5 Best Business Laptops Under $600

best laptop under 600Trying to get a solid business laptop at an affordable price can be something of a challenge. A lot of people tend to believe they have to break the bank in order to get their hands on something durable, portable, and with a bit of power to go with it all. A lot of the times, they are actually right. But all it takes is some patience to sift through the junk.

That’s exactly what we did with this review. Below you will find our line up of the best business laptops money can buy. What’s more, none of these laptops will cost you more than $600.


The Best Business Laptop Under $600

#1 Acer Aspire E5-575G-53VG

Plenty Power for the Price

While users continue to sing praises about the Acer Aspire E5’s performance, don’t go thinking it doesn’t come with its limitations. That said, this bad boy packs plenty of power considering the asking price.

Its Intel Core i5 processor is the industry standard as far as mid-range laptops go. If you have made yourself familiar with laptops like the Dell Inspiron 7000 (2-in-1 model), or the Samsung Notebook 13 series then you know what you are in store for powerwise.

Let’s delve deeper into the specs and features of the Acer Aspire E 15.

Acer Aspire E 15 Build – Not Quite High End, But Not too Shabby

Not the sleekest of models, but users will be happy to find that the Acer Aspire E5 is slimmer than it appears in photos. This model is not aluminum like you will find with the Mac, nor is it as sturdy as the Dell XPS or Lenovo Thinkpad. Instead what you have here is black plastic; thankfully, it has a good grip, and doesn’t feel like a piece of junk.

RAM

What you get with this model is 1x8GB DDR4. The other slot is empty, so feel free to fit in another 8GB if you ever feel the need to. On a regular day, under regular computing circumstances, 8GB should work out just fine, though. I should also mention the 2GB of GDDR5 memory for graphics.

Let’s Talk Storage

If you are something of a techie then you know SSD makes a big difference as it relates to the speed of your machine. Whether its app load times or boot times. Now, consider that with the Acer Aspire E 15 you receive 256SSD. This is the kind of setup that will make you abandon regular hard drives altogether.

The Processor

The 6200U is a dual core, 4 thread CPU. Gaming laptops on the higher end pack the 6300HQ i5, but the 6200U will do fine under normal circumstances. It also consumes less power (significantly) which will make for a healthier battery.

What’s Happening with the Keyboard?

If you are anything like me then the typing experience a laptop offers will mean damn near everything to you. You’ll be happy to find that the Acer Aspire E 15’s keyboard doesn’t disappoint one bit.

The spacious keys are hardly shocking, considering how wide a laptop it is, even so they are most welcome. Users will appreciate the number pad on the right hand side of this bad boy.

Backlighting is a feature that many have contrived to leave missing from their laptops. I’m more than happy to announce that this not the case with the Acer Aspire E 15.

Let’s have a look at the specs:

Acer Aspire E 15 Specifications:

  • Screen Size – 15.6 inches
  • (Max) Screen Resolution – 1920 x 1080p
  • Processor – 2.3 Ghz Intel Core i5
  • RAM – 8 GB DDR4 -SDRAM
  • Product Dimensions – 15 x 10.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Average Battery Life – 12 hours
  • Item Weight – 5.3 pounds

Standout Features:

  • Includes backlighting
  • Fantastic keyboard with spacious keys
  • The Acer Aspire E 15 is a bit sleeker than users might first expect
  • Battery life is substantial

While this laptop is a great product, it’s only right we discuss the things people may not be as excited about. Let’s get into the negatives.

Acer Aspire E 15: Where they went Wrong

Little style, less grace

I mentioned that this model is slimmer than the pictures might have you thinking, that remains true. However, style and grace are not the E 15’s strong suit. Not by a long shot. This laptop is without a doubt a great option as a business laptop, but if you are a commuter who will be moving around quite a bit, you may want to consider another model. One that is more suitably built for your unpredictable work environment.

Display is not the best

Anyone who is ‘crazy’ about their display, whether it is photo quality, or streaming videos and games, won’t be excited about the Aspire E 15. Thanks to a washed-out display, photos and videos aren’t glowing with life by any means.

On the bright side (pun intended), this may not be so alarmingly obvious to a regular consumer. And while I pick up on these shortcomings, I’m not exactly head over heels for ultra bright settings and flamboyant images.


#2 Lenovo Thinkpad Edge E560

In a nutshell, the Lenovo Thinkpad Edge is ideal for small companies that require machines that can offer decent performance with great battery life. And the keyboard offers a comfortable typing experience. Naturally, this model does have its shortcomings like any other laptop. For instance, it doesn’t offer the level of durability some users might expect compared to some of its rivals.

That said, there are still major features that make the E560 a must have.

Design

All Thinkpad’s share the same design if nothing else. So if you have made yourself familiar with any other models, then you pretty much know what you are store for with the E560. Large, sleek enough, rectangle with rounded edges and made from black-plastic.

How this model differs is that it is only available in Lenovo’s trademark black.

The E560 flaunts a 15.6-inch 1080p screen, a comfortable keyboard with a number pad, a cherry-colored Trackpoint, and the touchpad boasts red accents on the buttons.  

While this laptop’s dimensions (14.8 x 10 x 1.1 inches), allow it to take up less space on a desk for instance, users should keep in mind that it is still a bit heavier than other 15-inch notebooks.

Ports Everywhere

If you are concerned about the E560 not having enough ports — don’t be. There is a port here for just about anything. On the left side, you will find an Ethernet jack, a lock slot, an HDMI port, two USB 3.0 ports, and a VGA port. The right side is for your headphone/mic jack, power jack, CD/DVD drive, and a USB 3.0 port. An SD card reader can be found on the bottom lip of the front of the laptop.

How Durable (and secure) is the Lenovo Thinkpad E560?

Earlier I briefly touched on what the E560 delivers in terms of durability. The keyboard is spill-resistant, but that isn’t much to talk about in the grand scheme of laptop designs.

 

As you have probably gathered, the Thinkpad E560 isn’t anything groundbreaking in terms of durability. There is no MIL-SPEC testing unlike some of its competitors, and even other Lenovo systems. This means you can’t protect your laptop against potential dangers like shocks, extreme temperatures or vibrations. Ironically, the Thinkpad 13 (a more affordable model) comes MIL-SPEC tested.

Display Disappoints

Don’t expect to be blown away by the E560’s display. Users find that they need to crank the brightness all the way up to catch particular details in videos. Of course, this won’t mean the end of the world for some people, especially if there are qualities you prioritize over every bit of detail you could possibly make note of in a film.

However, if display is important to your work then this is something you may want to consider more deeply.

Lenovo Thinkpad E560 Specifications:

  • Screen Size – 15.6 inches
  • Screen Resolution – 1366×768
  • Processor – 2.3 Ghz Intel Core i5
  • RAM – 8 GB SDRAM DDR3
  • Product Dimensions – 14.8 x 10 x 1.1 inches
  • Item Weight – 5.4 pounds

Standout Features:

  • Decent build
  • Comfortable keyboard (and spill resistant)
  • Features a port for everything
  • Solid battery life

Lenovo Thinkpad E560: Where they Went Wrong

  • No special durability features
  • Display isn’t spectacular by any means


#3 Acer Aspire S 13

A lot of manufacturers put effort into cloning the Mac in terms of design. The Aspire 13 takes a different route, sporting an obsidian-black color. That and its nano-imprint cover, help this laptop to stand out among its rivals. The Aspire 13 offers great battery life (up to 11 hours) depending on how you use it, and users receive up to 8 GB RAM. The latter being more than enough under regular circumstances.

Design

If there is one thing not pleasing to the eye when it comes to the Aspire 13 it would the be the plastic bezel around the 13-inch display. Aside from that, it’s all smooth sailing as far as aesthetics. All around the keyboard and wrist rest is made of aluminum. On the bottom there is rubber paint — nice and soft to the touch. I think many users will also appreciate the diamond-cut edges around the deck and touchpad.

Ports

The Aspire is rather slim, but that doesn’t hinder it from hosting all the ports users will need. On the left side, there is a USB 3.0 port, headphone/mic jack, and SD card slot. While on the right side we have the HDMI port, the power, a USB Type-C port and another USB 3.0 port.

Display

The Aspire S 13 hasn’t got the best display among its peers, but it is quite the superior to the Thinkpad E560, for example. The only setback I can think of offhand, is the viewing angles. They could be wider, as colors do tend to shift 35 degrees off-center.

Acer Aspire S 13 Specifications:

  • Screen Size – 13.3 inches
  • Screen Resolution – 1366×768
  • Processor – 2.3 Ghz Intel Core i5
  • RAM – 8 GB SDRAM DDR3
  • Product Dimensions – 12.9 x 9 x 0.6 inches
  • Item Weight – 2.9 pounds

Standout Features:

  • Great display: crisp visuals, rich details
  • Long battery life
  • At 2.9 pounds, the Aspire S 13 is great for commuting
  • I think the obsidian-black color is a good direction (model is also available in white)

Acer Aspire S 13: Where they went Wrong

  • Viewing angles could be wider


#4 HP Pavilion x360

You are not the only one in need of an affordable laptop that doesn’t dish out budget-performance. And chances are, no one will have to look further than the HP Pavilion x360. To further my point, this system is one of the fastest (and most budget friendly) 2-1 laptops you can possibly get your hands on. And that is by no means an exaggeration.

HP has gone above and beyond to deliver what is a sturdy, and attractive machine that boasts a solid keyboard, and satisfactory battery life.

However, the HP Pavilion x360 is not a perfect product. It is slightly held back by the 11.6 inch display (which is not very exciting). Not to mention, if you are into sleeker designs, you may not be able to get passed the heavier build of the x360 model.

Keep in mind, these compromises do not hinder the X360 from being a great pick for commuters, who need to get work done and do it on-the-go. Let’s talk some more about the design.

Design

When it comes to travel-friendly devices, the x360 doesn’t exactly come out on top. Not even compared to other laptops in its category. This is largely due to the fact that the x360 weighs in at 3.7Ibs., and measures 13 x 9.6 x 0.8 inches, making it not quite as sleek and slim as rivals, such as the Dell Inspiron 11 300, or Lenovo’s Flex 3 11. The latter of which is even more ideal for those who are into commuting.

The x360 Boasts a Flexible Hinge

There are qualities to the HP Pavilion x360 that make it a keeper, which is why we included it on this list. The flexible hinge is nice for starters. It allows you to flip the display around (360 degrees), giving you more of a tablet-like experience. I’ve never been overly fond of tablets myself, but luckily this feature is more than a gimmick.

How so? Well, tablet mode allows you to use touch-optimized applications (seamlessly) on the go. It’s really too bad the x360 is so heavy. A lighter build would have helped this particular feature to shine. This leaves you finding Tent and Stand Modes more convenient. All you need to do is fold the device part way and prop up the screen on any flat surface: desk, table etc.

HP Pavilion x360 Specifications:

  • Screen Size – 13.3 inches
  • (Max) Screen Resolution – 1366×768
  • Processor – 2.3 Ghz Intel Core i3
  • RAM – 6 GB SDRAM DDR3
  • Product Dimensions – 12.9 x 9 x 0.6 inches
  • Battery life – 8 hours  
  • Item Weight – 3.7 pounds

Standout Features:

  • Flexible hinge makes for unique laptop experience
  • The x360 offers more than budget-performance regardless of price
  • Display will be good enough if you aren’t relying heavily on it
  • The x360’s frame allows for full sized keyboard, thus better typing experience

HP Pavilion x360: Where they went wrong

  • Laptop could have been a lot more with slight tweaks to the build (mostly its weight)
  • Display is not great for multitasking or more demanding projects


#5 Dell Inspiron 15 5000

Wouldn’t feel right if a Dell wasn’t somewhere on this list. I’ve never personally considered Dell to be flashy or my favorite line of laptops aesthetically. But if you are looking for something durable, reliable, and within decent price range, Dell seldom disappoints.

Rest assured, the Inspiron 15 5000 stays true to tradition. Now, let’s get into the details.

Design

While Dell doesn’t necessarily strike me as the best aesthetically, this isn’t to say they don’t deliver in this department. Unlike other low end laptops whose designs reflect their cheap price tags, the Dell 15 5000 looks and feels like a higher end model.

However, it’s not as if it’s all good news. There isn’t much I can say for the screen — a cheap 1366×768 TN panel. If you know your way around low end laptops, chances are you know it well. Considering that the screen is 15.6 inches, you may gather the resolution is nothing to write home about.

Keyboard and Trackpad

Some users find the keyboard to be more cramped than necessary, especially compared to other 15-inch laptops. Possibly due to a millimeter of unwanted space between each key pairing. You can imagine, those one millimeters of space add up across the board (literally).

In the end, users are left with smaller keys, meaning some may find that they miss keystrokes every now and again. On the upside the switches are rather clicky, considering the price of the laptop.

Admittedly, the trackpad is even less exciting. The ‘thing’ among manufacturers has been to remove physical buttons from the laptop mouse, similar to Apple. The major difference being that Apple gets it right.

I’ve been a victim of some of Toshiba’s attempts at pulling this off, and the result was a complete nightmare.

The Dell 15 5000’s trackpad isn’t quite as bad as Toshiba’s futile efforts at recreating apple-esque trackpads, but it isn’t as accurate or well tuned either.

Dell 15 5000 Specifications

  • Screen Size- 15 inches
  • (Max) resolution – 1366 x 768p
  • Processor – 1.7 Ghz Intel Core i5
  • RAM – 4 GB
  • Average battery life – 10 hours

Dell 15 Inspiron: Where they went Wrong

The Dell 15 5000 is a great buy, dishing out tons of quality for commuters to make use of. Like many low end laptops, though, this does come at a cost. If you are looking for a machine that works efficiently while still offering better displays, consider upping your budget over time, or perhaps going with another model mentioned on this list.


Our Final Word on the Best Business Laptops Under $600

When choosing a laptop that is ideal for commuting it’s important to take versatility into consideration. If you are on a strict budget, this can be a a bit trickier, as low end laptops tend to rely heavily on compromise. However, models like the Lenovo Thinkpad E560 tend to provide high quality (for the money) with minimal drawbacks.

The Dell 15 5000 is also a great pick, providing display isn’t of the utmost importance.

Hope you’ve enjoyed our guide about the best laptop under $600! Share your thoughts in the comments.

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Fabian D. Smith

Fabian D. Smith

Fabian is an associate writer at Wise Small Business who dedicates most of his work to blogging and email campaigns. When not discussing business topics, Fabian enjoys watching various anime films.

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