Laptops have become a necessity in this global pandemic, where work, school, and business have become increasingly dependent on virtual meetings.
Even if you don’t care about virtual meetings, laptops have become the wiser choice for a wider range of people instead of desktops and PC towers which are a big hassle whereas laptops are much more manageable and portable.
In 2021, affordable laptops might seem unfeasible and not worth the money, but that is far from the truth. These are the best options for under $600.
Lenovo Chromebook Duet 2-In-1
The Lenovo IdeaPad Chromebook Duet is a starting level tablet on Chrome OS. Lenovo packs in a kickstand and keyboard with a touchpad. It can be used as a laptop, fully mobile, and portable as a tablet, or use the kickstand and stream and play media on it.
- It starts at $300 for the base model.
- It is a convertible 2-in-1 tablet/laptop
- Has a magnetic fabric-wrapped kickstand
- Adds Snap-on keyboard + touchpad
- Has a two-tone finish
- Has a 10.1-inch Full HD IPS LCD touchscreen display with 400 nits peak brightness and 70% NTSC color accuracy
- Is powered by MediaTekHelio P60T (12nm) which is a fairly low powered chip but is good for the battery life
- Contains 4GB LPDDR4X RAM + 64GB/128GB of fast storage. Since Chrome OS is a fairly light OS it won’t be needing a lot of storage in the first place and if you rely more on cloud storage then job your workflow won’t be disrupted
Lenovo IdeaPad 3
The Lenovo IdeaPad 3 costs under $500 ($430 to be exact). And is an excellent day-to-day performer. It offers performance similar to more expensive laptops and makes it a top contender among budget laptops.
This might be the best laptop for you if you are working with a tight budget and want a laptop that checks a lot of boxes, then the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 is for you.
- It has a full HD display when most Windows laptops in this price range would offer only 720p displays. The peak brightness of this display tops out at 250 nits which are fairly dim, especially in outdoor usage but is good for indoor usage.
- Has a comfortable keyboard, coupled with a responsive touchpad
- It uses AMD’s Ryzen 5 3500U processor
- Has 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, and AMD Radeon Vega 8 graphics. This is enough to run the included Windows 10 OS without any hiccups and can keep you powered throughout the day without slowing down.
- It is also decent for casual gaming at low to medium settings for short hours
- Has a runtime of 7 hours 31 minutes which is plentiful
Acer Aspire 5 Slim
Acer’s Aspire 5 Slim is a remarkable laptop considering its price. It starts at $400 for the Intel processor version or $350 for the AMD chip version of the laptop.
Like any other budget-friendly laptop, Acer puts most of its emphasis on good internal components and not on things like metal chassis or a brilliant high-res touchscreen.
You can also upgrade the RAM and storage manually which we see in fewer and fewer models. This adds a layer of security and future-proofing so you can extend the life cycle of the laptop.
- The 1080p IPS display panel has accurate color and brightness, it has good viewing angles. The matte finish helps in viewing in bright lighting conditions.
- Its base model comes configured with AMD Ryzen 3 3200U 3.52 GHz processor or comparable Intel CPU, 4GB DDR4 RAM, 128GB SSD storage, and AMD Radeon Vega 3 Mobile Graphics card
- For $100 more, you can get a 10th-gen Core i5, entry-level Nvidia MX250 discrete graphics card, and a 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD. This can be sufficient for different day-to-day tasks and low to medium-level setting gameplay.
HP 14 Inch Touchscreen
HP 14 Inch Touchscreen laptop is a nice business laptop with a nice price. It has a 14-inch responsive touchscreen. This laptop was not aimed at intensive gaming, as indicated by the touch screen inclusion, but designed for business and home use.
It is not as premium as any other enterprise-focused notebook like LG gram or Dell XPS, but won’t cost you 5 times more either. It starts at $455.
- It is powered by an AMD Ryzen 3 3200U 2.6 GHz Dual-Core Processor, 8GB RAM and 128GB SSD storage, and a very basic but still handy Vega 3 Graphics card
- The display is an LED backlight with 1366×768 HD screen resolution, which is still low to have an enjoyable media consumption experience.
- The drawback of this HP notebook is that it does not have a fingerprint scanner feature and the battery life could be better especially with a low-res display.
All these options suit everyone’s needs respectably and if you are shopping for under $600, you should probably keep your expectations in check especially gaming and photo and video editing.
However, these options won’t let you down if you just need a decent amount of productivity from your computer.