Best Budget Laptop Under $1200 in 2019

Moderators at OzBargain have decided to run yearly polls to decide the best products in popular categories that get asked repeatedly in the forum. Our aim is to have a central thread where users can vote on the items, suggest options and also change their vote throughout the year. The polls will end once the year is over.


What is the best budget laptop / notebook under $1200 in 2019?

Going back to school? Finding a laptop for your kids is no easy task, so leave it to the 'professionals' at Ozbargain to help you make an informed shopping choice. Or maybe you want a new laptop for yourself without breaking the piggy bank — whatever the scenario, let's discuss some more budget oriented options.

We asked a similar question last year and most of you thought that the Lenovo Thinkpad E480 was the best overall choice. We'll take suggestions once more and be sure to vote / comment on what you prefer.

Remember: You can change your votes at anytime, and suggest more than 1 product over the course of the poll.

How do I suggest products to What Should I Buy polls?

If you have a product that you would like to suggest for the poll (that is currently not in the Poll Options), you'll need to make a top-level comment (i.e. not replying someone else's comment) and fill up "Suggestions" text box just above your comment:

Suggestion box

Do try to make a sensible suggestion and include a brief argument as to why you would recommend the product. You can only suggest 1 product at a time.

Poll Options expired

  • 79
    Microsoft Surface Laptop
  • 16
    Dell Inspiron 15 5000
  • 8
    Lenovo Thinkpad E485
  • 5
    Lenovo Thinkpad E490
  • 5
    Lenovo Yoga 530
  • 5
    Lenovo Thinkpad E495
  • 2
    Microsoft Surface Go
  • 1
    Dell G3 15
  • 1
    Acer Spin 5
  • 1
    ASUS FX503VM
  • 1
    Lenovo IdeaPad C340
    Suggested by Vman384 on 05/12/2019 - 17:49
  • 0
    HP Pavilion X360
  • 0
    HP Probook 450 G5


  • Suggested ASUS FX503VM

    Not sure about others but ASUS FX503VM-ED191T has 120Hz refresh rate and 100% sRGB display. So if those are important, it's a great laptop.

  • Are refurbished products allowed?

    Dell refurbished business grade laptops are usually very good buys and can be had for around the $1.2k mark

    Disclaimer: I work for a Dell Technologies subsidiary, but not for the computer division or sales.

    • It's a good suggestion and I personally like Dell Lats, but for the purposes of the poll I think the availability is an issue as refurbs aren't available in a great quantity?

  • Yoga 530 is very good

    • really? Mine is two weeks old and I get around 1.5hrs of battery on minimal brightness and apparently that is standard.

  • Could you give me your recommendation for laptop package around 1K for Cancer Support Group. Need Windows 10 Office 365 security protection. Primary use to receive emails, and to generate and store word docs, Xcel and Power Point.
    Must be able connect to printer and projector for presentations.
    Also must have USB ports and connection for mouse.
    Need 2 quotes from Brisbane based store (no online purchases).
    May need to factor in setup costs also.

    Recommendations please.

    • "Need Windows 10 Office 365 security protection. Primary use to receive emails, and to generate and store word docs, Xcel and Power Point."

      Windows 10 should be standard with any laptop these days.. apart from chromebookxs
      Office 365 is subscription based - will have Word, Excel, and Powerpoint
      Security protection - grab that from saveonit, kaspersky, around $20

      Need 2 quotes from Brisbane based store (no online purchases).

      Try Bneact traders, they
      You don't have to buy Dell Latitude refurbished, but they are meant for business, thus will have many USB ports and can connect to projectors.
      Otherwise, for other options, you may need to consider accessories to convert a USB port into a projector port (usually it's VGA if it's old school)

      Otherwise I'd suggest Lenovo E series, but they are an online only store..

      • +1 vote

        FYI, if eligible, they can get Office 365 subscription at a cheaper rate

      • Don’t need security. Imo it’s synonymous with bloatware. Windows Defender is enough.

        • Yup Win10 already seems quite secure just update security patches with Defender like you said and perhaps download Malwarebytes. I haven't had any problems for years, used to buy Norton early days waste of money and chewed up performance so bad.
          Obviously knowing what a dodgy link and/or fake error message looks like helps too be vigilant

  • How about the best Ultrabook? Dell XPS or still go the surface?

  • MSI PS42 8RB 1.19kg MX150 2GB for some light graphics. $1300. I bought the one without mx150 for $1100 cuz I would rather spend the extra 200 on a Ps or Xbox. Can vouch. Or excellent screen and keyboard.

  • I am pretty sure I have seen a laptop with a GTX 1050Ti below $1200 AUD at some time.. for me that would be the best laptop in the under $1200 category.

  • Suggested Lenovo Thinkpad E495

    My vote goes towards the Thinkpad E495, which at $800 price point it makes for a good all rounder laptop with pretty decent specifications for productivity, and if required, very casual gaming.

    • Now thanks to TA, $755 (which with promo cashback rate from time to time, it is entering the $700 price point) =D

      • The only downside is possibly the display? The E595 only has 54% sRGB colour gamut. I can't find the E495's gamut.

        • There are other shortcomings as well (e.g. poor linux support, no backlit keyboard etc), but it is fair for the price point (there is no one common best laptop for everyone's use case, but really ultimately comes down to the particular user's preferences and usage case).

          Personally I'd say it is more in the "best under $900" category, but there isn't a thread.

  • Anyone please suggest me a decent laptop deal with budget around $1500 to suit CAD/CAM softwares like Solidworks, Mastercam, Catia etc


    Hi all! massive noob here when it comes to computers/laptops

    I'm in the market to buy a laptop. My one of 8 or maybe 9 years has sadly passed. (The cat jumped on it and it fell on the floor.

    My budget is between $1,000 and $1,200.

    I'm looking to play The Sims (not heavy gaming,browsing,downloading, transfering files.

    ps what do you guys think about the Lenovo Thinkpad E595?

  • I'm surprised to see Microsoft Surface Laptop so high.. it's been a while since I bothered following their pricing structure but surely at $1200 you'd be looking at a mediocre i5 at best?

    $1200 in another brand could get you an i7 and GPU

  • I feel like we need another poll thread for the more budget category, $900 and under. (Although I guess we can see where this is going, the AMD Ryzen Mobile machines will dominate that category.)

    • Highly agree we should have price points from under $300 / $300 - $600 / $600 - 900 and the current $1200.

      I don't think below $300 there is much more to divide it up into like sub $250 or sub $200 maybe but for sure we need more price brackets preferably at $300 increments just to start.

      I can do it when I get some free time maybe and remember after work but really scrimshaw the OP and creator of this concept should keep leading this.

  • I'm in love with my Lenovo yoga for studies

  • What do people think of the of the Lenovo E490 - at the moment is 50% off, I have specs at 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8565U (4C, 1.8 / 4.6GHz, 8MB), 16gb ram, 512GB SSD M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe, AMD Radeon RX 550X 2GB GDDR5 - $1173 total - would love some opinions on whether this is a good deal or not - Will use for work, light gaming, browsing, indesign.

  • Perhaps should give at least one line answer for casting a vote (no matter how stupid the reason) (and able to +1 any reasoning if they agree)

    Why are people choosing the Surface I haven't seen not even one comment here as to WHY..

  • Suggested Lenovo IdeaPad C340

    This laptop is 2 in 1 i7 10th gen for 1030 from good guys eBay (eBay plus required) it’s great for the price and really recommend

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