When buying a budget gaming laptop, there’s still a lot to consider, as with anyone else looking for a new gaming rig, except your expectations aren’t as high as with more expensive options.
Ideally, a good gaming laptop with all the necessary bells and whistles would put a serious dent in your wallet.
If you need a sub-$600 system, though, you can still get a notebook for moderate gaming at solid frame rates, and still do some other demanding tasks.
Many brands today offer gaming laptops to attract buyers, but the challenge is in choosing the best one out of the hundreds of budget gaming rigs available.
Undoubtedly, the fiscally-conscious gamer and potential buyer may feel this burden, but we’re going to present some picks that’ll reduce your efforts.
Whether you want to gift the gamer in your life, or just want affordable fragging on the go, here are 15 of the best budget gaming laptops that won’t cost you an arm and a leg (or the soul of your firstborn).
Dell is one of the top names in gaming laptops, especially because of its premium options.
However, it also offers some good budget gaming laptops with unique features you can expect such as quality audio speakers, battery backup, and multitasking capability, though it varies with each laptop.
This particular one is a fully packed gaming laptop that truly captivates, thanks to its silver chassis and dark logo on the lid.
For any gamer though, the power and performance are a priority, and for a budget gaming rig, this one doesn’t disappoint.
Like the Acer Aspire E15, this Dell laptop packs an Intel fastest Quad Core i5-8250U processor clocked at 3.4GHz.
Additionally, the laptop can run average games thanks to its Intel UHD graphics 620 card with 8GB DDR4 RAM, plus 1TB storage that’s enough to store all your data and games.
The 15.6 full HD backlit display allows you to watch and play games with really clear visuals, plus you get enough ports and connectivity for your peripherals so your gaming life is much easier.
The downside with this laptop is the battery backup doesn’t last too long. It can only bear up to 5 hours on battery, so you’re going to have to plug in your charger while gaming.
It also doesn’t offer SSD storage, but the 1TB space is quite large enough to hold all of your stuff.
This HP gaming laptop has a stylish look in a sleek and slim chassis. It also comes with the latest technologies and stellar configuration.
It’s also lightweight and durable, and runs on an Intel Core i5 processor with integrated UHD 620 graphics plus 8GB RAM, so you’re assured decent performance for gaming and multitasking.
Its storage is managed by the 256GB SSD, which offers great speeds as well, though it isn’t as spacious for everything you want to house in it, like the first options that offer 1TB storage.
However, it’s still a portable laptop for gaming on the go, with a long-lasting battery life, thanks to its 4-cell Li-ion battery, so you can use it for your daily tasks when you’re not gaming.
This is a flagship gaming budget laptop from Lenovo with a similar design to the 330S variant, but they have different configurations.
Budget-conscious gamers will find this sleek, stylish, and smart laptop a great video gaming rig on average, thanks to its great specs for its price.
It packs an Intel Core i5-8250U processor clocked at 3.4GHz, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB of storage, and an integrated UHD 620 graphics card, with smooth visual display and better FPS rates.
It’s not weighty, so you can carry it on the go, plus the touchpad is quite sensible though it can open files unnecessarily when you don’t really need them.
The 15.6 inch full HD backlit display means you can play your games or watch movies with smooth performance, and normal audio quality, though a pair of headphones can give you a better listening experience.
4. Acer Nitro 5
The Acer brand offers competent laptops, especially if you’re a budget gamer.
This particular model is also pretty popular, like it’s successor, the Acer Aspire E15, offering decent gaming performance at an affordable price.
Its design features a thick display bezel around its 15.6 inch full HD IPS screen, though the back cover is built with cheap plastic.
It also comes with a basic keyboard, user-controllable fans, and decent battery life.
The laptop is powered by high-level specs including an 8th generation Intel Core i5-8250U processor clocked at 1.6 GHz with Turbo Boost Technology of up to 3.4GBz, an NVidia GeForce MFX 150 graphics card, and 4GB GDDR5 RAM.
Also included is a 256GB SSD and 8GB Dual channel memory, plus an SD card reader.
Like other Acer laptops, this too comes with the Acer TrueHarmony, plus good audio from its two built-in stereo speakers, and enough ports for connectivity.
Battery life is also not compromised, with up to 15 hours available, which makes it great for long gaming periods.
The downside is its hefty weight, plus a rough exterior, but beyond that, you can expect good control overcooling, suitable gaming performance, and gamer aesthetics for the price tag.
This gaming machine was probably designed as a better alternative for travelers who had issues with the weight of the Acer Aspire E15.
It packs the same power specs as the latter, but with less weight and battery backup, which stands between 6-7 hours for daily tasks.
Its looks also changed, as it has a clean design and black-metal finish on its chassis, plus a 15.6 full HD widescreen with LED-backlit display for an immersive experience.
An 8th generation i5-8265U processor clocked up to 3.4GHz powers this rig, backed by an Intel UHD 620 graphics card, and 8GB DDR4 RAM with 256GB PCle NVMe SSD.
You also get the necessary USB ports, and you can run AA series games or browse and multitask with no issues to boot. The downside is the reduced battery backup and less hard disk storage.
This laptop is also ideal for gaming purposes, and is powered by the latest Intel Whiskey Lake i5-8265U quad-core processor, with powerful configurations and versatility.
Its 14-inch HD display supports multi-touch points for multimedia, productivity, and gaming, plus it’s easy to rotate and convert into tablet mode, with strong hinges that allow bending up to 360 degrees.
Storage is available in plenty thanks to its speedy 256GB SSD drive, and 8GB RAM, so you can store all your work and games.
It also has an elegant look and superior quality, plus it’s portable with up to 8 hours of battery life if you want to game on the go.
Buyer’s Guide: Gaming Laptops under $600
Setting yourself up for a budget gaming laptop doesn’t mean skimping on the very basics.
We checked out all the different retailers offering great yet affordable deals in this budget range, so you should get something to fit your price point.
So what do you need to know when picking a budget gaming laptop under $600? Here’s a list of factors to consider while you’re at it.
Processor: This is the laptop’s brain. If you find one with the latest generation processor, with great speeds and core combined, you’ll enjoy a fast performance beyond your imagination. A good processor for this price range comes with an Intel Core i5-8200 clocked to 3.4GHz at the minimum would be ideal. If you find any without this spec, think twice before buying it.
Graphics card (GPU): This is the heart of the gaming laptop. It controls visual display, so find one with a dedicated graphics card (better with NVidia) so you can enjoy better visual performance and controls on the screen. It’ll also guarantee smooth sailing for your game.
RAM: This is the machine’s memory that handles it’s real-time working while storing data temporarily. A good size RAM will remove freezing or glitches, so look for one with 8-12GB DDR4 RAM, especially in this price range.
Screen size: This matters for any gamer, though it’s not necessary if you’re using it for casual work. A good size screen would be within the 15.6 or higher range, but should offer backlit IPS display and 1920×1080 resolution at the minimum.
Refresh rate: Take note of the panel’s refresh rate, which at 60Hz is great across budget models. They’re especially beneficial for fast-paced games, especially titles played online with much competition like Fortnite, Overwatch, and others.
Panel type: The best panel here is the IPS panel, which offers great off-center viewing angles and colors. You could use the twisted nematic ones but they offer narrower viewing angles, but they also offer response times that are slightly faster.
These budget gaming laptops are a great place to start if you’re looking for a good one to add to your gear.
However, do more research based on your needs, and then purchase one that you’re satisfied with based on its specs and if it matches the criteria you’re looking for.
Elsie started off as a freelance business and tech journalist. Having written for publications like Lifewire, and WindowsReport, she has garnered immense exposure over the years. She is a certified social media expert with deep interest in internet marketing, ecommerce and information technology.