Review: 4 mid-priced laptops that mean business

You don't need to bust the budget to get your work done. We evaluate four Windows laptops that cost about $600 or less.

Male and female business people in coffee shop on wifi with laptops and coffee
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Every day an army of business people heads out to offices, meetings and coffee shops, equipped with little more than a smartphone and a laptop. To get the job done, that laptop has to be secure enough to protect sensitive data, rugged enough to bounce around in a backpack, and with enough battery power and performance strength to get through a day of presentations, emails and online chats. All without busting the company budget.

Welcome to the world of mid-priced Windows laptops. According to Linn Huang, research director for devices & displays at IDC, today's typical business systems are far from the high-end, high-cost ultraportables and 2-in-1s that usually get media attention.

More basic and functional than typical consumer systems, business notebooks tend to do the basics well and have few amenities, such as HD screens or solid-state storage, Huang explains. The typical business laptop is powered by an Intel Core i3 or i5 processor and has 4GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive and a 15.6-in. display, at an average cost of $614.

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