Apple 13" MacBook Air, 1.8GHz Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 128GB...MSRP $999.00Viewon Amazon
Apple pulled out all the stops for the iPhone’s 10th anniversary. The iPhone X looks amazing, with a gorgeous edge-to-edge display, biometric Face ID authentication, and animated emojis that let you live the dream of becoming a talking pile of poop.
But it doesn’t come cheap. The iPhone X costs a jaw-dropping $1,000, and Samsung’s superb Galaxy Note 8 flirts with that four-digit figure as well. It's arguably not so bad for a device you use all day, every day, but that sort of cash can buy you a full-blown PC! Not a pokey budget rig, either—some of the sleekest, sexiest, most compelling laptops around. The sort of machines that let you get some serious work done.
Check it out for yourself. Here are 10 great laptops that cost less than Apple’s iPhone X.
Let’s start right inside Apple’s own household. The MacBook Air may be the black sheep of the MacBook family and will likely be phased out by newer MacBooks sometime in the near future, but today, it’s still a fine option for folks who like to travel light. You can buy it for $980 on Amazon or $999 from Apple.
If you really want to get away from Apple, you can snag the base-level Surface Laptop for $899 on Amazon. It’s lightweight, long-lasting, and looks great, but trades Apple’s walled garden for Microsoft’s own: It runs the neutered Windows 10 S out of the box, which is limited to apps in Windows 10’s Windows Store. Fortunately, you can upgrade to the full-fledged version of Windows 10 Pro for free through March 31, 2018.
Surface Pro 2017
The Surface Pro is a bit more portable than the Surface Laptop, as it’s technically a tablet with an optional Type Cover. (You’ll want one.) Microsoft’s 2017 Surface Pro refresh added Kaby Lake processors to give the already spectacular slate even more performance.
Samsung Galaxy Book
Samsung’s Galaxy Book is a Surface-alike, sure, but it puts a unique spin on things thanks to its ability to pair with your Samsung Galaxy phone for authentication and content sharing between devices. More impressive, though, is the 12-inch Super AMOLED display, which you don’t find often in PCs and definitely not in this price range. It’s stunning.
The AMOLED-packing Samsung Galaxy Book technically costs $1,130 but you can routinely find it for $995 on Amazon.
Dell XPS 13
We can keep this short. We test a lot of PCs here at PCWorld—it’s in our name!—and Dell’s exceptional XPS 13 is our pick for the best laptop in the land. Refreshed models are coming later this month with Intel’s new 8th-gen processors.
Speaking of portable PCs, the super-svelte LG Gram 15 weighs under 2.5 pounds and boasts all-(work) day battery life, despite packing a 1080p IPS display. The magnesium chassis looks nice, but Alaina Yee, PCWorld’s resident laptop guru, says the remarkably tiny frame can feel somewhat flimsy in-hand. That might be a worthwhile trade-off for the LG Gram’s thin-and-light design, though.
Dell XPS 15
The Dell XPS 15 is basically the Dell XPS 13 with a bigger screen. That’s not to say it’s big; Dell’s InfinityEdge display sports barely-there bezels to give the laptop an exceptionally small footprint. Battery life could be better, but the XPS 15 should definitely be on your short list if you’re looking for a compact, solid-performing 15.6-inch laptop. Pricing starts at $1,000 on Dell.com.
Asus Zenbook UX330UA
The 13.3-inch Zenbook UX330UA is Asus’ take on a premium Ultrabook, but it doesn’t pack a premium price: It only costs $700 on Amazon. You’ll still get sleek design, a potent Intel Core i5, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and a 13.3-inch 1080p display. Heck, it even has a USB-C port and a fingerprint reader. That’s damned compelling for the price, and a whopping $300 less than the iPhone X.
We found the 12.5-inch Zenbook powerful and portable, but lacking in connectivity. This larger model ramps up the port selection.
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming
Oh, so you’re a gamer? The Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming costs just $900 on Amazon and comes equipped with a Core i5-7300HQ and Nvidia’s GTX 1050 Ti graphics to let you play all day on the 15.6-inch, 1080p display.
“Getting a system with a dedicated graphics card at this price is crazy,” Hayden Dingman gushed in PCWorld’s review. Watch out for that bloatware, though.
HP Spectre x360
Finally, if you’re willing to spend a bit more money, the HP Spectre x360 is the ultraportable 2-in-1 to beat. It has some quirks, like all system do, “but if we had to recommend one laptop to someone who didn’t want to think too much about their purchase and wanted the best of everything, this is absolutely it,” Alaina Yee wrote in PCWorld’s review.
The 13-inch HP Spectre 360 starts at $1,090 on HP.com—not cheap, but still less than the $1,149 cost of the 256GB iPhone X.