Once you get over the $1,000 mark in the laptop world, you will find considerably more options to focus on performance, gaming, multitasking, and more. Jump to the $1,500 mark and you’re edging closer to a premium laptop experience, and that’s a good thing for those who want excellent performance out of their next laptop purchase.
Even though many computer buyers don’t need to pay all the way up to $1,500 for a laptop, at this price point, you’re ensured to get something with more than enough performance to handle whatever you throw at it.
Let’s take a look at the 7 best laptops under $1,500 you can buy today!
- Best Overall: MacBook Air M2
- Best for Gaming: ASUS ROG Strix G15
- Best Battery: Microsoft Surface Pro 8
- Best for Portability: Dell XPS 13
- Best Big Screen: HP ENVY 17
- Best 2-in-1: HP Spectre x360
- Best Features: ASUS ZenBook 13
Best Overall: MacBook Air M2
When it comes to the absolute best laptop under $1,500, the MacBook Air M2 reigns supreme as the top choice for performance.
What’s most notable about the Air was the introduction of Apple’s M1 processor, Apple’s first in-house CPU that houses 8-cores and is 3.5x faster than previous generation MacBook Air computers. Paired with 8GB of RAM, the MacBook Air is a true powerhouse of a machine and, when necessary, the computer can grab and create additional RAM by using available hard drive space for even more muscle when multitasking.
The MacBook Air offers a superb 13.3-inch Retina display that offers excellent color accuracy with crisp text and vibrant graphics. Perhaps the biggest highlight of the MacBook Air is that, even with all of this power and a hungry display, it still can crank out more than 18 hours of battery life on a single charge. There is also no fan so you never have to worry about a fan powering up right at the worst possible moment and distracting everyone while you are on a Zoom call.
Gamers will love the opportunity to download directly from the App Store and get up to 5x better graphics than the previous MacBook Air as well.
Check out the MacBook Air M2 on Amazon.
Best for Gaming: ASUS ROG Strix G15
- Advantage Edition
- 15.6" 300Hx FHD display
- Radeon RX 6800M GPU
- AMD Ryzen 9-5900hx
- RGB Keyboard
- Windows 10
- 16GB RAM
- 512GB PCIe SSD
Looking at the best gaming computer under $1,500 is a tall order as there are dozens of options all competing to be the best. Ultimately, it’s the ASUS ROG Strix G15 that wins out over the rest, even if its name is something of a mouthful.
Right from the jump, the ASUS stands out thanks to its unique and colorful hardware in a space where gaming laptops all try to outdo the competition. What’s more is that the ASUS punches well above its weight with an onboard AMD Ryzen 9 5900X processor on top of a Radeon 6800M GPU. Combined, this GPU and CPU make for a powerful gaming machine that can handle just about every game you can throw at it, including many AAA titles.
Add in 16GB of RAM plus a 512GB hard drive and you quickly understand why the ASUS is an easy recommendation. The same can be said for the 15.6-inch 300Hz Full HD display which looks great, although it’s not a touchscreen, which might be an issue for some people. Perhaps the only real downside to this laptop is the lack of a dedicated webcam but since it’s all about gaming first and video calls second, that’s easy enough to overlook.
Check out the ASUS ROG Strix G15 on Amazon.
Best Battery: Microsoft Surface Pro 8
Microsoft has quickly grown to the head of the Windows class when it comes to outstanding laptops, and the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 is no exception.
This 13-inch touchscreen laptop is a strong recommendation for anyone who values portability, performance, and battery life. Offering up to 16 hours of battery life, the Surface Pro 8 all but guarantees you can leave the house for a whole day’s worth of work without a clunky charger weighing you down.
Keeping you going during the day is a 2880 x 1920p 13-inch touchscreen display which is a real joy to use. Making the screen even more enjoyable is the stand behind the detachable monitor as it provides multiple angles when propped up. There’s a good angle for drawing, writing, browsing, and viewing.
The Surface Pro 8 also marks the introduction of the Evo platform to Microsoft’s laptop lineup which helps allow for lightweight but powerful hardware with lengthy battery life. The Evo platform also enables support for multiple 4K monitors extended through USB-C so you can quickly set up a larger display when necessary.
Check out the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 on Amazon.
Best for Portability: Dell XPS 13
A strong combination of portability and performance is the best way to describe the Dell XPS 13.
The closest competitor to the MacBook Air Dell has to offer, the Dell XPS 13 has long been a staple of laptops priced under $1,500. Powered by an 11th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, there is more than enough power here for all of your daily tasks and then some. This is even more true when you include 16GB of RAM and a 512GB hard drive plus an Intel Iris Xe GPU.
Adding to the value of the XPS 13 is the inclusion of Wi-Fi 6, Windows 11, and a 13.4-inch display that is 40 times brighter than previous XPS 13 models. The hardware frame has also been reduced in size by 6% from the previous generation, all while making the touchpad 17% larger, so it’s a win-win for buyers.
Weighing only 2.8 pounds, the Dell XPS 13 is perfect for carrying on the go. The weight and reduced body frame make it easy to work anywhere, anytime, and with 13 hours of battery life, you can definitely work any time during the day.
Check out the Dell XPS 13 on Amazon.
Best Big Screen: HP Envy 17
Big screens are often hit or miss with laptops under $1,500 as the best computers of this size are often in the gaming space, which costs far more. The HP Envy 17 hopes to change that by focusing on all of the features you need and nothing you don’t, all while offering a 17.3-inch Full HD display.
While the 60Hz touchscreen IPS screen won’t win any awards for gaming, what will win you over is the whopping 64GB of RAM. This is good to come in handy as all of the available screen real estate will beg for you to multitask all the time and all of the additional RAM will come in handy to keep multiple applications running at once.
Speaking of multiple applications, to download all of these multitasking apps you’ll need storage, and the HP Envy 17 comes equipped with a 512GB SSD, which is ample room for dozens and dozens of applications. Weighing in at 5.45 pounds, the HP Envy 17 isn’t the lightest laptop on the block but with this big of a display, you are likely to be spending most of your time at a desk where the weight won’t matter.
Check out the HP Envy 17 on Amazon.
Best 2-in-1: HP Spectre x360
- 16" 3K+ Touchscreen
- Intel Core i7-12700H Evo
- 16GB RAM
- 512GB SSD
- Wi-Fi 6
- Backlit KB
- FP Reader
- MPP2.0 Tilt Pen Included
- Windows 11 Home
There are a lot of computers all vying to be the best 2-in-1 in the laptop market today, but for under $1,500, the HP Spectre x360 is the easy winner.
Even before you get into the whole 2-in-1 hardware aspect, the x360 sticks out above the crowd thanks to its 16-inch 3K resolution display. With a 3072 x 1920 screen, the IPS edge-to-edge glass display is something to admire and works so well with the included stylus. For anyone on the fence about this computer, the display should be the factor that tips things in its favor.
Of course, more than just the screen is good about the x360, including its 12th-generation Intel Core i7 processor for plenty of CPU power. The power intensifies when you include the available 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD, which both round out the solid performance.
The real highlight, though, is the 2-in-1 display that folds back 360 degrees to double as a tablet. Additionally, you can only partially fold back the screen into a tent mode and stand the x360 up to double as a solid little viewing stand for watching movies during your downtime.
Check out the HP Spectre x360 on Amazon.
Best Features: ASUS ZenBook 13
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- 8GB storage
- 512GB SSD
- Thunderbolt 4
- Wi-Fi 6
- AI Noise Cancellation
- 13.3 inch OLED 400nits Full HD (1920 x 1080p) Wide View 4-way NanoEdge bezel display
- Latest 11th generation Intel Evo Platform i7-1165G7 Quad Core Processor (12M Cache, up to 4.70 GHz, with IPU)
- Windows 11 Pro
- Pine grey color
Last not certainly not least of the best laptops under $1,500 is the Asus ZenBook 13, which is a wonderfully portable laptop.
Even as portable as it is, that isn’t why the ASUS ZenBook 13 stands out. What makes this laptop pop is a feature that hopefully comes to every laptop, regardless of the price, very shortly. Having the touchpad double as a number pad is so very intuitive, it’s a wonder it wasn’t a feature introduced years before. The good thing is that ASUS nailed it with the ZenBook 13. All it takes is a tap at the top-right corner of the trackpad and, voila, the numpad pops right up.
Thankfully, the numpad isn’t the only reason to look at the ASUS ZenBook 13, as the 13.3-inch 400 nit Full HD display grabs your eye immediately. As a NanoEdge display, the screen is wonderful to look at and makes working on the ZenBook at all hours feel a tiny bit more enjoyable.
An 11th-generation Intel Core i7 quad-core processor helps give the ZenBook 13 some strong performance as does the 8GB of RAM and 512GB SSD.
Check out the ASUS ZenBook 13 on Amazon.
What to Know Before Buying a Laptop Under $1,500
Buying a laptop under $1,500 doesn’t require making too many sacrifices. If anything, this should be a very comfortable budget range for most buyers. Yes, if you are a gamer, you might have to sacrifice some AAA performance, but as long as that is clear going into any purchase, it shouldn’t be much of an issue.
For the most part, you can also expect to get plenty of battery life through most of these machines, including the Dell XPS 13, which offers 13 hours and the Microsoft Surface Pro 8, which offers up to 16 hours of battery on a single charge.
Portability is a question for many laptop buyers and, with the exception of the HP Envy 17 and the ASUS ROG Strix G15, weight shouldn’t be much of a factor. This said you should know that with any laptop, regardless of price, weight can vary pretty considerably. More importantly, the difference between two and three pounds in a laptop doesn’t sound like much on paper, but it can make a difference if you are carrying it around all day.
Power is another big factor and again, for the most part, it shouldn’t be an issue with any laptop priced at or close to $1,500. There’s some subjectivity into how much power one person needs on a laptop, but with the advancements in CPU power and at least 8GB of RAM to get through daily tasks, you will be absolutely fine with any laptop on this list.
Using a Laptop Under $1,500: What It’s Like
When using a $1,500 or less computer, you get a pretty solid piece of hardware, often with a nice big display and good enough battery life. The reality is that you want a computer that can handle whatever you throw at it and, in this case, you have more than enough power with all of these laptops to work through a dozen plus Chrome tabs, watch a movie, edit a PowerPoint, start a word document, and more. Of course, if you want the absolute best-performing laptop with plenty of future-proofing ahead of it, the MacBook Air is the best answer.
However, between the Dell XPS 13 and its fantastic portability or the flexibility of the Surface Pro 8, you have some excellent Windows 11 picks available as well.
This means the biggest question mark at this price is whether it’s good enough for gamers, and the ASUS ROG is out to prove you don’t have to spend a lot to get a lot. Only those who demand the absolute best performance from AAA titles will want more and for that, you can spend between $2,000 and $3,000 to get a future-proofed gaming computer.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©fizkes/Shutterstock.com.