Top 12 laptops for less than £599


An attractive, comfortable and well made laptop at a decent price

Sony's N-series has been around for a while, starting off as a considerably more expensive range. As a result, the materials and usability of the VAIO VGN-NS20J/ S (£479 inc. VAT) are representative of a much higher price tag, with costs cut through the use of budget components.

The 15.4-inch screen is vivid, bright and the best in the group for watching movies or editing photos. The 1280 x 800-pixel resolution is average, providing reasonably sharp images. As with all Super-TFT panels, it is reflective in bright conditions, but we didn't find it overly problematic.

The Sony copes fine with everyday use, such as editing photographs, browsing the internet and watching DVDs. You'll have to opt for one of the laptops with a dedicated graphics card if you want to play games, however, as the Intel GMA 4500 graphics card isn't up to it.

Read more: Sony VAIO VGN-NS20J/S review