In this section, we venture a look into the best laptops under $600. This falls around the average price you’ll find a lot of people getting their notebook computers.
The reason being, they carry enough speed and performance to handle all your computing needs plus offer you a bit of excess in terms of the ability enjoy better multimedia entertainment like music, HD video and some more advanced video games.
At around this price range, you’ll have machines that come with large storage capacities, ranging from 750 to 1000 gigabytes. Also, they have better CPUs and memory making the machine able to run more programs at the same time faster.
Lenovo IdeaPad Z580
For those in search of the best laptops under $600 that offer good reliability and the ability to withstand the day to day ruggedness of being carried around, Lenovo’s IdeaPad Z580 is a good option.
This particular model comes in a number of variations, some using a higher or lower processor, different memory and hard drive specifications and even additional dedicated graphics card for gaming.
For our budget however we are looking at an Intel Core i5 machine that includes a 1 terabyte hard disk and 6 gigabytes of RAM. It uses the integrated video card that comes with the CPU.
What we get in this device is a solidly built machine that has a simple metallic gray finish with a battery that can go up to 5 hours. It is ideal for students, professors and those in the corporate world who use their laptops mostly for productivity related tasks.
If you need to play video or watch animation the clear display offers little glare and good viewing angles making it easy to see every detail. It comes with a Dolby Theater sound system that takes up a whole strip above the chiclet keyboard.
Overall, this works well a work machine you can rely on when you need to get work done or do overtime sessions. It does not get hot and is relatively quiet even when multiple applications are open, though you’ll hear the fans whiz every now and then when you’re using a lot of resources.
Among the more popular brands among computer enthusiasts is Asus. It has built this reputation over the years due to the machines its build. Often, you won’t find too much issues with them and you’ll be able to go day to day worry free from fears of losing data or crashes.
Asus actually has a wide range of offerings ranging from the top of the line performance notebooks all the way to the tiny netbooks. In the middle, we have the A55A-AH51.
This comes in 5 different colors, including red, pink, blue, white and black. Not often do you see a lot of different shades being offered for laptops. Though Dell has what it calls skins, where you can stick on a skin with the design you want on your laptop.
This is a 15 inch notebook that weighs less than 6 pounds and around an inch thick. It is portable physically and comes with wireless capability and good battery life.
While on the move a few important features also help. It has a large hard drive, DVD reader/writer if you need to install any software or burn discs for presentations or marketing materials, and a number of USB ports for transferring files.
It comes with Windows 8 installed so you do get the latest operating system. Though this version of Windows is often a you either love it or hate it one.
HP Pavilion g7-2270us
For those more interested in the bigger 17 inch laptop, this HP Pavilion model is among the current best sellers because of its affordability. Priced just under $500, it is one of the best laptops for the money.
The g7-2270us also comes with a spacious 750 GB hard disk so you won’t need to rush over to your nearest computer store to get an external drive to fit your music and video collection. Thanks to the large screen however, this isn’t the smallest not the lightest notebook (6.5 lbs.).
Like the others in this review, this works well as an everyday computing machine. You have 3 USB ports, DVD burner, Bluetooth connector and webcam. These make it useful specially if you need to get a lot of different things done.
The keys is soft and have a good bounce to them so if you need to do a lot of typing like a student would for term papers or research for your job, it isn’t going to be troublesome like some other laptop keyboards can sometimes be. It does come with a number keypad on the right side of the typing area, which may be a good or bad thing depending on your needs.
Because while it does make entering figures into your spreadsheet or accounting application much easier, it does also shift most of keys and the track pad to the left a few spaces. This may take a bit of adjustment for some people.
Dell Inspiron i17R-1316sLV
If you need a bit more power and space on your 17 inch notebook computer, this Dell offering comes with an Intel Core i5 processor, 6 gigabytes of RAM, and 1 TB (1000 gigabytes) of hard disk storage. It does cost a bit more also.
Like the HP above, Dell often adds a lot of what people refer to as bloatware. These are programs that come already installed with the product when it is first delivered to you. While they may look like nice freebies, you’ll probably never use them and often slow down the system at boot up and eat up some memory.
Because this comes with 6 GB of memory, you probably won’t feel it, but it would be a good move to disable or install some or all of these to make your machine work more efficiently.
At this mid price level, this Dell Inspiron makes for a good reliable computer you can work and play on. Opening multiple browser tabs to read and interact on social networks or video chatting with loved ones on Skype are things that won’t be an issue with this.
Overall, this is a great affordable laptop that lets you enjoy movies on Netflix or YouTube better than the smaller notebooks will. It works well for less intensive computing tasks like writing, blogging, making PowerPoint presentations, web development and even some photo editing. But if you’re looking for a high end video production, animation and gaming machine, you’ll need to look at a higher price range.