If you’re in the market for a laptop, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get something that can keep up with you. In fact, we’ve found plenty of great portable computers that cost under $1,000/£1,200(opens in new tab) and still run Windows, macOS or Chrome OS. Whether you’re looking for a compact ultraportable, a powerful gaming rig or anything in between, we’ve rounded up our top picks below.
For those looking for a budget laptop that can handle most daily tasks, the Lenovo IdeaPad 3i is a solid choice. It has a good keyboard, trackpad and display, plus it’s pretty quick. Plus it has a good selection of ports, including USB-C and HDMI. It’s not perfect – the battery life isn’t fantastic and the display lacks colour, but if you’re after a cheap and reliable laptop for basic work this is worth considering.
A more powerful option is the Gigabyte G5. It’s not built to be as portable as the Razer Blade 14, but it makes up for it with pure power. The RTX 2090 GPU is capable of pushing out lots of frames in games, and the CPU is also very fast – even though it’s a desktop chip. The downside is that it can get quite noisy, especially when playing demanding games.
Finally, for those after a smaller gaming laptop that can still pack a punch, the HP Aero 13 is a great option. It’s a bit of a bargain, offering an eye-pleasing magnesium-aluminum chassis, strong processing performance and long battery life for under $500/£500. It’s not perfect – the keyboard and trackpad aren’t as nice as some of its competitors, but it’s definitely worth considering if you’re in the market for a budget-friendly gaming machine.
Another great choice is the Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Ultra. It’s not just a great portable laptop for working, but it can also play games thanks to its gorgeous 120Hz AMOLED display. It’s a real treat to use, and it makes games like Cyberpunk 2077 look stunning, with neon lights and other elements really popping.
There are lots of options to consider when shopping for a laptop, so take some time to think about what you need from yours before making a purchase. If you need help, our experts can guide you through the process – just drop us an email and we’ll be in touch. We’ll help you find a PC that’s powerful enough to deal with all your day-to-day tasks, comfy enough to be used all day and power-efficient so it won’t run out of juice unexpectedly.