The 5 Best Laptops Under $1100 You Can Buy Today

Buying a quality laptop for under $1100 may seem challenging given the myriad of options available today. However, with in-depth research and comparison, finding a laptop that perfectly balances performance, portability and affordability is possible.

In this expert guide, we will provide a comprehensive analysis of the 5 best laptops currently available for under $1100. For each laptop, we highlight the standout features, assess its capabilities based on key criteria, summarize the pros and cons, and determine its best use cases. We also offer specific tips for getting the best deal on your chosen model.

Equipped with the latest 12th Gen Intel and AMD Ryzen processors, Nvidia RTX graphics, vivid displays and ample storage, these laptops deliver exceptional speed, visuals and versatility for work, creative pursuits and entertainment. Read on for our top recommendations.

Best Overall: Acer Swift X

The Acer Swift X stands out as the best overall laptop under $1100 thanks to its unrivaled blend of performance, portability and value.

Acer Swift X

Key Features:

  • AMD Ryzen 7 5800U Octa-Core Processor – Delivers responsiveness and efficiency for demanding tasks
  • NVIDIA RTX 3050Ti Laptop GPU – Enables gaming, video editing and graphics workloads
  • 16GB LPDDR4X RAM – Allows smooth multitasking and quick file access
  • 512GB NVMe SSD Storage – Offers rapid boot and load times
  • 14-inch Full HD 100% sRGB Display – Provides vibrant visuals and color accuracy
  • Wi-Fi 6 and RangeBoost Support – Ensures reliable and fast connectivity
  • Aluminum chassis, 3.06 pounds weight – Balances performance with portability

Performance & Usability (9.5/10) – With an octa-core AMD Ryzen 7 processor, RTX 3050 Ti graphics, 16GB RAM and a fast 512GB SSD, the Acer Swift X offers exceptional speed for work, gaming and content creation. The battery delivers up to 17 hours of use.

Design & Display Quality (9/10) – In an elegant aluminum chassis weighing just 3.06 pounds, the Swift X is highly portable. Visuals shine on the 14-inch Full HD display with 100% sRGB coverage.

Value & Cost (10/10) – Priced under $800, the impressive performance hardware and vivid display make the Swift X a steal.

Overall Rating – 9.5/10

Pros:

  • Powerful CPU and GPU performance
  • Fast connectivity with Wi-Fi 6
  • 17-hour battery life
  • Premium build and portability

Cons:

  • 512GB storage may be limiting
  • No Thunderbolt support

Best Uses:
As a multipurpose laptop capable of handling work, creative projects, causal gaming, and more, the well-rounded Acer Swift X is an outstanding choice for students, business users, designers and frequent travelers seeking desktop-level performance in an ultraportable form factor.

For the optimal blend of power, portability and value in a sub $1100 laptop, the Acer Swift X is highly recommended.

Best for Students: Apple MacBook Air (M1, 2020)

Apple‘s MacBook Air (M1) perfectly balances price, performance and portability for students.

Apple MacBook Air M1

Key Features:

  • Apple M1 Chip – Delivers up to 3.5x faster CPU performance than previous generation
  • 8GB Unified Memory – Enables smooth and responsive multitasking
  • 256GB SSD Storage – Offers rapid access to files and quick boot time
  • 13.3-inch Retina Display – Provides crisp, true-to-life visuals
  • Up to 18 hours Battery Life – Supports all-day usage for classes, studying, more
  • Built-in Security Features – Keep student data safe
  • Weighs 2.8 pounds – Easy to carry around campus

Performance & Usability (9/10) – The speedy M1 chip drives seamless workflows while running multiple apps. The long-lasting battery enables all-day school usage.

Design & Display Quality (9/10) – A slim aluminum unibody houses the sharp Retina display in a highly portable 3 pound chassis.

Value & Cost (8/10) – Starting under $900, pricing is competitive yet quality stands out compared to rival Windows laptops.

Overall Rating – 9/10

Pros:

  • Blazing fast M1 processor
  • Lightweight and durable construction
  • Feature-rich macOS ecosystem

Cons:

  • Limited IO ports
  • Non-expandable memory

Best Uses:
With immense speed, portability and Apple’s optimized software, the 2020 M1 MacBook Air is ideal for students managing coursework, emails, research, media, and more on-the-go.

For students seeking a reliable Apple laptop under $1100, the MacBook Air delivers excellence.

Best for Gaming: MSI Crosshair 15

Gamers hunting for smooth framerates without breaking the bank need look no further than the MSI Crosshair 15.

MSI Crosshair 15

Key Features:

  • 11th Gen Intel Core i7-11800H – Enables high frame rates and quick load times
  • NVIDIA RTX 3050 Ti 4G GDDR6 Graphics – Powers vivid visuals and ray tracing
  • 15.6” 144Hz FHD Display – Offers buttery smooth framerates during gameplay
  • 16GB 3200MHz RAM – Allows simultaneous gaming, streaming and multitasking
  • 512GB NVMe SSD Storage – Provides rapid access to game files and media
  • RGB Backlit Keyboard by SteelSeries – Lets you game comfortably even in the dark
  • Wide array of ports – Supports extensive peripheral and display connectivity

Performance & Usability (10/10) – Armed with an 8-core i7 CPU, RTX 3050 Ti graphics, 16GB RAM and 144Hz display, the Crosshair provides elite-level gaming performance.

Design & Display Quality (8/10) – A premium aluminum chassis with narrow bezels houses the fast 144Hz Full HD display.

Value & Cost (9.5/10) – At under $950, this hardware combo delivers superb value, outshining pricier rivals.

Overall Rating – 9.5/10

Pros:

  • Impressive gaming benchmarks
  • Great peripheral connectivity
  • Premium construction

Cons:

  • Battery life is subpar
  • Fans can get loud

Best Uses:
With top-tier specifications purpose-built for gaming, the exceptionally well-priced MSI Crosshair 15 is the ideal pick for gamers wanting reliable 1080p gameplay paired with buttery smooth framerates and vivid colors – all without busting their budget.

If gaming is your top priority, this MSI is a superb choice under $1100.

Best Chromebook: Acer Chromebook Spin 713

Where unbeatable value is concerned, the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 can‘t be matched.

Acer Chromebook Spin 713

Key Features:

  • Intel Evo 12th Gen Core i5-1235U – Provides responsiveness for everyday work
  • 13.5” 2256×1504 IPS Touch Display – Allows vivid, accurate visuals from any angle
  • 8GB LPDDR4X RAM – Enables smooth tabbing between apps
  • 256GB SSD Storage – Offers adequate space for cloud documents
  • 2-in-1 Convertible Design – Lets you use the Spin 713 as a laptop or tablet
  • Built on Chrome OS – Offers simplicity, ease of use and tight Google integration
  • Includes Acer Active Stylus – Allows precise onscreen interaction

Performance & Usability (8.5/10) – With a 12th Gen Core i5 Intel Evo CPU, 8GB RAM and SSD storage, the Spin 713 tackles daily workflows with ease. The 2-in-1 form enables flexible use cases.

Design & Display Quality (9/10) – Designed from aluminum alloy, the durable yet lightweight chassis features a sharp QHD+ touch display.

Value & Cost (10/10) – Packed with premium features all for under $550, this system offers unbeatable value.

Overall Rating – 9.5/10

Pros:

  • High-res touchscreen display
  • Robust convertible design
  • Cost effective price point

Cons:

  • Limited storage space
  • Locked into Chrome OS ecosystem

Best Uses:
Blending robust hardware, flexible usage modes and extensive Chrome OS functionality at an affordable cost, the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is perfect for students, families and professionals focused on cloud apps and Google services rather than resource-intensive programs.

If you need impressive Chromebook specs on a budget, this Acer is extremely appealing.

Best Budget Friendly: Asus ZenBook 14

Shoppers watching their wallet will appreciate the Asus ZenBook 14, delivering reliable performance at an affordable sub-$700 price point.

Asus ZenBook 14

Key Features:

  • 12th Gen Intel Core i5-1235U Processor – Offers responsive speeds for everyday tasks
  • 14-inch 1920 x 1200 Display – Lets you view documents and media clearly
  • 8GB LPDDR5 RAM – Allows steady performance across applications
  • 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD – Enables rapid boots and data access
  • Micro-edge Bezel Design – Maximizes screen real estate
  • NumberPad built into trackpad – Saves space while providing numeric input
  • Extensive connectivity ports – Accommodates a wide array of accessories

Performance & Usability (8/10) – A 12th Gen Core i5 CPU, 8GB RAM and 512GB SSD deliver adequate speed for web browsing, documents and media. The trackpad numeric pad boosts productivity.

Design & Display Quality (8.5/10) – Slim screen bezels surround the sharp 14-inch Full HD 16:10 display in the portable 3.5 pound chassis.

Value & Cost (9.5/10) – Given the robust feature set, sub $700 asking price is a bargain.

Overall Rating – 8.5/10

Pros:

  • Impressive performance for the cost
  • NanoEdge display provides immersive viewing
  • Useful numeric trackpad pad

Cons:

  • Battery life caps out at around 8 hours
  • occasional fan noise under heavy loads

Best Uses:
Blending modern 12th Gen Intel power, an expansive 16:10 screen and nifty trackpad numeric pad into a cost-effective package, the Asus Zenbook 14 hits the sweet spot for budget seekers focused on desktop productivity rather than creative workloads.

If ultra-affordability is vital alongside adequate zip for everyday tasks, this Asus checks all the boxes.

How to Find the Best Laptop Deals Under $1100

While the laptops highlighted already provide immense value at their list prices, taking advantage of periodic deals and discounts can provide additional savings off these top models.

Here are 5 tips for finding and securing the best laptop bargains under $1100:

1. Check retailer deals pages – Retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, Newegg, B&H and Walmart routinely highlight laptop deals on dedicated portal pages. Checking these regularly can uncover major price cuts.

2. Sign up for retailer newsletters – Subscribe to retailer email lists highlighting the latest tech deals and you’ll conveniently discover laptop sales right in your inbox.

3. Consider manufacturer refurbished options – Refurbished models with full warranties provide major discounts over brand new models, letting you score premium laptops at bargain prices.

4. Watch for seasonal sales events – Key seasonal sales for laptops include Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Back To School season and more, when prices plunge site wide.

5. Use price tracking services – Sites like CamelCamelCamel reveal price history and alerts you to future discounts on Amazon. Use this intelligence to buy at the right time.

By leveraging these strategies, you can amplify your savings when investing $1100 in your ideal laptop.

Bottom Line

Finding a well-equipped yet affordable laptop boasting the performance, features and quality construction to satisfy your needs is made possible with our guide to the top 5 options currently available for under $1100.

Delivering superb processing muscle, brilliant displays, robust graphics capabilities and extensive connectivity in lightweight chassis, laptops like our Best Overall pick, the Acer Swift X, demonstrate that budget buyers need not sacrifice power or build quality.

Matched to the ideal use case ranging from intense gaming to causal web browsing, these laptops help you make the most of your $1100 through a balanced combination of specs, performance and practical design.

Invest wisely at this budget, and a world of productive flexibility can open up courtesy of modern portable computing. We hope our analysis gives you the tools needed to discover your perfect sub $1100 match. Game on!

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