These are the best cheap laptops under $600 in 2022

These are the best cheap laptops under $600 in 2022

Buying a new laptop can be an exciting time, especially if you have a keen interest in computers in general. It’s the feeling of having a brand-new machine that does exactly what you want, faster than your old laptop did. But for as exciting as it can be, many of the best laptops are not cheap, so finding the right one isn’t always easy if you have a tight budget. That’s why we have lists focusing on the best cheap laptops you can buy today, and in this particular one, we’re going to focus on laptops that cost under $600.

The $600 price point is a very reasonable one, but it’s also a range where it really pays to keep an eye out for deals. Many of the laptops below this price outside of sales aren’t amazing, but if you wait it out for some discounts, you can find some real gems. That’s what we did for this list, so keep in mind that while most of the laptops here do cost $600 or less at writing time, that’s dependent on sales, so that price may have changed in the meantime.

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Best overall: HP Pavilion Aero

Front view of HP Pavilion Aero 13

We’ve had a lot of praise for the HP Pavilion Aero since it launched earlier this year, and even at its official MSRP of $749, this is a fantastic laptop. But these days, you can often find it for much less than that, and for under $600, this thing is an absolute bargain.

Starting with performance, the HP Pavilion Aero is already a phenomenal device. On the base configuration, you get an AMD Ryzen 5 5600U processor with 6 cores, 12 threads, and up to 4GHz clock speeds. That alone will already give you some fantastic performance, especially for multitasking and workloads that use multiple cores. On top of that, you get 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, a fantastic baseline combination at this price. This is a laptop that can actually feel fast, and that’s not always a guarantee at this price.

Another highlight for this laptop is the display. At this price, you’ll rarely find a laptop with a display that isn’t in the 16:9 aspect ratio, but the HP Pavilion Aero comes in a 16:10 format. That means the display is taller, and you get more vertical space and overall surface area to work with. This is great for productivity since you can see more text on a webpage or document without having to scroll, for example. On top of that, this is a Full HD+ (1920 x 1200) display and it reaches 400 nits of brightness, so it’s both sharp and decently bright to use outdoors. That’s not a combination you’ll find very often in other laptops under $600, even the best ones.

A common corner to cut with laptops (even more expensive ones) is the webcam, and that’s where the Pavilion Aero falls a little short, too. this is a 720p webcam, and there’s no Windows Hello facial recognition, either. Image quality won’t be the best, but it’s probably enough for more casual use. And if you want Windows Hello, the laptop does include a fingerprint reader to make logging in easier.

In terms of the design, the HP Pavilion Aero is a fairly standard clamshell laptop, but it’s made using a magnesium alloy, which you don’t see all too often in cheap laptops. This allows the laptop to weigh less than 2.2lbs, while also measuring 17mm in thickness, so it’s very portable, too. Something else that’s rare is the option for different colors, but the Pavilion Aero gives you four different options. All the colors aside from silver technically push the price past $600 (at the current discounted price), but it’s only up to $15 more.

Finally, there are the ports. The HP Pavilion Aero comes with one USB Type-C port, two USB Type-A ports, HDMI 2.0, a headphone jack, and a microSD card reader. This gives you a solid setup that covers all the basics, though being an AMD laptop, you don’t get Thunderbolt support. At this price, though, many Intel laptops also don’t support Thunderbolt, so it’s less of a downside.

The HP Pavilion Aero is a fantastic laptop, even for its base price. But it’s almost always discounted these days, often under $600, and for that price, this is easily one of the very best laptops you can buy.

    The HP Pavilion Aero is a fantastic laptop with AMD's latest Ryzen processors and a lightweight design.

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Best laptop with a 3:2 display: Surface Laptop Go

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go

Microsoft’s Surface lineup has some great premium devices, but in the past few years, it’s also received some solid budget options. For those who want a premium-feeling laptop without spending a lot, the Surface Laptop Go is one of the best laptops you can find for under $600, especially with the current discounts.

Starting with performance, the Surface Laptop Go is powered by an Intel Core i5-1035G1. That’s not Intel’s latest and greatest processor, but it’s still a quad-core, eight-thread CPU, and it can boost up to 3.6GHz. That’s going to give you~some solid performance in day-to-day tasks like school work, browsing the web, and writing documents. At the base level, that’s backed up by 4GB of RAM and 64GB of eMMC storage. Normally, that’s all you can get for under $600, but right now, you can upgrade to 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD and still pay just $550 ($150 off the regular price). That upgrade is absolutely worth it, so you should take it if you can find it at that price.

The Surface Laptop Go also has a 3:2 aspect ratio for the display, just like all the other Surface devices. This is slightly taller than 16:10, meaning you get even more vertical space and the benefits that come with that. It comes in an odd resolution, 1536 x 1024, which is below Full HD. However, considering this is a 12.4-inch panel, it’s still going to look plenty sharp, just not as much as the more premium Surface devices. The screen also supports touch, but not the Surface Pen, which is surprising for a Surface device, but you’d probably not get a lot of use out of it on a clamshell laptop like this.

Surface devices typically have some of the best webcams of any Windows laptop, but unfortunately, that’s not the case with the Surface Laptop Go. Like many other cheap laptops, it has a 720p camera, and perhaps even more surprising is the fact that there’s no Windows Hello facial recognition. In fact, there’s no Windows Hello support at all on the base model. But the upgraded model with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage dos include a fingerprint sensor. This is another great reason to get this version instead.

In terms of the design, the Surface Laptop Go changes things up in the materials used compared to other Surface devices. The lid is made from aluminum, while the base is made from a polycarbonate resin with glass fiber, and it comes in three colors to choose from. It still looks very much like a Surface device, even if it’s not quite as premium. It’s a fairly thin laptop, measuring just 15.69mm, and it weighs 2.45lbs, so it’s very portable in general.

As for ports, you get one USB Type-C, one USB Type-A, a Surface Connect port for charging and docking, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. This is a decent setup, but the lack of a traditional display output and Thunderbolt may be a bummer to some. It’s definitely in line with other Surface devices in terms of ports, which isn’t necessarily a good thing, but it’s serviceable.

Overall, the Surface Laptop Go is a premium-looking laptop that’s very portable and packs solid performance. Right now, the base model is down to just $399.99, which is a great price for what you get here, but the mid-tier configuration is your best option, featuring 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD for just $549.99.

    The Surface Laptop Go features the iconic Surface design and solid performance for a low price.

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Best convertible laptop under $600: HP Pavilion x360 14

HP pavilion x360 14 on orange background

If you’re like me, the thought of buying a laptop that isn’t a convertible is probably preposterous. And while convertibles can be expensive, the HP Pavilion x360 14 still costs under $600 most of the time and it’s one of the best convertible laptops you can find at that price.

Starting with performance, the HP Pavilion x360 14 comes with 11th-generation Intel processors, specifically starting with an Intel Core i5-1135G7, a quad-core, eight-thread processor with boost speeds up to 4.4GHz. That’s a very fast processor already and it also includes Intel Iris Xe graphics, making it suitable for some light GPU workloads. Additionally, it comes with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD, a very good combination of specs for this price, especially in a convertible.

The display on this model is also very sharp, coming in at Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution and a 16:9 aspect ratio. This makes it one of the better options for watching movies and videos, and it’s the more common aspect ratio at this price. The screen goes up to 250 nits of brightness, so it’s not great for outdoor use, but if you’re mostly indoors, it should work just fine. As it’s a convertible, of course, the laptop supports touch, but also pen input, and an active pen is even included in the box.

As usual, the webcam is one of the things sacrificed to get to this lower price point, and it’s another 720p camera without facial recognition for Windows Hello. In fact, there’s no Windows Hello support on this laptop at all, which is potentially its biggest downside. You’ll have to type in your PIN or password every time.

The HP Pavilion x360 is a fairly standard-looking convertible, though it does come in silver and gold color options if you want that choice. It’s not extremely portable, weighing 3.35lbs, but it’s not far from what you’d expect from a convertible of this size. It’s also not very thin, measuring 19.81mm. Still, while it won’t win any awards for being thin and light, you can take this laptop anywhere without too much of a hassle, and it’s not bad for a convertible.

As for ports, you get one USB Type-C port, two USB Type-A ports, HDMI 2.0, and a headphone jack, as well as a proprietary charger port (though USB-C charging is supported). This is a solid setup that covers most basic needs, and the lack of Thunderbolt support isn’t a huge deal at this price.

This configuration with an Intel Core i5 processor and a Full HD display typically has an official price of $700, but it’s currently down to just $580, and for that price, this is a bargain. You get great performance, a sharp display, and the convenience of a convertible. If you want to cut back further, there’s also a model with an Intel Core i3 and a lower-resolution screen that’s currently discounted to $530, but either way, this is one of the best laptops you can get for under $600.

    The HP Pavilion x360 14 is a great budget convertible with solid specs and a sharp display.

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Best 15-inch laptop under $600: Dell Inspiron 15 3511

If 13 or 14 inches is not a big enough screen for you, the Dell Inspiron 15 is a great option, too. This is a more typical clamshell laptop, but there’s still a lot to like, and it’s one of the best laptops you’ll find under $600. In fact, it’s much cheaper than that right now, and you get a lot for the price you pay.

Performance-wise, you get two options in this budget range, one with an Intel Core i5-1035G1 and another with an Intel Core i3-111G4. Of these two, the former is probably your best option, since it has four cores and eight threads, double what the Core i3 model offers. In addition to that, the Core i5 variant comes with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD, a very good setup if you want solid day-to-day performance for school and work tasks. It’s not mind-blowing, but considering you can have it for just $450 right now, this truly is a very good laptop.

And that continues with the display. For $450, you’d be hard-pressed to find a laptop with a Full HD display, but the Inspiron 15 3511 does exactly that. It comes in a 16:9 aspect ratio, meaning the resolution is 1920 x 1080, and as we’ve mentioned this is the most common format for a laptop display at this price. More premium devices have taller screens, but if you’ve always had a 16:9 display, it won’t bother you at all.

You may want to sit down for this, but the Dell Inspiron 15 3511 is another laptop featuring a standard 720p camera, and there’s no support for Windows Hello facial recognition. There is an optional fingerprint reader, but Dell doesn’t make it terribly clear which models include it, so it’s a bit of a gamble if that feature is essential to you.

In terms of the design, the Dell Inspiron 15 3511 is everything you’d expect of an affordable clamshell laptop. It comes in a carbon black color, which may help if you want something that looks a little different since many laptops nowadays come in some shade of silver.  At 3.82lbs, it’s not a very light laptop, especially a standard clamshell, but it’s not like you wouldn’t be able to carry it to the office or school. It’s also not too thin, measuring 18.99mm at its thickest point. That’s something you’ll see with most budget laptops — design isn’t a priority.

Finally, the selection of ports is one potential downside of this laptop. Dell opted to not include any modern USB Type-C ports, and instead you get three USB Type-A ports, HDMI, a headphone jack, and a full-size SD card reader. I’d say most users, especially if you’re buying in this price range, are still used to USB Type-A peripherals, so this may not be a huge deal, but USB Type-C would have given you a more future-ready option, plus it could potentially give you the option to charge without a proprietary port.

It’s not a perfect laptop, but the Dell Inspiron 15 offers a solid combination of specs and a large 15-inch display that’s still sharp enough for most users. Plus, it costs just $450, well under our $600 limit, and for that price, it’s one of the best laptops you can buy.

    The Dell Inspiron 15 packs solid specs and

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Best 17-inch laptop under $600: HP 17 Laptop

HP Laptop 17 green background

Is 15 inches still not a big enough screen for you? Then HP may have the right solution for you with the aptly named HP 17 Laptop. As the generic name suggests, this is from HP’s lower-end lineup, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad laptop. According to HP, the official price is usually $710, but it’s now to just $500 right now, making it a much better deal.

Starting with performance, the HP 17 Laptop comes packing an Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor in its base configuration, which is a strong start. This is a quad-core, eight-thread CPU, and it can boost up to 4.4GHz. It’s Intel’s latest mid-range CPU and it even includes Iris Xe graphics to enable some light GPU workloads. This configuration also includes 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD, so you have solid performance to start with and a decent amount of storage, too. With the discounted price, you can upgrade either the RAM or the storage, but we’d recommend focusing on the next part.

The display on the HP 17 Laptop is one of its downfalls, at least in the base configuration. It’s an HD+ (1600 x 900), and while that’s usable, we’d absolutely recommend upgrading to the Full HD (1920 x 1080) option. This also gives you a better IPS panel, and the increased resolution makes a huge difference in enabling more productivity because more UI elements can fit on the screen. This upgrade costs $60, but it’s definitely worth it.

Keeping up with the rest of the laptops on this list, the camera on the HP 17 Laptop is another 720p sensor, and once again, there’s no Windows Hello support. That includes facial recognition and fingerprint sensors — none of it is available on this laptop.

The design of this laptop isn’t going to blow you away, but we’ll give it credit for coming in a pretty cool “Jet Black” color option, which is black with some white specs sprinkled throughout the keyboard base. Thanks in part to the large screen, this is a heavy laptop, weighing 5.25lbs, and it’s not overly thin at 19.81mm. If you’re buying a laptop of this size, there’s a good chance portability isn’t your number one concern, though, so it’s not a huge issue.

Coming around to the ports, the HP 17 Laptop has one USB Type-C port, two USB Type-A ports, HDMI, a headphone jack, and a full-size SD card reader. The setup is fairly complete, though it’s worth noting the USB Type-C port doesn’t support charging or display output, plus it’s not overly fast. But at least most of your peripherals should work fine.

Large laptops are naturally more expensive, and thus, there are some corners cut with this model compared to some of the other entries on this list. Even with those, though, this is a fairly powerful laptop that can keep up with your work or school needs. If you want a 17-inch laptop for under $600, this is one of your best options.

    The HP 17 Laptop is a relatively basic laptop that offers solid performance and a large canvas for work.

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Best business laptop: Lenovo ThinkPad E14

ThinkPad E14 Gen 3

Lenovo’s ThinkPad laptops are some of the most famous business laptops out there, and while they tend to be fairly expensive, the ThinkPad E14 tries to boil down some of those qualities into an affordable package. That’s not easy, though, and because of that, this is the only laptop on this list that isn’t under $600, but it’s the best one you can find that’s somewhat close.

For starters, the ThinkPad E14 comes with Intel’s 11th-generation processors, specifically starting with an Intel Core i3-1115G4, a dual-core, four-thread CPU that can boost up to 4.1GHz. It’s not an extremely fast processor, but any upgrades will drive up the price significantly. You also get 4GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD, which means you won’t have the best multi-tasking performance, but at least you’ll have a decent amount of storage for files and documents.

So far, the ThinkPad E14 isn’t all that impressive, but at least it’s packing a nice display. It’s a Full HD panel, even in the base configuration, so you’re going to have a pretty good experience on it in terms of sharpness. There are some upgrades available for the brightness of the display, but again, that will drive up the cost further past the $600 budget.

The camera on the Lenovo ThinkPad E14 is a 720p webcam, like we’ve seen many other laptops have, and Windows Hello support isn’t a standard feature either. However, being a business laptop, you do get options. You can add a facial recognition camera (though it requires upgrading the display, too), or add a fingerprint reader instead (or both). The camera also has a privacy cover, for those worried about being spied on.

Something else that makes the ThinkPad E14 unique is its design. Like other ThinkPads, it’s an all-black laptop, but it features the iconic red accents on the ThinkPad logo, touchpad, and pointing stick. And yes, that’s something that wasn’t sacrificed with the ThinkPad E14 — you still get a pointing stick in the middle of the keyboard and duplicate mouse buttons just below, in case you don’t like touchpads. For a 14-inch laptop, the ThinkPad E14 is a little heavy at 3.51lbs, but it’s still somewhat portable. It’s also 17.9mm thin.

One highlight of the ThinkPad E14 compared to others on this list is its port setup. For starters, it has a USB Type-C port and it comes with Thunderbolt 4 support, so you can connect it to a docking station at your desk setup, use external GPUs, and so on. Plus, this is the only laptop on this list with a built-in Ethernet port, so you can connect to wired internet more easily. Aside from that, you get two USB Type-A ports, HDMI, and a headphone jack, so you get a very complete setup.

While it’s lacking in some areas, the ThinkPad E14 is a great business laptop. You get some great connectivity options, a sharp display, and modern (albeit low-end) specs, at a reasonable price. It slightly blows past the budget, but it gives you some iconic ThinkPad features you won’t find anywhere else.

    The Lenovo ThinkPad E14 is a basic business laptop with iconic ThinkPad design elements and lots of ports.

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Best tablet under $600: Surface Go 3

Surface Go 3 on black table

Microsoft recently refreshed its budget Surface Go line, and the Surface Go 3 is naturally the best device in the family so far. The latest iteration offers improved performance, but otherwise, it’s the same as the Surface Go 2, and that’s not a bad thing. For under $600, this is probably the best detachable laptop you can find.

So let’s focus on that improved performance first. The Surface Go 3 comes packing an Intel Pentium Gold 6500Y, which is a dual-core, four-thread processor that can boost up to 3.4GHz. There’s an option for an Intel Core i3-10100Y, but that goes over our price ceiling. The base configuration also includes 4GB of RAM and 64GB of eMMC storage, and we’d definitely recommend upgrading to 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. That configuration will cost you $550, which is still within the budget, but you’ll have to consider whether you want to get the keyboard and/or Surface Pen alongside it. If you don’t need those things, the performance increase is certainly worth the extra cost.

The display on the Surface Go 3 didn’t change, but it didn’t need to. This is a 10.5-inch panel and it comes in Full HD+ (1920 x 1280) resolution, which is very sharp for a display of this size. It’s also still packing the classic 3:2 aspect ratio of other Surface devices, so even though it seems small on paper, it gives you a nice canvas to work with. Of course, as it’s a tablet, it supports touch and the Surface Pen.

One aspect where the Surface Go 3 easily rises above the rest of the devices on this list is the webcam. There’s a 5MP camera on the front capable of recording 1080p video, and it’s one of the best cameras on any laptop, and it especially stands out on this list. Plus, it includes support for Windows Hello facial recognition, and it’s one of the few laptops on this list to have it as a standard feature. There’s a second camera on the back with an 8MP sensor and 1080p video.

The Surface Go 3 also retains some premium elements in its design, like the magnesium casing Microsoft typically uses for some of its Surface devices. It’s the the thinnest and lightest device on this list, weighing a mere 1.2lbs and measuring just 8.3mm. Of course, that’s without the optional keyboard, but even if you add that, it’s super portable.

Ports, on the other hand, are a bit lacking. You get a USB Type-C port, a Surface Connect port for charging and docking, a headphone jack, and a microSD card reader. It’s a basic setup that makes sense for a tablet, but for a PC, it’s quite limited, and you’ll need adapters for most wired accessories.

It’s not the fastest PC out there, but the Surface Go 3 focuses on offering a premium experience in areas like the display, design, and webcam, and it’s a fantastic device for this price.

    The Surface Go 3 is an affordable Windows tablet with a premium and lightweight design and great cameras.

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Best Chromebook: Acer Chromebook Spin 713

acer chromebook spin 713

We often nominate the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 as one of the best Chromebooks in general, but in order to fit in the $600 budget, this one is a bit different. While it’s not quite as good as the more expensive model we usually recommend, it’s still premium in many ways.

This model of the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 comes with an Intel Core i3-10110U, a dual-core, four-thread processor that can boost up to 4.1GHz, and that’s already pretty good for a Chromebook. It’s worth noting that Chrome OS runs on very weak hardware, so getting a Core i3 is already good news. Additionally, you get 4GB of RAM and 64GB of eMMC storage, which admittedly isn’t amazing, but again, in the context of Chromebooks, it’s decent.

What it lacks in power, though, the Chromebook Spin 713 makes up for in the display department. This is a 13.5-inch panel and it comes in a very sharp 2K (2256 x 1504) resolution, which is exactly the same as the more expensive model. This makes for a very sharp screen that looks fantastic, and on top of that, supports touch, pen, and is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass. This is a great device for media consumption, and at this price, there’s almost no reason not to get it.

Unfortunately, the webcam is another 720p sensor, which isn’t all that surprising. Chrome OS doesn’t yet support IR-based facial recognition like Windows does, so that’s not available. There’s no fingerprint scanner, either, so you’ll have to make do entering your password to unlock the computer.

Moving on to the design, the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 looks fairly standard, but far more premium than you’d probably expect at this price. We’ve already mentioned the Corning Gorilla Glass display, but the entire chassis is made of metal and it features MIL-STD-810G certification for durability. It’s not flashy, but the build quality is some of the best you’ll find in a laptop that costs under $600. For an all-metal convertible, the 3.2lbs of weight is justified, and at 16.8mm of thickness, it’s also fairly thin. Overall, this is a decently portable machine that should feel great to use.

Finally, in terms of the ports, you get two USB Type-C ports with power delivery and display output, one USB Type-A port, HDMI, a headphone jack, and a microSD card reader. That covers all the basics, and while it doesn’t support Thunderbolt like the newer models, it should be good enough for most users.

For its original $529 price, the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 may not have stood out too much, but it’s still a solid laptop. With its current discount, it’s made that much better. If you can find the newer model on sale, though, that’s an even better experience, and we’d recommend the upgrade if it fits your budget.

    This Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is a solid Chromebook convertible with a fantastic display and a premium build.

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And those are, in our opinion, the best laptops you can buy right now for under $600. As we mentioned at the top, many of these laptops are on sale at writing time, which is why they fit the budget, so you’ll have to check for yourself to make sure. Out of these, we chose the HP Pavilion Aero as the best overall pick because it’s an impeccable blend of a lightweight design, a sharp (and tall) screen, and great performance at a surprisingly low price. It’s a very easy recommendation.

Looking for a different type of laptop? Check out our list of the best 5G laptops if you want something that can stay connected to the internet anywhere you go.

About author

João Carrasqueira
João Carrasqueira

Editor at XDA Computing. I've been covering the world of technology since 2018, but I've loved the field for a lot longer. And I have a weird affinity for Nintendo videogames, which I'm always happy to talk about.

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