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Did you know you can get some of the very best laptops for under $600? Figuring out which one is right for you doesn’t have to be a challenge. In fact, we’ve made it about as easy as it gets. You don’t have to spend countless hours scouring the internet, because we’ve done it for you.
That’s right. Everything you need to know is compiled right here in this easy-to-read guide. We went ahead and ranked the top 10 laptops in language you can understand. Are you needing a fast laptop? How about one for gaming? Or do you want one that will store and play your huge movie collection?
We reviewed only the best, letting you bypass anything less than greatness. Make sure you stick around after the reviews. We put together a handy buyer’s guide that will help you easily find exactly what you’re looking for. To give you an idea of what’s in store, here’s a couple of our favorite picks for your consideration.
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HP’s X360 totally exceeded our expectations. This versatile laptop doubles as a tablet thanks to its flexible touchscreen display. It’s plenty fast and can handle gaming, too.
If you’re in need of a powerful laptop to get you through college, look no further than to Acer’s Aspire 5. This workhorse sports an excellent design and is loaded with connectivity.
Let’s look at the X360 and Aspire 5 in greater detail. Afterward, we have 8 more exciting and affordable entries to look at. No matter what your needs are, we’ve likely got just the laptop for you.
Thanks to its slick 2-in-1 capabilities and lightning-quick processing, HP’s X360 is the laptop to own. We love the touchscreen and the responsiveness it delivers. It feels great with every input and is loaded with quality specs.
The 15.6-inch screen looks incredible, with stunning resolution for games, movies, and more. The edge-to-edge display sports durable glass to give you a vibrant picture that’s built tough. We had a blast folding the screen back to watch movies on. It instantly changes the picture’s orientation so you don’t have to play around with a bunch of settings.
While this isn’t the best laptop for gaming, it does a fine job. The graphics looked great on the few games we did try. The X360 packs a commendable graphics card, which is all the more impressive considering the affordable price of this unit.
You get plenty of connectivity options to work with. Whether SD card, USB, HDMI, or Bluetooth, you’ll always have a way to send and receive files. You also get a built-in camera to make video communication easy and straightforward.
We love the aluminum shell that encases the X360. It gives you peace of mind that your laptop is protected and safe from bumps and shocks. For the price, you can’t ask for a better-rounded machine. Nice work, HP.
HP’s X360 is a highly-versatile laptop that delivers the goods. You’ll find it to be very user-friendly thanks to its flexible 2-in-1 design. We wish that it had more storage space out of the box, but there’s always an external option.
If you’re in college, you lead a busy life. Having a laptop that can keep up with your hectic schedule is essential. You need something that has plenty of speed and can multitask all your work and projects on the fly.
This is where the Acer Aspire 5 shines. It’s loaded with just the right specifications to help make your life a little easier. You’re likely juggling several tasks each and every day. This laptop works with speed and efficiency so you can better manage your assignments.
Do you often pull all-nighters? The Aspire 5 has you covered. It’s equipped with a handy backlit keyboard so you can clearly see what you’re typing into the late hours of the night. And when you finish with your work and just want to kick back and watch a movie, there’s a sharp and vibrant screen waiting for you.
You probably have to pack around quite a lot throughout the day. Acer makes it easy on you by delivering a lightweight unit that’s a breeze to carry. Everything you need to zip through your workload is right here in the Aspire 5. It’s the perfect companion for a busy life.
The only thing we didn’t care for was the way this laptop is built. Being so budget-friendly, it’s understandable that lesser-quality materials had to be used. But it’s definitely noticeable, as parts of it just feel a little too plastic.
From spreadsheets to internet use to playing music, Acer’s Aspire 5 is just what you need for streamlining your college lifestyle. You will have plenty of connectivity at your fingertips thanks to HDMI, USB, and Wi-Fi.
Dell gives you both a laptop and a tablet with the Inspiron 14 2-in-1. This innovative unit boasts stunning video quality for your movie collection with its 1366 x 768 LED display. If you’re in need of versatility, you’ll find that and a whole lot more.
Unlike traditional laptops, the Inspiron 14’s monitor flips completely backward. This lets you use the keyboard like a kickstand so you can watch movies more freely. The image on the display automatically flips its orientation for easy viewing.
If you’re the type of person who likes to have movie night every night, you will fall in love with this laptop. It’s like having your own versatile theater with you at all times. Movies look great and the sound quality is fantastic.
If you’re wanting something that will let you easily browse the internet and stream movies, this is the way to do it. Its quick processing power makes short work of daily tasks and productivity, and it even does a decent job with gaming.
If you travel often, the Inspiron 4 is the perfect travel partner. It’s lightweight enough to pack around with you, and its flexibility makes it one of the most user-friendly laptops around.
Thanks to Windows 10 Home Edition, you’ll have no trouble managing your work and media. If you’re into gaming on the go, sync up a Bluetooth gamepad for total wireless freedom. There’s plenty of connectivity onboard, too.
You can run the Inspiron to your TV via HDMI, connect to Wi-Fi networks nearby, and upload media using its USB and SD card ports.
Are you tired of your outdated laptop letting you down? Does it seem like it takes forever to load the simplest of programs? Then it is high time you made the leap to a laptop with a solid state drive. Dell’s Inspiron 15 is one of the best bargains you’ll find. Its performance is very snappy and responsive.
There are tons of connectivity options built right in to make your life easier. Whether you need instant Wi-Fi, Bluetooth transfers, or gaming devices, Dell has you covered. We really admired the flexibility of this model.
It’s nice having the touchscreen capability. It works like a dream and is very accurate. We were able to switch back and forth without a hitch while we worked. There’s no pesky lag to get in the way, either. Everything we threw at it was handled like a champ.
You’re getting a truly remarkable deal with the Inspiron 15. It’s fast, highly-capable, and comes at a jaw-dropping price. It’s also built using quality materials that feel like they’re going to last. Nothing is cheap here, giving you just another reason why it’s worth every penny.
Windows 10 makes all the difference here. While it certainly has its detractors, it’s far and away one of the easiest operating systems around. Some will argue that it has limited features compared to past versions. That’s true, but if you’re looking for user-friendliness, you won’t find much better.
Combine that with the Inspiron 15’s lightning-fast response, and you’ve got yourself one impressive machine. And at just a little over 4 pounds, it’s easy to pack around with you wherever you go.
We have yet another “convertible” laptop, this one coming from Lenovo. We’ve been mighty impressed with Lenovo as of late. They consistently pump out top-tier products, whether cell phones, tablets, or computers.
Their Flex 14 is no different. As a matter of fact, we’d go so far as to say that this is one of their greatest achievements to date for the price. It’s a fuzz slower compared to Dell’s Inspiron 14 2-in-1, but don’t let that deter you from giving this one a look.
There’s plenty of power to make multitasking a breeze. Nothing feels sluggish, as its delivery is quick and snappy. You’ll have no issue streaming movies or taking care of your daily workload. It handles programs like Excel and MS Word without a hitch.
We absolutely love the display. Coming in at 1920 x 1080, images and video pop on the 14-inch monitor. The touchscreen works really well, which you’d expect from Lenovo. They excel in the mobile industry, so it’s nice – if not expected – to see that transition to their laptops.
Another mark of Lenovo’s expert craftsmanship is the stellar battery life. You can look forward to getting a solid 8 hours of use on a single charge. Charging is equally impressive. In just one hour, you can have the Flex 14’s battery back up to 80% full.
The body of the Flex 14 is tough and durable. This thing feels like it can take a beating. This is exactly what you want in a laptop. If you’re on the move quite often, you want a reliable unit that you don’t have to worry about getting bumped and banged into.
The high level of versatility shines through on the Flex 14, giving you a laptop that’s an absolute joy to use. As wonderful as the touchscreen display is, we would have liked it if Lenovo included a digital pen. Unfortunately, it’s a separate purchase.
Are you in need of a competent laptop that you can trust with your sensitive work files? Do you store a lot of personal information on clients? Then you need to give the ASUS VivoBook some serious consideration.
We put this laptop to the test to see how it handled various work-related programs and processes. To say we were impressed would be an understatement. Applications load in a snap, internet browsing is quicker than a hiccup, and streaming video is flawless.
But what really stands out here for business use is the excellent security in place. Thanks to Windows 10 Pro, the ASUS VivoBook protects your personal data and anything else you’re working on. And for even greater security, you can sign into the system using the built-in fingerprint scanner.
Although this laptop is really lightweight, it’s a workhorse that won’t let you down. It doesn’t look like any corners were cut in its construction, giving you a machine that’s tough and durable. If you want something you can count on to withstand daily commutes to the office, the VivoBook is a solid and safe bet.
We were also quite pleased with the battery life. It’s on par with premium laptops, clocking in at 8 hours on a full charge. You should be able to get your work finished without fear of running out of power.
Another big plus is that you get a full-size keyboard, complete with a number pad. The keys feel great and provide very good feedback when pressed.
Our only gripe is the display. It’s just not as sharp and vibrant as some of the other models we reviewed. But if you’re going to be using the VivoBook predominately for work purposes, you’ll likely never even notice.
Windows 10 Pro runs like a dream on the ASUS VivoBook. Thanks to a 2.4GHz processor and plenty of RAM, you’ll have no trouble multitasking your workload to fit your needs. Tack on exceptional battery life, and you’re looking at one impressive laptop.
Lenovo makes our top 10 once again. No surprise there. The Ideapad S340 is your best option for gaming on the go. Thanks to its 8th-generation Intel processor, games run quickly and smoothly.
Couple that with a solid state drive, and we can’t say enough about how well this one operates. The Ideapad was built for you to enjoy gaming without compromise. Graphics look stunning on the 15.6-inch, ultra-high definition monitor. And for good measure, the screen is anti-glare. You can enjoy your gaming on the bus or train without interference from lighting.
But if you’re gaming, you’re going to need great sound quality, too. Lenovo gives you exactly that with built-in Dolby audio. You get rich, theater sound that brings your games to life with stunning realism.
If you’re gaming during travel, you’ll likely be using headphones. The Ideapad makes it easy by giving you not just headphone input, but Bluetooth connectivity, as well. This lets you sync up your favorite wireless headset for cordless immersion into your gaming.
You get nice security features right out of the box for safe and private online interaction. There’s also a built-in camera system and onboard microphone for easy communication with your friends and family.
You get lots of connection options, like USB, HDMI, SD card, microphone, Wi-Fi, and more. You’ll have everything you need to game with freedom right at your fingertips.
If we had anything negative to say about the S340, it would be its battery life. It’s a bit of a hog when running really resource-hungry games. This is understandable, but it would have been nice if a little more juice was provided.
Setup is really snappy and straightforward. You will likely have to do some tweaking to get your favorite game running like you want it. But once you do, the S340 should handle it without issue. With so much connectivity at your disposal, you’ll never be shy on options.
Are you considering getting your first laptop? Or perhaps you’re wanting to break free from your big, boxy desktop computer. Then might we suggest HP’s Pavilion 15? For the price, you’ll get a solid performer that’s plenty capable.
While it’s not the most feature-rich of laptops, it certainly has enough to hold its own. If you’re not into heavy gaming or running powerful applications, we think you’ll find the Pavilion 15 to be quite adequate for your needs.
It plays movies wonderfully thanks to its vibrant display. It’s not the highest resolution available, but it still looks great on the 15.6-inch screen. If you’re new to laptops, you’ll love the touchscreen capabilities here.
Even better, music and sound quality are amazing coming from its built-in speakers. If you want to plug in your own sound system, there are ports available for that.
We were very pleased with the design and build of the Pavilion. Nothing feels cheap, with strong hinges and a sturdy body. It closes into a thin profile that’s easy to carry. At less than 4 pounds, you’ll find this laptop to be easy to transport.
Windows 10 Home runs things, giving you an easy and user-friendly experience. There’s lots of connection options to get you started. You’ll have plenty of ports for printers, external hard drives, and more.
The touchscreen display makes operation a piece of cake. It works well on Windows 10 Home, with processes and actions being quick and responsive. We wish there were a bit more storage available to the user. But you can always go with an external hard drive in a pinch.
Acer’s lightweight yet robust Swift 3 laptop is quite the enigma. It sports some truly incredible power that makes it a nice option for those looking to replace their PC. Its processor power can run circles around a lot of machines.
It has a solid state drive that makes switching applications lightning-fast. Multitasking is a thing of beauty; you can run several browser windows at once without seeing a single bit of slow down.
Running Windows 10 Home Edition, you can do all the everyday tasks from the Swift 3 that you’d normally do on your PC. It boasts some really impressive horsepower that never lags behind. Spreadsheets, media, and browsing are all handled with ease.
You’ll find your productivity skyrocketing thanks to the high level of performance that the Swift 3 delivers. It’s all wrapped in a finely-crafted shell that feels sturdy and durable.
We were blown away by the graphics on this machine. The display is crystal-clear, playing movies and other media with vibrancy and clarity.
Battery life is absolutely phenomenal on the Swift 3. You can expect to get around 11 hours on a single charge. You can finally break free from the clunky wires of your desktop PC for total freedom.
With Windows 10 Home and its speedy performance, you’ll find the Swift 3 to be an enjoyable experience. It is highly-accessible and easy to navigate. If you want to upgrade its RAM at some point, Acer built this machine to make it an easy process.
For all you artists out there, Microsoft’s Surface Go is the ultimate laptop. It specializes in having an extremely versatile display. You can use the included digital pen to make some truly incredible art projects.
The 10-inch screen isn’t the biggest out there, but the high resolution makes anything displayed come alive. Whether you want this for writing, drawing, or making other media, you will find it to be very easy and user-friendly.
We love the responsiveness of the Surface Go. Everything just clicks with it. It is rather limited in terms of what you can use it for. But for what it was intended, you can’t beat it.
It runs Windows 10 Home S Mode, so you’re getting some limitations there right off the bat. You can only download and install apps from the Windows Store. The idea here is to make Windows run more streamlined and securely.
But again, when using this for its artistry capabilities, the Surface Go works like no other. The digital pen opens up a whole new realm of options and features that you won’t find otherwise. Coupled with its stunning display, you’ll never create art the same way again.
It’s important to note that this laptop isn’t very powerful. You certainly won’t want it for gaming or mass multitasking purposes. Just remember, that isn’t what it was designed for. This is the machine for those who like to create masterful art pieces. For that, Microsoft’s Surface Go is the best in the biz.
Using the Surface Go with the digital pen has to be experienced to truly appreciate. It’s a genius invention that goes a long way in providing you with unlimited capabilities. The responsive touchscreen display works in tandem with the pen to deliver one of the richest user experiences you’ll ever have to date.
There are some important factors you want to think about before plunking down your cold, hard cash. When you look at the specifications of potential laptops, it’s easy to become dizzy trying to understand all the terminology.
We’re going to help you by covering what matters most. There are only so many things you need to seriously consider. By focusing on the following words, you’ll have an easier time narrowing down the right laptop for your needs.
During your quest to find the perfect laptop, you are likely to come across a lot of acronyms. When you see storage specifications, a couple of those acronyms will be either HDD or SSD. The biggest difference between the two is their internal components.
An HDD storage device has a lot of moving parts inside. It uses a magnetic tape and mechanical components. An SSD, on the other hand, has neither of those.
Beneficially, an SSD will typically deliver faster performance. Programs and applications are often a lot snappier in their execution.
Look at that. There’s another one of those pesky acronyms. Basically, the more RAM a system has, the faster it will perform. RAM is often easily upgradeable since most users need to expand it sooner or later.
The more intensive programs and games that are run, the more RAM your system will need. If you see a laptop with 8GB of RAM at the ready, you’re in good shape. But that’s not to say 4GB is bad. You’ll likely see many models with 4, but depending on your needs, this may be more than enough.
A laptop’s CPU is another component that plays a big role in how smoothly it operates. When looking at each model’s specifications, you’ll come across terms like Intel i3, i5, i7, and so on. Most of the units we reviewed use Intel’s i5 processor.
This is important, as you can expect to pay a lot more for anything above an i5. That being said, i5 processors are quite speedy and hold up rather well. It’s best to avoid anything less than an i3, but depending on your use, that may be all you need.
What kind of graphics card a laptop has isn’t going to be all that important unless you’re a gamer. If movies are the most intensive thing you’re doing on your laptop, you can ignore this. If gaming is your thing, look for anything from NVIDIA GeForce.
Laptops used to be notorious for being difficult to upgrade. Reason being, they simply don’t have much room to work with once inside. For obvious reasons, all of their inner components are crammed and crowded together.
However, manufacturers have made them a lot more accessible in recent years. Many of them have designated hatches that remove to reveal common upgradeable components, like RAM. Most brands make this relatively easy nowadays. Unless it’s an Apple product, like a MacBook Pro. In which case, you’re out of luck.
This largely depends on what type of work you do. Are you going to need to have your laptop free and away from power receptacles for a long time throughout the day? If so, you want a laptop with at least 8 hours of battery life.
To be on the safe side, though, you’d be better off going for one with 10 or 11 hours. Battery life can fluctuate greatly depending on what you’re using it for. If you’re away from the office and decide to watch some YouTube on your lunch break, those 11 hours can quickly turn into 7.
You probably noticed that we reviewed a few touchscreen-capable laptops. While they sure sound cool – and they are – it’s important to understand that using them can drain your battery even faster.
It’s important that you weigh your needs first. You will then be prepared to make the best decision leading to your purchase.