Jun 22, 2012

I am trying to help my brother find a laptop for his schooling.. I do not know much of laptops but his budget is $600 or less

I have found a couple ones that have intrigued me

Asus Vivobook Ryzen 5 5500u

HP Pavilion x360 intel i5 1135G7

HP 17 Ryzen 5 5500u

ALSO I see this Dell which has similar specs to the Asus BUT cost over $100 more.. Is the higher price because of the Dell name? I am mostly curious about this one


In my experience, for a "work" laptop I have had very good results out of the Inspiron line from Dell. I currently have an Inspiron with the 8th gen i5, and I also have a smaller ~13" model with an Ryzen 5. They both do their job commendably however I am never away from power for long, if at all.
I needed a numeric pad for the larger one that we travel with (the i5).

Of the above models, check the connectors and make sure it has all you want. I would also research to see if they have expandable memory (RAM) and drive space. Many of the newer and particularly smaller laptops have basically inaccessible and unservice/swap-able parts inside (soldered in).

In my own case the i5 Inspiron was the lowest spec with only 8GB of RAM and a HDD. It has an M.2 (SATA) slot and the other RAM slot was open, with a back that was easy to remove and service. I spent $400 on the laptop from MicroCenter, added the RAM and a Samsung SSD for a touch over $100 and had what they sold as a $700+ model, for just over 5.

I also feel like HP laptops are pretty good for work use. The only issue I have ever had with one of those was actually figuring out the magic handshake that allowed OS to be clean installed. I had two of them that gave me fits over the years. One of those is still working well in spite of it's age. I would mention one thing in particular about HP is that they commonly only have one RAM slot on the lower end models. OS will show it as 2 slots, you open it up and it's got no connector.


May 13, 2021
from my experience, the laptop's CPU and iGPU (dGPU if it have one) isn't significant at all in terms of web browsing and other work. The most important thing I gathered is RAM amount.

I have a Surface Pro 6 with 8 gigs of RAM, and now it's barely able to open some large files when a lot of apps are already open (Discord, Edge, blah blab blah...) and that's when things start to crash. Get one with 16 GB of memory, that's the least you should aim for.


Jun 9, 2021
Unfortunately, 16GB of memory might still be outside the price range of any laptop under $600.

The best alternatives are two physical, user upgradable SODIMM slots, or at least 8GB soldered with a single empty slot.

That being said, my secondary work laptop is still stuck with 4GB of RAM, but then it is merely retained for compatibility and only used very occasionally.
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Jun 22, 2012
I went with the Asus Vivobook 14 as it was the cheapest at only $529 has 3 usb slots including 1 usb-c, HDMI, and audio jack plus upgradable RAM, M.2, and wifi card.
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