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CNET Top 5
Best laptops under $600Don't call them Netbooks. These inexpensive computers deliver the features of full-fledged laptops costing twice as much.
When it comes to laptops, everybodyÃ¯Â¿Â½s talking about Ultrabooks and Windows 8 convertibles. But behind it all, weÃ¯Â¿Â½re seeing a ton of great, regular olÃ¯Â¿Â½ laptops at rock-bottom prices. In this episode of Top 5 weÃ¯Â¿Â½re 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, youÃ¯Â¿Â½re getting an 11-inch laptop that wonÃ¯Â¿Â½t 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. ItÃ¯Â¿Â½s a little on the chunky side, but itÃ¯Â¿Â½s 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. WeÃ¯Â¿Â½re still in the 11-inch tablet zone here, but this oneÃ¯Â¿Â½s 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. ItÃ¯Â¿Â½s a little cramped, but itÃ¯Â¿Â½s 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. ThatÃ¯Â¿Â½s the lowest price youÃ¯Â¿Â½re 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 weÃ¯Â¿Â½re making the jump to a 15-inch screen. Now thatÃ¯Â¿Â½s a proper laptop. YouÃ¯Â¿Â½re 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, letÃ¯Â¿Â½s take a reality check over on CNETÃ¯Â¿Â½s 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, youÃ¯Â¿Â½re 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 AckermanÃ¯Â¿Â½s budget laptop roundup at CNET.com. And for more Top 5Ã¯Â¿Â½s like this, head over to Top5. CNET.com. IÃ¯Â¿Â½m Donald Bell, thanks for watching.