With only three months left before the end of 2016, and out of a line-up of five laptops, is it still too early to declare the Acer Aspire E 15 the year’s best laptop below the price of $600?
Perhaps; but our call would hardly be earth shattering, considering the other interesting – some might even say explosive – events that have been taking place within the technology industry.
Who could, after all, forget the fiasco of the explosive Samsung Galaxy Note 7?
That distraction aside, it did not take much to convince us, after extensive research and testing, that the Aspire E 15 is an awe inspiring device, that is capable of holding its own, even against its more expensive counterparts.
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Table of Contents
How we chose the best laptop under $600
A number features informed our decision when choosing the best laptop under $600. It should be noted that, in this regard, all of the following specifications are instrumental in determining how much a laptop costs;
Our decision in this regard was informed by the fact that under normal circumstances, computers that have higher specifications and more features are expected to cost more than their counterparts.
We, therefore, had to look at how the price to features ratio played out in all of the laptops that were shortlisted. When coming up with the five best laptops so far this year that are being sold for under $600, we also looked at the feedback that has been provided by people who have already purchased the machines in question.
The five best laptops under $600
The most important consideration when choosing the best laptop under $600
From the feedback that we got, processor speed was considered to be the most important parameter when choosing the best laptop that is available for under $600.
This was of particular importance due to the fact that, in general, processors with faster clock speeds cost more, which means that the laptops in which they are to be found should be more expensive than their counterparts.
It should be noted however that while more clock speed is generally welcome when it comes to CPUs, the decision when buying ultimately rests on what an individual intends to use the laptop for.
People who are into graphics intensive gaming require laptops whose processors and graphics cards can supply the needed computing resources without stuttering.
Other considerations when choosing the best laptop under $600
There were other considerations, besides processor speed, during the selection of the best laptop that has been released so far this year and is priced below $600;
Those that have ever had the misfortune of having their batteries die while in the middle of something important (such as playing one’s favourite game or watching one’s favorite movie), will attest to the fact that time between charges is an important consideration when buying a laptop.
Battery life was thus a crucial determinant during this head to head comparison of the best laptops under $600.
It used to be that storage was one of the most important considerations for those who were on the market for new computers. External hard drives have since become so accessible that internal storage is no longer the deal breaker that it used to be.
However, for those that do not wish to be cluttered with external drives and cables, the issue of internal storage remains a big factor when buying a laptop. Considering that price was the major concern in this comparison, having to add to the available storage would likely add to the cost of buying a new laptop.
It is impossible to talk about laptops and desktops today without bringing up the issue of screen resolution. Often, the terms that are used include High Definition (HD), Full High Definition (FHD) and Standard Definition (SD).
The world has largely dispensed with Standard Definition, and all the laptops that were considered during this comparison come in one form of High Definition or the other.
Consumer sentiment during this in-depth analysis of the year’s best priced laptops that are being sold for below $600 showed that most people now expect their computers to be in HD. What’s more, there was an awareness that the Pixel Density (PPI) should be sufficient enough to make viewing as pleasurable as it can be.
Random Access Memory (RAM) is another feature that was considered when selecting 2018’s best laptop that costs below $600 dollars.
RAM plays an important role in ensuring the smooth and fast operation of a computer by storing information about the applications that are currently in use, so that they can be retrieved fast by the processor when they are needed.
Without it, the CPU would have to reach out to the Hard Drive, which would considerable slow down a computer.
Higher amounts of RAM, under most circumstances, translate into a faster laptop and a considerably lower battery usage, since more information is stored in the memory, thus reducing the work that the CPU has to do while retrieving the required data.
In general, computers that come with higher amounts of RAM cost more than their counterparts. That made RAM of importance when considering the best, low priced laptop thus far into the year. In recent times we have seen 8GB of RAM become standard in budget laptops.
The best laptop under $600
We chose the Acer Aspire E 15 as the year’s best laptop below $600, and it appears as if we were not the only ones who took note of its awe inspiring features. The E15 is currently the bestselling laptop on Amazon and has a nearly universal approval rating, based on user feedback.
One of the things that set this laptop apart is that it comes with a 256GB SSD hard drive. While this is considerable less than the 1TB that is to be found in the other laptops, the SSD gives the Acer Aspire E15 a huge advantage when it comes to performance speed. Solid state drives are at least 100 times faster than normal hard drives, making the Acer, by far, an exceptional laptop.
Aside from the SSD drive, the Acer comes with a 6th Generation Intel Core i5-6299U, which is clocked at up to 2.8GHz, and 8 GB of DDR4 Memory.
The DDR4 is one of the reasons why we crowned the Acer 2018’s best laptop below $600. It has several advantages over its DDR3 predecessors. These include less power consumption, a higher clock range and reduced latency.
One of the biggest selling points for the Aspire E15 is its amazing battery, which can go for up to 12 hours between charges. The SSD, which consumes far less power than normal hard drives, is credited for this drastic increase in battery life.
The four other best laptops below $600 that we tested
With an AMD Quad-Core A8-7410QC APU processor that is clocked at a speed of 2.2GHz and a projected battery life of 5 hours, this laptop definitely proved to be competitive in terms of power and performance.
That is despite the fact that AMD has, of late, been playing second fiddle to Intel, its more powerful competitor.
The 8 GB RAM is guaranteed to give users a flawless experience, while the 1TB hard drive offers more than enough storage to all but the most demanding of computing addicts.
This laptop clearly comes ready to tackle most of the challenges that will be thrown in its way, including all but the most graphics intensive games. For ordinary users, the machine is definitely more than enough.
Perhaps, one of the laptop’s biggest attractions is its 1366 x 768 HD, touchscreen. Having that option on the laptop is a real plus, considering that the Pavilion comes standard with Windows 10 (64 bit), an operation system that is fully optimised for touch.
Asus’s F555LA 15.6-Inch laptop offers a rich confluence between sleek design and stunning performance.
Performance wise, this laptop is capable of holding its own. That is hardly surprising, considering that it come standard with an Intel Core i7 2.40 GHz processor, that can be scaled up to 3.00 GHz with Turbo Boost Technology.
The F555LA’s performance is guaranteed by 8GB of DDR3L RAM and a Windows 10 Home (64-bit) operation system.
The one complaint that we got from users surrounds the keyboard, which takes a little getting used to.
Coming standard with a touchscreen display and an AMD-A10 processor that can be boosted up to 3.2 GHz, the Dell Inspiron 5000 Series 15.6” laptop is certainly eye catching.
The 1TB storage should be more than enough for the majority of users. The Inspiron also comes with a backlit keyboard, which is handy for those that use the machine in the dark.
Best of all, all the amazing features that have been crammed into this laptop come at a price that is below $600. This should prove to be a draw to many users, considering the fact that there are laptops out there that approach an eye watering price of $2000.
Lenovo has certainly come a long way since its acquisition of IBM’s PC business in 2005. In 2015, the Chinese and North Carolina headquartered company is reported to have sold more personal computers globally than any other company.
The ThinkPad Edge E560 15.6” laptop showcases the reasons Lenovo has been dominating the market for personal computers.
The machine comes with a 6th generation Core i5-6200U, which, performance wise; is capable of holding its own against the competition.
8 Gigabytes of RAM appear to have become standard in most of the best laptops that we looked at during this head to head comparison, and the ThinkPad does not disappoint.
Coupled with a fingerprint reader and a 500GB hard drive that is clocked at 7200RPM, the machine is fast enough for most day to day tasks.
The Acer Aspire E 15 is simply 2018’s best laptop under $600. It comes with a trendsetting battery, a fast SSD drive and a solid processor that is capable of standing to even the most rigorous of uses.
For the price, the E15 is well packaged and guaranteed to leave the competition in the dust. A screen resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels also brings out crystal clear videos and images.
There is also the NVIDIA GeForce 940 Graphics card, which makes the Acer suitable for both gaming and normal applications.
Acer’s Aspire E15 also comes with 1 USB 3.1 (Type C) port, 2 USB 3.0 Ports, 1 USB 2.0 Port and 1 HDMI Port that comes with HDCP support.
This combination of features makes this laptop, by far, the winner of our head to head comparison of the best laptops that can be found for less than $600 so far this year.
Best laptop under $600
Buying a laptop on a budget doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice specs. We look at five quality, budget laptops and crown one the best laptop under $600.