Are you looking for a gaming laptop which offers good performance and at the same time fits into your budget? Most high definition gaming laptops which boast of a good performance, are expensive. Laptops like Razer Blade 15 or Acer’s Predator Helios 300 -with brilliant display and high storage are recommended by pro gamers for the ultimate gaming experience. On the downside, these laptops cost a bomb. Thankfully, there are other laptops in the market that offer good performance at economical prices which will be ideal for both amateur as well as pro gamers.
Finding a gaming laptop with the desired features is tough. This becomes a herculean task specially if you have budget restrictions. Therefore, it is important to take some time out and dig for laptops that fit your requirement.
After some careful research, we have compiled a list of the best gaming laptops that can be bought under $600.
|Acer Aspire E 15||8th gen Intel Core i5||Nvidia GeForce MX150||256GB SSD||8GB|
|Dell Inspiron 15 5000||5th Gen Intel core i7||Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M||1TB HDD||16GB|
|ASUS VivoBook F510UA||8th gen Intel Core i5||Intel HD||1TB HDD + 128GB SSD||8GB|
|HP Pavilion 17||7th gen Intel Core i5||NVIDIA GeForce GTX graphics card||1TB SSD||8GB|
|HP Pavilion 15||HP Pavilion 15||NVIDIA GeForce 150MX||1 TB HDD & SSD||8 GB|
|Asus C302CA-DHM4 Chromebook Flip||6th gen Intel Core m5||Intel HD Graphics 515||64GB SSD||4GB|
|Lenovo Ideapad 330||8th Gen Intel Core i5||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050||500GB HDD||8 GB|
It is really hard to beat the Acer Aspire E 15 when it comes to budget friendly laptops. Aspire E 15 is a versatile laptop which is adept at handling all the tasks thrown at its way. The best Windows laptop under $600, it is a decent performer with easy upgrades. Having managed to collect numerous positive reviews, the Acer Aspire E 15 is one of the most selling laptops on Amazon.
The laptop comes with a huge variety of ports, a high end processor and a discrete graphic card. Fitted with an eighth-generation Intel Core i5-8250U CPU, it’s a perfect choice for gamers who look for fast computing without sacrificing battery life. Adding to its appeal is the 1080p IPS display, backlit keyboard, full number pad and dual stereo speakers. It also features Nvidia GeForce MX150 GPU, 8GB of RAM, a DVD-RW drive, and a 256GB SATA solid-state drive (SSD).
We recommend this for gamers because it’s highly customizable. You can choose a 4GB RAM, lose the graphics card, replace the SSD with a 1TB hard disk-drive (HDD), and drop down the price to $350. Also, you can pop the bottom cover of the laptop to upgrade the RAM to 16 GB.
If you are disturbed by the loud spinning noise of the fan when the CPU and GPU are under load, the Aspire E15 has the perfect fix. A thick chassis manages heat and keeps the noise to a bare minimum for a smooth gaming session.
Also, as a gamer you would often find the need to rest your palms in between long quests that require hours to complete. The laptop is equipped with an extra-large touchpad which gives enough room for resting your palm. The touchpad is a little uneven but supports multi-touch gestures. The keys are strong enough to keep the keypad intact even after a tough day of gaming.
A unique feature of the Aspire E15 is its VGA port and optical drive. Aspire E15 is equipped with the required number of ports which can accommodate all your gaming equipment. The system also has three USB ports, a full-size HDMI port, an Ethernet connection and an audio jack. Even though, Acer doesn’t promote this as a gaming laptop, the system offers more than good features to run simple games.
But if you are impressed by the wide screen, full HD and decent viewing angles, the poor color contrast and bland display are a letdown. We would also warn you against rough use of the laptop due to its flimsy construction.
| Fast computing|
| Flimsy construction|
The Dell Inspiron 15 5000 is recommended only for users under strict budget constraints. Though this Windows 10 laptop may not be the perfect choice for gamers but with a dedicated AMD graphics, the Dell Inspiron is worth your money. The laptop offers overall gaming and graphics performance, enough to impress gamers.
With the Core i7 processor and discrete Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M GP, this is one of the best gaming oriented laptops. If you are a laptop geek and want to upgrade the laptop on your own, pop open the back panel. Once the back panel is off, the memory, battery, processor, hard drive and wireless card are easily accessible. There are a handful of ports to support your equipment including three USB ports, a headphone and audio jack, an HDMI port and a Gigabit Ethernet connection.
If you are really concerned about how the laptop looks, well, the laptop’s smart exterior design is glitzy and stylish. And, if you are a die-hard gamer with no time to care for your laptop the strong build of the laptop will work in your favor. Besides, be assured that it can survive all the travel traumas as its sturdiness contributes to its portability.
However, in an effort to launch a cost effective laptop Dell seems to have cut too many corners. Unfortunately, this laptop has several problems. First noticeable pitfall is the display. The dim and inaccurate display will affect the special effects of the game.You will have to bump up the brightness level to the maximum to get a decent viewing experience. Also, the poor color accuracy is another drawback.
If you are a gaming addict who fits into the category of non-stop gamers, we don’t recommend this one for you. If you game on the laptop for 20 continuous minutes it heats up more than 100 degrees. You will have to stop the game and wait for the system to cool down to start playing again.This means that you will not be able to complete a gaming quest in one go. If you are running a simple game and want to finish a quest make sure you plug the laptop in before you begin due to the poor battery life. The battery lasts only for two hours even if you are browsing over a Wi-Fi connection.
We only recommend this laptop to amateur gamers with strict budget constraints. The overall performance of the laptop is commendable and the GPU is also worth the money. However, considering other shortcomings, we do not suggest Dell Inspiron 15 5000 to pro gamers.
| Gaming oriented|
Replaceable hard drive and processor
| Heating problems|
Poor battery life
The ASUS VivoBook F510UA features a sleek metallic body with a matte finish screen.Though most reviews online state a poor gaming performance, we, on the other hand, have found that it does have reliable features necessary for a gamer.
The latop is fitted with Intel Core i5-8250U processor and equipped with a disk space of 1 TB and 8GB RAM which boosts the performance of the laptop. If you are a gamer who is particular about resolution then the ASUS VivoBook boasts full HD resolution. Asus has used the IPS panel technology to offer dynamic colors and clearer images. The full HD display is capable of taking your gaming to the next level.
And, if you are a non-stop gamer, you needn’t worry about your eyes. The display has an anti-glare feature which protects the eyes from excess pressure. Besides, you can fit most of your gaming equipment on the laptop. Fitted with 3 USB ports, an HDMI port, a headphone jack and a DC port, the only port it lacks is an optical drive port which is required to connect Microsoft’s new gaming consoles.
Speaking about gaming consoles lets have a look at its gaming skills. Games run smooth on the laptop without any lag. It also has superb 3D rendering with not too many drop frames. The shadow effects are impeccable as they blend well with all the colors and characters in the games move in sync with commands. However, if you move the mouse too fast you might experience some choppiness of the jump frames.
We don’t advise using the track pad for gaming as the mouse offers more precision. Also, the battery lasts for about 5 hours if used continuously, but, for a normal user the battery can last a day.
Another major drawback of the laptop is its graphics card as it does not support heavy gaming. On the upside, simple games can be played at the best resolution and 3D rendering without any lag.
| Fingerprint sensor|
Full HD display
| Heavy gaming not suitable|
HP Pavilion 17 packs a bunch of good features including full HD display, processing power and style. Complete with green accent the system with a center mount screen is a looker. It has decent viewing angles and is quite a gaming laptop for under $600.
We chose this as one of the best gaming laptop because the system is equipped with a seventh gen Intel Core i5 and boasts of great overall performance. However, when it comes to graphics, the laptop norm is just decent. If you are a gamer who prefers high resolution for the perfect gaming experience then we would suggest switching the integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 card to an NVIDIA GeForce GTX graphics card.
Along with the graphics card the RAM is also user replaceable. Fitted with an 8 GB RAM the laptop has commendable performance coupled with fast storage provided by a 1TB SSD. Besides, this laptop can support your gaming equipment as it has three USB ports, an Ethernet port, an HDMI port, and a headphone jack.
And, if you are tired of hearing the whirr of the cooling fan while you are in one of those intense gaming sessions,worry no more. The HP Pavilion 17 has just the right solution. The laptop has a larger area built specifically for both air intake and air exhaust which increases the cooling capacity and reduces the noise produced even under high load.
The full HD display is an added advantage with its accurate color and bright contrast. It can even capture darker parts of an image making your gaming experience seem real under low light. However, the display is plagued by an uneven luminance which is a possible let down.
Also, another disappointment is the 60 Hz refresh rate, which is quite low for a smooth gaming experience. This attribute can make your gaming video choppy.
| 1TB SSD|
Full HD display
| Uneven display|
Low refresh rate
Passionate about gaming but haven’t tested your skills yet? HP has just the right laptop for you. The HP Pavilion 15 is designed for people who are looking to get into gaming and want a budget-friendly laptop to test their skills. Visually appealing, the HP Pavilion 15 has a plastic matte finish build with green accents on the logo.
The 8th gen Intel Core i7-8550U 1.8GHz contributes to higher performance and processing power. The NVIDIA GeForce 150MX GPU is also an added advantage for gamers as it makes it possible to play games without any interuptions.
The 8GB hard drive is enough to play simple games. However, in case you feel like getting into heavy games after testing your skills, you can pop open the rear of the laptop and replace the 8 GB DDR RAM with a 32 GB DDR RAM. For those who want a faster and better storage you can switch the existing 1 TB HDD with an SSD as well. Amateur gamers can choose this laptop for its performance and power.
Coming to the laptop’s external features, it is fitted with three USB ports, kensington lock, full SD card port, an HDMI port, a headphone jack and an ethernet port. Quite a lot of connection points as far as connectivity goes!
If you are a person who depends on the track pad instead of a mouse, please do reconsider while opting for this model. The track pad has enough room but lacks precision. As for the keys, they are placed on a well spaced keypad. Right above the keypad, the Bang and Olufsen speakers produce crisp sound with a good mid-range.
But even as a non-gamer you might be disappointed with the display. Its neither color accurate nor bright. Simple games have commendable playable frame rates [fps], however, heavy games might possess the necessary fps. You can choose a medium setting for higher frame rates while playing a game that requires more processing power like Grand Theft Auto or Assassin’s Creed.
Adding to the disappointment of the display, the battery has an average life of roughly 4 to 5 hours under persistent use. Under normal working conditions the charge can last around 7 to 8 hours.
| Cost effective|
User replaceable RAM& HDD
| Imperfect display|
Poor battery life
Unlike other Chromebooks, the Asus C302CA-DHM4 Chromebook Flip is cheap and is known for its performance. True to its name, this touchscreen laptop can be converted into a tablet, thanks to its 360 degree hinge.
Fitted with the Intel Core m5 processor, 64GB SSD storage and 4GB RAM’, the laptop contributes to faster operations on the system. The display is sharp and bright and the color accuracy contributes to excellent clarity. If you are a YouTube addict you can switch the laptop’s mode to “tent mode” and binge watch videos.
And, if you are you scared that your laptop will slow down when you open multiple gaming apps, well, don’t be. With the Asus Chromebook Flip’s 4GB RAM, you can open multiple apps and flip through them with no delay. You can run all the android games smoothly with a decent fps. However, we advise not using the laptop for PUBG as such games require a minimum RAM of 8GB and a frame rate of 60 fpf for smooth functioning.
The design is compact and is, therefore, portable. But, since it is designed this way, some of the connection points are missing. The laptop features only two USB ports, a headphone jack and an SD card reader. Hence, not the best laptop to support your gaming equipment. Also, the laptop has backlit keyboards which help you work at night but there is no way to turn the backlight off to save power.
Another added advantage from a gaming perspective is that you don’t have to carry your mouse to replace your track pad. The track pad has precision drivers which accurately coordinates with your touch and also supports multi-touch gestures. In case you don’t like the track pad, you can make use of the touchscreen on the laptop. Asus C302CA-DHM4 also features a sturdy keypad, so you don’t have to worry about rough typing.
The laptop also boasts excellent battery life and is built to work round the clock. The energy efficiency of the Chrome operating system combined with low powered components contributes to the long battery life of the laptop.
| Compact and portable|
| Not suitable for heavy gaming|
Only few connection points
Lenovo Ideapad 330 is ideal for the gamers who are looking for portability, therefore, is known to be one of the best “on-the-go” laptops. The most attractive feature is its graphic display which offers you picture perfect clarity while gaming. The screen can fold back to 180 degrees which is great when all you want to do is game in bed on lazy day. Escaping into the virtual world might just seem real to you!
Boasting an 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8300H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 GPU and 8 GB RAM, the Lenovo Ideapad 330 can play simple games smoothly and with perfect display. It is fitted with three USB ports, an Ethernet port, an HDMI port, a DVD RW drive and a headphone jack.
It is advisable to utilize the jack embedded in the device by plugging in a headphone since the audio output of the system’s speakers aren’t that great. Apart from emitting low-volume, unclear sound, the battery lasts for approximately 5 hours, which is another flaw.
For HD quality viewers, the GPU bumps up the video quality which enables a great gaming session. The laptop’s IPS technology and anti-glare feature adds to the experience.
However, we suggest this laptop only to users who are into gaming sometimes. Multiple tabs when opened at the same time can be a hassle as it is only built for light internet surfing. The Lenovo Ideapad 330 also lacks in performance when compared to other products such as the Aspire E 15 but its features are above average for the money.
Taking a closer peak at the laptop from the gaming perspective, if you choose to buy this one, you would be limited to games on Windows app store. The power intensive games played on the laptop have lower fps which might contribute to poor gaming experience when compared to its counterparts. You might end up losing your love for gaming.
Overall, the Lenovo Ideapad 330 cannot be called a gaming-oriented laptop but does provide reliable performance for amateur gamers.
| NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 GPU|
| Low fps|
Laptop slows down when multiple tabs are open
Gaming laptop vs Regular laptop
The main difference between a gaming laptop and a regular laptop lies in the cooling mechanism and the overall design. The former has specifically designed cooling systems and high speed fans to withstand high levels of internal heating. They are also designed to emit lesser noise when the fans are rapidly rotating under a huge load.
While the latter can get by with average cooling systems and lower RAM because they are not put under huge load. This is because normal laptops are designed for functions like surfing, data storage, communication etc.
Gaming laptops have high end dedicated graphics to make gaming experiences more real and the effects more pronounced. They have added features including backlit RBG keyboards, high quality displays, and special designs. Normal laptops are equipped with integrated graphics. The CPU is given importance over GPU as they are built for regular use.
Since gaming laptops level-up on their performance compared to normal laptops, they are much more expensive.
1. What kind of processor is suitable for a gaming laptop?
Majority of the games are GPU dependent. You can get by with a core i5 when it comes to the CPU, however, careful research is required while choosing a GPU. If you are a beginner you can consider choosing a GTX 1650 which will offer better power.
For mid-level gamers, Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2060 is a good option as most games have to be played on high settings, a minimum standard for playing virtual reality games. A good laptop for pro gamers is the RTX 2070. Also, the RTX 2080 or RTX 2080 Ti – the most powerful 20-series cards which showcases smoother VR and special effects – can be opted for as well.
Pro gamers should be ready to shell out money from their pockets as they would require the best GPU in the industry. A factor to consider while choosing a GPU is the RAM speed. Most games out there today are RAM intensive. Some games demand an 8GB RAM while some can only function smoothly with a 16 GB RAM.
A laptop with GPU GTX 1650 usually accompanies an 8GB RAM while laptops with GPU 1660 and higher has 16 GB RAM. Some of the RAMs are user replaceable. Therefore, if you cannot afford a speedy RAM and a better powered GPU, you can always replace the RAM to one which suits your needs.
2. Which Gaming Laptop features are worth the money?
The primary feature to consider when you are buying a laptop is the CPU and GPU. The more advanced the both of these are the better performance the laptop offers. Performance of any laptop depends on the power of the processors and the RAM. The more the storage capacity of the RAM the faster your laptop will be.
Besides, if you are gamer, always pick an SSD over an HDD. SSD is much faster to read and write and takes up lesser space inside the laptop. Also, the SSD responds to commands quicker than HDD and apps or programs don’t require time to load. Also, when it comes to price, SSDs are pricier than HDDs; however, SSDs are still cheaper these days than they were before.
3.What ports do I need in gaming laptops?
Most laptops are fitted with USB 2.0 and USB 3.0. The speed via the 3.0 port is faster than the 2.0 port. However, with the USB 3.1 in the market now, data can be transferred at the speed of 10Gbps.
An HDMI port is also necessary for gamers who feel the need to expand the display area. HDMI connectivity allows you to transmit audio and visual data over a single cord and project it on devices like televisions and projectors. As a gamer you should also ensure that your laptop possesses a headphone jack just in case the audio quality of your laptop is bad.
4. How to know if a laptop is good for gaming?
Necessary requirements of a gaming laptop is an i5 core processor, an 8 GB RAM and a dedicated graphics card. However, if you can buy the latest processor with the best GPU and a 16 GB RAM, your games can run smoother with perfect graphics. Other factors like RGB, refresh rate, display, portability are also factors to be considered.
5. What is the best screen size for gaming laptop?
Screen size depends upon individual preferences like portability or sturdiness. Most gaming laptops available today have 15 or 17-inch screens. Some have 18 inch screens as well as 14 inch panels. Always remember that the bigger the screen, the heavier the laptop.
6. How portable should your gaming laptop be?
Portability in laptops sometimes lead to manufacturers missing out on certain other important features. However, there are laptops which are portable yet offer great performance as well. The most light weight laptops available in the market have a display size of 11 to 12 inches and weigh 2.5 to 3.5 pounds. The smarter choice would be to opt for laptops with a display size of 13 to 14 inch, weighing less than 4 pounds.
Since needs of the gaming world are evolving rapidly, finding gaming laptops under $600 is not an easy task. Most games available today require a minimum of 8GB RAM. Some high end games like ARK: Survival Evolved, and Batman Arkham Knight require more than 8GB RAM to run smoothly. You need advanced laptops to run such games which cost a bomb.
To be frank, if you do invest in a laptop under $600, you might not get the ideal gaming experience. On the upside, once you have a solid base model you can do some upgrades yourself like replacing the 8 GB RAM with a 16 GB RAM according to the compatibility of the laptop.
According to us, the best laptop for gaming under $600 is the Acer Aspire E 15 due to its performance, graphics and display. The battery life is also commendable. The only major disadvantage is its flimsy construction, but considering the performance and price, the Aspire E 15 is the best buy.
We hope our list provided valuable insight on budget-friendly gaming laptops to all you passionate gamers out there!
Last update on 2020-02-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API