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15 best laptops under £1,000 2014: What's the best laptop you can buy in the UK under £1,000?

The top 15 laptops for under a grand

PC Advisor reviews the top 15 laptops you can buy in the UK in 2014 between £501 and £1,000.

15. PC Specialist Optimus V

It's not the most portable of machines, and we did feel it was rather noisy in places. However, the overall specifications of the PC Specialist Optimus V are very good, and performance is mostly smooth and versatile. You'll generally have to go some way above the £1000 point to find all these features. If you want a large system with a 17.3in screen, this is a cunning performer.

14. Scan 3XS LG155

It's not cheap, but the LG155 provides the sort of gaming performance that we've previously only seen from laptops costing well over £1000. And while it's rather large and heavy it does provide better battery life than most gaming laptops, so it's well worth considering if you feel the need to play demanding 3D games on the move.

13. Dell Latitude 3440

The Latitude 3440 is designed for work rather than play, and that means its talents lie in certain keys areas: the Haswell processor delivers reasonable application and games performance and excellent battery life, and the keyboard and touchpad are excellent. It’s one of the slimmest and lightest machines in this group, too, but it’s also got the best build quality. The middling screen and speakers count against the Dell, but it excels in more key areas than any other machine here – and that makes it a worthy all-round winner.

12. Dell Inspiron 15R (5537)

It's a shame that the Inspiron 15R is so heavy, as it may limit the laptop to only occasional adventures in the outside world. However, it's well built and provides good performance and connectivity at a very competitive price. Battery life is also excellent for a laptop in this price range, making the Inspiron 15R a good choice for anyone that wants an affordable multi-purpose laptop for use at home or in the office.

11. Chillblast Defiant Mini 13

The Defiant isn’t perfect by any means. The speakers are definitely below-par and the keyboard won’t suit people with chunky digits. However, it still provides very good value for money, with gaming performance that’s as good as anything we’ve seen in this price range. Some people might prefer a gaming rig with a larger screen, but if you need portable power at a competitive price then the Defiant – like its namesake – is hard to beat.

10. Asus X552CL

The X552CL isn't perfect, and the limited viewing angles of the screen definitely leave room for improvement. However, it does provide good performance for a laptop in this price range, and the inclusion of the GT 710M makes this one of the few budget laptops we've seen in recent months that can actually handle some decent 3D gaming action.

9. Asus V550C

The Asus impressed with its smart, svelte design and its good keyboard and trackpad, and it's got better speakers than its main rival. But it falls behind the competition in several key areas.

8. Toshiba CB30-102

The usual caveat of ‘Chromebooks aren't for everyone' of course applies, but the Toshiba CB30 is a very useable and capable laptop for anyone who spends the majority of their computing time online using Google services. The increased screen size is a definite bonus over 11.6in models, even if it isn't a high-quality display, while the plastic construction keeps the weight to a portable 1.5 kg. For £250 this is a great device if your creative and privacy needs are modest.

7. Asus X102BA

The Asus X102BA only offers modest performance, but could still be good value for money. Its screen and build quality are above average for a cheap Windows laptop, and added extras such MS Office mean that it provides a basic, but functional laptop at a very competitive price. Battery life needs to double though to keep up with modern laptops and tablets.

6. Toshiba Portégé R30-A-14K

The Toshiba Portégé R30-A-14K's lo-res TN display is disappointing in a laptop costing £900. However, the laptop's relatively lightweight design and long-lasting battery ensure that it could earn its keep when on the move. The hard drive's shock-protection feature and replaceable battery could also appeal to business users who need a long-life workhorse when they're out on the road, although we question the use of a slow hard disk in an expensive laptop.

5. Chillblast Helium

The display quality on the 14-inch screen is disappointing in a laptop costing the best part of £900. If you need true all-day battery life you may also want to look elsewhere. However, the Helium does manage to provide high-end computing performance at a more mid-range price. It could be a good option for anyone who needs a powerful desktop replacement system more than a lightweight ultraportable.

4. HP Pavilion 15 TouchSmart (n232sa)

The size and weight of the Pavilion 15 TouchSmart suggest that it's more intended as a desktop replacement system for use at home or in the office. However, its all-round performance, combined with an attractive screen and optical drive, provide very good value for money, and ensure that the Pavilion 15 TouchSmart will appeal to most users on a tight budget.

3. Chillblast Defiant 2 Mini

It's a shame that you don't have the option of specifying the graphics card in the Defiant 2 – but it's hard to argue when this sturdy little laptop provides such strong performance for just £899. And, unlike most gaming laptops, it's small and light enough to carry around in a backpack, making it a great choice if you need a powerful laptop that can also cope with life on the go.

2. Dell Inspiron 17 7000

It's a shame that Dell couldn't shave a little more weight off the new Inspiron 7 7000 Series, as it would have been great to see a 17-inch laptop that you could carry around in a backpack or briefcase. However, it does provide a high-quality touch-sensitive screen and strong all-round performance at a competitive price, and it will be a good choice for anyone that needs a powerful, large-screen laptop for use at home or at work.

1. Scan 3XS Graphite LG156

The design of the 3XS Graphite isn't anything to write home about, and at 2.7 kg it's probably not going to leave home very often either. However, it's good value and provides the sort of gaming performance that would have cost £1200 or more in the recent past. Well-heeled gamers might prefer a more expensive model taking top-of-the range graphics, but the 3XS Graphite is a good choice if you need a solid gaming laptop on a mid-range budget.

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