You don't need me to tell you that a grand is a lot of money. If you've managed to scrape together £1,000 for a laptop, it's important to make sure you spend it wisely. Here are some tips on choosing the right machine.
Think about exactly what you're going to be using your laptop for. If all you'll be doing is sending the odd email and browsing a few websites, then spending a bag of sand on a laptop would be extravagant -- you'd be much better off looking at the sub-£500 mark.
One important aspect to consider is whether or not you need your laptop to be portable. Many portable machines pack Intel Core i3 or i5 processors and around 4GB of RAM, which is enough to power through any office tasks with gusto, as well as handle intense multi-tasking.
If you'll often be on the go, make sure the laptop can take some punishment. Flimsy plastic shells probably won't be as robust as an aluminium chassis.
Most ultrabooks can be yours for under a grand and they all boast extremely thin designs with some spicy power under the hood.
If portability isn't a critical factor, you may want a high-powered laptop to whack on your desk. Bigger, heavier laptops tend to offer beefy Intel Core i5 and i7 processors and around 6GB to 8GB of RAM. These beasts will be able to tackle intensive tasks such as photo and video editing, as well as streaming high-definition videos.
The more recent machines may be offering Intel's latest line of processors, known as Ivy Bridge, that boast significantly increased built-in graphics power. The extra graphics grunt should come in handy for photo editing applications and playing back high-definition video.
Such machines will also usually offer dedicated graphics cards, letting you tackle some good old 3D gaming. If you're a serious gamer, you may want to reconsider your budget as hyper-performance gaming rigs generally come in at nearer the £2,000 mark.
A large screen will be handy if you intend to sit around watching movies and TV shows on your laptop. Blu-ray drives are often present on laptops with large screens so high-definition content will be served up with aplomb. Many screens don't quite offer a 1080p resolution, but the presence of an HDMI port will mean you can easily hook your laptop up to a TV if you want to stage a proper movie night.
For the purposes of inspiration, I've put together a great bunch of laptops that can be yours for under £1,000.