What’s the Best Gaming Laptop Under $600 in 2021? Our Top Picks
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Playing on a laptop that is suited for gaming is a great way to ensure that you get better in-game performance. When gaming on a laptop, you can also enjoy the luxury of gaming on the go, even if you aren’t directly connected to power thanks to the long-lasting integrated battery that modern-day gaming laptops carry.
To help you find the best gaming laptop under 600 dollars, we went out on the market and researched over 100 different gaming laptops while considering each products’:
- Screen Size
- Storage Space
- Gaming Ability
In the end, we narrowed down our selection to the final 5 products, which we then compared and reviewed in more detail.
Do note that 600 dollars aren’t a whole lot of money for a gaming laptop, and while you can get an entry-level system to get you started, you shouldn’t expect to get a laptop that can run every game in high resolution/settings.
As the 6th product in our final selection, we went slightly above our goal of 600 dollars and reviewed a slightly more expensive gaming laptop just to show you what a little bit more money can get you.
Let’s take a look at our findings.
Our goal with this guide is to research, review, and compare the best gaming laptops under 600 dollars. As laptops aren’t majorly different to gaming computers, we used our experience and knowledge in part-picking to spot the gaming laptops that were the best in that price range and recommend them to you.
As a result, you can confidently shop for your next gaming laptop and know that what you are likely to invest money in has been hand-picked by experts with decades of combined experience in the gaming industry – including building and upgrading gaming rigs.
To pick the products that you will see today, we considered each laptop’s’:
Generally speaking, you will have a rather difficult time gaming on a screen smaller than 14″. When laptops are concerned, you also don’t want to go for a screen that is larger than 17.3″ as that would make your laptop impractical to carry around.
So, whatever your preference for screen size may be in-between 14″ and 17.3″, we’ve got you covered.
In today’s day and age, high-definition gaming is the standard. To be more precise, most gaming laptops have a screen resolution of 1920x1080px. In case you are on a budget, you can opt-in for a lower screen resolution.
To ensure that we have a wide variety of choices, we have made sure to include laptops with both Full HD resolution and laptops with lower screen resolution.
Your graphics card is one of the most important aspects of your gaming laptop. Without an adequate GPU, your setup will be incomplete and you are likely not going to be able to achieve a decent enough level of performance.
To make sure that you can play video games, even on a laptop under 600 dollars, we have made sure that the products we recommend feature a GPU that will help in generating higher frame rates for a better overall gaming experience.
Following up from your GPU, your laptop’s processor is another very crucial component that will determine the level of gaming performance you can expect from your gaming laptop.
Though you cannot exactly get the best CPU in a 600 dollar laptop, we have made sure to do our due diligence and find laptops in the 600 dollar range of decent CPUs that are suitable for gaming.
When it comes to gaming, as a minimum, you should have 4 GB of RAM. That would of course depend on the games that you are looking to play. If you want to play simple 2D games, then you probably won’t even need 4 GB but if you play games in the likes of Warzone, you will likely need at least 8 GB of RAM to run the game smoothly.
The storage capacity of the laptop will not have any impact on how well your gaming laptop can run video games. Generally speaking, the more storage you have, the more games you can store on your laptop.
What does actually matter is the technology that the storage is made out of. At present, there are two types of storage solutions – HDD and SSD. The latter is newer and will help load your video games much quicker, and for that reason, we have made sure to only recommend gaming laptops with SSD.
Gaming Ability / FPS
And last but not least, we had to make sure that the laptops we suggest were overall suited for gaming. There is no point in spending a whole pile of money on a system that can’t even handle the most simple games.
We picked a range of gaming laptops that provided a decent level of performance. Within the review of each product, we have provided you with a list of games and how the laptop performs in each one of them so you can better understand what you are about to buy.
|15.6″||1920 x 1080 px||AMD Radeon RX Vega 8||AMD Ryzen 5 5500U||16 GB DDR4 RAM||512GB PCIe SSD|
After finalizing our research, we came to the conclusion that the ASUS VivoBook 15 M515 is the best, at least in our opinion, gaming laptop under 600 dollars. It’s not only compact but also has a range of game-enhancing specifications that will allow you to enjoy a smooth gaming experience.
The price at the time of writing was $599.99.
Design-wise, this gaming laptop hosts a sleek and modern look in slate grey. Measuring at only 14.18 x 9.25 x 0.78 and weighing at just 3.97 lbs, you can carry this laptop around with you everywhere you go and game on the go.
The VivoBook 15 M515 by ASUS hosts an ultra-thin 15.6″ FHD display with NanoEdge bezel display, which boasts a viewing angle of 178 degrees with a stunning screen-to-body ratio of 83%.
Aside from that, the VivoBook 15 M515 also hosts an AMD Ryzen 5 5500U CPU that joins forces with the AMD Radeon RX Vega 8 to provide the level of performance that it does. On top of that, you can enjoy the remarkable 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, which allows you the freedom of multitasking while gaming without any performance-related issues.
This model also comes with an integrated 512 GB PCIe SSD, which most average gamers would find plentiful. Of course, if you need more, you can always buy and plug in an external hard drive.
As for actual in-game FPS, you can expect around 61 FPS when playing CS: GO, 70 FPS for League of Legends, and 72 FPS when playing Minecraft. Do note that those are just approximates and not exacts. Your actual FPS is likely to vary quite a lot on the settings you play and other in-game variables.
|14″||1366 x 768 px||AMD Radeon Vega 3||AMD Ryzen 3 3200U||4 GB DDR4||128GB SSD|
If you’re on the outlook for an even cheaper entry-level gaming laptop, then be sure to check out the HP Notebook 7MP80UA. This product is nearly 2x cheaper compared to any other laptop that we’ve reviewed.
The price at the time of writing was $349.00.
The HP Notebook features a 14″ diagonal HD SVA Bright display with a resolution of 1366 x 768 px. Yes, it’s not FHD 1080p like all other laptops that we reviewed, but it is nearly 2x cheaper, which is worth the sacrifice if you are really going on a budget.
Design-wise, the laptop measures 12.76″ (L) x 8.89″ (W) x 0.78″ (H) and weighs only 3.20 lbs.
In terms of performance, this gaming laptop hosts an AMD Radeon Vega 3 GPU, which works hand-in-hand with the AMD Ryzen 3 3200U CPU to provide a fair level of gaming experience.
In regards to actual in-game performance, you can expect FPS in the range of 40 for CS: GO, 75 for Left 4 Dead 2, 30 for GTA V, and 74 for Rocket League. One thing that you can do to smoothen out the FPS is set a cap. For example, if you are getting 74 FPS in Rocket League, simply cap the FPS to 60. This way, your entire game is going to be running at a smooth 60 FPS without any major jumps in frames.
This Notebook by HP also has 4 GB of DDR4 RAM and 128 GB of SSD, and although your storage will be super fast, 128 GB might not cut it in which case, we’d recommend that you get an external hard drive.
|15.6″||1920 x 1080 px||AMD Radeon Vega 8||AMD Ryzen 5||8 GB DDR2 SDRAM||512GB PCIe SSD|
If you’re on the lookout for a fair middle ground between value for money and performance, then the Asus X512DA would be a good gaming laptop to get your hands on.
The price at the time of writing was $531.78.
From an aesthetic standpoint, the Asus X512DA features a sleek and modern design in very light grey. This 15.6″ FHD 1920x1080p laptop measures 19″ (L) x 12.6″ (W) x 4″ (H) and weighs 3.70 lbs, making it one of the bulkier models from our list of reviewed products.
In regards to specifications, this gaming laptop is fitted with an AMD Radeon Vega 8 GPU, AMD Ryzen 5 CPU, 8 GB of DDR2 SDRAM, and 512 GB PCIe SSD. When it comes to in-game FPS, with the Asus X512DA you can expect to get around 30 FPS in Watch Dogs, 50 FPS in CS: GO, and around 31 FPS in GTA V.
When it comes to battery performance, from 100%, you can expect to game on this laptop for anywhere between 5 to 6 hours. Do note that the type of game, screen brightness and other variables are also likely to impact the battery life of the laptop.
Other Great Gaming Laptops Under $600
In case you haven’t found the gaming laptop from the above items we’ve reviewed, below, you can find three other great products.
Acer Swift 3
|14″||1920 x 1080 px||AMD Radeon Graphics||AMD Ryzen 7 4700U||8 GB LPDDR4||512GB NVMe SSD|
The Acer Swift 3 is one of the better gaming laptops that we found during our research. It has quite the performance specifications for its price point. Because of that, we believe that this gaming laptop is seriously worth its value for money.
The price at the time of writing was $599.99.
The Acer Swift 3 is a super light and simple game-ready laptop wrapped up in light grey. The laptop itself measures 12.73″ (L) x 8.62″ (W) x 0.63″ (H) and weighs just 2.65 lbs, making it one of the lightest and thinnest gaming laptops in our final selection.
The Acer Swift 3 also features a 14″ FHD 1920 x 1080p resolution display with super-thin bezels, which measure only 0.21″. The Swift 3 also hosts an impressive 82.73% screen-to-body ratio.
As far as actual performance, in the Swift 3 by Acer, you will find the next-gen AMD Ryzen 7 4700U CPU, which is nicely complemented with the AMD Radeon Graphics GPU.
In terms of actual in-game performance, this laptop’s GPU pulled an average of 48 FPS in GTV, 50 in PUBG, and 38 in Forza Horizon. Do keep in mind that this FPS is just a benchmark and that it is likely to vary in either direction depending on your in-game settings and other in-game variables.
Other impressive specifications that you will find in this laptop include the 8 GB of LPDDR4 RAM, 512 GB NVMe SSD, the ability to unlock the laptop using the fingerprint reader, and Alexa.
Another super impressive aspect of this gaming laptop is its long-lasting battery, which can last up to 11.5 hours. This will obviously vary depending on the brightness of the screen and how much load the laptop is put under when running your favorite video games.
Lenovo IdeaPad 3
|15.6″||1920 x 1080 px||AMD Radeon 7||AMD Ryzen 5 5500U||8 GB DDR4||256GB PCIe SSD|
The Lenovo IdeaPad 3 is another fantastic gaming laptop that we would recommend to you. It has all the necessary specifications to deliver you a decent, entry-level gaming experience.
The price at the time of writing was $599.99.
Visually speaking, the IdeaPad 3 by Lenovo looks just like any other laptop. It measures 14.14″ (L) x 9.31″ (W) x 0.78″ (H) and weighs only 3.64 lbs. This means that you can practically carry this laptop with you everywhere you go without much effort at all.
The laptop itself hosts a 15.6″ Full HD 1920x1080p resolution anti-glare screen and a pretty cool backlit keyboard with a fingerprint reader for quick access to your laptop from the lock screen. The screen itself can also achieve a frequency of up to 120 Hz, which is plenty for entry-level gamers.
In terms of performance, the IdeaPad 3 is equipped with an AMD Ryzen 5 5500U CPU and an AMD Radeon 7 graphics card. While those aren’t particularly top of the line, they are miles better than many laptops in this price range.
Aside from those, you can also play a wide variety of video games thanks to the 8 GB of DDR4 RAM and relatively low 256 GB of PCI SSD. In many cases, you will probably need to get yourself an external hard drive unless you only plan on playing a couple of games.
As for actual in-game performance, with the IdeaPad 3, you can expect to get 60 FPS at 1080p in games like Persona 4 Golden, Risk of Rain 2, Control, Tetris Effect and others.
|17.3”||1920 x 1080 px||GeForce GTX 1650 Ti||Intel Core i5-10300H||8 GB DDR4 SDRAM||512GB PCIe SSD|
In case you can stretch your budget by an extra couple of hundred dollars, you can get your hands on the ASUS TUF Gaming F17. It is by far the better and most performing option from our list of recommendations.
The price at the time of writing was $849.99.
During our research for the best gaming laptop under 600 dollars, we came across the ASUS TUF Gaming F17 and decided to include it irrespective of its price point just to show you what you can get for a little bit over our target price. Of course, this might not be for everybody, but we decided to include it anyway.
Visually speaking, the laptop is wrapped up in sleek black with orange details, which nicely complement its game-ready design. The laptop itself measures 15.71″ (L) x 10.59″ (W) x 1.02″ (H) with a total added weight of just 5.73 lbs. In other words, this laptop will cause you no problems when it comes to carrying it around with you.
As for performance, the TUF Gaming F17 features a 17.3″ Full HD IPS-Type Display with a refresh rate of 144 Hz. This is crucial for competitive gaming as you can enjoy a butter-smooth gaming experience.
You will also find a GeForce GTX 1650 Ti that is nicely accommodated with the Intel Core i5-10300H processor, which is going to get you some decent frames in a range of video games (more on that later).
This model by ASUS also hosts 8 GB of DDR4 RAM and 512 GB PCIe SSD, allowing you to store plenty of games and load them up in seconds. You can always opt-in for an external hard drive if you need more space.
In regards to actual in-game performance, at medium settings, this laptop could run Fortnite at 103 FPS, Valorant at 173 FPS, GTA at 97 FPS, and CS: GO at 232 FPS. Do note that those are approximated and that the actual FPS you will get is likely to slightly differ.
Shopping Tips for Buying a Cheap Gaming Laptop
Before you spend your money on a gaming laptop, do make sure to check out the shopping tips that we have prepared for you below. They are all relevant and inspired as a result of our in-depth research on the topic.
Don’t Go For a Gaming Laptop With Less Than 4 GB of RAM
Video games, especially the ones that are more recent can be very demanding in terms of RAM. If you don’t have a sufficient amount of RAM on your gaming laptop, your game will lag and even crash. That is an experience that you don’t want to avoid.
As a general rule of thumb, you shouldn’t go for a gaming laptop with less than 4 GB of RAM. Of course, some video games don’t need all 4 GB and you can probably get away with less but the large majority do.
As you could imagine, some video games such as GTA or Warzone will require even more than 4 GB of RAM. For those, the recommended minimum is 8 GB. When it comes to RAM, the more is usually the better.
The Ideal Gaming Laptop Screen Size Is Between 14″ and 17.3″
While gaming laptops with screen sizes over 17.3″ are quite rare, you typically don’t want to go for one with a larger screen even if you could. It would be inconvenient to carry and diminish the portability benefits of having a laptop.
On the flip side, you don’t want a laptop with a smaller screen size of 14″. At that point, your screen will be far too small for you to see or do anything. This particularly applies if you want to play CS: GO, Warzone, or other fast-paced shooters where reaction time and being able to see enemies is of crucial importance.
The Laptop’s Graphics Card and CPU Will Have the Biggest Impact on Performance
There are thousands of laptops out there within the 600 dollar mark. You will find that most are recommended for light and general school work and work activities. They are not designed for gaming as their CPU and GPU are either non-existent or are put into one to simply get the job done.
For gaming, those are a big no, unless you truly want to have a horrible experience. Stay away from those.
What you do want to pay extreme attention to is your laptop’s GPU (Graphics Card) and CPU (Processor). Those two will have the biggest impact on your laptop’s gaming performance. You can use benchmarking websites on Google to determine what level of performance you can expect with any given CPU or GPU part.
Picking the Right Gaming Laptop for Your Needs
If you have come this far, you probably haven’t been able to decide which gaming laptop to go for. So, below, you will find three highly relevant scenarios alongside the best gaming laptop recommendation for each.,
Scenario 1: You are just starting out in gaming and would like to taste the waters with an affordable gaming laptop. You are also on a tight budget and would ideally like to spend as little money as possible.
In this case, we’d recommend you our budget-friendly pick, the HP Notebook 7MP80UA.
Scenario 2: You are interested in getting a gaming laptop and are happy to stretch out your budget over 600 if you could get your hands on a really decent and high value for money product.
In this scenario, we’d highly recommend you our final pick, the ASUS TUF Gaming F17.
Scenario 3: You are looking for the best gaming laptop under 600 dollars and not a penny more. In this scenario, we’d suggest that you go for our best overall pick, the Acer Swift 3.
To be completely honest, 600 dollars won’t get you a top of the line gaming laptop. For that money, you can get a decent entry-level system that will do the job. As you saw from our last recommendation, you can see what kind of a gaming laptop you can get for just a couple of hundred dollars extra.
In case you think getting a gaming laptop isn’t necessarily worth it, you can check out our guide on the best gaming PCs under 500 dollars. Likely, you can extract a lot more value and performance from a PC in the same price range as opposed to a laptop.