Gadgets and Software

Here Are The Best Laptops Under $600 For Gaming 

It’s 2018 and technology has come a long way in the way of mobile gaming PCs. Indeed, the gaming laptops available on the market today are a far cry from the options open just in the earlier part of this decade. Back then, your choices were often limited to expensive, bulky machines that could barely compete with desktop PCs within or even below the same price range, or “gaming” laptops that were hardly any different from high-end devices that couldn’t cater to a gamer’s needs.  

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Gaming laptops back then came with a whole a lot of cons for too little pros. For usually a much a higher price, you’d be getting a less-than-optimal machine with less specs in a not-so-portable form that, more often than not, would heat up way too hot, way too fast, and have a dismal battery life that made you feel like you had to be glued to a wall-socket just to play video games. But with recent technological advancements in the form of smaller, more powerful processors, more efficient graphics processing architecture, cheaper and more efficient miniaturization of computer components, and super-effective cooling solutions, the gaming laptops available to consumers in 2018 deliver on their promise of power and portability for true gamers.  

In this day and age, almost everyone plays video games on some platform or other. Whether you’re a hard-core gamer into the latest first-person shooters and competitive online multiplayer games, a casual gamer with love for mobile games and fun apps, or somewhere in between, you can find a lot of great value in a good gaming laptop. Gaming laptops aren’t just for people who spend all their time playing games. With the promise of power, performance, and portability, gaming laptops are great for anyone interested in gaming – whether you’re a hobbyist or an aspiring pro. From spreadsheets to shooters, from documents to double kills, gaming laptops are great for those who love to work and play.  

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Now, If you’re a hard-core gamer, you probably don’t think $600 is enough to buy a mobile gaming rig that will effortlessly run the latest AAA titles with all the settings turned up to ultra – and you’re probably right. But if you’re a casual gamer, if you’re into older games, or if you’re not a graphics buff and excellent playing games on low to medium settings, here’s a list of our top picks for the best laptops under $600 for gaming. 

What to Look For 

Before you start viewing our list of the best $600 laptops for gaming, we’ve prepared a list of the things you should consider when thinking about buying a laptop computer for under $600. 

Internals 

Internals refers to the power your laptop is packing under the hood. It refers to most of your technical specifications, including what kind of processor powers a laptop, how much memory, how much storage, what kind of graphics processing unit it’s running, and more. Without getting too much into the technical, if you’re looking for the best laptops under $600 for gaming, the most critical internals to consider are the CPU, RAM capacity, storage type, and GPU. This list of the best gaming laptops under $600 take into account the best specifications in this price range. 

Performance 

Once you figure out what’s built inside the laptop, you’re going to want more than just technical details and complex numbers to tell you what that laptop’s capabilities are. This list of the best $600 laptops for gaming measures performance as well as specs. If you’re buying a laptop with great specs, but it can hardly run your favorite games and apps, then what’s the point? We help you eliminate buyer’s remorse by letting you know a laptop’s capabilities, especially when it comes to gaming. 

Portability 

While portability isn’t everyone’s concern, most buyers who are in the market for a budget gaming laptop want to be able to take their gaming with them on-the-go. The laptops mentioned in this list of the best laptops under $600 for gaming include a lot of portable options and are evaluated for weight, thickness, and overall density. 

Display 

Others may be fine with any display on their choice of the best $600 laptop for them, but for a lot of gamers, the display makes or breaks a great gaming laptop. This list measures the best $600 laptops based on a lot of factors, including display size, panel types, refresh rates, response times, and overall picture quality.  

Source: flickr.com

Battery Life 

In case you’re not planning on being perpetually plugged in, it’s vital to consider battery life when you’re in the market for the best laptops under $600 for gaming. Whether you’re okay with standard 6-hour battery life, or willing to forgo a little battery time for better specs, or wanting to push the envelope and get the most battery life for more extended gaming sessions on the go, this list of the best laptops under $600 for gaming has got you covered. 

Cooling 

Cooling is essential for any system, but especially so for gaming laptops. With the power and performance that the best laptops under $600 provide, it’ll be a shame if the cooling solutions weren’t up to par – throttling your system’s performance and potentially ruining your gaming session. That’s why this list of the best $600 laptops for gaming take into account cooling solutions that’ll let you play your favorite games without fear of overheating. 

Keyboard 

The PC gaming experience wouldn’t be complete without the keyboard hardware to back it up. If you want a rich portable gaming experience on a budget, look towards getting better keyboard options to add a little premium to your game, without adding to the cost. 

Future-Proofing 

Nobody wants to buy a laptop that’ll go obsolete the next day, so one of the most important considerations to make when buying a budget gaming laptop is how long you expect it to serve your needs given the scene of technological advancement. The best processors and the best cards available today should be enough to future-proof the best laptops under $600, provided that they come with the latest parts.  

 

Our Pick for the Best Laptops Under $600 for Gaming 

  1. Acer Aspire E 15 

At the top of our list and our pick for the best laptop under $600 for gaming is the Acer Aspire E 15. Maxing out our set budget with a price tag of $599, the Acer Aspire E 15 delivers a whole lot of power with little compromise. If you’re looking for the best $600 laptop for gaming, then look no further because the Acer Aspire E 15 is it.  

Source: pixabay.com

The Best Pros 

The Acer Aspire E 15 delivers the best overall gaming experience that is unparalleled in this price range. 

The Worst Cons 

It’s pretty thick and heavy, and the bezels around the 15.6” display could be thinner 

The Acer Aspire E 15 is, in a word, surprising. Great performance packed with excellent graphics and great battery life might make you forget how little you paid for this budget gaming laptop. 

Internals & Performance 

The under $600 configuration for the Acer Aspire E 15 has enough power to play your favorite games, and more. With its 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8250U CPU, the Acer Aspire E 15 does great at gaming, multitasking, and other CPU-intensive operations. With excellent processor power coupled with its 256GB SATA solid-state drive, and 8GB of RAM built-in, the Acer Aspire E 15 won’t make you wait too long for anything. With the discrete Nvidia GeForce MX150 GPU to power-up your gaming sessions, expect to be able to play your favorite games on medium settings. If you know how to optimize your system, you might even be able to play current AAA titles without any issues. When it comes to gaming performance, the Acer Aspire E 15 sets the bar for the best laptops under $600 for gaming. 

Display 

The 15.6” Full HD display offers an excellent 1080p resolution – a great value even if you don’t take into account thsOURsURat most of the laptops in this price range come with displays that offer the 1366 x 768 standard HD resolutions. The Acer Aspire E 15’s display outperforms the competition with better brightness and higher contrast ratios that deliver crisper, cleaner images that are more vibrant and color-accurate, too. We wish the thick, old-fashioned bevels didn’t take too much away from the display. 

Battery Life 

You don’t expect $600 laptops to come with solid battery life, but the Acer Aspire E 15 has that, and then some. The Acer Aspire E 15 boasts an incredible 12-hour battery life with consistent use, over 9 hours when web browsing, and up to 4 hours of battery life when gaming, allowing for extended gaming sessions.  

Cooling 

Even with more intensive tasks such as gaming and video, the Acer Aspire E 15 stays cool under pressure. The Acer Aspire E 15 comes with a rather large chassis – and while that doesn’t sound good regarding portability, it means that this laptop accommodates a far better airflow that allows for great cooling of all its components. 

Portability 

With its heavy-set characteristics, and thick chassis, the Acer Aspire E 15 is clunky and awkward to lug around, so you probably won’t want to take it with you if you’re perpetually on the go. That said, it’s robust build, and decent weight makes it okay to move around in your home or office, so it’s mobile enough that you don’t have to feel like you’re anchored to a desk to satisfy your gaming or productivity needs. 

Keyboard 

The keyboard on the Acer Aspire E 15 exceeds expectations. With excellent travel distance and a very comfortable bottoming feel, the Acer Aspire E 15’s built-in keyboard feels far more premium than budget. With the evenly bright keyboard backlights, we look at this keyboard and have to ask, what’s not to love?  

Our Verdict 

The Acer Aspire E 15 is a powerful, ready-for-gaming machine that doesn’t sacrifice anything for the budget. With its high performance and premium feel, the $599 Acer Aspire E 15 does not disappoint. It may be a little heavy and clunky, but with its long battery life, you can leave the heavy power brick at home. 

Technical Specifications 

CPU: 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8250U
GPU: Nvidia GeForce MX150 2GB
RAM: 8 GB
Display: 15.6” FHD 1080p
Storage: 256GB SATA SSD

 

2. HP Pavilion 15 

Coming in at second place in our list of the best laptops under $600 for gaming is the HP Pavilion 15. With an incredible, sleek design that is both slim and lightweight, the HP Pavilion 15 is the laptop of choice if you’re looking for a more portable device. Featuring great performance and excellent internals, the biggest drawback of the HP Pavilion is its dismal display. 

commons.wikimedia.org

The Best Pros 

The HP Pavilion 15 performs great and is the thinnest, lightest laptop you can get for $600 without compromising power 

The Worst Cons 

The HP Pavilion 15 disappoints when it comes to the 15.6″ display that doesn’t perform as well as the competition 

Internals & Performance 

The HP Pavilion 15 is offered in an under $600 configuration, allowing it to contend for the best laptop in this price range. Priced at $550, the budget configuration for the HP Pavilion 15 comes with an 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8250U quad-core processor and 12GB of RAM, letting you multitask like a pro. While you’ll be able to run most games just fine, but if you’re into the current or latest AAA titles or just enthusiastic about graphics, the HP Pavilion 15 may not pack enough power to satisfy your gaming urges. The HP Pavilion 15 is powered by the Intel UHD Graphics 620, which, to be fair, is good enough to run most non-graphics-intensive games with relative ease. At under $550, you won’t be able to get a super-fast solid-state drive, but the great part about this trade-off is you’re getting a lot more storage with the 1TB 5400rpm HDD that comes built-in. 

Display 

On paper, the HP Pavilion 15 doesn’t sound too bad regarding display. It has a 15.6” TN panel, with a standard 16:9 aspect ratio, and offers standard HD with a resolution of 1366 x 768. At 768p for a 15.6” panel, you’re getting not-so-crisp and not-so-colorful pictures on the HP Pavilion 15. Couple that with the TN panel, and you have yourself a display that, while providing higher refresh rates and lower response times, gives not-so-great image quality with off colors and poor definition. However, if you’re not that much of a graphics buff and you prize better-performing over better-looking, then don’t be discouraged by the HP Pavilion’s display. This machine still packs a punch regarding power and performance. 

Battery Life 

The HP Pavilion is at an excellent middle-ground when it comes to battery life. Thin and lightweight, the HP Pavilion 15 above-par battery life is more than enough reason to buy this laptop on the spot, especially if you have to be on-the-go for extended periods of time every day, gaming or otherwise. You can get up to 12 hours of idling, 7 hours of internet use, and more than two hours of gaming on a full charge. For a sleek and lightweight laptop at this price range, that’s as good as it’s going to get, and we’re not at all disappointed. 

Cooling 

The HP Pavilion 15 not only looks cool – it stays cool. And that’s saying a lot considering that this laptop under $600 is one of the thinnest laptops in this price range. The cooling fans perform exceptionally well despite the limited airflow from the slim chassis, and even with component-intensive tasks like gaming and multitasking, the HP Pavilion 15 was able to stay relatively cool and keep performing at optimal levels. 

Portability 

The HP Pavilion 15 is the most portable item in this list of the best laptops under $600 for gaming – bar none. While other laptops come a little close, nothing under $600 beats the HP Pavilion 15 regarding portability. The HP Pavilion 15 is lightweight and thin and is a dream to carry around. At 15.6″ display size and featuring a slim chassis and low profile, this laptop can fit in your school bag, your work bag, your briefcase, or your tote (provided you give it enough protection) so you can game on-the-go, anywhere you go. It’s also got the bonus of having USB Type-C ports so you can plug it in or take it with you. 

Keyboard 

The keyboard is excellent and fully-functional, and the HP Pavilion 15 made no compromises when it came to keyboard design and comfort. The HP Pavilion 15 comes with a great full-size numpad that doesn’t make the keyboard or the trackpad feel cramped in spite of it. 

Our Verdict 

The HP Pavilion 15 won’t let you play groundbreaking AAA titles, that’s for sure, but if you want the best laptop under $600 that  stays cool and delivers excellent portability on top of excellent battery life, then the HP Pavilion 15 is the laptop for you – as long as you can overlook the wrong display.  

Technical Specifications 

CPU: 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8250U
GPU: Intel UHD 620 Graphics
RAM: 12 GB (8GB + 4GB)
Display: 15.6” TN SD 768p
Storage: 1TB HDD 5400 rpm 

 

3. Lenovo IdeaPad 310 

From one of the best and biggest names in the laptop industry comes #3 on our list of the best laptops under $600 for gaming, The Lenovo IdeaPad 310 may not deliver breakthrough specs or groundbreaking performance, but at this price range, the IdeaPad 310 plays to win. A budget laptop in Lenovo’s IdeaPad series, the Lenovo IdeaPad 310 is reliable, powerful, and delivers a lot of great value for its price tag. 

Source: flickr.com

The Best Pros 

The Lenovo IdeaPad 310 is a reliable, all-around laptop that performs pretty well considering the $600 budget. 

The Worst Cons 

It’s nothing special and doesn’t excel at anything. 

The Lenovo IdeaPad 310 is a great laptop all-around, whether you’re gaming, working, looking for some entertainment, or all of the above, all on-the-go, the Lenovo IdeaPad 310 is a handy laptop that’ll see you through the toughest of tasks. 

Internals & Performance 

The $600 configuration for the Lenovo IdeaPad 310 comes with a 7th Generation Intel Core i5-7200U which, despite being outclassed by the latest generation Coffee Lake processors released in 2018, still packs impressive performance for the price. The Lenovo IdeaPad 310 doesn’t come with a dedicated GPU, but the onboard Intel HD Graphics 620 video card should be enough to play all but the most demanding video games at low or even medium settings. This budget configuration comes with 8GB of RAM, so it’ll be able to run most apps and programs with ease. Another $600 configuration for the Lenovo IdeaPad 310 is also available with a 6th Generation Intel Core i7-6500 CPU, but we recommend going the 7th Generation i5 route for the significantly increased processing performance with Intel’s Kaby Lake architecture. Storage on the Lenovo IdeaPad is excellent, with a 128GB SSD for faster booting and drive operations and a 1TB HDD for all your storage needs.  

Display 

The Lenovo IdeaPad 310 comes with a 15.6” TN panel with your standard 16:9 aspect ratio and 1920×1080 (1080p) FHD resolution. With this display configuration and the lack of a dedicated graphics card, the Lenovo IdeaPad 310 struggles a little bit at delivering great image quality, but it delivers nonetheless. The TN Panel comes with all the drawbacks of TN technology, including narrower viewing angles and less vibrant colors, but with the 1080p resolution, you’ll still be able to get a crisp, detailed picture and smoother gameplay with the higher refresh rates and lower response times typical of TN panels. 

Battery Life 

The battery life on the Lenovo IdeaPad 310 isn’t great, but it’s not bad either. The 30Wh battery of the Lenovo IdeaPad 310 can keep it running on idle for up to 10 hours, and up to 5 hours when using the internet via WiFi. If you’re planning intensive tasks, however, you may want to stay plugged in as the Lenovo IdeaPad 310 can only remain running up to 90 minutes (1hr 30min) when performing CPU- or graphics-intensive tasks like gaming or video editing. 

Cooling 

The cooling on the Lenovo IdeaPad 310 is phenomenal. Granted, it doesn’t have a lot of heat-producing components, but even when pushing the envelope with component-intensive tasks, the Lenovo IdeaPad 310 stays cool and calm with almost zero heat emissions. 

Portability 

The entire Lenovo IdeaPad series is built around portability, and the Lenovo IdeaPad 310 is no exception. Featuring a thin chassis that’s light and sleek, you can take this budget gaming laptop anywhere you go, hassle-free. 

Keyboard 

Lenovo is known for their world-class laptops, and Lenovo’s laptops are known for their excellently-built keyboards. The Lenovo IdeaPad 310 is yet another testament to that. The keyboard itself has a great feel and comes with a full numpad. The keyboard comes with full-sized keys and doesn’t feel cramped when typing. You might have to get used to the smaller shift key, but overall the keyboard is top-notch, as expected from Lenovo. 

Our Verdict 

The Lenovo IdeaPad 310 is a budget laptop that you can depend on. It doesn’t break any barriers, but it performs well under pressure and comes with great storage options, and that makes the Lenovo IdeaPad 310 one of the best laptops under $600 for gaming, or for anything. 

Technical Specifications 

CPU: 7th Generation Intel Core i5-7200U
GPU: Intel UHD 620 Graphics
RAM: 8GB
Display: 15.6” TN FHD 1080p
Storage: 128GB SSD OS Drive, 1TB HDD 5400 rpm 

 

4. ASUS VivoBook F510UA 

The ASUS VivoBook F510UA has been showing up a lot on our radar as it’s consistently placed in a lot of the top lists for this year’s best laptops under $600 for gaming or otherwise – and we fully understand why. The ASUS VivoBook F510UA may be a budget laptop, but it delivers a lot and of great value regarding performance and specs. 

Source: flickr.com

The Best Pros 

The ASUS VivoBook F510UA comes with great specs and lots of connectivity options 

The Worst Cons 

No keyboard backlights and the short battery life on the ASUS VivoBook F510UA limit when and where you can use this budget laptop. 

The ASUS VivoBook is one of the best laptops under $600 and delivers a lot of punch for its budget price tag. It’s sleek design and large, eye-popping display, and great performance makes the ASUS VivoBook F510UA one of the best purchases you can make if you’re in the market for a budget machine, gamer or no gamer.  

Internals & Performance 

The ASUS VivoBook F510UA comes with the latest 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8250U and offers great performance for work or play. The $500 configuration comes with 8GB of RAM – which is further upgradable to up to 16GB if you have the budget for it in the future. The ASUS VivoBook F510UA has limited storage options with its 1TB HDD, so you won’t be getting the lightning-fast SSD experience, but it’s an acceptable tradeoff for the sheer storage space you’ll be packing. It doesn’t come with a dedicated GPU, but its graphics are powered by the high-performing onboard Intel UHD Graphics 620.  

Display 

The ASUS VivoBook F510UA features a crisp, clean, and vibrant display in 15.6” 1920×1080 FHD anti-glare IPS panel, and you can enhance the viewing experience even more with ASUS Splendid propriety software. With IPS technology, you’ll be able to get great viewing angles, too, in addition to better colors. 

Battery Life & Portability 

This is where the ASUS VivoBook F510UA gets a little bit left behind. On a full charge, the ASUS VivoBook F510UA only gives you about 8 hours of battery life when idling, and around 4-5 hours with heavy usage. Give it more intensive tasks like gaming or video editing and the battery life maxes out at just under an hour. With the ASUS VivoBook F510UA, you probably won’t want to take it with you everywhere you go, which is a real shame, because, with its sleek, super-thin chassis, you can.  

Cooling 

The cooling on the ASUS VivoBook F510UA is at-par with most of the other laptops in its price range. The cooling fans kick into high gear with more intensive tasks or higher workloads, but they do a fair job of keeping the system cool without being too loud or obtrusive.  

Keyboard 

The ASUS VivoBook F510UA comes with a solid keyboard that doesn’t feel flimsy or shallow. It’s not memorable in any way, so it’s not bad, but it isn’t especially useful, either. We definitely missed the backlights on the laptop, so it’s a little hard to type in a dark environment. 

Our Verdict 

The ASUS VivoBook F510UA is a great budget laptop and an excellent desktop replacement for the money. However, despite its thin and sleek profile and lightweight build, the portability on the ASUS VivoBook F510UA is throttled by its poor battery life. If you’re one to stay in one place and plugged in, rather than be on-the-go, the ASUS VivoBook F510UA has great capabilities that set it apart. 

Technical Specifications 

CPU: 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8250U
GPU: Intel UHD 620 Graphics
RAM: 8GB
Display: 15.6” IPS FHD 1080p
Storage: 1TB HDD 5400 rpm 

 

5. Lenovo IdeaPad 510 

The Lenovo IdeaPad 510 is definitely not a true, “for gamers” laptop. In fact, the look and feel of the Lenovo IdeaPad 510 remind you more of college days than of gaming sessions. But don’t let the standard exterior fool you – the Lenovo IdeaPad is built for high-performance multimedia consumption, and what is gaming if not performance intensive multimedia consumption? 

We can’t paste this image from the Clipboard, but you can save it to your computer and insert it from there.

Source: commons.wikimedia.org

The Best Pros 

The IdeaPad 510 comes at an excellent price for a Lenovo machine that has aged well into 2018. 

The Worst Cons 

The Lenovo IdeaPad 510 has pretty weak battery life and could be a much better machine if Lenovo refreshed it with the latest components. 

The Lenovo IdeaPad 510 is a great overall machine despite being about a year older than we’d like it to be. Despite the age, however, it’s evident that the Lenovo IdeaPad can still keep up, and has matured very well with the best of 2017’s components. 

Internals & Performance 

Under the hood, the Lenovo IdeaPad 510 packs a decent amount of power with the 7th generation Intel Core i5-7200U, with Turbo support to 3.1 GHz and HyperThreading. Last year, the Intel Core processors were a massive improvement over the 6th gen, but with 2018’s 8th generation processors, you’re missing out on the higher performance. The Lenovo IdeaPad 510 comes with 8GB dual-channel DDR4 memory, a 1TB HDD, and excellent graphics power with the mid-range Nvidia GeForce GTX 940MX GPU with 4GB of video memory. You’re not getting top-of-the-line performance, but at this price range, the Lenovo IdeaPad 510 is an excellent compromise of power, performance, and price. 

Display 

The Lenovo IdeaPad 510 comes with an excellent 15.6” IPS panel, so the display is colors and clarity galore, with wide viewing angles to make your gaming experience that much more satisfying. The Lenovo IdeaPad 510 display offers FHD (1920×1080) resolution with the 15.6″ display; you can expect a superb pixel-dense picture that radiates clarity and detail to an outstanding extent. The screen could be brighter, but it’s not so dim as to get in the way of your game, so we won’t hold that against it.  

Battery Life 

The battery on the Lenovo IdeaPad 510 is a little weak and definitely costs it quite a few points. The battery lasted only around three hours with heavy usage, and about 6 hours when idling. If you’re going to be gaming on the Lenovo IdeaPad 510, you’re going to have to stay plugged in. Thankfully, the Lenovo IdeaPad 510’s charger isn’t too heavy or big and looks like a bigger version of a typical smartphone charger. 

Portability 

The Lenovo IdeaPad 510 won’t be setting any benchmarks when it comes to thinness or lightness, but still, it’s a pretty portable machine that weighs only 2.1kg (4.6 lbs). It’s lightweight but durable build makes up for a lot of its slack and at the same time makes it an overall excellent pick. The Lenovo IdeaPad 510 is a laptop you can take with you anywhere – just make sure where you’re going has a power outlet you can plug into. 

Cooling 

The Lenovo IdeaPad 510 stays cool. It doesn’t heat up even with extended use and just gets a teeny bit warm to the touch when playing video games that push the components into high-gear. When the fans kick in to provide that extra cooling boost, you’ll definitely notice, but they’re not so loud as to break your gaming focus. Overall, cooling on the Lenovo IdeaPad 510 is active and impressive, so with this machine, you’ll never have to worry about things getting too hot for comfort. 

Keyboard 

Again, the Lenovo-built keyboard on the IdeaPad 510 takes center-stage with excellent comfort and build-quality that Lenovo has become famous for. Great key comfort and travel distance and a full-size numpad really make you feel like your hands are in good hands.   

Our Verdict 

The Lenovo IdeaPad 510 is not as new as the other laptops in this list, but the power and performance it offered last year still stand strong well into 2018. Another great thing about the Lenovo IdeaPad 510 is that you can forget about its original $800 list price and get it now for under $600. You’re not getting the top-of-the-line, but you do get a budget-friendly, portable laptop that lets you take your gaming with you on the go. 

Technical Specifications 

CPU: 7th Generation Intel Core i5-7200U
GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 940MX 4GB GDDR5
RAM: 8GB
Display: 15.6” IPS FHD 1080p
Storage: 1TB HDD 5400 rpm 

Technical Specifications 

That brings us to the end of our take on the best laptops under $600 for gaming. If you’re in the market for a budget machine, we hope we were able to help you make a decision on which budget machine is perfect for you.  

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