Shopping for a new laptop can be both fun and exasperating. The good part is you can find a good laptop with the specs or features you want. But the bad part is you have to wade through options before you find the perfect laptop. Remember, new laptops with better specs and features make shopping an uphill task. Some people are torn between buying the latest devices with new technologies and low-cost or budget options.
The best way to avoid confusion and save time is to decide what you want in your next laptop. Is it speed and performance you want, or just a better display? We have done some research and found the 5 best laptops under $1300 in 2023.
Just take a look at our roundup of the 5 best laptops under $1300 in 2023:
- #1 Best Overall: ASUS ROG Strix G15
- Best Budget Option: Dell Inspiron 5515
- Best for Performance: Apple MacBook Pro
- Best for Multitasking: ASUS TUF Dash
- Best for Gaming: MSI Stealth 15M
#1 Best Overall Laptop Under $1300: ASUS ROG Strix G15
The AMD Ryzen 7 5800H CPU with 16MB cache and a speed of 4.4GHz powers the ASUS ROG Strix G15, making it way faster than its predecessors. The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti 4GBGDDR6 with ROG boost enables this ASUS laptop to achieve higher frame rates at 1080p on max settings. Its processing power and display features make it one of the best portable PC for gaming. Additionally, its cooling system maintains lower temperatures, even after continuous usage for many hours. Its high-end graphics card can run modern PC games on high and medium graphics without lags. Its GPU and CPU collaborate perfectly in running demanding creative tasks and intense gaming seamlessly.
ASUS ROG Strix G15 is equipped with 16GB DDR4 32200MHz RAM that can manage several tasks and applications simultaneously. This makes it appropriate for video editing, gaming, and productivity tasks. With this laptop, you get 1TB PCIe SSD of storage, which is sufficient storage for most users. It can accommodate their photos, games, videos, music, and movies. The laptop can also boot and open applications within seconds due to its faster SSD drive.
This laptop has an impressive 15.6” display with a 300HZ IPS FHD display, which allows you to view images in sharp detail. A matte finish also makes it glare-proof. What’s more? You can see the content on your screen even in bright surroundings. Its keyboard has a great feel, response time, and an RGB backlight. The laptop’s touchpad is highly responsive and allows for smooth navigation. As for connectivity, you have access to multiple ports and slots too.
Check out the ASUS ROG Strix G15 on Amazon.
Best Budget Option: Dell Inspiron 5515
- 15.6" full HD LED touchscreen
- 16GB RAM and 512GB PCIe SSD
- Powerful AMD Ryzen 5 5500U processor
- Webcam, backlit Keyboard, WiFi, Fingerprint Reader
- Comes with Win 10 Home installed
One of the low-cost models in the market, the Dell Inspiron 5515, offers amazing features on a budget. It features a powerful AMD Ryzen 5 5500U CPU with 6 cores and 12 threads. This processor has sufficient power to carry out various tasks at once. Its powerful AMD Radeon Graphics card also delivers quality images at 1080p resolution. This laptop supports Amazon and Netflix streaming at high resolution.
Dell Inspiron 5515 has 16GB DDR4 RAM, which can support multitasking. You can run multiple apps without experiencing performance issues or lags. For storage, you get a 512 PCle NVMe M.2 SSD, more than enough to hold your games, apps, and videos.
The laptop has a 15.6-inch display with an anti-glare feature for proper outdoor and outdoor visibility in brighter rooms. Its FHD screen with 1920 x 1080 Full HD resolution shows high-quality and crystal-clear videos and images. You can watch your favorite movies or shows in either 720p or 1080p resolution. This laptop is also usable in dark surroundings as it has a backlit keyboard. The fingerprint reader is a nice addition, as it offers a more secure and personal security protocol than passwords.
The Dell Inspiron 5515 comes with an array of ports for power delivery and data transfer. Its USB-C port also helps users to connect a mouse, audio headsets, and other peripherals. Other useful features include a 1 x HDMI 1.4b, an SD reader, an audio jack, Bluetooth 5, Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200 2×2 (Gig+), and an Ethernet port.
Check out the Dell Inspiron 5515 on Amazon.
Best for Performance: Apple MacBook Pro
(Please note that as of July 19th, 2023, the Apple 2020 MacBook Pro M1 Chip is currently unavailable on Amazon. Please check back later.)
Apple MacBook Pro with Apple M1 chips is the best-performing laptop and costs less than $1300. It features a powerful 8-core processor with 4 P-cores and 4 E-core, making it perfect for heavy-duty tasks like gaming and multitasking. Its Apple 8-Core graphics card will meet all your videography, photography, and other graphics-intensive needs adequately.
Apple MacBook Pro’s 8GB RAM can run your applications effectively, and its 256GB SSD has more space for your files and documents. The SSD storage also boosts the laptop’s speed and performance compared to the HDD. This device is also versatile as it allows SSD and RAM upgrades for better performance.
This laptop depicts colors in perfection and has the best viewing angles boosted by its IPS technology’s LED-backlit Retina Display. So you will have the most amazing views irrespective of your sitting position. Its backlit keyboard makes the laptop usable in dark and low-light areas. Using the laptop’s in-built Touch Bar with a Touch ID sensor, you can log in and make safe online payments without typing your passwords.
Apple MacBook Pro comprises a display port Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps), 2 Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports, USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10Gbps), Bluetooth 5.0 support, and wireless connectivity 802.11ax technology networks.
Check out the MacBook Pro with Apple M1 on Amazon.
Best for Multitasking: ASUS TUF Dash
15.6-inch display 144Hz refresh rate
16GB RAM , 512GB PCIe SSD
VR-ready gaming laptop
Intel Core i7-11370H, GeForce RTX 3060
DTS X Ultra, Backlit KB, WiFi 6
The ASUS TUF Dash with an Intel Core i7-11370 Quad-Core processor is a high-powered laptop with impeccable multitasking ability, all available for under $1300 in 2023. The laptop’s CPU has a 12 MB Intel Smart Cache and attains an amazing speed of 4.8 GHz. Its NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 6GB GDDR6 graphics can serve up good visuals when gaming or watching movies.
This laptop’s multitasking capability is supported by 16GB DDR4 RAM. This RAM comfortably runs several programs and applications simultaneously. You can also upgrade its RAM for better performance. Additionally, it uses a 512GB PCle SSD for storing every important document, game, file, music, photo, and video. Its SSD drive enables users to open their files quickly compared to most laptops under $1300. The ability to upgrade this laptop’s storage and RAM enhances its versatility.
Its 15.6-inch FHD display has a 1920 x 1080 resolution with anti-glare technology, making it perfect for outdoor tasks. Its display technology also minimizes eye-related problems making it suitable for people that use laptops for long hours. When it’s dark, you won’t have an issue using this laptop because it has a backlighting keyboard. Its touchpad is also adequately sized and highly responsive.
ASUS TUF Dash has a Thunderbolt 4, 3x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A for connecting devices, an HDMI 2.0b port, a 3.5mm combo Audio Jack, and an RJ-45 jack. It also comes with Bluetooth 5.2 and Wi-Fi 6 802.11 AX (2X2) for wireless connection.
Check out the ASUS TUF Dash on Amazon.
Best Gaming Laptop Under $1300: MSI Stealth 15M
- 15.6-inch screen with 1080p Display
- 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD storage
- Faster gaming, vibrant visuals
- Ultrathin, and light to carry around
- Thunderbolt 4, WiFi 6, Win 10
If you need the perfect under $1300 laptop for gaming, MSI Stealth 15M is the best option. Its CPU, Intel Core i7-11375H CPU with a 3.3GHz speed, is powerful for heavy-duty gaming, multimedia, and other CPU-intensive tasks. The laptop’s NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 graphics also deliver high-quality visuals for an immersive gaming and movie-watching experience.
MSI Stealth 15M uses 16GB DDR4 RAM, which surpasses the recommended 8 GB limit for gaming. Apart from sufficient storage, its 512 PCIe SSD also boosts the loading speeds for applications, programs, and games. The SSD can store all your videos, photographs, games, and other files.
This laptop’s 15.6-inch FHD screen with a 1080p resolution and a 144Hz refresh rate is also great for gamers. It offers the best gaming visuals and smooth transitions, as well as gameplay that’s void of stuttering and choppiness. The keyboard also features RGB lighting for every key, and it’s comfortable for typing. The touchpad is also very responsive and sensitive for easier navigation. This laptop also has multiple ports and slots and supports Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for wireless connectivity.
Check out the MSI Stealth 15M Gaming Laptop on Amazon.
How To Pick The Best Laptop Under $1300: Step-By-Step
Finding the best laptop is not a walk in the park. You have to weigh numerous options, including the latest release with advanced specs and features. However, it will be less difficult if you focus on your needs. Think about the laptop’s size, performance, and reliability when shopping around. Most importantly, keep these factors in mind.
The CPU is the heartbeat of laptops, and it determines the workload they can perform. A powerful processor is handy for heavy-duty tasks. However, you can also shop for an affordable laptop with a CPU packed with enough power to execute video editing or gaming tasks. An in-depth research of the existing processors will accurately guide your choices.
Your needs will help in determining the best GPU for you. For instance, gamers and creatives need a powerful GPU like NVIDIA, which is way better than AMD in terms of capabilities, although they are costly. The best budget-friendly laptops have the NVidia MX150 GPU that can play some simple PC games.
Random Access Memory (RAM) directly affects the performance of laptops. It determines the number of applications that a laptop can run concurrently. Laptops with a limited RAM capacity tend to lag and hang. Fortunately, $1300 laptops typically have at least 16GB RAM. This is more than enough for gaming, video editing, and other heavy-duty use. If you’re buying a low-cost laptop, ensure it comes with an additional RAM slot for future upgrades.
The storage options will also influence your choice of laptop. Some laptops use the traditional hard drive (HDD), while others have SSD storage. The HDD provides more storage for the price paid. However, it is way slower than the SSD. Of the two, the SSD is more costly due to its speed and storage space. With a $1300 budget, you can find a good laptop with HDD or SSD storage.
Properly check the laptop to ensure it has the essential ports. Every functional laptop needs a USB-C port, a headphone jack, and an HDMI port. The HDMI port, for instance, enables laptop users to connect to bigger screens for either gaming or business presentations. These ports also enable users to connect storage devices, smartphones, and other peripherals.
Internet and Wireless Connectivity
The laptop’s connectivity affects how it serves your needs. A LAN (RJ-45 port) is essential for wired internet and Wi-Fi for wireless internet connection. Additionally, the best laptop is also NFC or Bluetooth-enabled.
What To Know Before Buying the Best Laptop Under $1300
A key step in finding the right computer or laptop is gathering and evaluating product information. Once you’re adequately informed about these devices, you won’t experience confusion and second-guesses. Here are vital aspects to know before purchasing a laptop under $1300.
Select a Platform
Before purchasing any laptop, determine the most suitable OS for your tasks or programs. The most popular operating systems are Chrome OS, macOS (only for MacBooks), and Windows. You should closely examine the weaknesses and strengths of each system to pick the most suitable one for you.
Would You Like a 2-In-1 Option?
In your search for a good laptop, you will find several 2-in-1 options. These hybrid devices can work as a laptop and a tablet. You can also set them up in different positions, like the stand or tent mode. These laptops are designed in two styles. Some have a fully detachable screen, while others have a keyboard that can revolve at 360 degrees. These devices function optimally as tablets and laptops.
Size of the Laptop
While shopping for the next laptop, also consider its size. Besides mini laptops, you will also find some pretty big laptops. Laptop size goes hand in hand with display size. The most portable options fall under the 11 to 12-inch category, and they are light and thin. The largest laptops have a display size of 17 to 18 inches.
Touchpad and Keyboard
The key controls for your laptop are the keyboard and touchpad. Most tasks you will execute will majorly depend on the effectiveness of these controls. The best keyboards have sufficient key travel, enabling easy typing. Keyboards with background lighting are also a great choice because they provide visibility while you type in the dark. The touchpad should also be highly responsive for easy and quick navigation.
Laptops allow you to work on the go. So, you want to make sure you get a laptop with a good battery a vital. If you often use the laptop closer to a power source, its battery life is not an issue. However, if you do most of your tasks outdoors, look for a laptop that can run for several hours. Any laptop with at least 5 hours of battery life is a good buy.
Using the Best Laptop Under $1300: What It’s Like
Under $1300, laptops guarantee a better user experience as they come with advanced specs and features. They feature both SSD and HDD that provide sufficient storage. So, space should not be an issue They also have powerful processors for multitasking, gaming, and executing highly demanding tasks. Because they deliver better graphics, you can enjoy clear visuals, whether gaming or watching movies. Despite their amazing CPU resources, they’re still reasonably priced, giving users value for money. These laptops can serve home users, professionals, and students satisfactorily.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Ground Picture/Shutterstock.com.