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CNET Top 5: Best laptops under $600

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CNET Top 5: Best laptops under $600

3:01 /

Don't call them Netbooks. These inexpensive computers deliver the features of full-fledged laptops costing twice as much.

When it comes to laptops, everybody�s talking about Ultrabooks and Windows 8 convertibles. But behind it all, we�re seeing a ton of great, regular ol� laptops at rock-bottom prices. In this episode of Top 5 we�re counting down the best laptops under $600, picked by CNET Senior Editor Dan Ackerman. Starting off at #5: the Lenovo ThinkPad X130e. For the price of an iPad, you�re getting an 11-inch laptop that won�t shatter after a drop off the table. Like all of these laptops, it runs Windows 7, this one with a 320GB hard drive and a 1.3GHz dual-core AMD processor. It�s a little on the chunky side, but it�s tough. At #4, coming in at $550, we have the Acer Aspire V5-171-6867. Ask for it by name, if you can remember it. We�re still in the 11-inch tablet zone here, but this one�s thinner, and has a lot more to brag about. You get an Intel Core i5 2.6GHz processor, 500GB of storage, USB 3.0 and HDMI out. It�s a little cramped, but it�s a killer machine. But the winner of the awful name category goes to #3: the Sony Vaio E Series SVE11113FXW. Still 11-inches, still a little chunky and little slow by modern laptop standards, but the asking price is $449. That�s the lowest price you�re going to find on this list. If all you need is a stylish little laptop for surfing the web and checking email, this is a great option with impressive battery life. Coming in at #2, the HP Sleekbook 6. That name is murder on my lisp, and it gets us right up to that $600 mark. The tradeoff is that we�re making the jump to a 15-inch screen. Now that�s a proper laptop. You�re getting all the high-end design of an HP Envy laptop, but the horsepower is somewhat limited by the AMD processor. Bottom line: if you want a $600 laptop that looks like a $1200 laptop, this is the one. Now before we get to the top, let�s take a reality check over on CNET�s list of the best 5 laptops overall. Our #1 pick, the Apple Macbook Pro with retina display will set you back over $2,000. For the same money you could buy one of the laptops on this list for everyone in your home. And now, the best laptop out there for under $600 is: the Dell Inspiron 17R. What puts this one over the top is the 17-inch screen. That size, along with the Intel Core i3 chip under the hood, make this a full-fledged desktop replacement. Is it thin? No. And the resolution on that big screen is a bit of a let down. But for $599, you�re getting a lot of laptop for the money. So there you have it, five solid laptops for under $600. Be sure to check out Dan Ackerman�s budget laptop roundup at CNET.com. And for more Top 5�s like this, head over to Top5. CNET.com. I�m Donald Bell, thanks for watching.
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