Best laptops under $1000

About The Author

CNET Editor

Craig was sucked into the endless vortex of tech at an early age, only to be spat back out babbling things like "phase-locked-loop crystal oscillators!". Mostly this receives a pat on the head from the listener, followed closely by a question about what laptop they should buy.

As the price of laptops tumble ever lower, more features and better build quality are creeping into the budget end of the spectrum.

You can get laptops for AU$1000 now that last year would have cost you at least AU$1500. To wring out even better value, many vendors are opting to use last generation Core processors on their budget models, giving them an excuse to offer better features, instead.

For most people, this won't really matter — the performance of second generation Core processors is more than good enough for day to day tasks. It's only when you get into heavier duties, like video encoding, that the third generation Core makes its mark.

There are a few hallmarks of the sub-AU$1000 laptop. The DVD±RW drive appears to be universal, despite gradually being obliterated from the rest of the market. Resolutions rarely get above 1366x768, you sometimes miss out on Bluetooth and some models still use 100Mbps Ethernet, instead of Gbps. Wireless is universally 2.4GHz 802.11n only. Not much has changed here in the last few years.

What has changed is battery life. Buying a cheap laptop generally doomed you to comparatively poor battery life. No longer — some sub-AU$1000 laptops are now hitting a solid six hours of light use, on par with the latest ultrabooks.

Build quality has improved, too, although there'll usually be a shortcut the vendor has taken somewhere, whether it be a slightly flexing keyboard, roughly hinged clickpad, terrible speakers or cheap screen. While we have highlighted these flaws in the reviews below, nothing beats heading to a store and laying hands on the laptop yourself — you may not even see them as a problem.


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LovelyP posted a comment   

wow amazing design. it is very genuine brand in the market

 

keggie posted a comment   
Australia

Hi. Ive come close to buying my 1st laptop - a Toshiba U940/01K. Can get it for $679 with 3yr warranty, which sounded pretty good to me. But Ive just found out this is a discontinued model. Does anyone know why its discontinued & should I be wary?
cheers
Keggie

 

jex2013 posted a comment   
United States

I really love HP Envy! Before i decided which laptop i will purchase, i review some of the new deals on quality lapotp and HP envy was on the top of my list!

 

JacobsDirect posted a comment   
Australia

Hi Joe,

Just writing in to let you know that $199 tablets have now gotten pretty smooth and usable.

Our dual core tablet, the Jacobs Portal, runs Chrome and the latest 3D games like Temple Run and Shadowgun very smoothly:
http://jacobsdirect.com/tablets/22-jacobs-portal-16gb-wifi.html

It's quite a difference from the old Kogan Agora that I saw chugging along in your video review.

Would you be interested in doing a review of the Jacobs Portal if you had a device to review?

Cheers,
Tom.

 

Will1505 posted a comment   

Got dad a HP last week for $550. 3rd gen i5, 4gb ram, windows 7. Its been a solid little performer so far. MSY and centrecom generally have good prices too. MSY if you want the best price, centrecom if you like a little bit of customer service.

 

wrexy posted a comment   

$489 @ Officeworks

 

spog777 posted a comment   

Just had my Asus N61J sent for warranty fix. 10 Days later got it back in top order all fixed. No hassle and no problems re warranty with wuick return time


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