS ZenBook Duo. Another set of controls is always handy to have, givingyou that little bit more freedom with how you use your laptop. The build still has more good stuff to offer, especially with its ventilation. If you want a laptop that can survive a heatwave o, this is it.

The specs are also worth discussing. While the GPU is quite lacking, the rest absolutely excel. A 1TB SSD and 16GB of RAM are a brilliant combination that you won't find much better for under £1,000, and a 17-hour battery life is another great feature.

Pros

  • Excellent SSD storage capacity
  • Convenient touchscreen
  • Great ventilation

Cons

  • Not the best GPU

Best laptop under £1,000 for working from home

The Acer Aspire 3 is a fantastic laptop for those working from home, and that's due to its thoughtful set of extra features. While a webcam isn't an uncommon sight to find on a laptop, they're often an afterthought, but that's not the case here. The webcam quality is excellent, so any calls with teams or co-workers will come across clearly. The FHD screen also looks excellent, and the BlueLightShield protects your eyes from excessive blue light, so you won't feel as much strain during a long session.

This is another laptop with a so-so graphics card, but the rest of the specs don't quite excel enough to rescue it. The RAM and storage are fine, but a better CPU than an i3 would have been nice.

Pros

  • Fantastic webcam quality
  • BlueLightShield protects your eyes
  • FHD screen look great

Cons

  • Underwhelming graphics card

Best budget laptop under £1,000

To keep as much of your funds as possible, consider the budget-friendly Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3 Chromebook. At under £300, the specs are naturally less impressive than what you would get from other laptops on this list. The most notable ones are the 4GB RAM and 64GB storage, but if you use plenty of memory sticks, this shouldn't be too much of an issue.

It's worth noting that this isn't just a lightweight laptop, it's a Chromebook. That means it runs on ChromeOS instead of Windows, and while that may take some getting used to, it's actually quite simple to navigate and use.

Pros

  • Very slim and lightweight
  • Easy-to-use ChromeOS
  • Amazing value for money

Cons

  • Storage capacity is quite limited

Best student laptop under £1,000

Student life often demands a dependable laptop, which is why we recommend the Acer Aspire 5 Laptop. The 512GB SSD should cover most projects, and the i5 CPU and 16GB RAM keep everything running smoothly and swiftly, so you shouldn't be bogged down by long loading times.

While most of the specs are great, the battery life falls a bit short and ends up disappointing. Sure, 7.5 hours isn't terrible, but it will run through it faster than you expect.

Pros

  • Effective i5 processor
  • The 512GB SSD is plenty for most student work
  • Great RAM for this price range

Cons

  • Better options exist for battery life

Best travel laptop under £1,000

Although the weight of the MSI Modern FHD Laptop might lead you to believe it's not ideal for travel, it more than justifies its placement here. The military-grade durability is exceptional, so you don't need to fret if it takes a bump or a drop at any point. The battery life is also very reliable, netting you around 12 hours off a single charge.

You also won't need to think too much about ports and connections with the MSI Modern. It has USB-A, USB-C, MicroSD, and HDMI ports, so it can connect with countless different devices. The MicroSD is especially hand for any photos you take while travelling.

Pros

  • Dependable battery life
  • Military-grade durability
  • Handy selection of ports

Cons

  • Not the lightest

Best laptop screen under £1,000

For the best screen quality, we think the ASUS Laptop Zenbook 14 is worth your consideration. It has 400 nits of brightness, making it bright enough to stave off the dark and withstand glaring sun. The bezels are also fairly thin, so your viewing is unobstructed. It still impresses beyond the screen, with surprisingly great sound thanks to Dolby Atmos and a quick charging speed for its 18-hour battery life due to USB-C connectivity. The fans may get noisy from time to time, but that's not a dealbreaker.

As for the specs, the ASUS Laptop Zenbook 14 is about what you would expect from this price range. The CPU and GPU are decent enough, and the 8GB RAM and 512GB SSD are more than enough for most tasks.

Pros

  • Gorgeous and bright display
  • Great Dolby Atmos sound
  • Speedy USB-C charging

Cons

  • Can get noisy

How much RAM do I need?

Here's a rundown of what you can expect to get for your RAM:

2GB: At the lowest end, you'll only really find 2GB in tablets, which is fine for browsing the internet and video calling - though, not usually at the same time.

4GB: Seen on basic laptops and notebooks, it's good for daily computer use, word processing and browsing.

8GB: Most users will be happy with 8GB for their daily use, low-level gaming needs and even some photo editing.

16GB: Suited to professionals and more demanding games.

32GB upwards: Made for hardcore gamers and video editors.

What graphics hardware do I need?

Most budget laptops come with a built-in graphics card which will perform well enough for general use, but laptops with GPUs like the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 will give you a much smoother ride when it comes to gaming.

What's the difference between HDD and SSD?

Hard drive disks (HDD) write and read their memory on spinning disks with the help of an actuator arm, which moves across the platter. These platters are broken down into a series of tracks and sectors, and it is in these that data is stored and addressed.

Solid State Drives (SSD) write and read on flash memory, much like USB flash drives. Data is stored in grids and blocks, and though the process is more complicated than in HDD, the available space is used more efficiently thanks to a series of process that go on behind the scenes.

For more information on the intricacies of SSD storage, and why they're generally better than HDD, then check out our little guide on what is an SSD?

If we've convinced you to peruse the internet for a storage upgrade, might we recommend first checking out the best SSDs of the year? You won't regret it.

HDD is reliable, though they are large in size and rely on mechanical procedures to store, write and read memory. SSD is a newer technology, but as it uses no moving parts, is far quicker at data retrieval, is smaller in size and runs more efficiently. SSDs are very popular within the gaming community due to their rapid load times.

Screen resolution guide:

HD: 1280×720

Full HD: 1920×1080

Ultra HD/4K: 3840×2160

Kirk Schwarz is one of our resident tech experts. A tech-addicted photographer with more than a decade's experience, Kirk's used to putting new gear through extreme field testing.

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