Best laptop $600

Hey guys I know this question has been asked a million times before, but each time I read a new topic there's a different laptop to consider, so I made this topic.

I'm looking for a laptop to bring with me to college. Will be primarily using it to surf the internet and play some light games. I like to leave a lot of tabs on my browsers open, so the laptop has to be able to at least handle that. I don't consider myself a heavy gamer but when I do play I don't want to have to turn the settings down.

Basically, what is the best laptop that $600 dollars can buy as of right now. Taking into consideration processor, graphics, ram, reliability, appearance, functionality, battery life, etc.
Is there like a "best for the money got to get" laptop for this price range?

My desktop at home is a 955 slightly overclocked with a 5770 and 12gb of ram. Are there any laptops in my price range that can match or beat that performance?

Or... should I just save some money and buy a netbook (thinkpad x120e is my choice as of right now) and upgrade my desktop video card? lol.

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  1. The netbook would be seriously under powered for your needs. Laptops are a game of portability vs battery life vs power, or functionality. The best would be what ever suits your needs in those areas. Don't think I've ever seen a perfect laptop, but I can tell you that I stopped taking my laptop to school a long time ago. Its at least 6 pounds, has a slow QL 60 CPU, and the battery life has become atrocious. At 15.6 inches, its as big as I'd want to take anywhere. However it is powerful enough for what I need, the dual core hasn't held me back in any way and for $500, it was a good deal at the time.

    So do you take your desktop with you? Depends on where your staying I guess. But finding a decent desktop replacement in your price range is reasonable.

    I don't have a clear cut recommendation for you. At $600, I'd look for a dedicated graphics option for the gaming stuff. Look at some other things as well, a crappy keyboard and awful touchpad can make it something you won't be comfortable working on for hours. How about speakers? Do you need good ones or will you be using headphones mostly so as to not disturb others?

    Look at They test a lot of laptops. Also check out In addition to notebook reviews, they have the most comprehensive list of mobile graphics chips you can find.
  2. Thanks for the quick reply.

    You bring up some good points. I WILL be taking the computer with me to some classes to take notes. But I mean as long as it fits in my bag I'm not really too concerned about the extra 2 pounds over a netbook. Battery life is definitely important too, ideally 5+ hours. As far as keyboard/speakers/mouse/etc goes, they just have to be at least decent. I plan on bringing a usb mouse at least cause I hate using trackpads.

    Been looking for a while and this one seems to be the top contender so far

    A bit iffy about buying recertified though, but it's not a deal breaker if it's the best option. Would really appreciate any suggestions, in my meantime I'll keep on looking around.
  3. I would NOT buy a refurb for a very simple reason. You saw where it says "limited returns?"
    The problem with a laptop is you can't just crack it open when something goes wrong. I would buy one without at least a year warranty.
    My Compaq had a one year warranty, which radio shack extended for a year since it was a floor model. Good thing too, the motherboard went belly up after 6 months due to overheating. It took two weeks and HP had it back to me, better than new. It overheated less after the new mobo. I would have been SOL without a warranty.
    I strongly suggest you consider this carefully.
  4. fengstar I suggest checking this out:

    They are suggesting Toshiba L655-S5158

    Good luck and let me know what you end up with, I'm curious :)
  5. Here's a link, I've chosen 500-1000 dollars and dedicated graphics, so yeah there's a bunch of lappys in your price range. For you, I would probably choose a machine with Optimius tech. During regular computing, it uses the intel 3000 graphics and saves battery life. When gaming, the dedicated GPU takes over and can play games well.
  6. Not a huge fan of hp, their reliability and design, but I'll look into it. Thanks.
  7. Thanks for that link btw, I'm looking through it right now.

    I applied some sorting options:

    4gb ram
    dedicated video card

    only 3 results, 2 recertified and one which was $650, a little over my budget especially after taxes/shipping. Either newegg just has no deals right now, or I'm expecting too much for my price range.
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