You can’t expect a $600 laptop to run CPU/GPU intensive tasks such as high-end gaming, video editing, or 3D modeling. However, if you’re looking for an affordable option that can perform the majority of your daily tasks without any lags, then you are at the right place. Because we researched, tested, and compared 31 different machines to help you find the perfect one for your needs.
Although this budget is quite popular among grad school and college students, due to the competitive pricing and razor thin margins from reputed brands, you can also find a lot of all-purpose laptops. It doesn’t matter what your computing needs are, If you’re looking for a medium-specs laptop, then this budget has many options to look after.
Like we mentioned in our $800 laptop guide, the trick when purchasing budget devices is to make sure that the device can do everything you’re buying it for. Also, you can’t expect a 600 dollar laptop to come with an Intel Core i7 processor. However, many models come with Intel Core i5 or equivalent AMD processor.
According to the common consensus and views of experts, you need to ascertain your requirements before choosing your laptop. For instance, if you are into productive tasks like digital content creation, graphic designing, etc., you must concentrate more on the processing components instead of being too fussy about the display. Moreover, if you travel a lot, mobility, battery life, and aesthetics should become priorities.
- Best Laptops Under $600 in 2021
- 1. Best Under $600: ASUS VivoBook 15
- 2. Best Runner Up: HP 15-DY1036NR
- 3. Best with Backlit Keyboard: Acer Aspire 5
- 4. Best Battery Life: Acer Swift 3
- 5. Best Under Budget: Lenovo IdeaPad S340
- 6. Best with Dual Storage: Dell Inspiron 15
- 7. Best Touch Supported: HP 15 DY
- 8. Best Ultrabook: Microsoft Surface Go
- Frequently Asked Questions
- The Verdict
Best Laptops Under $600 in 2021
|ASUS VivoBook 15|
|Acer Aspire 5|
|Acer Swift 3|
|Lenovo IdeaPad S340|
|Dell Inspiron 15|
|HP 15 DY|
|Microsoft Surface Go|
Our selections take the price value, specifications, design, battery backup, and even user reviews into account. It is important to note that sub-$600 is a pretty decent price point for purchasing laptops. Here are 8 of the best mid-range options that are extremely productive and come forth as all-purpose devices
1. Best Under $600: ASUS VivoBook 15
The new and improved ASUS VivoBook 15 is indeed one of the best work laptops you can get for under 600 dollars. Despite a light-weighted chassis, weighing merely 3.5 pounds and innovative design elements at the helm, Asus keeps the durability intact.
In terms of processing power, the 10th Gen Intel Core i5-1035G1 CPU is clocked at 1.1GHz and can reach up to 3.6GHz when Turbo processing is required. The said chipset works in tandem with 8GB of DDR4 RAM. These components, in unison, make sure that the device doesn’t encounter any form of lag. In terms of storage support, ASUS offers a 512GB Solid State Drive, which also speeds up the booting process.
We get a Full HD screen with 1920 x 1080 pixels to account for in terms of display. The 15.6-inch panel is broad and features the innovative NanoEdge structural attribute.
This laptop brings forth an excellent screen-to-body ratio with slimmer bezels on display. Moreover, the Windows 10 Home Edition is a standard addition that comes with innovative features like the Edge Browser, Start menu, and a complimentary upgrade to the Pro version.
The Intel integrated GPU makes the visuals come to life and even prepares the device for casual gaming and advanced productivity tasks.
The existing batter offers a steady backup of almost 8 hours upon medium to heavy usage. Other innovative attributes include a decent collection of USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports for increased productivity. Asus also offers an integrated fingerprint reader for additional security followed by Bluetooth support and a backlit keyboard that supports optimal typing performances.
- Excellent display panel
- Market moving processing power
- Fingerprint reader for security
- Backlit keyboard
- Dependable storage module
- No optical drive
2. Best Runner Up: HP 15-DY1036NR
One amongst the host of HP’s ventures’ into the market of mid-range products. With HP 15-DY1036NR laptop, HP hits the sweet spot with a perfect mix of features, performance, and cost-efficiency. An 8GB Random access memory and an adequate SSD based storage offer an optimal platform for a powerful 10th Gen i5 processor to grind out the day-to-day chores without much hassle.
The HP-15 has a tenth-generation i5 Quad-core processor (Intel Core i5-1035G1) operating at a base clock speed of 1GHz. The trademark turbo boost enables the processor to ramp up to 3.6GHz, giving it a substantial performance push. The integrated Intel UHD Graphics processor can handle photo editing, lightweight games (SIMS, Faster than light, Football Manager, etc.), content writing, programming, live streaming, and web browsing.
An 8GB DDR4-2666 SDRAM is not upgradable, yet it offers adequate speed to operate. Faster boot-ups, quick file transfers are a guarantee with the 256GB PCIe SSD. Pampered by spacious HDD’s, a 256GB might sound inadequate. But the recent transition to OTT’s platform saves a lot of space, which would have otherwise been taken up by the multimedia. The laptop comes with a 64-bit Windows 10 Home edition.
The laptop employs an In-Plane Switching, full HD, White LED-backlit display measuring 15.6-inch diagonally with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, bringing the best out of your entertainment indoors. Micro-edge bezels give extra room to the anti-glare screen and keep the visuals crisp at multiple viewing angles.
The keyboard of HP 15 is a standard full-sized with a numeric keypad. The keys are solid and flat with sufficient key-travel to keep long typing hours comfortable. While it’s not a deal-breaker, one should be wary of a wider touchpad, which leaves more room for accidental palm tracking.
At 3.5 pounds, the laptop is lightweight and sleek with a smooth silver finish. The absence of optical drives gives space for three USB ports (one USB 3.1 Type-C and two USB 3.1 Type A), an HDMI port, a 3.5mm audio jack, and an SD card reader. The laptop supports Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5 for high-speed data transfers.
HP 15-dy1036nr comes with a three-cell, 41Wh battery which boasts a backup of 10 hours, which would leave enough juice for long flights and work/college hours. Optimal usage without high brightness helps you get the best out of the battery. The HP laptop brings an all-around performance with a powerful processor, an 8GB RAM (latest gen) with an ultra-fast SSD in a simple yet elegant design, all under a $600 price tag.
- Wi-Fi 6 support
- Sleek design
- Long battery backup
- HP Fast Charge
- Sufficient ports
- No backlit keyboard
- RAM not expandable
3. Best with Backlit Keyboard: Acer Aspire 5
Whether you are a business owner who needs a laptop for managing a business or is a college student pursuing fields of studies, such as Accounting, Engineering, Computer Science, Medical, Art, Law, etc., this $600 machine has everything you’ll need.
Acer continues to rule the segment with yet another launch. The Acer Aspire 5 flaunts a slim yet premium metallic chassis. The aesthetic elements perfectly complement the aluminum top which is eye-pleasing. It weighs slightly less than 4 pounds and that’s why it is easy to carry around for both professional and personal endeavors.
The 15.6-inch Full HD IPS widescreen display, flaunting a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, makes room for exceptional color reproduction. The color Intelligence technology from Acer makes it vibrant and further improves the quality of the visuals. The BlueLightShield intuition from the company makes way for an Anti-glare and anti-strain viewing area.
In terms of processing power, the 10th gen Intel-powered chipset is a revolutionary addition. The i5-1035G1 chipset can turbo boost up to 3.6GHz clock speed which allows users to handle demanding professional tasks with ease. The Smart Cache support of 6MB also supports quicker access whereas the built-in 8GB RAM further bolsters the processing skills of the device.
In terms of storage, the 256GB PCIe SSD is a decent inclusion courtesy of faster data reading, writing, transferring, and device boot-up speeds.
Just so you know, PCIe SSDs are quite faster than SATA SSDs.
The integrated Intel UHD GPU also makes way for faster graphics and a decent user interface. Battery backup is up to 9 hours, which makes this mid-range device a perfect tool for handling power outages.
Other innovative specs include brilliant acoustics with the TrueHarmony tech followed by Wi-Fi 6 compatibility, resulting in the fastest possible wireless connections. Acer also packs in a responsive fingerprint reader and the much-anticipated backlit keyboard for optimal typing performances. Besides that, we also get a USB Type-C port and a host of other functional slots.
- Brilliant Display with innovative technologies from Acer.
- Powerful processor with a decent turbo clock speed.
- Ample cache memory.
- Exceptional battery life.
- Integrated fingerprint sensor.
- Added storage support would have been better.
- This laptop isn’t as light as it looks.
4. Best Battery Life: Acer Swift 3
The new and improved Acer Swift 3 flaunts an eye-pleasing, aluminum-clad chassis. What stands out is the sleekness of this device at 0.59-inch. The aesthetic laptop is extremely light at 3 pounds, making it the perfect choice for persistent travelers and homeschooling students. The all-metal aesthetic component looks premium and deserves all the accolades.
The 14-inch display at 1920 x 1080 pixels boasts of infectious clarity and the sharpest possible viewing angles. Moreover, the vibrant IPS panel also features the Color Intelligence technology from Acer, further complemented by the super-slim bezels. The pre-configured Windows 10 Home OS also bolsters the intuitiveness of the user interface.
Acer brings forth the Intel Core i5-8265U chipset which can clock at speeds up to 3.9GHz, to handle demanding computing tasks such as streaming on Twitch, running GIS software, and more. 8GB DDR4 RAM is also a decent addition and further accentuates the processing skills of the gadget. Graphics rendering is more than decent with the integrated Intel UHD GPU.
However, it is the 6MB cache memory that stands out and allows users to indulge in highly productive tasks that require the least possible access times. In terms of storage, we get a 256GB SSD unit which also supports faster boot-ups. Besides that, this device is capable of running non-stop for around 12 hours without requiring a battery recharge.
Other specs include excellent acoustic support courtesy of the ‘True Harmony’ technology. Acer also supplements a backlit keyboard, HD webcam (good enough for online schooling), and a decent collection of USB ports, including Type-C, 3.0, and more. The Gigabit Wi-Fi tech on display makes way for the fastest possible connections.
- Premium aesthetics
- Excellent display with sharp viewing angles
- More than adequate battery backup
- Performance-Oriented Chipset
- Decent collection of utilitarian ports
- Storage space feels inadequate for hardcore movie buffs
5. Best Under Budget: Lenovo IdeaPad S340
To start with, this, the Lenovo IdeaPad S340 is ideal for handling basic to mid-range productivity tasks and software in Microsoft Office. Most importantly, the aesthetics elements associated with this laptop are carefully selected which makes this a light-weight rendition at a mere 3.96 pounds.
The processing requirements concerning basic to advanced tasks are fulfilled with ease, courtesy of the Intel Core i5-8265U processor and 8 gigs of RAM. 6MB of smart cache memory is a sizeable addition whereas the integrated Intel GPU assists in decent graphics rendering and excellent visual reproduction. In terms of storage, we get a restrictive yet fast 128GB SSD module.
Despite being a slim and feathery device, it doesn’t compromise a tad bit on the durability. Besides that, it is also an extremely portable laptop that is ideal for teens, teachers, doctors, and even professionals.
The 15.6-inch full HD display with 1920 x 1080 pixels at the helm is one of the brightest ones in the market. However, despite the mediocre pixel density, the anti-glare panel on this device steals the show. This addition makes it possible to indulge in extended periods of productivity without straining the eyes. The interface looks even better with Windows 10 Home edition on offer.
Battery backup on offer is a decent 8 hours whereas this device also brings forth a host of additional specs including the HD webcam and an array of digital microphones. In addition to that, we also get dual, 2W speakers on this device, flaunting the Dolby Audio technology. Most importantly, this device also features a decent collection of ports, despite the affordable price point.
- An excellent anti-glare panel that puts minimal strain on the eyes
- Decent processing performance
- Exceptional aesthetics
- Good battery life
- Underwhelming storage support
- Not the best display in the market
6. Best with Dual Storage: Dell Inspiron 15
Here is an innovative laptop from Dell that comes with exceptional design elements and a dual-storage configuration. With a thickness of less than an inch, the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 is one of the slimmest laptops under 600 dollars segment. Moreover, this laptop weighs a mere 4.03 pounds and can be carried around with considerable ease.
In terms of display, it features a 15.6-inch energy-efficient LED panel. This technology makes it possible for the buyers to save a lot of power and use it for long hours without a recharge. However, it is the availability of touch support for the existing price point that steals the show. The display resolution at 1366 x 768 doesn’t stand for the best color reproduction, but the viewing angles are still quite sharp.
The processing power is rendered by the 10th Gen Intel Core i3-1005G1 chipset which performs better as compared to the 7th gen i5 processor. With a turbo clock speed of 3.4GHz and 2MB of cache memory, the users can indulge in advanced productivity tasks, sans lags. The Intel UDH integrated GPU also supports casual gaming.
In terms of storage support, this is the first gadget on our list to flaunt dual units. We get a 128GB SSD module with quick boot-up support clubbed with a 1TB Hard disk drive. In terms of battery support, the device supports uninterrupted usage of up to 5 hours or even more, courtesy of the energy-efficient technology.
Other specs on-board include two Type-A slots for external connectivity. Lastly, the device offers Windows 10 OS S-edition, straight out of the box.
- Powerful chipset
- Responsive touch support
- Exceptional dual storage units
- Balanced aesthetics with the slimness of profile
- Mediocre battery backup
- Screen resolution is underwhelming
7. Best Touch Supported: HP 15 DY
Finally, HP jumps onto the bandwagon of touch responsive bandwagon, catering to the mid-range requirements of professionals and students. This HP laptop weighs a mere 3.75 pounds and one can carry this around with ease. Most importantly, the slimness of profile at 0.71-inch makes this a sought-after laptop in the sub-$600 segments.
In terms of display, HP packs in a 15.6-inch HD panel with a resolution of 1366×768 pixels. That said, the company also brings forth a 10-finger support, regarding multi-touch compatibility. The integrated UHD graphics support makes sure that the visuals are exemplary despite the underwhelming pixel density. In terms of OS, HP features Windows 10 Pro, straight out of the box.
When it comes to the processing requirements, the 10th Gen Intel Core i3-1005G1 SoC is a scene-stealer. While it works better as compared to the 7th gen i5 chipsets, the performance gets a significant boost with the turbo boost clock speeds of up to 3.4GHz. The device also features 8 gigs of built-in RAM followed by a 256GB PCIe solid-state storage unit, facilitating faster boot-ups.
The inclusion of PCIe technology makes sure that the SSD unit is perfect for storing and retrieving gaming applications and even for initiating daily backups.
The 41Wh battery unit allows professionals to work without interruptions for almost 8 hours. Besides that, HP also brings forth an extended array of additional specs, including Type-C and Type-A ports, powerful HD camera based on TrueVision technology, and support for reliable wireless connectivity.
- Highly responsive touch
- Fastest possible SSD storage drive
- Excellent processor despite being an i3 chipset
- Decent aesthetics
- Less than adequate battery backup
- Screen resolution could have been better
8. Best Ultrabook: Microsoft Surface Go
Probably the best-looking gadget on the list, the Microsoft Surface Go is a feature-packed hybrid that also raises the aesthetic bar. To start with, this device weighs a mere 1.15 lbs which makes it extremely easy to carry around. While the keyboard and stylus need to be purchased separately, the cumulative weight is still on the lower side. Moreover, this is an extremely slim device with a thickness of less than half-an-inch.
In terms of display, we get a 10-inch screen with an equivalent resolution of 1800 x 1200 pixels. The touch screen is extremely responsive and the PixelSense technology makes stylus usage an absolute charm. Besides that, Microsoft Surface Go also features Windows 10 OS in the power-saving S mode, with an on-way toggle switch to restore the gadget back to the Windows 10 Home version.
In terms of processing power, the Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y works adequately, courtesy of the base clock speed of 1.6GHz. Basic productivity tasks can be handled with ease courtesy of the powerful chipset and 8GB of built-in RAM support. In addition to that, Microsoft features an integrated Intel HD 615 GPU which makes sure that the visuals are enthralling and even casual gaming is possible.
When it comes to storage, the device features a fast 128GB SSD unit. Moving on, we get a sizeable battery that offers a backup of up to 9 hours, maybe an hour more with the S-Mode. Apart from that, the Surface Go also packs dual shooters, including an 8MP rear camera and a powerful 5MP front shooter.
Some of the additional specs include built-in speakers with Dolby audio support, a decent collection of ports, including Type-C, and a secure authentication system featuring Windows Hello.
- Awe-inspiring aesthetics
- Brilliant and bright display
- Decent processing power
- Hybrid form factor with dual shooters in play
- Decent battery for a smaller frame
- Microsoft could have offered additional storage space
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have already made up your mind about spending on 600 dollars, you must specifically look for decent processing power. If productivity and professional tasks are on your mind, you must at least look for an i5 processor and 8 GB RAM. In certain cases, we would recommend opting for a device with a bigger battery.
Most laptops listed above do not have a dedicated graphics card for gaming. However, the Acer Aspire 5 and even Asus VivoBook supports casual and lightweight gaming. To understand this better, if the device has Integrated Intel UHD 620 GPU or a better version, little bit gaming is possible. However, you must refrain from graphic-intensive games.
For academic usage, the requirements strictly boil down to decent RAM support and exceptional battery backup. Students usually need to handle massive data sets and RAM allows them to use the same sans occasional lags. Moreover, in case of power cuts, a decent battery backup allows students to finish assignments with ease.
If you already have a powerful processor and decent RAM support at the helm, you can opt for the static Hard Disk drive with storage somewhere in the ballpark of 1TB. However, SSD units make sure that the device boots-up quicker than you can even imagine. We would personally recommend a dual storage module, as found in Dell 15 3000.
If you are looking to indulge in basic professional tasks, including spreadsheet preparations, typing, and video calling, any laptop from the list is more than adequate. In most cases, these gadgets pack 8 gigs of RAM which support even the most advanced professional tasks.
If you are only interested in mobility and productive support on the go, hybrids, and convertibles can be considered. That said, if you are basically a desk adjacent individual, we would recommend a standard clamshell as you can get hold of additional features by compromising on mobility.
While making this list, we researched 61 laptops with various configurations, performed various benchmark tests on a few of them, and listed the top 10 best options under the sub-$600 price range.
The final choice is at your discretion. For instance, if you are only interested in battery backup and storage support, you can opt for the Acer Swift 3. However, if you are interested in a laptop that can be used for working from home or office, our personal favorite choice for that is the ASUS VivoBook 15.
That said, It isn’t wrong to state that purchasing a device depends entirely on your preferences and expectations. If you haven’t found the right one, try increasing your budget by $100 and check our list, which includes the best laptops under $700. After all, is there any point in purchasing a device that won’t perform the tasks you bought it for?
We also would like to keep this list updated by adding new articles. If we’ve missed any laptop that’s worth being added to the list, feel free to contact us or comment down below with the details.