So you want to buy the best mid-range laptop? It’s a sensible decision. After all, why spend more than a grand on a machine if you don’t want to take advantage of all of its features? As with smartphones, mid-range laptops used to mean a compromised experience with lag and poor performance, but thankfully the tech world has moved on.
Today you can get souped-up, nimble notebooks for around $700/£700 or less, with more than enough power to meet your work and entertainment needs. In other words, unless you have deep pockets (or want the best gaming or video rendering experience money can buy), a cheaper laptop with great — but not groundbreaking — specs is definitely your best buying decision that you can meet.
That being said, there are many laptops out there. And we mean one a lot of. Sifting through them all can be a headache, which is why we’ve taken the liberty of sifting through countless notebooks to come up with a list of some of the best mid-range laptops you can buy right now.
What is the best mid-range laptop?
Before we look at the full list of mid-range laptops, here’s a quick look at our top three options:
- Best Mid-Range Laptop Overall: Acer Swift 3
The Acer Swift 3 offers incredible value for money and is the best choice for most people (apart from more serious gamers). Its Intel i7 processor means it can handle apps and streaming with ease, and its 14-inch form factor means it’s highly portable too.
- Best Mid-Range Gaming Laptop: Asus TUF Dash F15
If you want to play more demanding games with acceptable framerates, the Nvidia RTX 3050Ti GPU in the Asus laptop will not disappoint. Paired with an Intel i5 processor, it’s the most powerful all-in-one package on our list, making it a suitable device for video editing as well as general work.
- Best Mid-Range Chromebook Laptop: HP Envy x360
Powered by a powerful AMD processor (Intel options are available), the Envy x360 sets itself apart from the rest of our picks by being a convertible 2-in-1 offering. That means it has a touchscreen that can be flipped over and transformed into a finger-friendly tablet in the blink of an eye.
Our round-up of the best mid-range laptops
Acer Swift 3
The Acer Swift 3 offers exceptional value for money, with specs on par with many more expensive laptops. With an 11th Gen Intel i7 processor, it’s one of the most powerful picks on our list. Combined with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD, it’ll handle pretty much anything you want to throw at it without breaking a sweat. Multiple apps, email, Netflix, photo editing and more are within reach, and thanks to Intel’s Xe graphics, you can even play casual games like Fourteen days and rocket league with ease.
Its 14-inch Full HD screen makes for a compact notebook that fits in smaller pockets, while Wi-Fi 6 takes advantage of the fastest new routers money can buy. It’s also Intel Evo certified, which means super-fast boot times, fast charging, and long battery life. If you don’t want to play more demanding games at maximum settings, the Swift 3 is a steal.
Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5
If you’re looking for something simpler and lighter than Windows, a Chromebook could be the ideal choice for your needs. With Google’s ChromeOS, Chromebooks offer simpler experiences with a focus on storing files and running apps like Google Docs and Sheets in the cloud. It can also run Android apps, which means access to all manner of productivity tools and mobile games.
Lenovo’s IdeaPad Duet is a fantastic mid-range Chromebook that combines sleek style and performance in a compact 13.3-inch package. Powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 processor and 8GB of RAM, it has enough power for work and streaming, with some light Android gaming. Its light weight also means that the battery life is very impressive at up to 15 hours of use per charge.
Asus TUF Dash F15
If you’re looking for a gaming laptop that can handle more intense games without breaking the bank, look no further than the Asus Tuf Dash F15. While its price doesn’t quite match Intel’s more powerful i7 processor, the 11th Gen Core i5 processor is far from a dimwit, but the real magic is in the GPU department. With a dedicated Nvidia RTX 3050Ti graphics card, it’s the best choice on this list for gamers who want to play AAA titles smoothly.
Video editors or those dabbling in lightweight 3D rendering can also take advantage of the Nvidia hardware, making the Dash F15 a solid choice for students looking for an all-around machine for work and play without breaking the bank having to issue a dedicated console.
Huawei MateBook 14 (2021)
Eagle-eyed readers will note the absence of an Apple MacBook from this list, which shouldn’t come as a surprise given the steep price tag associated with the company’s products. However, Huawei’s MateBook 15 is a solid Windows alternative that marries a MacBook-like design with Windows 11 smarts.
This particular configuration is a solid mid-range performer with an 11th Gen Intel Core i5 processor, along with 8GB of RAM and a generous 512GB of storage. The latter provides plenty of storage space and saves you from depending on external storage solutions for files and media. Weighing in at just 1.49kg and just 15.9mm thick, it’s a slim little device that also looks superbly premium.
HP Envy x360
If you want a convertible Windows laptop — namely, one with a touchscreen that flips over for a tablet-like experience — you have to accept that you’ll pay a premium for its versatility. However, HP’s Envy x360 still manages to pack a powerful AMD Ryzen 5 5600U processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage into a package that’s still affordable enough to break into the mid-range.
The 13.3-inch touchscreen that packs Windows 11 out of the box makes it a compact device that can switch to a finger-friendly form factor on the fly, making it an ideal device for binge-watching shows in bed – not that this is recommended course.