Starting to work remotely? Don’t have a fortune to spend on a laptop? We’ve all been there and the good news is you don’t have to spend a fortune. In fact, we’ve got laptops for as little as $400 that can get you started.
This is our list of the best laptops under $1,000 for remote work. Enjoy.
How We Chose The Best Laptops Under $1,000 For Remote Work
We had some specific criteria that we used to judge these laptops and to ensure that they would be up to the task of remote working:
- Portability. There are no 17” behemoths that weigh 10 Kg in this round up, remote workers move around and they don’t need a hernia from carrying their laptops with them.
- Build quality. We do not expect a laptop to last forever but we certainly don’t expect to replace them annually, either.
- Operating system. We’ve got Windows, Chrome and Apple represented here, so whichever OS you need, we’ve got you covered.
- Performance. You’re spending under $1,000 so please don’t try and edit a major motion picture on these laptops, they won’t take it. They will, however, handle very well when running most standard office applications.
- SSD. There’s just no excuse for having an old school moving hard drive in a laptop now, they fail too easily and they slow things down massively.
- Ports. The more the better. We like being able to add peripherals to a laptop to make it even more useful.
We then put over 35 laptops to the test to come up with our final selection for you.
Please note: if you’re having trouble with your existing laptop you may want to check out our laptop troubleshooting guide and our guide to common tech problems when working at home before you buy a new machine.
HP Envy x360 2-in-1
The hands down winner in the best laptops under $1,000 for remote work category is HP’s latest 2 in 1 in the Envy range.
It’s packed with a zippy processor, 16GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD and if you want to pay more than $1,000 – you can increase the memory and the storage.
The multi-touch screen is super responsive and it even ships with Windows 11, so no mucking around trying to upgrade it at a later date!
1. A 2-in-1 offers more flexibility than a traditional laptop while still retaining the same features as a laptop
2. Well specced for all office work and it’s super lightweight too
3. The speakers and HP Audio boost provide excellent sound quality
1. The webcam is only “OK” and you might want to invest an external one
2. You won’t be able to play the latest games on this
3. The Bluetooth range isn’t great but it’s enough for working as long as you don’t stray too far
Apple MacBook Air
Apple MacBooks are among the most popular choices of hardware among remote workers and for good reason as they offer great battery life and a powerful processor.
If you have to use any applications for work, though, you should check to see if an Apple version is available before choosing the Apple system.
It’s very fast when working on it. And most of all, like most Apple devices it’s gorgeous to look at, you’re not going to feel out of place in a coffee shop working on this.
1. The battery life is insanely good and you can work all day on battery
2. The M1 processor is stupidly powerful at this price point
3. Build quality and expected longevity are excellent
1. The port selection isn’t great and official Apple cables are expensive
2. Firmware updates are sometimes only supplied in store
3. Not always compatible with all applications
Asus ZenBook 13 Ultra-Slim
It may only be a 13” screen that you get with this laptop but it means that it’s stupidly lightweight and comes in at just over 2.5 lbs! You can carry that anywhere.
The ZenBook runs on a Tiger Lake processor which not only provides a decent level of computing power but ensures the batteries last forever.
However, if you’re an audiophile, be warned, you’ll want to buy external speakers as the ZenBook’s Achilles heel is the terrible onboard speakers.
1. It’s very attractive and one of the lightest laptops on the market
2. The battery life is impressive and won’t let you down mid way through the day
3. The keyboard is fantastic to use and feels really responsive
1. The speakers are truly horrible
2. Tech support is helpful but some of their “solutions” feel more like workarounds for minor issues
3. The lack of a headphone jack is quite irritating – you end up wasting a USB-C port, instead
When you don’t have a fortune to spend and you do 99% of everything online, then you want to consider a Chromebook which runs Google’s Chrome OS.
You should be aware that this means you can’t run very many applications on it (as they won’t be compatible) but if all you do is work on Google Docs and GMail? Who cares?
In exchange, you get a light and cheap machine which thanks to the Google OS runs considerably faster than the low specs might indicate with a Windows machine.
1. If you want to spend as little as possible then you have to look at the Chromebook
2. It’s well-built and dependable despite the relatively low price tag that it commands
3. As long as you work online, you’ll be very happy with it
1. A lot of software won’t run on this as it’s using Chrome OS
2. Customer support isn’t great for this model
3. It’s harder to find answers to Chrome OS issues than Windows or Apple ones online
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
Yes, we know, technically the Surface Pro 7 isn’t a laptop, it’s a tablet with a keyboard, but we don’t much care either as it functions brilliantly as a laptop even if it isn’t one.
We would point out that the new Surface Pro 8 is a better buy but that it also costs more than $1,000.
You do need to buy the keyboard separately, unless there’s a promo, but this comes in nicely under $1,000 all told and it’s a superb 2-in-1 unit.
1. Fast and reliable and completely Windows compliant (as you’d expect from Microsoft)
2. The USB-C Port is a welcome addition compared to the Surface 6
3. The keyboard is excellent but it has to be purchased separately
1. The battery life, while decent, is lower than that on the Surface 6
2. The MS Surface Mouse is an excellent but expensive companion to this too
3. The charger is a bit fragile for a laptop charger
Samsung Galaxy Book Pro
This Samsung laptop is incredibly powerful and it represents excellent value for money when you consider all the individual components.
We really like the wide-variety of ports available and the thin design which makes it great for carrying around all day.
However, there are still some areas for improvement and the webcam, in particular, really needs an overhaul.
We’d say buy this if you’re already in the Samsung eco-system with your smartphone.
1. Superb value for money and a very powerful processor
2. The number of available ports is an excellent thing
3. We loved the keyboard and it’s very nice for typing on
1. The touchpad is terrible and we switched it off and used an external mouse
2. The display could be a bit brighter
3. The webcam is also dire and needs improving
ASUS VivoBook Flip 14 2-in-1
Need a 2-in-1 and have less than $500 to spend? Then you have to look at this ASUS VivoBook Flip. Sure, there are some design compromises but at this price? There have to be.
What you have is a solid touchscreen and a light and thin overall body which is equipped with 4GB of RAm and a 128GB SSD.
That’s going to be fine for most office applications but don’t buy this to do video editing or even heavy photo editing, it will struggle.
It runs Windows 10 S though and it does so very well and the 14” screen is bigger than most at this price point.
1. The price is incredible given the functionality of this device
2. A great 2-in-1 which performs surprisingly well
3. 14” screen is generous for the price point
1. Small amount of RAM and this is not upgradeable
2. It can run hot and may need to be placed on a cooling tray for long periods of use
3. Picks up fingerprints very, very easily
Lenovo IdeaPad 3
If you ever wonder why IBM doesn’t make laptops anymore, it’s because they sold the laptop business to Lenovo which has continued to make excellent products ever since.
This is a solidly powerful offering and it comes with either Windows 10 S or Windows 11 as standard, you can always upgrade Windows 10 S to 11 for free at a later date too.
It’s a very quiet laptop when in operation and we were quite happy to take it and use it in our local coffee shop. And at this price point, we think it’s unbeatable value for money.
1. 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD for a hair over $500? Excellent Value
2. Very quiet when in operation, not at all distracting
3. Wide-viewing angle makes the screen super accessible
1. Not ideal for gaming but at this price? It wasn’t going to be.
2. Build quality isn’t great
3. RAM is not upgradeable
You don’t have to spend a fortune on a laptop if you’re working remotely. Each of these sub-$1,000 options is excellent value for money and a real powerhouse.
You may also appreciate some of our best headsets for working from home to accompany your new laptop.