If you are scrolling around to find the best laptop under $1200, we are here to help you. A strict budget of 1200 will find you a handy laptop, whether your purpose is gaming, business, or casual multitasking. Most of the laptops in this price range bring good configurations. They are very well capable of handling any task you throw. We will discuss the best laptops under $1200 to fulfill the demand of each category. The versatile list of best laptops will surely help you find the machine you are looking for.
People prefer buying a laptop because of the portable design that can replace a traditional PC with powerful configurations. Moreover, We have got you covered if you are perplexed about finding a suitable computer for your daily use. We will explore some of the best options in each category, whether gaming, touchscreen, 2-in-1 convertible, Business, Video Editing, or Casual workload. Each category has multiple options to choose from. More options mean you have more leverage to find a valuable computing machine. So without any further ado, let’s get started!
Recommended: Best Laptops under $900
List of Best Laptops under $1200 in 2023
Here is a list of best-performing laptops under 1200 dollars to buy in 2023:
12023 MacBook Air 15″ (Overall Best Laptop under $1200)
Apple doesn’t require any introduction as it is the world’s largest tech company. When we talk about the most portable business laptop, Apple MacBook is there to serve you. The latest Macbook Pro installs Apple’s self-designed M2 chip, a highly optimized one for achieving top-notch performance. Apple M2 is a highly power-efficient chip and offers flawless performance using the Octa-Core CPU.
- Display: 13.3-inch 2560 x 1600p QHD+
- Processor: Apple M2
- Graphics: Integrated GPU
- RAM: 8GB LPDDR5
- Storage: 256GB NVMe SSD
The company claims to deliver up to 1.8x faster processing than the M1 Macbook, which is somehow true. Its CPU is combined with an integrated eight-core GPU, which according to Apple, is 6x faster than the Intel-powered MacBook. Machine Learning is also at its peak with a 16-core Neural Engine. Overall, this Macbook M2 chip is way more advanced and powerful. This could be a new innovative lineup to disrupt the industry, just like we saw in 2008 with the iPhone series.
The Macbook Air further adds 8GB LPDDR5 RAM and 256GB SSD storage. But there is a 512GB model available, which requires 200 bucks more. If you need more space, you can consider its higher variant. Otherwise, 256GB is sufficient for basic tasks. Here, we can’t ignore the importance of the provided Thunderbolt 4 port. This port offers faster file transfer, and you can easily attach a faster external SSD drive to solve the storage problem. Apart from that, The battery life is impressive too, with claimed 20 hours of running time. It only becomes possible due to the power efficiency granted by the M1 chip. You don’t need to be worried about its build quality.
It is made of a robust metal unibody design with a metallic finish. The laptop is fragile and lightweight, tendering a highly portable finish. There is a 15.3-inch display at 2880 x 1864p resolution and 500-nits brightness. Possibly, it is one of the most bright panels found on any laptop. A pair of dual-firing speakers are adequately loud for an enhanced audio experience making it a perfect choice for media consumption. Overall, it is a perfect choice if you are a business person or love to edit videos on Final Cut Pro.
2Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro (Powerful Windows Laptop)
As you might be aware, Samsung is the major supplier of displays all around the world. Whether it is a laptop display or any other electronic device, Samsung single handle dominates this industry. Here we are with a laptop, one of the more elegant displays on any laptop under $1200. This is none other than the Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro. The laptop features a 14-inch Quad HD+ AMOLED display at 2880 x 1800p resolution. Thanks to OLED technology, this beautiful display produces vivid colors and vibrant viewing angles. You won’t be disappointed if you hope for a great panel, as everyone expects from Samsung. On top of that, it offers a 120Hz refresh rate for smooth scrolling.
- Display: 14-inch Quad HD+ OLED (120Hz)
- Processor: Intel Core i7-1360P
- Graphics: Intel Iris XE Graphics
- RAM: 16GB LPDDR5
- Storage: 512GB NVMe SSD
The Windows machine houses the latest 13th-generation Intel Core i7-1360P Processor with a base clock speed of 3.70 GHz, which can go up to 5.0 GHz using Intel’s Turbo Boost technology. The powerful processor allows this laptop to deliver excellent performance, and it handles every task very smoothly. Other than that, there is an integrated Intel Iris XE graphics card to improve graphics performance. Basically, this notebook is designed for casual multitasking, and it fulfills its core purpose very easily. Apart from that, the laptop packs 16GB LPDDR5 RAM, which is a sufficient amount of RAM at the given price range.
Further, it adds 512GB SSD storage to store large files. Another major highlight of this device is its long-lasting battery. The company claims to deliver up to 20 hours of battery in a single try. But you can expect around 10-12 hours of battery life in day-to-day usage. All the essential connectivity options are available on this device. But it will be worth noting that it arrives with the next-generation WiFi 6E with speeds up to 3x faster than standard WiFi. So, connectivity even becomes faster. Overall, this is a worthwhile laptop for under $1200 with a sleek & portable body and powerful hardware.
3ASUS ROG Strix G16 (Best for Gaming & Productivity)
Asus ROG is a widely popular gaming series from the world’s largest laptop producer. ASUS ROG Strix G16 accumulates a 16-inch Full HD display accompanying a 165Hz refresh rate. Intel Core i7-13650HX is probably the best budget gaming chipset capable of handling top-end tasks. Multi-tasking is lag-free with this octa-core chip, manufactured on Intel’s highly power-efficient 7nm node. Its CPU offers a 3.60GHz base clock speed, capable of peaking up at 4.90GHz while running in Boosted mode.
- Display: 15.6-inch 1920 x 1200p (165Hz)
- Processor: Intel Core i7-13650HX
- Graphics: NVIDIA RTX 4050 6GB VRAM
- RAM: 16GB DDR5 4800MHz
- Storage: 512 NVMe SSD
This laptop sports a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060, a successor of RTX 3060 with 4GB GDDR6 Video RAM comparatively available at an affordable price. There is no compromise made in the memory section as it offers 16GB DDR5 RAM at 4800MHz clock frequency. The build quality of this laptop is acceptable with a backlit keyboard. Unfortunately, it lacks RGB effects, which is a common feature to intensify the gaming experience.
This device offers a 512GB SSD drive to store your important files as far as storage is concerned. It is sufficient for an average user. Moreover, the battery life is also satisfactory to what we can expect from a power-hungry gaming machine. Overall, it is a decent gaming machine to purchase under the budget of $1200. Besides gaming, you can perform productivity tasks such as video editing, photo editing, Photoshop, AutoCAD, and others that require good color calibration and a powerful GPU.
4ASUS VivoBook Pro 14 (Best for Productivity)
Asus is a widely popular name in the laptop industry. Lately, the company introduced a well-deserving laptop named Vivobook Pro 15 for productivity tasks, such as Photoshop, video editing, and other graphics-intensive tasks. The laptop comes loaded with substantial hardware along with a dedicated GPU unit. The front portion upholds a 14-inch display at WQXGA+ 2880 x 1620p resolution at 90Hz. It is a highly color-accurate panel with a 100 DCI-P3 color gamut with Pantone Validation to ensure exceptional color accuracy.
- Display: 14-inch 2880 x 1620p WQXGA+
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 6800H
- Graphics: NVIDIA RTX 3050 4GB VRAM
- RAM: 16GB LPDDR5 4800MHz
- Storage: 1TB NVMe SSD
This is a fairly bright panel with impressive 400-nit brights. Eventually, it becomes a perfect display for professional video editing. Not only that, but its hardware also supports these productivity tasks. For performance, the laptop boasts AMD Ryzen 7 6800H CPU, a potent gaming chipset to handle top-end games smoothly. The combination of NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 makes it a decent pick for gamers with 4GB GDDR6 Video Memory. There isn’t any bottleneck in handling graphics-intensified tasks with the given aggregate.
In terms of storage, it has 16GB LPDDR5 RAM coupled with 1TB SSD storage. You can easily store large files using internal storage. Other than that, it has a nice set of connectivity ports, including 3 Thunderbolt USB Type-A, a USB Type-C port, an HDMI 2.0, and an SD card reader with other connectivity options, such as WiFi and Bluetooth. Besides, there is a large trackpad with 1.35mm key travel, which is nearly 27% larger than its predecessor. The company also uses dual-fan cooling with IceCoolPlus technology for better cooling while working on heavy applications.
5HP Envy X360 (Best Laptop for Multitasking under 1200)
If you are in search of a laptop for casual multitasking, the HP Pavilion X360 is an ideal choice for you. This is a 2-in-1 convertible laptop with flexible hinges. So, you can easily convert it into a tablet to enjoy enhanced entertainment and drawing portraits. In terms of hardware, the latest 13th gen Intel Core i7-1355U processor powers the HP Envy X360. This is a 10-core CPU with a Max Turbo Frequency of 5.0 GHz and a 12MB cache. It belongs to the Raptor Lake family, processing on 7 nm SuperFin architecture to significantly improve power consumption.
- Display: 15.6-inch 1920 x 1080p FHD
- Processor: Intel Core i7-1355U
- Graphics: Integrated Intel Iris Xe
- RAM: 16GB LPDDR5 5200MHz
- Storage: 1TB NVMe SSD
The computer offers Integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics, ample care for everyday work, and light gaming. This laptop aims to serve the business class; that is why it is very portable & lightweight. The build quality of this laptop is outstanding. The dual-speaker setup is loud enough for media consumption and not bad either listening to music inside the room. At the front portion, there is a 15.6-inch Full HD edge-to-edge display. The panel offers great viewing angles, and color accuracy is acceptable. The laptop provides a decent 8 hours of battery life, which will help you to use this laptop while you are on a long tour.
There is no shortage of RAM as the laptop arrives with 16GB LPDDR5 RAM. It is combined with 1TB SSD storage to store data. All the essential connectivity ports are available on this laptop, including 2x USB Type-A ports, 1x USB Type-C port with DisplayPort & PD charging, 1x HDMI port, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a full-sized SD card reader. The remaining wireless connectivity options, such as WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2, make it a more useful device from a connectivity perspective. Overall, it is a decent offering in the budget segment with the latest hardware.
6Acer Nitro 17 (Best for Gaming under $1200)
Acer Nitro is another gaming-centric laptop under $1200. A key highlight of this device is the latest RTX 40 series graphics card. The laptop arrives with a newly launched Nvidia RTX 4050 GPU making it one of the most advanced gaming laptops at the given price. If you aren’t aware, RTX 4060 is a newly launched GPU from Nvidia with upgraded 6GB GDDR6x RAM.
- Display: 17.3-inch 1920 x 1080p (165Hz)
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS
- Graphics: NVIDIA RTX 4060 6GB VRAM
- RAM: 16GB DDR5
- Storage: 1TB NVMe SSD
The RTX 40 series brings some useful gaming features such as realistic-looking Ray-traced graphics, more Tensor cores, advanced DLLSS for AI, and other valuable enhancements. Acer Nitro 5 houses an AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS processor having an eight-core CPU. It begs an octa-core GPU and 16 threads, with a base clock speed of 3.8GHz, going as high as 5.1GHz while running in burst mode.
Moreover, the front portion sports a 17.3-inch Full HD display coupled with a 165Hz refresh rate. Its display is adequately bright and smooth for a good gaming experience. The internal storage is a 1TB SSD drive combined with 16GB DDR5 RAM. Like other Windows gaming machines, it runs on the latest Windows 11. Overall, it is a decent gaming option for under $1200 with the latest RTX 40 series graphics card.
7ASUS ZenBook 14 (Thin & Lightweight)
The Asus Zenbook 14 is the best option if you want a portable machine under $1200. The design of this laptop is outstanding, and it can attract any person with its attractive look. Some other features make it unique in its completion like a 5.65-inch Full HD+ ScreenPad to replace the traditional touchpad. It allows enabling the numeric keypad directly using this ScreenPad. Moreover, there is a glorious-looking 14-inch Full HD display with sumptuous 400-nits brightness.
- Display: 14-inch 1920 x 1080p Full HD
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 5800H
- Graphics: AMD Radeon RX Vega 7
- RAM: 16GB LPDDR4
- Storage: 1TB NVMe SSD
The laptop boasts an AMD Ryzen 7 5800H processor with a 3.2GHz clock speed, which can go up to 4.4GHz with Intel’s Turbo Boost technology. This chipset belongs to the powerful AMD 5000 series with great power-efficient appending top-notch performance. So, you should expect smooth performance while finishing casual tasks as well as high-end multi-tasking. The chipset is manufactured on TSMC’s 7nm processing node to take care of power consumption.
Furthermore, the processor combines an integrated AMD Radeon RX Vega 7 graphics card to fulfill the demand of graphics-hungry tasks. However, this GPU is not that powerful, but more than enough to handle basic tasks like photo editing, video editing, etc. Besides, there is 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD storage, running on Windows 10 Pro out of the box. The battery life of 15 hours is outstanding. Overall, Asus Zenbook 14 is the best laptop under $1200 if you seek a very well-built portable machine.
8Lenovo Slim 7i (Powerful Touchscreen Laptop)
If you want the best touchscreen laptop under $1200, no better option available than the Lenovo Slim 7i touchscreen model. It is the latest offering from a very well-established brand. The laptop comes with a 16-inch WQXGA display with a touchscreen display. Don’t confuse it with convertible laptops; this is a traditional laptop with touchscreen support. The hinge is not that flexible to bend around 360-degree angles.
- Display: 16-inch 2560 x 1600p Touchscreen
- Processor: Intel Core i7-12700H
- Graphics: Intel Arc A370M
- RAM: 16GB DDR4
- Storage: 1TB NVMe SSD
Unfortunately, there is no stylus pen included with that device. It can be a drawback for some people because the pen is a handy accessory if you are in the creative field and running an online business. Speaking to the remaining specs, the Intel Core i7-12700H processor powers this device with a dedicated Intel Arc A370M GPU, which offers 4GB GDDR6 dedicated VRAM. It has a massive 16GB of RAM, to make it even faster. Moreover, the laptop brings 1TB NVMe SSD storage, sufficient to store bigger and large files.
The Windows 11 Home commands this device, endeavoring some useful features for professionals. In addition, the battery allows this device to run for at least 6 to 8 hours, making it a long-lasting battery. The laptop is considerable if you are a student, content creator, own a small business, commercial enterprise, online class, Google classroom, Remote Learning, and video conferencing. This is probably the best touchscreen laptop under $1200.
9LG Gram 16 (Bigger 2K Display)
The LG Gram 16 made our list just because of its bigger high-resolution display. The laptop comes with a 16-inch 2K thin bezels display at 2560 x 1600p resolution. The display is pretty much sharp and bright to escape eye strain. Content creators would love this display to utilize it for their creativity. Along with this, the laptop offers a very impressive battery of 15 hours. This is a perfect combination for travelers who spend most of their time outside.
- Display: 16-inch 2560 x 1600p WQXGA
- Processor: 13th GEN Intel Core i7 Evo
- Graphics: Intel Iris XE
- RAM: 16GB LPDDR5
- Storage: 512GB NVMe SSD
Moreover, it is powered by the 13th generation Intel Core i7 Evo in combination with Intel Iris XE Graphics. Given the integrated graphics, it can only manage basic graphics without the presence of a dedicated VRAM. Moreover, It has 16GB LPDDR5 RAM to process the tasks smoothly. On top of it, the laptop adds 512GB of SSD storage. Both storage and RAM are enough for performing casual tasks.
The device runs on Windows 11 Pro out of the box. Besides, necessary I/O ports are available, along with an RGB Backlit keyboard and WiFi 6 support. This could be a good choice if you want a bigger screen with a long-lasting battery. This is the best $1200 laptop with a bigger and more stunning screen.
10Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 (Macbook Alternative)
If you want a comparable Macbook experience in Windows, then the Microsoft Surface series is for you. However, it can’t completely match the immense performance of macOS, but still, a good pick if you are restricted to Windows for some reason. The Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 designated the 13.3-inch 2K touchscreen at 2256 x 1504 pixels resolution. The viewing angles are great with the sharp and bright panel, a perfect choice for media consumption.
- Display: 13.3-inch 2256 x 1504p Touchscreen
- Processor: Intel Core i5-1135G7
- Graphics: Integrated Intel Iris Xe
- RAM: 8GB DDR4
- Storage: 512GB NVMe SSD
Furthermore, it doesn’t negotiate with the performance housing the latest Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor inside. The Integrate Intel Iris Xe graphics card takes care of the graphics-related tasks. Apparently, it offers a Pure Windows experience running on Windows 10 Pro. As you might be aware, Microsoft is the father of Windows. Therefore, the experience is pretty much optimized for this machine with good hardware.
The internal storage is 512GB SSD, matching with 8GB DDR4 RAM. It should be sufficient for casual tasks and other high-end operations. The battery life is more than enough, with 15 hours of running to keep the lights on. The laptop is very portable with a sturdy design making it one of the best Windows laptops for casual tasks.
11Acer Swift X (Bonus for Content Creation & Productivity)
Acer Swift X is a powerful laptop specially designed for professionals. This laptop comes with a 14-inch FHD IPS LED display with 1920 × 1080p resolution to take advantage of its GPU. Besides high resolution, it can go up to 300 nits of max brightness. Moreover, it offers 100% sRGB color coverage. So you will get impressive picture quality with superb color accuracy. The laptop is powered by the AMD Ryzen 7 5800U processor, a new “U” lineup processor for thin and lightweight laptops. The provided chipset uses TSMC’s 7nm design technology to reduce power consumption based on the Zen 3 microarchitecture.
- Display: 14-inch 1920 x 1080p FHD
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 5800U
- Graphics: NVIDIA RTX 3050Ti 4GB GDDR6
- RAM: 16GB DDR4 3200MHz
- Storage: 512GB NVMe SSD
This AMD 5000 series chip generated a 1.9GHz base clock speed, going up to 4.4GHz using its powerful eight cores and 16 threads. Overall, this is a mighty chip designed for heavy tasks. This laptop comes with 16GB DDR4 RAM and 512GB Solid State Drive in terms of memory. As we know, a powerful CPU requires a powerful GPU to avoid any performance bottleneck. As a result, Acer Swift X packs the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics card. This is the newly released Nvidia dedicated GPU with 4GB VRAM. It has features like Dynamic Boost 2.0 and improved real-time Ray Tracing.
The good thing about this laptop is that it supports the latest WiFi 6 technology to enhance internet connectivity. However, your router has to support WiFi 6 bands to get that high speed. Besides, it has a fingerprint scanner for security purposes. The I/O department includes USB Type-C and 2x USB Type-A ports along with an HDMI and a headphone jack. It has a good backlit keyboard with white backlighting and a large trackpad. This laptop just weighs 3 pounds which means it is lightweight enough to take anywhere. Overall, Acer Swift X is an excellent laptop, especially for content creators. You can consider this laptop if you are into video editing or a professional photographer.
Buying Guide – How to choose the best laptop under $1200 in 2023?
This section will cover some important aspects that you need to consider before buying a laptop under 1200 dollars in 2021:
Processor & Graphics Card
The processor is the key deciding factor for choosing any laptop in any price range. Under the price of $1200, there are very powerful chipsets available. You can easily pick at least the 10th generation i7 from Intel. In recent years, AMD has come up strongly. The AMD Ryzen 7 is preferred for gaming laptops. But if you want an Apple laptop, you have to go to the Apple M2 chip, a mighty and optimized CPU for Apple laptops. We recommend you go for an Intel Core i7 13th Gen. CPU or AMD Ryzen 7 to seek an AMD-powered computer. The Graphics Card is another major component that can significantly impact the end performance of any laptop.
That is why most gaming laptops arrive with a dedicated graphics unit. From the gaming perspective, a minimum RTX 4050 is recommended, which is decently powerful enough to handle high-end games in medium to high settings. But if you want top-notch gaming performance, you must have RTX 4060 graphics in combination with a powerful CPU. In the meantime, for casual work and normal multitasking, an Integrated graphics card is sufficient. Likewise, the integrated GPU saves battery draining to improve the overall battery life. The new series of intel Iris Xe graphics can handle graphics-intensive tasks very easily.
RAM & Storage
The RAM is equally important, just like the CPU and GPU, for a smooth experience. It can drastically impact the overall performance whenever the laptop requires more RAM. For a gaming laptop, at least 16GB of RAM is the ideal choice, and if you get a chance to get more RAM, it is even better. Any gaming laptop with less than 16GB RAM can lag while playing AAA titles.
For normal usage, you should consider at least 8GB of memory. But there are more options available with better RAM. As far as storage is concerned, it depends on how much data you want to store. Going for faster SSD storage is always recommended, which is way better than traditional HDD storage. Under $1200, most of the listed gaming laptops offer 16GB RAM and 8GB RAM for the remaining devices.
However, the design is a personal choice. But it is required to choose a laptop with a strong structure. A metallic build is a normal thing for business laptops. They are very well built with solid construction. Portability is the main reason people tend to buy a laptop. Otherwise, there are better options available for building a desktop. That is why people prefer to buy a lightweight laptop with thin bezels.
But the main problem with gaming laptops is most of them are heavy and bring a plastic body to minimize the risk of heating. Any laptop under the weight of 5 lbs is a decent pick for gaming. In contrast, you have numerous options available to serve other purposes.
The battery life is also important when selecting the right laptop. The technology has been dramatically improved to produce laptops with long-lasting batteries. Most business laptops offer great battery life. In the Macbook’s case, it arrives with an insane 10+ hours of battery. In comparison, some Windows laptops also last for more than 10 hours. But it is very rare to find such battery life in Windows computers.
But gaming laptops are highly vulnerable when it comes to battery life. Most gaming laptops tend to deliver less than 5 hours of battery. It is more than enough to get at least 3-4 hours of battery while playing high-end games. Many batter options are available with an integrated graphics card. Overall, these deciding factors will help you to pick the right laptop. The rest depends upon your requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most asked questions regarding the best laptops under $1200:
What is the best laptop under $1200?
Apple MacBook Air 15, Lenovo Legion 5, and HP Pavilion X360 15T are the most recommended laptops under $1200 in different segments. The rest depends upon your requirements.
Can I get a good gaming laptop for under 1200 dollars?
Yes, you can definitely get a good gaming laptop for around $1200. You can get even better configurations if you can stretch your budget to $1500. It is only recommended if you are a professional gamer. Otherwise, $1200 is more than sufficient to play most of the AAA titles.
Hopefully, after reading this whole article, you have made up your mind to pick the right laptop that meets your requirements under the budget of $1200. But if you want to know my opinion, it all depends on your demands. If you are a heavy gamer looking for a powerful gaming laptop, you should consider picking Lenovo Legion 5 with a solid RTX 3050Ti GPU and Ryzen 7 chipset. One more laptop, Acer Nitro 5, is worth mentioning for gaming with a newly launched RTX 3060 graphics card and a bigger 17-inch display. Moreover, if your main purpose is finding a lightweight and portable laptop, there is no better choice than the Apple Macbook Air 15.
Alternatively, Asus Zenbook 14 and Surface Laptop 4 are there if your preference is Windows OS. Both of these laptops offer beautiful designs and strong hardware inside. Lastly, there are limited options available for touchscreen laptops with traditional designs. We have picked HP 15 in this category. This laptop arrives with updated hardware and a Stylus pen included in the box. Apart from that, there are other options available if you try more diversification. If you have liked the content, you can share it with your friends and family members whom you think need to find the best laptop for under 1200 dollars. What are your thoughts? Please do let us know in the below comment section!