The Windows-based laptop market is a bad joke of confusing, overlapping offerings. It operates almost like a scam to underskilled consumers because manufacturers try hard to increase their profit around a purely commodity product. The results are “creative” but quite useless features as detachable keyboards, pens and tablet PCs. If you have one of those, think about the rare situations you actually used them in a comfortable way.
For a general use laptop, a $1000 MacBook Air has all the features you need, in order of importance: great high density screen (a.k.a. Retina display, most important feature, always), light and small and elegant, fast internal storage, outstanding global customer service, enough RAM (8GB minimum, 16GB recommended), modern connectivity with USB-C. Oh, and a good CPU too.
Don’t go for less than that and be aware that a similar feature set in the Windows universe will have same price, if not more. But it will be hidden under a pile of confusing, overlapping and oversized configurations.
This post was written for your private life laptop consumer self, to help you buy your next good laptop. Not for your corporate self.