Showdown: What’s the Best Notebook Under $600?

They don’t look like budget notebooks. And they don’t perform like them either. We gathered the best 14- and 15-inch laptops we could find under $600 to find out which one offers the best bang for your buck. These machines sport sleeker designs than their predecessors, many with stylish patterns or even a brushed metal look. It gets better. Under the hood in most cases you’ll find the latest Intel Core i3 processor, which boasts four threads of multitasking power. Plus, most of these laptops can easily handle HD video and play mainstream games like World of Warcraft above 30 frames per second.

In other words, a future proof laptop has never been cheaper. Click through the slideshow to find the budget notebook that’s best for you.

Mark Spoonauer
Mark Spoonauer
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
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  1. SmidgenPC Says:

    I am surprised you decided on the Inspiron 14 over the Studio 14z. I know the Studio 14z hasn’t been given Core i3 processors yet, but the performance is still fine, and the 14z is a pretty slick piece of kit. Plus it has 9400M graphics, which is good if you like to play a game every now and then.

  2. Kukish Says:


  3. P Says:

    I think Gateway just won it for me…only because I got a floor model Gateway NV-Series Gateway for 5$599 instead of $749. It was in perfect condition and supposedly had only been on the display 2 weeks. Specs were 15.6″ Intel Core i3-330M 2.13GHz Laptop (NV5909H) – Black with a 640g HD as well as a dedicated 5000 level ATI Radeon with 1gb of dedicated graphics memory to complement the 4GB DDR3 Ram.

    So my advice to others is if you see a machine a little above your price range don’t be afraid to ask about floor models or open box returns that are in mint condition, with the same warranty etc… except 100-200 cheaper.

  4. Austin Says:

    I have been looking for a labtop that would play WOW really good my price range is 600 – 500 and also for surfing the web I would like it to be a newer labtop I don’t really care if it’s used.
    in mint condition

  5. Lucas Anthony@upgrading laptop processors Says:

    it suits my budget! what’s it’s latest price? i don’t care if it’s cheap what I’m after is the performance of the laptop.

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