12 Best Laptops Under $600 in 2018
When it is time to buy a new pair of socks or a toothbrush, things can be rather straightforward. When it comes to technical items like smartphones or desktop PCs, making a decision can be difficult, to say the least. Laptops are a particularly tough area as there are dozens of manufacturers and thousands of laptops. That’s because they tend to hang around longer than other types of tech, so the need to upgrade quickly is not nearly as strong.
Finding the best laptops under $600 sent us on a quest to find machines that can offer up a little bit of everything. That means you can tote these portable PCs around easily, and all will be able to handle the majority of programs available on the market. Their gaming prowess will vary, but we have including something for everyone’s tastes and a processor speed to fit every budget.
Top 12 Laptops Under $600 Comparison Table
|1. Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 15.6-Inches Full HD Notebook||15.6” FHD||i5-7200U||4.4|
|2. 2017 HP 15.6 inch Premium HD Laptop||15.6” HD||i5-7200U||4.4|
|3. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E560 15.6″ HD Screen||15.6” HD||i5-6200U||4.2|
|4. ASUS F556UA-AB54 NB 15.6″ FHD Intel Core i5 8GB 256G SSD Windows 10 Laptop||15.6” FHD||i5-7200U||4.1|
|5. 2017 Lenovo IdeaPad 300 17.3″ HD+ Premium Flagship Laptop||17.3” HD+||i5-6200U||4.0|
|6. Samsung Chromebook Plus Convertible Touch Laptop||12.3” QHD||2GHz||4.0|
|7. ASUS F556UA-AB32 15.6-inch Full-HD Laptop||15.6” FHD||i3-6100U||3.9|
|8. 2017 Lenovo 17.3″ HD+ High Performance Premium Laptop||17.3” HD+||i5-6200U||3.9|
|9. Dell Inspiron Flagship 15.6-Inch FHD Touchscreen Backlit Keyboard Laptop PC||15.6” FHD||i5-6200U||3.9|
|10. HP Pavilion 17 Premium High Performance Laptop||17.3” HD+||i5-4210U||3.8|
|11. HP Notebook 15-ay011nr 15.6-Inch Laptop||15.6” FHD||i5-6200U||3.8|
|12. Dell Inspiron New 5000 Series 15.6″ FHD Touchscreen Laptop||15.6 FHD||i7-6500U||3.7|
Laptop Buying Tips
The best laptops under a particular price point usually have to cut a few corners. That isn’t the case this time around although you still need to consider a few key areas.
While we have a price point to keep in mind, you do not have to limit yourself completely. You can pick the best laptop suited for your needs once you sit down and consider how you plan to use it most of the time.
- Work or School – If you are going to mainly browse the web and use it for work or school, any laptop will do a fine job.
- Watch Videos – If you like to watch videos, you will want a laptop with a large display sporting a resolution of at least 1,920 x 1,080.
- Gaming – Gamers are also going to want something meaty, so memory and at a laptop with an i7 processor would be your best bet. The more RAM, the better as well. You don’t want to have to dial things down on your favorite game or struggle running a high-end program.
Memory & Processor
You can always expand your storage, but the RAM is generally set in stone on most laptop computers. Some models will allow you to switch or expand, but it is rare. RAM is an inexpensive upgrade offered by many manufacturers. There is no set number you “have” to have as it will depend on what you want to run, but 4GB of memory is a good bottom line for most programs and games.
The processor is another area you are stuck with so choose wisely. That said, most of our choices will have either a 6th or 7th generation Intel processor. The higher the series, the quicker the chip so an i3 will not be able to compete with the i7 which is currently top of the line.
What’s a nice, new laptop without a few extra bells & whistles? A pretty boring PC in our opinion, so unless you want something to simply browse the web you may want to consider a few of the extras that may or may not be found on that laptop you’ve set your sights on.
- Optical Drive – Most programs can be downloaded from the web and installed on the fly these days. Many older programs do require disks however along with some modern games and applications.
- Ports – Every laptop on our list will have USB 2.0 ports and some will have at least one USB 3.0. While both will certainly suffice, USB Type-C ports or Lightning ports for Macs, are the fastest port in town. They offer up faster transfer speeds with USB sticks and other devices like your smartphone or tablet.
Top 5 Best Laptops Under $600 Reviews
Acer has always been a friend to consumers looking to purchase a budget-friendly laptop. The Acer Aspire E series is a fan favorite, and this 15.6-inch laptop is our top pick to give you the most bang for your buck. Want to play games with your friends online until the wee hours of the morning? Not a problem with 8GB of DDR4 RAM and the newer 7th gen Intel Core i5-7200U which can hit speeds up to 3.1GHz.
Those work in conjunction with the NVIDIA GeForce 940MX which has 2GB of GDDR5 memory for buttery smooth gaming. There is also plenty of room for any media you choose to store with 256GB of space on the solid state drive. The large display utilizes the company’s “Color Blast” tech and is of the LED variety with backlighting and a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080.
The Acer E5-575G-57D4 is a good looking laptop with plenty of style and a lock for our list of the best laptops under $600. It is currently only available in one color and configuration running with Windows 10 out of the box.
HP arguably puts out more laptops than any other manufacturer on our list year in and out. For 2017, one of their top units is the HP Premium HD Laptop which sports the i5-7200U processor from Intel. While not as nimble as the i7 series, it is going to fly when combined with the whopping 12GB of RAM HP installed under the hood.
Not impressed by tech specs? Well, maybe you will appreciate the style. This model has a color dubbed “Noble Blue” and it will definitely stand out in a crowd but still stay light on your laptop bag at only 4.83 pounds. Considering it has a 15.6-inch WLED display and 1TB of RAM, it’s quite impressive. We’d be remiss if we did not mention the SuperMulti DVD burner, HP TrueVision HD webcam or the dual speaker setup with DTS sound as well.
The battery life is rated at around 7 hours on this model which runs the 64-bit version of Windows 10 Home. A full array of connectivity options are present as well with HDMI, a USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and 10/100 base-T Ethernet.
If the name ThinkPad sounds familiar, you may be of a certain age. Initially, IBM sold the laptops, and they were known for their ability to essentially last forever. They were quite tough. Since Lenovo took over, not much has changed actually as they are still amazing machines. Our pick is the Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E560 as it is a bit of a beast.
The ThinkPad Edge E560 has a large 15.6-inch display with a resolution of 1,366 x 768 and has Intel HD 520 Graphics. While not inspiring, they do get a nice bump from 8GB of RAM and an Intel Core i5-6200U processor which can hit speeds up to 2.8GHz. Need some extra security? It has that with a fingerprint reader, and you will get an optical drive as well. There is not really a weakness on this one aside from that graphics card.
As for the OS, this laptop will run the 64-bit version of Windows 7 Pro when it arrives at your doorstep but can be upgraded to Windows 10 Pro for free. There are two versions of this model, one with a 1TB HDD and the other with a 120GB SDD.
ASUS managed to sneak a few laptops onto our list with the F556UA-AB54 making it into our Top 5. This Windows-based laptop is solid and has a nice 15.6-inch display with a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080. The battery will be better than many of its competitors with a 38Whr polymer juice box that’s said to last 2 ½ times longer than the old Li-ion style. That’s important as laptop batteries tend to be expensive and may require a professional to change.
As for the hard tech specs, the AB54 is powered by the latest and greatest 7th gen Intel i5-7200U which a clock speed of 2.5GHz. There is a 256GB solid state drive under the hood as well to go along with 8GB of RAM. The laptop is only 1-inch thin but heftier than some at 5.1lbs. Other features of interest include a USB Type-C port, 802.11a/c Wi-Fi, an SD card reader, and an HDMI port.
We have already covered one laptop from Lenovo with the ThinkPad and now it is time to take a look at the IdeaPad. The two laptops do share a few similarities, but this one is considerably larger. That’s due to a 17.3-inch display which makes it one of the biggest panels on our list of the best laptops under $600. Unfortunately, those pixels will be stretched to a degree as it only has a resolution of 1,600 x 900.
The processor powering the showing the IdeaPad 300 is the 6th gen Intel Core i5-6200U with a 3MB cache and a top clock speed of up to 2.8GHz. It has the same type of graphical prowess as the ThinkPad, and the RAM is listed at 8GB as well. Audiophiles will appreciate the Dolby Advanced audio setup which ensures clean, crisp sound from stereo speakers. There are plenty of connectivity options included on the 300 with 10/100/1000Mpbs Ethernet, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, and a USB 3.0 port.
This particular laptop has enough pop to handle gaming and more storage than you will probably ever use. On the downside, the battery life is not the best as it only has a 4-cell battery rated for around 4 hours of general use.