Laptops have come a long way since their initial introduction into the market, these days there are models that fit any individual need. Be that, gaming, editing or general use of software. All needs are catered to in most models, so it is important to find a laptop that covers all bases while also being kind to your bank account.
The Best Laptops for Less Than $900 (2020)
With so many choices these days it is very hard to actually select the best options for your needs and within your budget. So GizmoFusion has researched and found the 7 models that we rate as the very best for under $900 currently.
Microsoft Surface Book (Our Top Choice – powerful with an amazing display)
CPU: 2.6 GHz Intel Core i7 | GPU: Nvidia GeForce | RAM: 8GB | Display size: 13.5″ | Resolution: 3000 x 2000 | Storage: 256GB SSD | Weight: 3.3lbs
Great additional features
Like many of the laptops on this list, the Microsoft Surface Book is clearly made to be a laptop used on the go. With its light 3.3lb weight and slim model, this laptop would be perfect for any student or active business associate in need of a powerful laptop that isnt to big or heavy.
With an average life span of 12 hours after each charge, you will have no issue using this laptop on the move. This laptop also offers a great deal of versatility, being able to quickly transform from a laptop to a tablet in seconds due to the detachable keyboard.
What automatically sets this laptop apart from the rest is its 13.5” screen’s 3000 x 2000 resolution which is amazing when comparing the laptop to usual 1920 x 1080 resolutions that you have come to expect on the market.
This would be a very useful feature for artists or those who work in graphic design as you will get a clear and crisp view of anything you are creating. This compatibility with an artistic occupation is only supported through the additional feature of the surface pen that can be used on the touch screen.
The integration with Windows 10 also means you can use multi-touch gestures, which is not a common feature within touchscreen laptops. This would be perfect for an artist as it means they would not have to spend more money on additional hardware. This would also be perfect for teachers or anyone who needs to quickly add notes to documents, there are endless possibilities when it comes to this laptop.
Not only does this laptop’s additional cosmetic features make it stand out among the modern market, so does its speed. This laptop operates on an Intel i7 core processor which is capable of reaching speeds of 3.2 GHz due to the inclusion of Intel Turbo Boost Technology.
Speed is not something that this laptop falls behind on and is able to match most laptops on the market. This fast processor is also supported by a sizable 8GB of RAM, meaning that your laptop will be capable of fast multitasking and also running most modern games.
The ability to play games on this laptop is also supported by an NVIDIA GeForce graphics card that will run most modern games at mid-level gameplay.
This theme of speed from this laptop is also continued through to the storage as you receive a plentiful 256GB SSD, which always provides faster load time for games, software and films. If you planned to have several AAA games installed on this laptop you would need to add your own external memory.
However, one odd thing about this laptop is a lack of HDMI port. This feels out of character for a laptop that would fit so perfectly into the world of an illustrator, but is easily fixed through the purchase of a small adapter and should by no means change any opinion on this laptop.
HP Premium Flagship Probook 450 (Runner Up – impressive CPU)
CPU: Intel Core i7-8565U Quad-Core | GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 16GB | Display size: 15.6″ | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Storage: 512GB SSD | Weight: 4.7lbs
Plenty of RAM
Not as small as other models
Not the best for gaming
This is one of the most powerful laptops on the list and operates on some of the highest performing components. Not only does it look good, but it delivers a pristine experience on the go.
This is one of two laptops on the list that has an astounding 16GB of RAM, meaning that this laptop will hold up for years to come in terms of speed. It also means that you will have no issue running games on this laptop as long as the GPU is able to keep up as most games don’t need more than 8GB of RAM in order to run smoothly.
The HP Probook 450 proceeds to provide high processing speeds as it runs on a Quad-Core i7 processor, this means it will be able to perform a series of tasks without any hiccups. The i7 performs particularly well in intensive tasks such as video editing and gaming.
This is one of the best processors on the market in terms of powerful performance so you have nothing to worry about in the regards of speed under high pressure. As with most laptops on this list, the fast processing speed is supported by the flexibility of Windows 10 that allows your processor to work faster.
This laptop also comes with 512GB SSD hard drive, which as we know is much faster to access than a traditional HDD. This is also plenty of storage for general use and even for those who plan to use the laptop for gaming, as you are able to keep a few games installed on the laptop at a time.
If you planned to install more games, more external data would be necessary. You have enhanced performance due to this large amount of storage and also plenty of room to store documents and so this laptop would be perfect for students or business.
The HP Probook 450 promises, crisp, sharp and detailed imagery on its 15.6” screen, with its 1920 x 1080 resolution, this laptop blends pretty seamlessly into the current market. Those just using this to do work or browse casually won’t have any issue with this resolution as it is exactly what you would expect from a laptop in this range and you will still be reaching HD standards.
Dell Inspiron 5593 (3rd Place – not very portable and average display)
CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core i7 | GPU: Nvidia GeForce MX230 4GB GDDR5 | RAM: 8GB | Display size: 15.5″ | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Storage: 512GB SSD | Weight: 6.1lbs
Good preinstalled GPU
This laptop provides everything you would need in terms of power, making it a device that has a lot of capability to meet any potential usage needs.
This laptop is one of the less portable on the list, weighing 6lbs. Though it will be less comfortable to transport, it is still more than possible to do so as compared to other laptops on the market, this laptop can still be considered to be quite small. Aesthetics wise you are provided with a very modern-looking laptop and so if this is something you take into consideration when buying a laptop, this laptop would be good for you.
When it comes to the display quality, it is not uncommon for Dell devices to fall behind slightly which is the case for this laptop too. You receive a resolution of 1920×1080 on a 15.6” inch screen, which really isn’t too bad.
However, when you look at today’s market it would not be too much to expect a better picture quality, but if this is something that doesn’t really bother you than the rest of the laptop’s specifications may make up for this. The screen does promise to be anti-glare with a narrow border surrounding it so if you were to use the laptop for streaming or editing, your view will not be impaired.
The laptop runs on a 10th generation Intel Core i7 processor which is made for high-end usage and so is capable of undertaking all pressures of usage while still providing fast and responsive speeds.
This speed is also supported by 8GB of RAM which is enough to allow you to multitask without interruption. This is also a more than sufficient amount of RAM if you were to use this laptop for gaming purposes as most games don’t require more than this. But you must make sure that the rest of the components are capable of running certain games.
This laptop comes with an Nvidia GeForce MX230 4GB GDDR5 GPU which is one of the less powerful GPUs on the market. In terms of general use, such as accessing Microsoft applications and browsing the internet, you will have no issue at all.
However, if you were to use this in relation to running high-end games you may struggle to gain a non-lagging and consistent experience. But if you do not intend to use the laptop for games, this isn’t an issue. This consistency in speed is also supported by a Windows 10 operating system.
In terms of storage, the Dell Inspiron 559 comes with 512GB SSD which is plenty of storage to house all necessary software on your laptop, along with movies and videos. You will also be able to access these quicker than you would with an HDD.
In conclusion, this laptop is good at achieving a high standard of use for most required uses. However, would not be the best option for those who are looking for a more portable option.
Dell Inspiron 5570
CPU: 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8550U Quad-Core | GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 16GB | Display size: 15.6″ | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Storage: 128GB SSD, 1TB HDD | Weight: 4.8lbs
16GB of RAM
This laptop is a good all-rounder, having fairly positive specs on all fronts. The immediate thing to notice with the Dell Inspiron 5570 is its appearance. The overall look of the laptop is pleasant and the model has a nice modern look. This is a slightly bigger laptop, coming in at around 15”, though this is the case it is still surprisingly portable. It only weighs 4.8lbs and is relatively slim and so will have no problem comfortably fitting into any bag to use on the go.
Display-wise you receive a 15.6” touchscreen screen with a 1920 x 1080 resolution. For the size of the screen, this is a fairly good resolution to fulfill all needs, even gaming if that is your intended use. The touch screen element is a fairly modern feature and is perfect for graphic designers, artists or those who simply have a preference for using a touch screen. Either way, this is a nice added bonus.
For a laptop, the Dell Inspiron 5570 has a very impressive amount of storage. With 128GB of SSD memory as well as 1TB of HDD, there are no concerns when it comes to being able to house a large amount of data and its unlikely that you’ll ever exceed this or require an external storage method.
The use of SSD also means you will be able to access files quickly, leading to more efficient use of the laptop. It will also result in a faster boot-up of the device. Not only does this laptop exceed all storage needs, but it also comes with 16GB of RAM, which is and will continue to be plenty of RAM to fulfill every laptop requirement.
Especially in aspects such as gaming, which will usually not need more than 8GB of RAM. This laptop has been bulked up in order to continue to keep up in the ever-changing laptop market for years to come, as you will not need an upgrade for a long time.
This continued speed only follows through to the use of the Quad-core Intel Core i7 Processor. This processor has a generally faster clock speed and a larger amount of cache in order to gain access to frequently used data, quicker.
Backed up by a Windows 10 operating system, fast and powerful performance is guaranteed. The only place where this laptop doesn’t completely excel is when it comes to the GPU. The Inspiron 5570 uses an Intel UHD Graphics 620 GPU which remains to be entirely unimpressive, its fine for casual use and for low-level gaming, but in comparison to the other components of the laptop, this one seems out of place.
However, as stated, it doesn’t compromise the use of the laptop, but it is worth mentioning that this is not the best GPU on the market, especially if you plan on some casual gaming.
To conclude, this is one powerful laptop and can generally fulfill any potential usage needs that you may require the laptop for. Be this browsing, work or more creative uses.
ASUS ZenBook UX331UA
CPU: Intel Core i7-8550U Quad-Core Processor | GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8 GB | Display size: 13.3” | Resolution: 1920×1080 | Storage: 256 SSD | Weight: 2.5 lbs
Not great for gaming
The ASUS ZenBook UX331UA is the perfect on the go laptop. Weighing only 2.5lbs and having an impressive average battery life of 10 hours, this is the kind of laptop you can just pop into your bag and continue to use throughout the day without worrying about it dying. This makes it understandably appealing for a student audience.
Appearance-wise, this laptop has a sleek and modern finish which coincides nicely with its compact aluminium body. The Nano edge bezel display leaves plenty of room for a 13.3” wide-view Full- HD display, meaning you already have the guarantee of a fantastic quality screen for all of your using and viewing needs. However, for some people this screen may not be big enough, it really just depends on the requirements of each individual user.
The ASUS ZenBook 13 runs on a Quad-Core Intel Core- i7 processor which promises a clock speed of 3.7GHz when needed, this guarantees that you will not need to worry about your laptop lagging behind or being strained during general or even intensive use. This makes this laptop perfect for someone who will be engaging in multitasking. This is also paired with the up to date Windows 10 operating system.
This laptop provides a nice 256 GB SSD of storage. This means that all of your data will be able to be accessed quickly as flash memory is a lot faster to access than HDD. This amount of storage will probably not be enough for someone who would like to use this laptop to game, however, when you look at the general specs of this laptop it is clear to see that gaming isn’t really the intended use of laptop.
The ASUS ZenBook does come with 8GB of RAM, this is more than sufficient and will make transferring data easier on your laptop and overall increase the speed of your laptop.
Access to this 8GB of RAM also means that if you wanted to, this laptop would be capable of some medium load gaming, if you decided to invest in some external storage or keep the games you had installed to a minimum.
The only aspect of the laptop that would really stop you from being able to play AAA games is the GPU. The Intel UHD Graphics 620 should really be paired with a more powerful GPU, but alone is capable of running some lower-level source games. However, as previously stated, gaming does not appear to be the main intentional use for this laptop and so it is understandable for it to lack in some gaming related areas.
A characteristic that highlights how modern this laptop is, is its integrated fast charging. Promising to take just 49 minutes to recharge to 60%, this laptop only continues to prove how perfect it is to use on the go. This laptop really is catered to be perfect for the modern user and delivers powerful performance while continuing to look sleek.
Lenovo ThinkPad T480
CPU: 8th Gen Quad-Core i5 | GPU: NVIDIA GeForce MX150 | RAM: 8GB | Display size: 14.0″ | Resolution: 1366 x 768 | Storage: 256GB SSD | Weight: 3.63lbs
Would not work well for gaming
There are several important things to consider when deciding which laptop to buy, one of the most important being the actual appearance of the laptop. The Lenovo ThinkPad T480 has one of the more basic appearances on the list, its small frame sporting a plain black casing with the ThinkPad logo.
Looks-wise this is perfect for someone with a more minimalist taste. This laptop is a nice size too, with a weight of under 4lbs and a 14″ display, this is not a laptop that will be clunky and annoying to transport and so would be good for those who intend to use it on the go.
The compact 14” screen promises a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. To today’s standards, 1366×768 resolution doesn’t quite keep up in the current market and would not be recommended for those who want to buy the laptop for gaming purposes.
This low resolution is absolutely fine for anyone intending to use the laptop for casual purposes as you are not likely to notice any issues with the appearance. However, for those accustomed to a higher resolution, the difference will definitely be noticeable. But it does promise to be anti-glare and so redeems itself slightly and also once more makes it more appealing for those planning to use it on the go.
CPU wise the Lenovo ThinkPad T480 offers an Intel Quad-Core i5 core processor which instantly means you have the promise of fast performance. A quad processor will always beat a dual-processor as it allows tasks to be more evenly distributed, allowing for faster speeds.
Though an i5 falls slightly behind the i7, it still excels in speed and the performance of most tasks, even being implemented into heavy gaming without issue. Because of this, speed is not something you need to worry about at all with the Lenovo ThinkPad T480. But in relation to the resolution of the screen, though this laptop is capable of being used to game, aesthetics wise it probably wouldn’t be recommended.
This laptop also comes with 8GB of RAM which is more than enough RAM to today’s standards, especially if you intend on using it just for general use.
Storage-wise, this laptop comes with 256GB of SSD, which really isn’t a lot. Especially if you plan on housing a large amount of data such as films and games. However, if you don’t plan on using your laptop this way, this would be more than enough.
There is also always the option to use external storage methods. This laptop also operates on Windows 10, meaning you are completely up to date with what you would expect to receive from a modern laptop.
Overall this is just a nice simplistic laptop that would be perfect for students or those with the need to do business on the go.
Dell XPS 9360
CPU: 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8250U | GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 620 Shared Graphics | RAM: 8GB | Display size: 13.3” | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Storage: 256GB SSD | Weight: 2.78 lbs
The Dell XPS 9360 Laptop is one of the most compact and portable on the list, weighing only 2.78lbs, you will have absolutely no troubles transporting this device. It just looks good too and meets the modern standard aesthetically, unlike some earlier models.
The 13.3” touch screen display promises anti-glare, making it perfect for those using it for streaming and editing on the go, as it will not fall victim to environmental light interferences.
However, like most Dell products you will only receive a resolution of 1920 x 1080 which is a sufficient screen quality and means you won’t have an issue when it comes to viewing quality for the casual user. However, those who would like to use the laptop for gaming may notice a difference in quality, but this won’t be something too noticeable.
This laptop falls behind some of the others as it still operates on a quad-core i5 processor, meaning it lags slightly behind the speeds of an i7 as it is unable to process data quite as fast.
However, an i5 processor isn’t too bad and doesn’t really fall behind by too much and is pretty much an unnoticeable component unless you plan on pushing your laptop intensively, for example, if you were to use several kinds of high demand software at once.
The speed of the processor is supported once more by the use of a Windows 10 operating system as it constantly keeps itself up to date and keeps your device running fast in between programs.
This laptop also comes with 8GB of RAM which is plenty to guarantee fast speeds when quickly going between tabs or differing kinds of software.
This laptop comes with 256GB of SSD which is plenty of fast-access storage that will be more than enough for most users. This is of course unless you plan on installing several big AAA games, which is really not the marketed use of the laptop anyway.
This can be seen by the lack of a powerful GPU, instead using intel UHD Graphics which are fine for those who don’t plan on using the laptop to game heavily. If you were to use the laptop for intensive gaming it would be reasonable to assume that additional external storage would be required. It may also be worth upgrading the GPU. However, for those who just plan on using the laptop for basic needs, this storage space will be more than enough for a long time.
In conclusion, this is a powerful laptop that does not lack speed or power.
What is the most powerful laptop if I have a maximum budget of $900?
To conclude, when buying a laptop, it is important to look at how it will cater to your own individual needs. However, it would also be better to focus on purchasing one that is powerful on all fronts to maintain flexibility of usage as time goes on.
The Microsoft Surface book not only has this flexibility, but it has unique characteristics and additional features that set it apart from the others on the list.
Due to the sheer versatility of this laptop, I would find it impossible to name any other on the list as the best. It offers a fantastic screen resolution, lots of unique additional features and a powerful processor.
This laptop is not just for show, it really packs some punch and would be what I would personally recommend buying out of all those discussed on this list.
We have reviews on many laptops here at GizmoFusion which you can read by clicking the link.
James Cosgrove has been the lead writer at GizmoFusion since 2019. He has a huge passion for the latest technology and gadgets. He loves to talk and write about this interest. He hopes that visitors to the website will find his reports informative and helpful when it comes to making the best choices for their needs.