The Best Laptops Under $600

With the staggering amount of laptops available on the market today, including different manufacturers and different models by each manufacturer, it can be a bit of an ordeal to find the right one. This is doubly true when you’re working on a budget. Guaranteeing that you’re finding the perfect laptop for your needs within your price range can be an incredible challenge for the inexperienced buyer.

In this article, we’ll go over 10 of the best laptops available for under $600, discussing the pros and cons of each as well as key important features that each possesses. We’ll also feature a quick buyer’s guide at the end to help you figure out what to look for in a laptop on a budget that suits your needs. When you’re done, you should be all ready to pick out the perfect laptop within your budget!

Best Laptops Under $600

Lenovo Flex 14 2-in-1

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Important Features

  • 14″ touchscreen display with an included stylus
  • 1920×1080 pixel resolution
  • 8 hours of battery life with quick recharge technology
  • TrueBlock shutter physically covers webcam when not in use
  • 8 GB RAM and 256 SSD GB storage
  • HDMI output with 4K streaming
  • Comes with Windows 10
  • AMD Ryzen 5 3500U Processor

Pros

  • Comes with a stylus
  • Sturdy build
  • Good performance

Cons

  • Low RAM with minimal upgrading ability
  • Battery life not as long as advertised under heavy use
  • Fans are loud

This laptop would be excellent for someone primarily interested in either streaming media or working on art. It is the only laptop that has 4K output and features an included stylus. It also is convertible, so it can be turned into a tablet. It is sturdy with a strong build and has a good enough processor that it will stream media and work with most drawing programs, however, you may want to upgrade the RAM if you are planning to use more advanced drawing programs that allow for 3D rendering. Thankfully, there are two RAM slots, one of which can be switched out, allowing for up to 16 GB of RAM. However, this will add a couple of dollars to the overall price, which may make it a no-go for those on a strict budget. As well, the fact that only one slot of RAM can be upgraded means that the overall RAM capabilities are limited when compared to some other options.

Other downsides include the battery life not being what’s advertised, with many reporting they get as little of 3 hours on a full charge within just a week of opening. This is likely going to be a huge problem for those looking to stream on the go, although not as much of a problem for those looking to keep this at home as a 4K streaming player hooked into a 4K television. Also, there are several complaints about the fans being too loud, which may be annoying when streaming media on the go.

Dollar Rating: $$

Dell Inspiron 13 5000


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Important Features

  • 13.3″ touchscreen display
  • 1920×1080 pixel resolution
  • 8 GB RAM and 256 GB SSD storage
  • Comes with Windows 10
  • Intel i5-8250U Processor

Pros

  • Fast processing
  • Quiet fans

Cons

  • Low RAM with minimal upgrading ability
  • Short battery life
  • Poorly placed speakers

Here is another option that features a touchscreen display and can flip into a tablet, however, no stylus is included. It has a slightly faster processor than the Lenovo Flex but the same amount of RAM. Once again, the RAM can be upgraded, but only to 16 GB. This laptop doesn’t compare well to the Lenovo Flex, as it has several downsides that the Lenovo Flex doesn’t, even with the slightly higher processing power.

One of the largest complaints about this model is that the speakers are placed on the bottom, which means you’re always going to be getting slightly muffled sound no matter where the laptop is placed. This is even true when the laptop is folded into a tablet, as the speakers will be on the inside. This may seem like a fairly trivial issue, but it might be pretty bothersome as soon as you’re doing something audio-intensive, such as trying to stream media or listen to music. This is also slightly pricier than the Lenovo Flex, possibly due to the more powerful processor. At the price point, this definitely doesn’t seem worth it compared to the Lenovo Flex, which offers all the same key features minus a minuscule amount of processing power.

Dollar Rating: $$$

Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E590 15.6”

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Important Features

  • 15.6″ display
  • 1366×768 pixel resolution
  • 8 GB RAM and 250 SSD GB storage
  • Comes with Windows 7
  • Intel Dual Core i3-8145U Processor

Pros

  • Sturdy
  • Lightweight
  • Powerful performance
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • Bad screen resolution
  • Minor bugs on Windows 10
  • Dysfunctional trackpad

This is a very sturdy and lightweight laptop, however, there are a few downsides. The positives are that the processor is fairly powerful, meaning you’ll get a lot of performance out of this thing, but, once again there are only 8 GB of RAM. Another huge plus, however, is that the laptop has a fairly strong battery right out of the box that should retain 4-8 hours of battery life even after a year or two of use.

The biggest downsides to this laptop are its low resolution, its finicky controls, and some bugs when the laptop is run on Windows 10. When most laptops come with full HD displays, one such as this with lower pixel resolution might be off-putting to those accustomed to modern technology who are wanting to stream media. As well, the laptop comes pre-installed with Windows 7, and you are going to want to keep it running on Windows 7 to get the best functionality. This may prove to be an issue later on. Numerous bugs have been reported when the laptop is running Windows 10, from lagging and freezing to crashing. The biggest complaint, however, is with the trackpad, as the trackpad is very unintuitive and often seems unresponsive. You are going to want to pay extra for a mouse if you choose this option, which can make all the difference price-wise.

Dollar Rating: $$

Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop

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Important Features

  • 15.6″ display
  • 1920×1080 pixel resolution
  • 8 GB RAM and 256 SSD GB storage
  • Comes with Windows 10
  • AMD Ryzen 5 3500U Processor

Pros

  • Solid build
  • Nice screen
  • Easily expandable memory
  • Fast processor

Cons

  • Poor battery life

This laptop is a good mix of performance and price, fast enough for basic needs but cheap enough for nearly any budget. This might make this the perfect laptop for those looking for the cheapest option that can still get the job done. It has a strong and bright display with a high resolution and an adjustable backlit keyboard. It is solid yet incredibly lightweight and has RAM that can be expanded to 32 GB, meaning that, if you pay a little extra, you’re going to be getting a laptop with just about the most RAM available. This may make this all the more attractive for the right user. As well, the processor is solid, and you really aren’t sacrificing much at all for the lowered price point compared to others in the same bracket.

The one small problem with this model, however, is the battery life. With all the high-powered performance that it offers, you really won’t won’t get much out of a single charge unless you put the laptop in battery saver mode, which can be very inconvenient when you’re trying to make use of all the power and speed this thing should be offering you. Still, it’s hard to argue that this an excellent option on a budget, and possibly one of the best laptops you can get for the price. Just don’t be surprised if the battery doesn’t last you an entire trip or day at work without a charge.

Dollar Rating: $

Dell Inspiron 15.6

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Important Features

  • 15.6″ touchscreen display
  • 1366×768 pixel resolution
  • 8 GB RAM and 256 SSD GB storage
  • Comes with Windows 10
  • Intel Core i5-7200U Processor

Pros

  • Strong processor
  • Upgradable RAM

Cons

  • Poor display that flickers
  • Loaded with bugs
  • No backlight on the keyboard

This is another exceedingly fast laptop with a strong processor for the money, however, the resolution leaves a little bit to be desired and the display can flicker from time to time, which can make all the difference when you’re in a tense situation. The RAM is upgradeable and the laptop comes installed with Windows 10, although some bugs have been reported, such as freezing and lag. This is another huge issue that may make all the difference when trying to utilize all the performance this thing should be giving with its high-powered processor and increasable RAM.

Another issue is that the keyboard doesn’t have any backlight. This may seem like it’s not a huge issue, but it can be a lot of trouble if you’re trying to use your laptop in a situation where there isn’t a lot of light, and a backlit keyboard should generally be seen as a prerequisite for most buyers who are aiming for maximum portability and versatility. This laptop is on the cheaper end, however, so if you’re just looking for something in the lower price range that works and can handle a higher workload, you likely won’t be too disappointed with what you get when you purchase it.

Dollar Rating: $

HP Pavilion 15.6

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Important Features

  • 15.6″ inch display
  • 1366×768 pixel resolution
  • DVD-RW drive
  • 8 GB RAM and 1 TB HHD storage
  • Comes with Windows 10
  • Intel Dual Core AMD A6-9225 Processor

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Comes with a disc drive

Cons

  • Poor display
  • Slow
  • Poor internet connectivity

This laptop is lightweight with a strong processor and a long-lasting battery. Two unique things about this laptop are that it features a DVD-RW drive, which means you can both read and write DVDs and CDs. When most laptops don’t even come with a disc drive, this can be seen as a huge plus for the right buyer still accustomed to disc media. While most technology is moving away from discs and into streaming and downloading, discs can be seen as a bit of a rarity. Another plus is the huge amount of storage, featuring 1 TB for you to store and back-up files. This would be great for someone planning on storing a lot of video files and writing them onto DVDs. However, the drive is HHD, which means it will be much slower to lead than an SSD, which can also affect the overall boot times of programs and the laptop in general.

Some of the biggest caveats about this laptop, besides the mechanical hard drive making it a little slow overall, are poor resolution and some finicky internet connectivity. The resolution is not HD, meaning that it might not be the best option for playing DVDs, even though it can write them. Still, this is a very inexpensive laptop that has some unique features that might make it the best option for certain individuals focused on disc media. The display, although not HD, is bright and colorful, and some buyers might not even notice the lower resolution.

Dollar Rating: $

HP 14″ Premium


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Important Features

  • 14″ display
  • 1920×1080 pixel resolution
  • Includes Ghost Manta Gaming Mouse
  • 8 GB RAM and 512 GB SSD storage
  • Includes Windows 10
  • Intel Core i5-1035G4 Processor

Pros

  • Optimized for gaming on the cheap
  • Works fast
  • Lots of SSD storage
  • Powerful display

Cons

  • Possibly not for those who don’t want a gaming laptop
  • No numerical keypad

This is definitely a laptop that is optimized for gaming, as it has a very high-powered processor, a gorgeous display, and impressive sound output. If you are looking for a gaming laptop on a budget that you can take wherever you go, this is the laptop for you. The included gaming mouse is only a bonus. Although it only features 8 GB of RAM out of the box, it does have a lot of SSD storage, meaning you can keep a lot of games on your laptop and they will load fast and easy. However, some more complicated games may struggle without additional RAM.

The biggest downsides to this laptop are that it is optimized for gaming and lacks a numerical keypad. This can be a huge detriment when used as a work laptop. However, if you can get past that, you are getting a very powerful laptop that won’t kill your budget, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be used for gaming, as the high performance can be very useful when doing just about anything. Definitely one to look into if you need a powerfully performing for little money, whether you’re a gamer or not (but especially if you are).

Dollar Rating: $$

ASUS Vivobook


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Important Features

  • 15.6″ display
  • 1920×1080 pixel resolution
  • 8 GB RAM and 256 GB SSD storage
  • Comes with Windows 10
  • Intel i5-6200U Processor

Pros

  • Good performance for the price
  • Light and easy to carry
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • No backlit keyboard
  • Cheap build

This is a lightweight laptop with a powerful display, a fairly strong processor, and a wide range of connectivity, including multiple USB ports. It is on the higher end price-wise but makes up for it with its i5 processor for those looking for speed and performance. As well, the battery is strong and steady and will give you 8 hours on a full charge without having to turn the brightness down. This laptop offers lots of power for a minimal price compared to some higher-end laptops that exceed the $600 range, however, there are a few caveats that might not make it the absolute best option for some.

The laptop has what most would call a fairly cheap build. It is all plastic housing, which isn’t always an issue, but this plastic feels a little underwhelming as far as sturdiness and protection. However, this can be seen as a plus for those looking for a powerful laptop that is also lightweight and easy to carry. Another problem some have is that the battery isn’t meant to be removed. While this shouldn’t be an issue for most given that the battery retains a good charge, batteries do oftentimes give out over the years after extensive use, and those looking for a laptop that lasts them the better part of the decade might be perturbed when the battery gives out on an otherwise perfect laptop.

Dollar Rating: $$$

ASUS F556 Notebook


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Important Features

  • 15.6″ display
  • 1920×1080 pixel resolution
  • 8 GB RAM and 256 GB SSD storage
  • Comes with Windows 10
  • Intel Core i5 Processor

Pros

  • Upgradable RAM
  • High performance
  • CD drive

Cons

  • May freeze or lag
  • Poorly functioning touchpad
  • No backlit keyboard

This laptop is powerful with its i5 processor, has upgradable RAM, features HD resolution, has a long-lasting battery, and runs fast and efficiently. However, there are a few problem areas that may make this a laptop to skip unless you’re dedicated to the ASUS brand and only care about speed and performance. While this is certainly going to be a fast a high-performing laptop, it’s going to be hard to get a lot of use out of it when the many the issues that users seem to face come to the forefront.

For one thing, this is another laptop without a backlit keyboard. While this won’t be an issue to everyone, it may prove to be an issue when you are taking your laptop to different places with dimmer lights and you can’t see what you’re typing or which key you’re hitting. As well, despite the general high performance and the overall speed of this laptop, there are reports of it freezing or lagging after long periods of use, which is one of the biggest problems a laptop can have, especially one as expensive as this. Lastly, the trackpad seems to be lacking some sensitivity, meaning, once again, you are going to have to shell out some extra money for a mouse. However, when using this laptop on the go, you’re still going to be stuck with the trackpad, and this may be an issue for those who need to do sensitive work that requires clicking the right place at the right time.

Dollar Rating: $$$

HP 15 15.6″

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Important Features

  • 15.6″ touchscreen display
  • 1366×768 pixel resolution
  • 16 GB RAM and 512 GB SSD storage
  • Comes with Windows 10
  • Intel Core i5-1035G1 Processor

Pros

  • Lots of memory and storage
  • High-powered processor

Cons

  • Low resolution
  • Some battery issues

This laptop is a great deal when compared to some of the other laptops available at the mid-range price point, with 16 GB RAM out of the box and 512 GB SSD storage, as well as a very high-powered processor. For the price, you aren’t going to get a much more high-powered laptop. This should be a go-to option for those who need high performance, whether it’s for playing games or for working on more advanced programs that require more powerful processors and higher amounts of RAM. As well, the design is both sturdy and lightweight, meaning you’ll get lots of portability while not sacrificing protection. Still, there are a few downsides to this laptop that might justify its slightly lower price.

For one thing, this is another laptop that doesn’t have HD resolution, which means that if you are looking to purchase this as a gaming laptop due to its high performance, you are going to be getting a slight sacrifice in the display. Still, for the resolution, the display is bright, bold, and colorful, you just won’t be getting the high-def visuals that you might be accustomed to with some higher-end laptops, or laptops in the same price range that sacrifice performance for high-resolution HD displays. As well, there have been some noted issues with the battery, although this is likely due to the increased processing power and performance. Still, if you are going to get a laptop with high performance, you’re going to want it to have a battery to back it all up. Though, when all is considered, this is only a minor issue, and your battery should last well over 4 hours even on the highest performance mode.

Dollar Rating: $$

Buying Guide for Best Laptops Under $600

How to Choose the Right Laptop

The best laptop is going to be the one that comes closest to your needs for the lowest amount of money, which can be a bit of a tricky balancing act. However, expensive doesn’t always mean better in the world of laptops, and there are plenty of laptops under $600 that can do pretty much everything that you would need them to. There are many things to keep in mind when looking for the right laptop depending on what your needs are. For instance, if you are an artist you are likely going to want a touchscreen that flips so you can turn your laptop into a tablet.

Display

As far as the display goes, generally, 1920×1080 pixel resolution is the standard, and anything lower than that likely isn’t going to cut it. Thankfully, most laptops under $600 will feature a full HD display. Even if you aren’t too worried about resolution, you can still likely get all the processing power you will need while retaining full HD display with most options under $600.

Processor

Processing power can be a bit of a tricky thing because, without the right amount of RAM, a high-powered processor isn’t going to be of much use. Still, if you are planning on using your laptop for gaming or for intensive work projects on advanced programs, you are likely going to want a processor that can get the job done. It can be tricky to make sense of the processors if you aren’t into computer lingo but, generally, with some exceptions, the higher the number, the faster the processor. Just make sure you’ve got high-powered RAM to back it up.

Operating System

If your laptop doesn’t come preinstalled with the most current operating system, chances are that it wasn’t made to utilize the most current operating system and will become outdated faster because of it. Laptops that come preinstalled with older operating systems are generally going to have bugs and errors when you update, and, if you don’t update, your laptop is going to have limited compatibility with the latest programs and browsers.

Memory

Memory is going to be one of the most important aspects when it comes to overall performance, working in tandem with the processor. There are two different kinds of memory, being RAM, the memory that keeps track of what’s going on while you’re using your computer (i.e. different programs and different tabs open on your browser), and internal storage, meaning how many files you can store. The more RAM you have, the better, and the faster your computer will run. Storage, on the other hand, can be tricky, as there are two types of storage actively being used, HDD and SSD, or hard disk drive and solid-state drive. SSD is much faster and will allow you not only to store and load files faster but also to boot your computer faster. HDD, on the other hand, is more primitive and a bit slower. Because of this, generally, 512 GB SSD is going to be better than 1 TB HDD. That is unless you’re planning on using your new laptop as nothing other than a storage device.

Battery

All batteries degrade over time. However, not all batteries start out at the same level. It can be hard to determine just how long a battery will last when looking at the advertised specifications of a laptop because these are generally only valid when you are operating your laptop at the lowest possible processing level with minimal brightness. You will want to look carefully at user reviews to see the true efficacy of the battery on any given model, and likely look for a laptop that allows the battery to be easily replaced in case it wears down.

What will you use it for?

Of course, the biggest deciding factor on which laptop is right for you is really what you’re going to use it for. If you’re using it as a streaming device, you’ll definitely want the highest resolution possible with strong internet connectivity. If you’re using it for gaming then you’ll want a high-powered processor with a lot of RAM. If you’re using it primarily to work on and store files, you’ll want a lot of storage.

Conclusion

The Lenovo Flex would be the best option for those looking to stream media at home due to its 4K streaming output. As well, it would be a great option for digital artists, as it has a touchscreen that can flip into a tablet and an included stylus. The only downside is the lack of battery life.

The Dell Inspiron 13 5000 offers little that the Lenovo Flex doesn’t at a higher price point with no included stylus. The Lenovo ThinkPad Edge offers more processing power and battery life in exchange for resolution, although bugs have been reported when running on current operating systems. The Acer Aspire 5 Slim is an incredible value for your money, offering speed and power at one of the lowest price points, although slightly sacrificing battery life because of it. The Dell Inspiron 15.6 is comparable to the Acer Aspire 5 Slim, yet it has a few issues that might make you prefer the latter.

The HP Pavillion 15.6 offers little that the others don’t and features a few bugs and lower resolution, but its DVD-RW drive and increased storage might make it the choice for some with more niche needs. On the other hand, the HP 14″ Premium is the ideal laptop for gamers, with its strong display, enhanced sound output, and high processing power. The ASUS Vivobook offers higher processing power in a lightweight package, though some feel that the design is too cheap, while the ASUS F556UA-AB54 is practically a no-go due to its many bugs.

Lastly, the HP 15 is an incredible buy for the money, offering the perfect amount of speed and performance on a budget, although it suffers from slightly lower resolution than consumers may be used to. Overall, there is certainly a laptop to fit every individual need that can be attained at a price point of under $600, and hopefully, this article gave you a few ideas about how to best choose the right laptop for you when shopping on a budget.

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