Buying a new laptop nowadays isn’t that cheap. Costs are high, and it can be somewhat difficult to find the right device for the right price.
If your budget for a laptop is around $1,500, you can still get your hands on some decent performance specs. This much of a budget is usually enough to buy a device for normal professional use. Of course, if you’re trying to buy something like the MacBook Pro 24 Karat Gold version (which, incidentally, was custom-made by Apple for a buyer in 2013 for a price of $30,000), then you’ll probably have to set the bar a little high.
In this post, we’re going to help you find and pick the best laptop under $1,500. We will list some products that we think are worth buying, and then we’ll also give you a guide on buying one on your own.
In a hurry? Here are our top 3 favorite picks when it comes to the best laptops under $1500 in 2023!
Can I Buy a Good Laptop Under $1,500 in 2023?
Yes, you can easily buy a good laptop for under $1,500. That is, of course, if you are looking for a consumer-grade product for normal use.
Depending on the brand that you choose, $1,500 can easily get you around 16GBs of RAM, at least 512GBs of SSD storage, a good 11th or 12th Generation processor, a good dedicated graphics card, and a crisp HD display rounded off with excellent connectivity options.
For most professionals – even people in the 3D modeling and designing field – these specs can be more than enough. The laptops that we will be looking at further on in this post will have similar specs.
1. Dell Inspiron 14 5425 – Best Overall
The Dell Inspiron 14 comes with a reasonable price tag (around $700 on a sale at the time of writing, retail price of $899), an aesthetic chassis, and an impressive collection of performance specs.
Having a 14-inch display, the Inspiron 14 can be great for people who prefer portability and have to work on the go. It has a big trackpad for easy control and adequately-spaced keys for giving a smooth typing experience.
Coming to the specs of this laptop, you get an AMD Ryzen 7 (5825U) processor, 512GB SSD storage, and 8GB memory.
Other than the memory, the rest of the specs can be more than enough for most types of use. The SSD storage can give you a quick and snappy performance while also providing ample space for file storage. The Ryzen 7 5825U processor is often compared with Intel’s 10th Generation i7, which can give you a good idea of what sort of performance to expect.
8GB of memory can be ample for normal use, i.e., browsing, writing, coding, etc. But for people who have to work with a lot of apps and browser tabs simultaneously (especially Google Chrome), it can be a tad less.
Coming to the display, the Inspiron 14 has a 14-inch screen size (as we mentioned earlier), and it comes with a 1920 x 1080 resolution. Thanks to the small screen size, this resolution can give a crisp viewing experience.
The Inspiron 14 also has a range of useful connectivity options. It comes with a total of 2 USB Type-A slots, an SD card reader, a headphone jack, an HDMI port, and a Thunderbolt 4 (USB Type-C slot with DisplayPort and Power Delivery).
Why is the Dell Inspiron 14 Great for Portable Use?
The Inspiron 14 comes with a lot of great features, that much we established above. However, the fact that they all come in just 14 inches makes this laptop even more worth buying.
If you are trying to buy a laptop for using on the go, the Dell Inspiron 14 can be a great choice. It has the convenience of smaller devices but the impressive power of larger machines.
2. Microsoft Surface Pro 8 – Runner Up
If you’re looking for something a little bit different than normal conventional laptops, the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 can be a good choice to go for. The Microsoft Surface series has an iconic design featuring a tablet with a detachable keyboard, a stylus, and a kickstand.
With a price of around $1,200 (at the time of writing), the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 is a great device for people who want to enjoy the experience of using a tablet while also keeping the ‘PC feel’ in touch.
The performance specs provided by this laptop are decent enough for most people. The Surface 8 Pro is powered by an Intel Evo i7 processor. It has 256 gigs of SSD storage and 16 GB of RAM. The storage can be somewhat less for some users, but it is understandable considering that the structure of the Surface 8 Pro is closer to a tablet rather than a conventional laptop.
Other than the specs and utility of the Surface Pro 8, there are a lot of other features that make it worth buying. For one, it comes pre-installed with Windows 11, which can be a plus for a lot of buyers. It also has a nice display with a 2880 x 1920 resolution with up to 120Hz refresh rate.
The connectivity options on the Surface Pro 8 are also pretty useful, considering the 2 x Thunderbolt 4 ports it comes with. You can use these ports for setting up a docking station for your peripherals, along with an external monitor.
3. HP Pavilion 15 – Budget Pick
The HP Pavilion 15 comes with an affordable price tag and awesome specs to boot. At the time of writing, the price is around $700, which is quite a deal considering the specs that it provides.
The Pavilion 15 has a screen size of 15.6 inches. If the 14-inch and 13-inch devices discussed above are a little too small for you, you can go for this one instead. The keyboard is full-sized (with the num pad included). This can help in making the overall user experience smoother and more efficient.
Among the most remarkable features of the Pavilion 15 is the construction of the chassis. The silver body and the rounded key-cap profile give this laptop a nice aesthetic look. For people who have appearances high on their priority list, this can be a big plus.
The HP Pavilion 15 comes in different models and versions. The one with the i7 11th Gen. processor (i.e., the one we’re discussing right now) has 512 GB SSD storage combined with 16 GBs of RAM. These specs are more than enough for normal professional use, and you’ll be fine even if you want to run some heavy software.
This laptop also does well in the connectivity department. It has a useful combination of ports and slots consisting of an HDMI, Thunderbolt 4, SD card reader, and 2 x USB Type-A.
The Lenovo Ideapad 3i can be a great choice if you are trying to buy a laptop with excellent features and an elegant design but a not-so-hefty price tag. Coming in at around $649.99 (at the time of writing), the Ideapad 3i gives good value for the money.
There are different versions/sizes available for the Ideapad 3i, but we’re discussing the 15.6” version. There is also a 17.3-inch and 14-inch variant available.
As far as the specs go, the Lenovo Ideapad 3i performs fairly well. It comes with 512 gigabytes of SSD storage and 8 gigabytes of RAM. The processor is, unlike the other laptops that we’ve seen on the list, an i5 12th Generation instead of an i7. But don’t worry. You will still get a fast and smooth experience. You won’t even feel the difference between an i7 11th or 10th Gen. and an i5 12th Gen.
The memory can be a tad less for some users, especially professionals who have to put their machines to rigorous use. But, for the price, 8 gigs is quite fair. You can also upgrade the memory yourself later on if the need arises.
One area that was a bit of a letdown with the Ideapad 3i is the connectivity features. The ports and slots on the sides are a little sparing, which can be an issue for some users. With 2 x USB Type-A slots, using peripherals and a storage device could become somewhat difficult. It does come with a Thunderbolt 4 and an HDMI port, though.
When it comes to nifty features and gimmicks, the ASUS Zenbook 13 comes with a whole bunch of them.
For starters, the Zenbook 13 comes with the ASUS Numpad 2.0. The Numpad 2.0 is a feature that combines the utility of a trackpad with the standard num pad typically found on full-sized keyboards.
By tapping on the symbol at the top-right corner of the trackpad, you can enable the Numpad mode, which allows you to enter numbers by tapping on the touchpad itself. Compared to using the top row about the QWERTY line, entering numbers using the trackpad is quick and efficient.
The Zenbook 13 also comes with a remarkable OLED display with ultra-slim bezels for providing an excellent viewing experience. The resolution is the standard 1920 x 1080.
One thing you should keep in mind about the ASUS Zenbook 13 is the size. Normally, laptops don’t go smaller than 14 inches, except for cases such as the Microsoft Surface series. However, the Zenbook 13 has a screen size of 13.3 inches…which can be a little bit too small for a lot of users.
If you need a laptop for normal professional use, the Zenbook 13 is not a good idea unless you plan on using it with a monitor and an external mouse/keyboard. Since it comes with 2 x Thunderbolt 4 slots, you can use one of them for a display and the other for a docking station for connecting your peripherals.
As far as the specs go, the Zenbook 13 comes with 8 gigabytes of RAM and 512 gigabytes of SSD storage. It’s powered by an Intel Evo i7 processor and comes pre-installed with Windows 11 home.
The HP ProBook 450 G8 is not very mind-blowing or extraordinary when it comes to the specs. It comes with a Core i5 11th Generation processor coupled with 256 gigabytes of SSD storage and 8 gigs of RAM.
As compared to some of the other laptops we’ve seen on our list, the specs on the ProBook 450 G8 can look a little disappointing. But, considering the ~$780 price tag, the sleek construction, and the excellent connectivity options, it’s a good deal.
According to the reviews and testimonials, the users were happy with the performance of the laptop, and the lack of the now-ubiquitous over-the-top specs wasn’t too much of an issue.
If you need to buy a PC for normal office use, the ProBook 450 G8 can be a good choice. Thanks to the 15.6-inch display size, this laptop is neither too bulky nor too small. It can be great if you want to use it as it is or as a part of your home office workstation.
Like the last one, this laptop is also a good, well-rounded choice with decent specs, a stylish chassis, and a good display. At the time of writing, the Dell Latitude 5520 is around $988.
The specs on this laptop are not very special. You get a Core i5 11th Generation processor and 8 gigabytes of RAM along with 256 gigabytes of SSD storage. With a display size of 15.6 inches, the Latitude 5520 comes with a full-sized keyboard with a Numpad. The display resolution is 1920 x 1080.
From an honest perspective, the Dell Latitude 5520 can be a very good choice to buy, despite the apparent disparity between the specs and the price tag. A thousand bucks can usually get you a lot more specs than what this laptop provides. However, if you opt to buy the Latitude 5520, you won’t have to worry about running into any sort of unusual issues or problems with the device or the OS, etc.
In other words, since the Latitude series is generally recognized and hailed as being reliable and worth using, you can go ahead and buy it without worrying about any sort of persistent and nagging issues. This sort of trouble can exist with gimmicky products like the Microsoft Surface Pro series.
Plus, the looks on the Latitude 5520 are great. The silver chassis and the contrasting black keyboard give the whole thing a premium look. For a lot of people, the appearance of this device alone can be a deal-maker.
Other nice-to-haves on this laptop include the outstanding connectivity options. The Dell Latitude 5520 comes with 2 x Thunderbolt 4 slots, 2 x USB Type-A ports, an HDMI port, an Ethernet slot, and an SD card reader as well. It also has an SC (Smart Card) reader on one side.
How to Choose the Best Laptop Under $1,500 in 2023?
The laptops that we’ve discussed in the list above are all good and worth buying, that’s for sure. But if you don’t feel like you’ll be better off with a choice of your own, no worries. You can look for one yourself.
If you are a novice in the field, you could be in the dark about what features and specs you should look for when buying a laptop and which ones to avoid. To help you get an idea about how you can buy the best laptop under $1,500, we’ve come up with this buying guide.
In the buying guide, we will be looking at a few main aspects and specifications that you have to look at when browsing different products. We will also tell you about what sort of criterion you should set for every one of them so that you make a good and worthwhile purchase.
1. Performance Specs
To start off, let’s give you an idea about performance specs and what you need to be looking for if your budget is >$1,500.
When we talk about performance specs, we mainly refer to three main things:
- Memory (RAM)
The processor of a laptop basically decides its processing power. With a powerful processor, a laptop will be able to run its software and programs quickly and efficiently. You can think of the processor as the ‘brain’ of the PC. The faster it is, the quicker the laptop will be able to get its work done.
Now, there are usually two brands of processors that you can find in laptops nowadays. They are Intel and AMD. The former is substantially more popular than the latter, though.
If you are going to buy a PC in the $1,500 range, you should look for an 11th or 12th Generation Intel Core i7 processor, at the least. The AMD counterpart of the ‘Core i7’ is Ryzen 7.
Of course, if you want to buy something affordable e.g., something close to the $600 or $700 mark, you can set the bar somewhat lower at a 10th Generation Core i7 or an 11th Generation Core i5.
What you should NOT do is settle for an i3 from around the 4th or 5th generation. That is something you can get in a used hundred-dollar machine nowadays. Mind you, this does not mean that i3 processors are generally lame. A 12th Gen. i3 would be a good grab if you can get it in a laptop close to the $800 – $900 mark.
After the processor comes the storage of the laptop. The storage basically decides how much stuff the device can hold and how quickly the device can retrieve the stored programs/files when needed. Let’s explain the latter part a little bit.
There are two types of storage that are used in laptops nowadays. They are SSD (Solid State Drive) and HDD (Hard Disk Drive).
SSD storages are, in comparison to HDDs, way faster. This can be easily gauged from the fact that while HDDs work with a read/write speed of 30 – 150 MB/s, SSDs have a speed of around 450 – 500 MB/s. In other words, SSDs are generally 3 x faster than HDDs.
For this reason, you will find that a 1TB HDD will be equal to (or even less than) a 128GB SSD in terms of price. While HDDs can store stuff, they aren’t as quick to retrieve it. This makes the performance of the laptop slow and sluggish.
So, coming back to the point at hand, when you want to purchase a laptop under $1,500, you can (and should) comfortably go for 512GB SSD storage. At this price range, you should not buy a laptop with an HDD in it unless you have some plans for upgrading or customizing it yourself.
A lot of laptops can give 512 gigabytes of SSD storage, even in the $900 – $1,000 range. Depending on the brand that you pick, you could even snag a 1TB SSD for $1,500…which, by the way, would be great.
Last but not least, we have memory. Memory and RAM are pretty much the same things, so don’t get confused if we use the words interchangeably.
The RAM of a laptop basically decides its capability of simultaneously handling and running multiple programs, files and software. A laptop that has a bigger RAM will be able to run a lot of apps and files at once without getting slowed down.
For a laptop in the $1,500 range, you can easily get 16 gigabytes or 32 gigabytes of RAM, depending on the brand that you choose. If you want to settle for a less expensive device (something around $600 – $800), you can even go for 8GB of RAM as well.
2. Connectivity Options
After the performance specs, the next thing that comes is the connectivity options.
The connectivity options in a laptop essentially include the ports and slots that it has on the sides. In most laptops nowadays, some of the common slots/ports that you can find are:
- USB Type-A
- USB Type-C
- SD Card Reader
- Ethernet port
- Headphone jack
Now, when you want to buy a laptop, you should keep in mind what your particular needs and requirements will be as far as the connectivity is concerned. For example, if you have a monitor or a screen that runs with USB Type-C (which is affectionately referred to as ‘Thunderbolt 4’), then you need to get a laptop that comes with this port.
Similarly, if you want to use your laptop with a whole lot of peripherals, you should look for one that offers the maximum number of USB Type-A ports.
Nowadays, the salient feature of good high-end devices is the presence of one or more Thunderbolt 4 slots. Even if you don’t currently have a need for this port, you should still buy a laptop that comes with one. You don’t know when and where you’ll need it.
Similarly, high-end devices also come with the 3.0 version of the USB Type-A ports. If you are buying a laptop for around $1,500, you should look for one that provides at least one 3.0 or 3.2 slot, even if the others are 2.0.
The display of the laptop is also something that you have to keep an eye out for. As far as the size of the display is concerned, it mostly depends on your particular requirements. For example, people who have to work on the go will need a smaller device i.e., a 14-inch display whereas people who need a laptop for making a home office setup will most probably need a bigger display i.e., 17.3-inch.
15.6-inch laptops can usually be good for both purposes.
Other than the size of the display, you also have to look at the maximum resolution. If you are looking to buy a device in the $1,500 range, 1920 x 1080 is the minimum you should settle for.
In the consumer-grade market, $1,500 is a good budget that can get you some good laptops. Laptops are a one-in-a-couple-years investment (for some people, decades), and it’s wise to go for a device that you can use for some time to come.
Wrapping up this article, we’d like to conclude by saying that unless you are a professional who is in the habit of running some really advanced software and programs, you should try and buy a product below the $1,000 range. Obviously, if you want to go above that, you can. That’s what this whole post was about.
Our advice on sticking below the thousand-dollar range is because you can find some really awesome devices under this price. But in the end, the choice is yours.