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).
This is a powerful budget-gaming laptop from Acer that’s a spec bump to the Acer Aspire E5, its predecessor.
It sports a classic design with a premium look and a large 15.6 inch full HD ComfyView LED-backlit display with good viewing angles.
Power comes from an 8th generation Intel Core i5 processor (though there’s an i7 processor variant) clocked at 3.4GHz speed and a 2GB NVidia GeForce MX 150 graphics card.
Plus, there’s 8GB RAM for faster and smoother performance while gaming or multitasking.
Its classic design with a full obsidian black chassis and the textured lid gives it a nice professional look, though this isn’t different from its predecessor.
Also included is a 256GB solid-state drive, and the battery life lasts up to 15 hours, which is pretty impressive for your daily routine.
The unique Acer TrueHarmony feature comes with this laptop, for great audio quality and multimedia experience while you listen to music, watch movies, or play games.
The downside with this laptop is its hefty weight, which may not be as portable for all users, but it’s still an excellent all-round performer.
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.
5. Acer Nitro 5
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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 is another budget gaming laptop that’s superbly designed from the Asus brand, a label that earned a huge name for its performance and display.
It packs an 8th generation Intel Core i5 processor with turbo boosted speeds up to 3.4GHz, plus an Intel UHD graphics 620, which is a lower spec compared to the NVidia graphics card other budget laptops are equipped with.
Its 14.2 inch wide display is adorned with the NanoEdge, and offers larger screen space with clear visualization for better viewing, something that its counterparts don’t quite offer.
You also get 8GB DDR4 RAM and 128GB SSD+TB HDD for multitasking and enough storage for your personal and work data or games.
It’s also ultra-thin with all the latest USB ports and connectivity, so you can add your peripherals to it.
It may not have a dedicated graphics card, but you still get excellent gaming, stunning visuals, and smooth running ultra HD videos without compromising on performance.
This Dell laptop comes with a powerful set of some of the latest hardware configuration, on a budget gaming rig.
Besides being durable, the laptop has a premium look and feel thanks to its platinum silver finish.
It’s powered by the latest 8th generation Intel Core i5-8250U processor with 8GB RAM, 4GB NVidia GeForce 940 MX graphics card, and 1TB HDD that’s good enough to store all your data.
The screen is a 15.6 inch full HD True-life LED-backlit display with an IPS panel for great image quality you can view from a wide range of angles.
It also offers immersive audio quality with Waves MaxxAudio Pro, and up to 8.56 hours of battery life on a single charge.
A backlit-enabled keyboard helps you work well and game in dim light settings, plus you can connect all your peripherals thanks to the slots and ports available.
8. HP 15t
HP offers sturdy and tough laptops with great specs, and the HP 15t is one of them.
It uses the latest 10th generation Intel Core i7 quad-core processor that performs really well during gaming, or heavy multitasking, and a powerful Intel UHD graphics card.
The screen is a 15.6 diagonal HD display, plus you get 8GB RAM and 128GB SSD storage to hold all your stuff in there.
It also offers long-lasting battery life, fast-charging technology, and multi-touch support on its integrated precision touchpad for productivity and navigation.
Its appearance is stylish, with a textured silver exterior, and playfully textured interior for gaming aesthetics.
Audio quality is delivered from its DTS Studio Sound speakers, and there’s a keyboard with a Numpad plus enough space to rest your palms for comfortable typing.
Other positives with this budget gaming laptop, besides the latest specs, include its portability, micro-edge bezel design, and reliable performance, so you can play, stream, surf, and speed all day, every day.
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 ASUS laptop is one of the best budget gaming laptops that impressed critics and users when it was released.
Its price goes a little over the sub-600 mark though, but it’s still a budget range gaming laptop.
It features a sleek design with a beautiful color scheme and impressive hardware specs.
You get the 8th generation Intel Core i5-8250U processor clocked to 3.4GHz speed, an NVidia GeForce MX150 2GB graphics card, 4GB DDR4 RAM and 16GB Optane Memory for faster boot time.
The 15.6 inch full HD, WideView display sports the unique NanoEdge bezel, plus impressive audio and color-rich display for web surfing, video watching, and more.
Its 1TB hard disk offers ample space for storing larger data files for work and play.
You can use it while working on a table, and it won’t heat up thanks to the increased airflow from its fans, which ASUS improved from past designs.
Battery backup is between 8-10 hours, which is good for normal use, but if you’re a heavy gamer, this may not be enough to boost you during long gaming periods.
This high-performance laptop is massive in size but comes fully-specced for its price.
It’s powered by an Intel i5 Whiskey Lake quad-core processor with Intel UHD graphichs 620, 8GB DDR4 RAM, and 1TB hard drive for better performance, with 16GB Intel Optane memory.
The 17.3 full HD screen is anti-glare coated and bright, so it’s clear, but your eyes are still protected.
CinemaColor, CinemaSound, and CinemaStream add to the immersive visual, audio, and stutter-free experience you’ll get while gaming on this machine.
Connectivity options are also available with USB ports and slots for all your peripherals, including an HDMI port and SD card reader.
It’s flexible enough to fit all your needs, plus you can unite your devices seamlessly through Dell Mobile Connect and access them without dividing your attention.
It also helps to limit any disruptions from calls, SMS, or IMs on your laptop, so you can focus on one screen and respond when you want.
The ThinkPad series of laptops from Lenovo are known for having the highest standards in laptops, especially for business.
However, they’ve also expanded them beyond just the usual productivity, stuffing them with more powerful configurations for various purposes like gaming and more.
This E590 laptop sports a 15.6 inch HD, anti-glare display, and is powered by the latest Intel Core i5 Whiskey Lake processor clocked up to 3.9GHz with an Intel UHD graphics 620 card.
You also get 8GB RAM (upgradable), and 500GB of 7200RPM hard disk storage for faster performance.
A fingerprint sensor is included if you’d like to secure your machine, and you can enjoy a battery life of up to 12 hours with this laptop.
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.
This is another convertible laptop like the Dell Inspiron above. It’s a little slower though, but overall, it’s a powerful and versatile laptop that you can get on a budget.
It has an aluminum build, with a premium look and feel, along with a 14-inch full HD touchscreen display.
Its hinges allow you to convert it into different modes, and it’s tough enough to use confidently, even in harsh conditions.
A standard 720p webcam and built-in microphone are available, so you can use it for video calling too.
Internally, the laptop is powered by an AMD Ryzen 5 processor with AMD Radeon Vega 8 graphics card, 8GB DDR4 RAM, and 256 NVMe SSD.
This means you have great performance with smooth multitasking, plus the SSD is fast and provides decent storage space for all of your games and files.
This recently launched laptop sports a durable exterior with a 15.6-inch touchscreen display.
It offers all the latest and powerful hardware including an 8th generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM (upgradeable to 16GB), and 256GB SSD for packing away all your stuff.
It’s perfect for light gaming, word processing, and photo editing thanks to its Intel UHD 620 graphics card and pre-installed Windows 10 operating system.
You can use it in any lighting conditions, and attach all your peripherals as it has a wide range of ports and slots.
Battery life lasts up to 6 hours with normal usage, and you can carry it wherever you go as it’s a lightweight machine.
You also get the cinematic experience with great streaming, color, and sound thanks to the CinemaSound and CinemaStream features.
Like the other Dell laptops mentioned here, this too comes with Dell Mobile Connect that lets you access multiple devices seamlessly without dividing your attention while gaming.
You can call, text, get notifications, and even mirror your phone to interact with other apps you like.
The connect feature also lets you easily send or move files and media from your laptop to your phone and vice-versa, without using pesky cables or complicated cloud storage.
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.THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.
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.