When we look for the best laptops under $1200, we keep three things in mind: the latest processor, the right RAM, and SSD storage. Other characteristics also play a role in the decision according to the requirement, but the three things above are a basic need. A player can search for an excellent graphics card, a developer can search for the best transfer rates or a photographer can search for the best storage option. So, here we describe the best laptops under 1200 dollars for you.
All these laptops have good graphics cards for your excellent gaming experience, at least 8 GB RAM to process things faster as a developer or programmer and more storage space to store your large, large files.
List of the best laptops under $1200
Apple Macbook Pro M1
The 13-inch MacBook Pro (M1, 2020) may be the biggest leap forward the smallest Pro line has seen in years. Instead of the usual Intel processors, Apple has chosen to power it with its own M1 chip, the same vaunted chip that powers the Mac mini (M1, 2020) and MacBook Air (M1, 2020). And it’s proven to be a success, reviving this popular laptop line in a way that none of its previous iterations have managed.
Design-wise, the 13-inch MacBook Pro (M1, 2020) lacks the major updates that would have made it a much more compelling upgrade, especially for users with a 2019 or even early 2020 model. Still, with this new chip at the core, it’s already an impressive laptop in its own right, delivering far more performance than the other 13-inch MacBook Pros with Intel processors that came before it. Not only is it 2.8 times faster than its predecessor and three times faster than equivalent Windows laptops, but it also boasts longer battery life than its Intel processor predecessors.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro (M1, 2020) meets almost all of our expectations. If Apple wanted to launch something revolutionary, it certainly succeeded. Overall, this is one of the best laptops under $1200.
Acer Spin 5
The Acer Spin 5 is the latest refresh of the popular 2-in-1 laptop from the Taiwanese manufacturer, and it didn’t disappoint. Featuring the latest Intel Ice Lake processor, a 2,256 x 1,504 IPS display, and a 360-degree hinge that makes the laptop something that comes closest to an actual physical laptop, the Spin 5 is a very versatile device that is absolutely one of the best laptops for students. While it’s not the most powerful 2-in-1 laptop we’ve tested, it comes very close, as it manages to deliver solid performance despite its slim bezel.
While it’s not a gaming laptop by any means, the Intel Iris Plus graphics produce a vibrant color palette and the GPU scores decently in our benchmarks – and frankly, it just looks incredible. The Spin 5’s 3:2 aspect ratio touchscreen display is absolutely fantastic for taking notes with the stylus. Since a typical 2-in-1 notebook with a 16:9 aspect ratio is almost twice as long as it is wide, you can easily feel cramped when actually taking notes on it.
The included stylus is small and can look a bit flimsy, but since it has its own charging port and sleeve on the side of the notebook, it’s much less likely to get lost or broken than those that come with other 2-in-1 notebooks. Overall, this is one of the best laptops under $1200.
ASUS ZenBook 14
The ZenBook 14 has a precisely designed ErgoLift hinge that automatically lifts the back of the laptop slightly when opened, tilting the keyboard to the optimal typing angle. This action also raises the chassis for optimal cooling and improved audio quality. The ZenBook 14 redefines what is possible in an ultra-thin laptop. It offers a full complement of I/O ports, including full-size HDMI, USB Type-A and USB-C. There’s also a microSD card reader for easy data transfer from your mobile device.
Support for USB-C Easy Charge means your ZenBook 14 can be used with a wide range of standard USB-C chargers from 5-20 V. You can charge ultra-fast with any PD (Power Delivery)-certified charger, including the 65-watt fast-charging adapter that comes with the ZenBook 14, or charge your device on the go with airplane chargers, portable chargers or power banks!
The ZenBook 14’s compact, 1.26 kg light weight and 14.3 mm thin, all-metal design make it the ideal travel companion. It’s also one of the world’s thinnest 14-inch laptops1 with a full set of I/O ports* – including full-size HDMI and USB Type-A – so you can enjoy versatile connectivity wherever you are. Overall, this is one of the best laptops under $1200.
HP Envy x360
There is no shortage of great premium laptops. The Dell XPS 13, HP Spectre x360, Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon and several MacBook models come to mind. What do all these models have in common? Their price is over $1,000. If you cut your budget to a triple-digit amount, suddenly your options narrow. With the Envy x360 13, HP has turned this overlooked segment on its head. Instead of considering what features to remove to get the price below $1,000, HP thought about what aspects of the flagship Spectre models could be carried over to the Envy. As a result, the Envy x360 13 shares much of the same DNA as the Spectre, including a stylish all-aluminum chassis.
Razer Blade 15
The Razer Blade 15 has become one of the top gaming laptops on the market by combining high-performance mobile components with stunning design. With this combination, it’s no wonder it’s considered by some to be the “MacBook Pro of gaming laptops”.
The Razer Blade 15 2020 continues in the same tradition, hiding RTX Super graphics cards and the best Intel Comet Lake-H processors in its ultrabook-like chassis. And this sleek design is most evident in the aluminum unibody design (which this line is known for), which may remind some of the MacBook Pro. Not to mention, it has one of the best trackpads to be found on a Windows laptop, as well as two large speakers located on the top.
If you’re looking for a gaming laptop that looks like a premium product rather than a fussy toy, the Razer Blade 15 is still the best example of what that could look like – that is, if you have the money for it. For under $1200, you can get an Intel Core i7 processor, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics card and a 256GB SSD. Overall, this is one of the best laptops under $1200.
Lenovo Legion 5
Lenovo’s Legion line of gaming laptops is one of the most impressive mobile gaming workstations on the market. While the top-of-the-line Legion 7i with both a Core i7 processor and NVIDIA RTX GPU that we tested earlier was great in every way, for casual gamers and aspiring content creators, there are cheaper versions available (comparatively) with similarly high-quality builds and decent performance. One of these is AMD’s Legion 5, which Lenovo unveiled a few weeks ago.
AMD’s Legion 5 makes it clear that it relies on AMD’s newer Ryzen 4000 series mobile chips instead of faster-than-lightning Intel processors. If you’ve been following Lenovo laptops for a while, the Legion 5 AMD is no different from previous Legion entry-level models. This recycled design still looks unmistakably like a gaming laptop, especially with its chubby deck extending beyond the hinges. Similar to the Legion 7i, Lenovo has crammed in most of the ports as well as heat dissipation vents.
AMD’s Legion 5 uses an IPS display as standard, with a 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. It’s not the best type of display Lenovo offers in the Legion lineup, but it’s certainly a “usable” display; usable in the sense that it’s good enough for most purposes. It’s not the panel with the most accurate colors, but unless you’re comparing it to the MacBook Air’s display, there’s nothing to point to. Overall, this is one of the best laptops under $1200.
Dell G3 15 3500
The Dell G3 15 is the definition of a basic gaming laptop: simple design, modest performance, and low price. It elevates its game a bit with a 120Hz full HD display that its GeForce GTX 1650 Ti graphics chip can take advantage of in online multiplayer games, but it can’t quite push AAA titles to 60 frames per second (fps) at higher settings. The small 256GB SSD in our review device is limiting for the games library, so we’d recommend increasing the capacity.
It should come as no surprise that this cheap gaming laptop isn’t too flashy aesthetically or flashy physically. It’s a simple but reasonably compact 15-inch system with a textured plastic finish on the lid and smooth plastic inside. The G3 15 won’t win any design awards, but it won’t offend, it fits into any environment, and its construction is mostly solid.
Although the design of the system is simple, the screen definitely has gaming in mind. The 15.6-inch display has a Full HD resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate, which is a good combination for basic to moderate gaming. The resolution is a modern standard, and it looks sharp without being extra demanding on power-saving components. Overall, this is one of the best laptops under $1200.
HP Pavilion 15
The Pavilion line has always been HP’s mid-range brand, and this 15-incher fits right into that mold; it’s a not-quite-ultrabook laptop that really has a lot going for it. The model we have here is absolutely bursting with high-spec hardware, from 16GB of RAM to a fast 512GB SSD, from a touch-screen 15.3-inch FHD display to a 4th-gen AMD Ryzen 7 processor.
For the most part, the performance of these components is absolutely amazing, with results that, while not as high as those of Intel’s 11th-gen mobile processors, are very creditable. All of these components are packed (literally to the bursting point) into a handsome and defiantly attractive enclosure, a slim case that looks more expensive than it is, and more than enough ports to make it fully usable no matter what you throw at it.
There’s a full-size keyboard that feels great to type on, and a large trackpad that didn’t let us down. When it comes to everyday desktop work, whether it’s photo editing, web browsing, or “working” for a movie or two, this one has what it takes, and doesn’t get too hot (or, crucially, too loud) while doing it. Overall, this is one of the best laptops under $1200.
LG Gram 17
The LG Gram 17 (2021) is the latest 17-inch variant of the company’s so-far excellent productivity-focused notebook lineup, which focuses on keeping the weight as low as possible. Powered by 11th Generation Intel mobile processors, the LG Gram 17 (2021) especially enables fast and seamless productivity to make your work experience hassle-free.
While the LG Gram 17 (2021) certainly won’t win any awards for style, what the laptop does offer is pure functionality that puts it as one of the best choices for workplace use. That is, if you can bear the price. Your immediate reaction to the LG Gram 17 (2021) laptop will almost certainly be how light it is. Weighing in at 2.98 pounds (1.35 kg), the LG Gram 17 (2021) is fascinatingly light, which is especially impressive considering the additional bulk provided by the 17-inch screen.
Its lightness is easily one of the biggest selling points of the LG Gram 17 (2021). It’s certainly one of the most portable options, perfect for carrying around in a laptop bag. The importance of this cannot be overstated, as it could spell the end of heavier laptops weighing you down unnecessarily during morning and evening commutes to work or school.
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4
Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 4 has arrived at a bit of a strange time. We’re still in the midst of a global pandemic, with many people – including us – working from home and giving up the commute to work where the best ultrabooks have traditionally shone. But that won’t last forever, and as some people are sure to move to a more hybrid model of working, where maybe one or two days a week you’re working in an office, having something that’s portable, powerful, and long-lasting will once again be important.
And that’s a world in which the Surface Laptop 4 could potentially shine. Like every other Surface Laptop in the last decade, the Surface Laptop 4 is thin, light, and powerful enough to handle most of your daily workload. But when you combine that with a gorgeous PixelSense display and one of the most comfortable keyboards we’ve ever used, we kind of want this to be the laptop we take to the office someday, whenever we can again. Overall, this is one of the best laptops under $1200.
Dell Inspiron 5502
The Dell Inspiron series consists of low-cost to mid-range laptops that contrast to the higher-end and more familiar XPS series. These models typically lack the luxurious metal and carbon fiber skeletons in favor of more down-to-earth designs and features. Unsurprisingly, Inspiron laptops are often sold at half the price or even less than typical XPS laptops. The 5502 introduces a new chassis design along with Intel’s latest 11th generation Tiger Lake capabilities. SKUs range from the Core i3-1105G4 with 8GB of RAM, 256GB SSD, and 1080p non-touch screen for around $500 to the Core i7-1165G7 with 12GB of RAM, 512GB SSD, and 1080p touch screen for $850. Overall, this is one of the best laptops under $1200.
HP Omen 15
The HP Omen 15 gaming laptop is back with a brand new minimalist look. AMD Ryzen processors make their way into the lineup in this iteration, with our review unit pairing the colossally powerful Ryzen 7 4800H with a 6GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics card for smooth 1080p gaming. This HP has everything we expect from a mid-range gamer and then some, including a 144Hz screen, a top-notch keyboard, and nearly 10 hours of battery life in our testing.
Though the $1,299 price tag for a laptop with a GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics card is a bit pricey-the Acer Predator Helios 300, can be found with a GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card for more than $100 less-it’s a lot less money than any eight-core gaming rig with an Intel processor, and it provides a great option for gamers who want seamless performance for live streaming, content creation, or doing it all at once, without breaking the bank. Overall, this is one of the best laptops under $1200.
So these are our recommendations for the best laptops under $1200. All these laptops are now available directly in the store. For your convenience, however, we have also listed Amazon links for all these laptops. Not only for daily chores, but these laptops are also suitable for moderate games. Some, however, can also play hardcore. We hope that this article will help you get the best laptops for your budget and goals.