Gone are the days when you needed to have a high budget in order to purchase a competent laptop. Thanks to the consistent advancement in technology, you can now get some of the best laptops on the market for less than $600. Many of these laptops are suitable for a wide range of industries, including graphic design, programming, video editing, writing, gaming, and more. We’ve reviewed ten of the best budget laptops under $600 below.
These computers are all-purpose laptops that can handle multiple tasks at once. While they may lack some of the features of higher-end laptops, rest assured that you’re going to love the performance of the laptops we’ve selected below, especially if you’re on a budget.
Quick Look: Best Laptop under $600
- ASUS VivoBook 15 Intel i3-1005G1 Laptop
- Acer Swift 3 AMD Ryzen 7 Laptop
- ASUS VivoBook L203MA Laptop
- Lenovo AMD Ryzen 5 IdeaPad 3
- Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop
- Lenovo Flex 5 2-in-1 Laptop
- HP i5-1035G1 FHD Laptop
- Surface Go2
- HP Business and Student Laptop
- Dell Inspiron 15 3000 PC Laptop
However, before we dive into the product review, we’d like to provide you with some insights on some of the elements to consider before choosing a budget laptop. Keeping these factors in mind will help you determine what’s best for you and the activity or work you want to use your machine for. With that said, let’s get into it:
Factors To Consider Before Choosing a Laptop Under $600
Size and Form Factor
Size is one of the most important but yet overlooked factors to consider when buying a laptop. Unlike ROM, RAM, and processors that can be changed, the size of your laptop is an element you’re forever stuck with. And since it’s not upgradeable, it’s best that you carefully consider what you want before doling out your cash. Laptops come in a wide variety of sizes, ranging from 11.6 inches up to 17.3 inches.
For most students, writers, and travelers, portability is the goal. You can simply choose a laptop that sits in the 11.6 to 14 inches range and ensure that the weight is between 1kg and 2.5kg. Gamers, engineers, programmers, video editors, and other people who would love to have a larger screen to work with and aren’t concerned about portability can go on to choose larger laptops.
Another important determinant of screen quality is your laptop’s screen resolution. Even if you’re on a budget, ensure that the minimum display resolution your laptop comes with is 1920 x 1080, otherwise known as Full HD. This display allows you to keep things in view, unlike lower resolution laptops. If you’re not on a budget, it’s best to go for laptops with higher-end resolutions, such as 4K and 8K. While computers with high resolution are quite expensive, they are surely worth the extra splurge.
Most entry-level notebooks feature Core i3 processors, while most mainstream or mid-range laptops come with Intel Core i5 processors. Intel’s Core i7 processors are usually embedded in high-performance laptops, however, they often generate heat, causing the base of the machine to become hot. AMD is another brand that offers great processors. Their Ryzen Mobile chips are often found in gaming laptops and since the CPUs are usually paired with the brand’s Vega GPUs, computers running on these processors are often some of the best for gaming and video editing tasks.
Some years ago, most users would have been content with having just 4 gigs of RAM on their computers. However, apps, software, games, operating systems, etc. have undergone some upgrades and it won’t be long before you start thinking about upgrading your RAM. That’s why you should ensure that you buy a laptop with at least 8GB of RAM when looking for a budget computer under $600.
A laptop with 8GB DDR4 RAM would be great for any casual user. Gamers should consider getting up to 32 GB of RAM while power users, such as programmers, video editors, etc. should settle for 16GB of RAM or higher.
When searching through the list of best laptops under $600, ensure that you choose one with an SSD storage unit. Solid state drives (SSD) are known to have faster read and write speeds than the older hard disk drive (HDD) units. Many of the laptops in the $600 come with a storage capacity between 128GB to 512GB.
Your computer’s battery is another factor you want to consider. If you are a student or a professional, you want to ensure that the under $600 laptop you choose can provide you with at least 7 hours of juice. Battery is often dependent on usage so ensure that you check out real user reviews instead of believing what the manufacturer says.
Most laptops under $600 come with Intel’s standard GPU, Intel UHD Graphics. Laptops featuring AMD’s processors are often endowed with the brands Ryzen mobile GPUs. While these GPUs may help your laptop display content properly, they usually aren’t the best for gaming. However, under $600 laptops with AMD processors and graphics are usually able to handle light games.
The operating system utilized by most laptops under $600 is Microsoft’s Windows 10 S. This OS provides enhanced security by allowing you to download apps from the Windows store only. You won’t be able to download anything from the Internet.
However, for those who don’t find this OS to be convenient, you can simply upgrade to a more versatile version of Windows, including Windows 10 Home, Enterprise, or Professional, for free. Now that you know some of the top factors to consider when choosing the best laptop under $600, let’s dive into the product review.
1. ASUS VivoBook 15 Intel i3-1005G1 Laptop
Ergonomic and Sleek Design
Founded in 1989, ASUS is a Taiwanese brand that has grown to become one of the leading contenders in the computing market. The VivoBook 15 Intel i3-1005G1 Laptop is one that shows how far they've come. This laptop is a 15.6-inch computer with a FullHD 1920 x 1080 display. It features a 88% screen to body ratio thanks to the small bezels it's endowed with. Inside the laptop sits a 10th gen Intel Core i3 processor, 8gb DDR4 RAM, and 128 GB solid-state drive.
You also get to enjoy an ergonomic backlit keyboard as well as a fingerprint sensor that works with Windows Hello and helps enhance your machine's security. The ASUS VivoBook 15 features multiple ports for better functionality, including a USB Type C port, USB 2.0, USB Type A, Ethernet port, and an HDMI port. You get Windows 10 S right out of the box. While you won't be able to use apps outside the Windows store, you get to enjoy better security and simplicity.
However, if you don't like it, you can switch to Windows 10 Pro, Home, or Enterprise at no extra cost. With that said, the Full HD display quality on this 15.6-inch laptop isn't the best and the viewing angles aren't decent either. It's not one of the best laptops for playing games, and the speakers are far from being top-tier.
If a good keyboard, responsive touchpad, elegance, and simplicity are what you're looking for in a budget laptop, the VivoBook 15 is one of the best you can choose. However, if you plan to play games or carry out graphics-intensive tasks, this isn't ideal 15.6-inch the laptop for you.
2. Acer Swift 3 AMD Ryzen 7 Laptop
Great Value For Money
Acer is another Taiwanese brand that provides users with beautiful and well-made computers. A good example of their products is the Acer Swift 3 AMD Ryzen 7 Laptop. Sitting in the $600 price range, this laptop offers great value for the price. It comes with AMD's Ryzen 7 4700U Octa-core processor that allows your machine to go up to 4.1 GHz. This processor is paired with AMD Radeon graphics, 512 PCIe SSD storage, and 8GB DDR4 RAM. Unlike the ASUS VivoBook above, the Acer Swift 3 comes with a 14-inch 1920 x 1080 display with a 16:9 aspect ratio.
The overall build quality is top-notch and thanks to the Ryzen 7 processor, this laptop is easily one of the fastest laptops in the $600 range. This makes it a great option for coding, video editing, and some light gaming. The Full HD 14-inch Acer Swift 3 also features a fingerprint reader as well as a backlit keyboard. You get to enjoy an HD webcam with a 1280 x 720 resolution. Ports embedded into this machine include a Display port over USB Type C, USB 3.2, USB Type C, USB 2.0, and HDMI ports.
The battery here is even better than what you get on the ASUS Vivobook as it offers up to 11.5 hours of battery life. However, this doesn't mean that the Acer Swift 3 is all smiles. It's a machine that tends to run hot, which may limit the performance of the processor. Also, the screen isn't the brightest even after calibration though it does offer better viewing angles than the ASUS VivoBook above.
With that said, if you're looking for a machine that offers incredible value for less than $600, this is one of the best laptops on a budget you can choose.
3. ASUS VivoBook L203MA Laptop
Best Mini Laptop
Already have a daily driver and would like to supplement it so as to finish your small tasks? If yes, then check out the ASUS VivoBook L2303MA Laptop. Designed with an 11.6-inch screen, this notebook features a touchscreen display and weighs just 2.2 lbs. It sits in the $280 price range, which is why the spec sheet isn't a feature-packed one. You get an Intel Celeron N4000 processor, a 1366 x 768 display, 64GB storage, and 4 gigs of RAM. Thanks to its small profile, low processing power, and subpar feature set, this touchscreen laptop is ideal for carrying out small tasks like writing, playing light games, researching the web, watching movies, etc.
The ASUS VivoBook L203MA runs on Windows 10 S just like it's sibling above. You can upgrade to other Windows 10 editions at no extra cost. While this laptop isn't ideal for heavy users, it's surely one of the best casual computersanyone can choose. The keyboard and touchpad are snappy, it features 10 hours of battery life, the eMMC drive is fast, the machine itself is pretty light, and the WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity options are both strong. Ultimately, if what you’re looking for is a laptop to supplement your daily driver, this is one of the best laptops for cheap you can buy.
4. Lenovo AMD Ryzen 5 IdeaPad 3
Best Laptop for Work and Light Gaming
Lenovo is a Chinese brand that offers some of the best mobile and computing devices on the market. The Lenovo AMD Ryzen 5 Ideapad 3 is one of the brand's mid-range devices offered at an incredibly cheap price. For a little above the $500 price point, you get a laptop designed with an all-plastic body, a 14-inch full HD 1920 x 1080 display, a textured keyboard, and a powerful processor. It also comes with AMD's Radeon Vega 8 GPU as well as a quick and efficient functionality that allows you to switch between high-performance and battery saving mode easily.
You get three USB ports, an HDMI port, and Bluetooth 4.1. This laptop also features 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD storage. However, even with the awesome specs featured on this laptop, there are some caveats that may make it unsuitable for some. First off, it is designed with a TN panel, which means that it doesn't offer the best viewing angles. Also, the screen isn't a touchscreen and the keyboard isn't backlit even though it offers a comfortable typing experience.
Additionally, the all-plastic shell may provide durability concerns, and Lenovo doesn't seem to be offering support for this 256GB SSD machine even though it features some great specs. There is little information about the device online and the brand doesn't have information about it on their website either.
However, all of these don't take away from the fact that the AMD Ryzen 5 powered laptop is one of the best computers under $600 you can spend your money on. If you're looking for a mid-range daily driver for work or light gaming, this 256GB SSD laptop is one of the best you can choose.
5. Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop
The Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop is another great piece of hardware worthy of being on the best laptops under $600 list. Sitting in the $300 price range, this laptop is one that could easily become your daily driver. It features the AMD Ryzen 3 3200U processor, which can be boosted to up to 3.5GHz. You also get 4 gigs of DDR4 memory and 128GB SSD storage. There are some extra slots in the Acer Aspire 5 to add more RAM and storage, which means that you can extend both to suit your daily needs.
While the Acer Aspire 5 isn't the best laptop for gaming, it still offers some decent performance if you're playing via Steam at the lowest settings. The Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop comes with a 15.6-inch 1920 x 1080 Full HD display. It features a LED-backlit screen designed with an IPS panel. The Vega 3 graphics card allows you to run some editing software and light gaming though you won't get the kind of performance high-end computers offer.
Build quality on the Acer Aspire 5 is awesome and thanks to the host of ports, you get to enjoy better connectivity too. The screen quality here is great too which makes the viewing angles on this laptop awesome plus the speakers are actually enjoyable. Lightweight, inexpensive, easy to use, and highly functional, the Acer Aspire 5 is surely one of the best laptops under $600 you can get.
6. Lenovo Flex 5 2-in-1 Laptop
Best 2-in-1 Laptop
Whether you're a student, work in an office, or from home, or you simply want a versatile and flexible laptop, the Lenovo Flex 5 2-in-1 Laptop should be your goto machine. Staying a little shy off of the $600 price point, this laptop is thin, stylish, and lightweight. Weighing less than four pounds and having a thickness of just 0.82 inches, this laptop is one of the thinnest and most comfortable laptops you can use. The build quality of this laptop is top-notch. You get a rubberized keyboard deck and a premium finish that just complements the laptop.
This computer is powered with the AMD Ryzen 5 4500U processor and features the Radeon Vega 6 as its graphics card. You get 16 gigs of RAM straight out of the box and 256GB SSD storage to ensure that you don't run out of space easily. The hinges of the Lenovo Flex 5 2-in-1 Laptop are solidly built so you don't have to worry about them snapping off. You can easily open the computer with one hand and it won't start to tilt until it's almost flat. Thanks to the 2-in-1 design, you can use this laptop as a tablet as well as a laptop.
It also comes with a stylus to help enhance your productivity. The 14-inch 1920 x1080 Full HD display provides great viewing angles thanks to the IPS panel it's built with. And since the battery life can last up to 10 hours, you get to work and play without worrying about power. Unlike the Lenovo Ideapad 3 above, this 256GB SSD laptop features a backlit keyboard as well as a quick-charge functionality that brings your battery to 80% in one hour.
7. HP i5-1035G1 FHD Laptop
Great Battery Life and Touchscreen
Hewlett Packard (HP) is a giant in the computing industry. The brand is one that offers incredible budget and high-end machines. A look at the HP i5-1035G1 FHD Laptop's specifications and you'll know you're definitely getting one of the best laptops under $600. Featuring a metallic build and a micro-edge bezel design, this 15-inch laptop is portable and incredibly thin. You get a 15.6-inch anti-glare full HD display with 1920 x 1080 resolution. This laptop is home to a 10th generation Intel Core i5-1035G1 processor that can be boosted to up to 3.6GHz via the Intel Turbo Boost Technology.
Thanks to the 256GB SSD and 8GB DDR4 RAM, booting your laptop will be pretty snappy. The battery life can last up to 10 hours and you can get up to 50% power from zero levels in just 45 minutes. The HP i5-1035G1 also comes with some extra features that make it one of the best Core i5 computers under $600. It features BIOS recovery and protection, a feature that helps diagnose the health of your laptop, secures it from unauthorized access, does self-recovery when it encounters booting issues, and also secures your local storage. There are caveats with this laptop though.
The fans on this 15.6-inch laptop are quite noisy and can be a little distracting. Also, the wrist rest isn't very comfortable, which can be a deal-breaker for those who sit at their laptops for long hours. Additionally, the screen on this 256GB SSD laptop feels like it's matte and it doesn't offer the best viewing angles too.
8. Surface Go2
Best Portable Laptop
A list of the best laptops under $600 would be incomplete without the addition of Microsoft's Surface Go 2. This is a notebook dedicated to students and professionals who love to work on the go. It's a laptop that promotes flexibility, ease of use, security, portability, and connectivity. This computer is a 10.5-inch laptop with up to 10 hours of battery life. Weighing just 1.2 pounds without the detachable keyboard, this laptop can also be used as a tablet, allowing you premium flexibility. Whether you want to browse, shop, work or do your homework, the Surface GO 2 is one device that allows you to transition between all these with so much ease.
It also features a pen-touch screen just like the Lenovo Flex 5 Laptop above. This allows you to take notes or turn your laptop into a studio by using the brand's stylus pen. There's a built-in kickstand at the back of the laptop that makes it easy to sketch, draw, or illustrate your designs. You can even purchase other accessories like the Surface wireless mouse, keyboard, and stylus to make your work more convenient. Endowed with an 8th generation Intel Core m3 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 128 GB SSD, this Microsoft laptop should be at the top of your list if you'd love to keep it simple by working and playing one device.
9. HP Business and Student Laptop
Best Budget Business and Student Laptop
Students and professionals who are on a tight budget but would still love to have a great laptop under $600 should consider taking a look at the HP Business and Student Laptop. It is a 14-inch business laptop with a 1366 x 768 HD resolution. The screen is a WLED-backlit display designed with anti-glare and micro-edge technology. This laptop comes with enough power to carry out day-to-day tasks. And thanks to its 10-hour battery, users can attend online business meetings or classes and still have enough power to watch movies on Netflix in the evening or carry out their homework.
The HP Business and Student Laptop is designed with AMD's Athlon Mobile Processor as well as Radeon Graphics. It runs pretty well thanks to its 4 gigs of RAM and 128GB SSD. This can easily be the best laptop buy you've made if you're on a tight budget. While the viewing angles aren't the best, they are decent for a laptop in the $400 price range.
You get Windows 10 S mode straight out of the box, however, this is not a problem as it can be upgraded for free. All in all, if you're a student or professional looking for the best laptop on a budget or a laptop that's lightweight and easy to carry around while providing enough viewing space, this is one laptop you can consider.
10. Dell Inspiron 15 3000 PC Laptop
Best Rugged Laptop
Dell is another computer giant many people have come to trust over the years. The brand offers stylish, rugged, and well-made computers that provide consumers with great user experience. Just like the HP above, the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 PC Laptop is another good laptop under $600. It sits in the $400 price range and features a 15.6-inch 1366 x 768 HD backlit-LED display designed with anti-glare technology. Powered by an Intel Dual Core 4205U processor, this laptop uses a 1TB HDD Dual Drive as its storage option. It uses an Intel UHD Graphics 610 card as its video card and comes with a host of ports that makes connectivity a breeze.
With all of that said, it's important to note that this laptop isn't the fastest you can get at the $400 price range. While the storage capacity on the Dell Inspiron 15 is more than what you get on the HP Business and Student laptop, it's a hard disk drive (HDD), which is slower than the SSD featured on the latter. Also, while its screen is larger than the HP's, the screen technology on the HP is better.
Both devices feature 4GB DDR4 RAM, but the HP's processor is faster than what's embedded on the Dell Inspiron. All in all, if you want higher storage space, a rugged design, and a bigger screen size, then the 15.6-inch Dell Inspiron 15 3000 Laptop should be your choice. However, if you're more concerned about speed, a better display, and higher performance, the HP Business, and Student Laptop should be your choice.
Choosing the best laptop below $600 depends on your preference and what you’re looking to use the device for. We’ve reviewed ten of the best products on the market and we’re certain that there’s one to match everyone’s preference. Whether you’re looking for a portable device, a 2-in-one laptop, a “Netflix and chill” computer, or a multi-purpose device, you’re bound to find an ideal product in our review above.
And to make things even better for you, we’ve included an informative guide to help you understand what to look out for when choosing the best laptop below $600.