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Best gaming laptop under $600: 5 budget gaming laptops in 2023

We pick out the best Intel and AMD gaming laptops for $600 and less

Updated: Jun 30, 2023 2:27 pm
Best gaming laptop under $600: 5 budget gaming laptops in 2023

If you’re after the best gaming laptop under 600 USD in 2023 this guide will tell you everything you need to know. We have listed five of the best budget gaming laptops in this price range, which each offer something different for the consumer. Each review goes through the core specifications of GPU, CPU, memory, display quality, etc. to help you pick the right one in this price bracket. If your budget can stretch to whatever it needs to be to get the ideal mobile gaming machine, then instead read our best gaming laptop page.

Best gaming laptops under $600 in 2023

Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 (120Hz, Ryzen 5 5600H, GTX 1650)

Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3

CPU

AMD Ryzen 5 5600H

Graphics Card

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650

RAM

8GB DDR4 RAM

Storage

256GB SSD

Max Refresh Rate

120Hz

Resolution

FHD

MSI GV15 (144Hz, i5-11400H, GTX 1650)

MSI GV15

CPU

Intel Core i5-11400H

Graphics Card

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650

RAM

8GB DDR4 RAM

Storage

256GB SSD

Max Refresh Rate

144Hz

Resolution

FHD

Acer Nitro AN515 Gaming Laptop

Acer Nitro AN515 Gaming Laptop

CPU

Intel Core i5-9300H / i5-10300H

Graphics

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 / RTX 3050

RAM

8GB

Storage

256GB SSD

Screen Size

15.6”

Max Refresh Rate

60Hz

Acer Aspire 5 A515-43-R6DE Slim Laptop

Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop

CPU

Amd Ryzen 7 3700U

Graphics

AMD RX Vega 10

RAM

8GB

Storage

512GB SSD

Screen Size

15.6”

Max Refresh Rate

60Hz

ASUS F512DA-EB51 VivoBook 15 Thin And Light Laptop

ASUS F512DA EB51 VivoBook

CPU

AMD Quad Core R5-3500U

Graphics

AMD RX Vega 8

RAM

8GB

Storage

256GB SSD

Screen Size

15.6”

Max Refresh Rate

60Hz

Best gaming laptops under $600: reviews

Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 (120Hz, Ryzen 5 5600H, GTX 1650)

Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3

CPU

AMD Ryzen 5 5600H

Graphics Card

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650

RAM

8GB DDR4 RAM

Storage

256GB SSD

Max Refresh Rate

120Hz

Resolution

FHD

Pros
  • Dedicated GTX 1650 GPU for cheap
  • powerful CPU option for the price
  • 120Hz refresh rate for cheap
  • Good battery life
Cons
  • only 8GB RAM
  • only 256GB SSD

If you’re only looking to spend around the $600 mark on a gaming laptop, then you won’t find better than this particular Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3. Not only does it have a dedicated graphics card by way of the Nvidia GTX 1650 – which isn’t easy to find on this budget – but it has a nice powerful CPU on the form of the AMD Ryzen 5 5600H – a solid mid-range processor of the previous gen. With this combination you’ll actually get some respectable FPS performance in slightly older games on the lower settings.

The Ryzen 5 5600H has the added bonus of being very power efficient compared to Intel models, meaning a longer battery life of at least 7 hours on battery saving mode, further facilitating its usefulness as a general use/office laptop.

The display even has a 120Hz refresh rate – which is basically all you’ll need with components of this power, meaning nice smooth gameplay if the FPS gets high enough.

Of course you’re limited to only 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD, which isn’t ideal, but pretty much the standard at this price point, and both of these can be upgraded fairly easily after the point of purchase.

MSI GV15 (144Hz, i5-11400H, GTX 1650)

MSI GV15

CPU

Intel Core i5-11400H

Graphics Card

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650

RAM

8GB DDR4 RAM

Storage

256GB SSD

Max Refresh Rate

144Hz

Resolution

FHD

Pros
  • Dedicated GTX 1650 GPU for cheap
  • 144Hz refresh rate
Cons
  • only 256GB SSD
  • only 8GB DDR4 RAM

This MSI GV15 comes with the same GTX 1650 dedicated GPU as our top pick, though comes with a different processor – an Intel i5-11400H. This CPU is neither as powerful, nor as energy efficient as the AMD option in our top pick, but it still does the job, and the laptop as a whole is still great value at around the $600 mark. In fact you might be able to pick it up slightly cheaper than our top selection.

One edge this machine does have is the 144Hz maximum refresh rate of the display. 144Hz laptops are pretty rare indeed for this amount of money, and though arguably it’s a bit unnecessary, given most new games won’t reach 144FPS with a laptop of this power, some older games on the lower settings certainly will.

Unfortunately you still get the same 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD storage, but again, both of these can be upgraded easily enough and are fairly standard when you’re limiting yourself to a budget like this.

An Intel i5-10300H gaming laptop with GeForce GTX 1650 GPU
Editor’s Pick

Acer Nitro AN515 Gaming Laptop

Acer Nitro AN515 Gaming Laptop

CPU

Intel Core i5-9300H / i5-10300H

Graphics

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 / RTX 3050

RAM

8GB

Storage

256GB SSD

Screen Size

15.6”

Max Refresh Rate

60Hz

Pros
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card
  • Intel i5-10300H
Cons
  • narrow color gamut
  • brightness could be better
  • only 256GB SSD

This Acer Nitro AN515 brand new is somewhat beyond the $600 mark in terms of its MSRP, though we have seen it come down to this point in both sales and as a refurbished product. Given it’s rare to find a dedicated GPU of this power in this price range, going for the refurb should definitely be considered.

The Nvidia GTX 1650 graphics card and Intel i5-10300H processor pack a big punch for a cheap machine, and will be able to generate FPS above 100 for games such as CS:GO when the graphics are turned down. The 60Hz display is less than ideal, though it’s the best you’ll get for this amount of money. Similarly, the 256GB SSD and 8GB of RAM are to be expected but can be upgraded further.

The ports on this machine are pretty much average, it also is heavier than many on this list but that is to be expected, given the more powerful components. The color gamut is limited, but if you want better you’ll have to spend more money. The brightness of the display could also be better. Overall though, given the power of the two main core components, there’s no reason you shouldn’t purchase this laptop if you can find it for around $600.

A great slimline laptop with good power for price and battery life

Acer Aspire 5 A515-43-R6DE Slim Laptop

Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop

CPU

Amd Ryzen 7 3700U

Graphics

AMD RX Vega 10

RAM

8GB

Storage

512GB SSD

Screen Size

15.6”

Max Refresh Rate

60Hz

Pros
  • AMD Ryzen 3700U
  • 512GB SSD
  • good battery life
  • lightweight
  • respectable color replication for the price
Cons
  • no SD card reader

The Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop A515-43-R6DE is an AMD-powered laptop that comes with the Ryzen 3700U processor as well as RX Vega 10 onboard graphics. As is typical with AMD CPUs, the multicore performance on the processor is better than the closest competing Intel processor, meaning that you will get superior performance in most workstation tasks. At this budget, you’re going to be limited in power for such workstation uses, but for a new gaming laptop for c.$600 this is the best you will get.

The RX Vega 10 onboard graphics are again superior in this AMD machine, but you’ll still be limited to playing newer, more demanding games on the lowest settings. As is to be expected, the display is limited to 60Hz but actually has a decent color gamut for a budget machine, though it’s not suitable for color-accurate work.

In all other respects the Aspire 5 comes specced out with the best you can expect: it has a good battery life (expect at least 5 hours for intensive general usage i.e. non-gaming), and is pleasingly lightweight and thin, making it nicely portable. This combined with its reserved look make it a great choice for an office machine. The 512GB SSD is very nice at this price level, though can be updated further should you wish. An SD card reader would have been nice, but overall, this is a solid value machine.

The best value and lightest laptop in this price range

ASUS F512DA-EB51 VivoBook 15 Thin And Light Laptop

ASUS F512DA EB51 VivoBook

CPU

AMD Quad Core R5-3500U

Graphics

AMD RX Vega 8

RAM

8GB

Storage

256GB SSD

Screen Size

15.6”

Max Refresh Rate

60Hz

Pros
  • good value
  • slimline
  • lightweight
Cons
  • no SD card reader
  • battery life could be longer

This configuration of the ASUS VivoBook 15 is the best laptop you will find on the lower end of this price range at the time of writing. It has the usual selection of ports, although lacks an SD card reader, comes with a 720p webcam, and is the most lightweight and slimline laptop on this ist. It has a 256GB SSD and comes with 8GB of RAM which can be upgraded.

Battery-wise you can only expert to get a few hours out of this Vivobook doing strenuous, non-gaming tasks, and the fans are about as loud as you’d expect for a gaming laptop. The 60Hz display has about average brightness and color replication for this price point – i.e. nothing to write home about.

Regarding the most important point: gaming power, there is no getting around the fact that the AMD Quad Core R5-3500U CPU and AMD RX Vega 8 onboard graphics won’t be able to produce playable frames on the latest games unless your graphics are turned right down. Even then some titles may be unplayable on this machine – generally we’d advise sticking to slightly older, less demanding games. Nevertheless, this is not any different from any new laptop at this price point, and the ASUS F512DA-EB51 VivoBook 15 offers the same, if not better components than many of the competition and at a cheaper price.

Have a read of our best gaming laptop under $500 page for more lower-priced options.


Is the best gaming laptop under 600 USD worth buying?

Gaming laptops are the obvious answer to those who don’t fancy lugging a desktop PC around, though their size means sacrifices must be made performance-wise. The best gaming laptops under 600 USD are only ever going to be able to comfortably play less demanding or older games on medium to high settings – newer, more demanding games will need higher budget machines.

We suggest you have a brief look through the Things to consider when buying a gaming laptop under $600 section further down this page to get a quick overview of what you need to know when shopping for gaming laptops in this price range.

Things to consider when buying a gaming laptop under $600

The following is what you should think about when shopping for a gaming laptop under $600. For a more general list of considerations when shopping for a gaming laptop at any budget, please have a read of the ‘Things To Consider’ section of our best gaming laptops guide.

Realistic expectations of gaming performance

The portability advantages of laptops, coupled with the engineering challenges of putting powerful components into a laptop’s chassis and effectively cooling them, means you typically pay at least 50% more on a laptop compared to a desktop computer for the same Frames Per Second (FPS) in game.

Unfortunately, when you reach as low a price as $600 for a gaming laptop, you cannot expect to get any sort of decent performance on even moderately demanding games. Most laptops at this price level come with onboard graphics only (i.e. part of the CPU) rather than a dedicated graphics card, which dramatically limits the FPS you can get when rendering graphically complex games.

You will possibly be able to play old games on medium-high settings, but for anything new, unless it has low requirements (strategy games like Crusader Kings II for example), you’ll have to spend more money. Take a look at our best gaming laptops for under $1,000 page) or alternatively consider a desktop PC you can build yourself for $700 or a prebuilt computer, for under $800.

Consider a refurbished laptop

Usually, we don’t recommend refurbished products on WePC, not because they aren’t a worthwhile consideration, but because it’s assumed you can generally get any product we recommend for cheaper if it’s refurbished – whether you do so or not is up to you!

Given this is an article on gaming laptops, however, the reality is that when you get below $600 the available power to play anything more than the least demanding of games, or the more demanding games on the lowest settings, is considerably reduced. We’d therefore seriously consider seeing if you could pick up a refurbished version of the laptops recommended in our other guides on the Best Gaming Laptops under $700 and $800. Additionally, we have listed below our ‘best refurbished gaming laptop’ pick below, as an example of how much more your money can get you if you do take the plunge into refurb territory.

Maximum refresh rate

Below $700 it becomes increasingly hard to find brand new gaming laptops with a 120Hz. Below $600 they are basically non-existent. The most common refresh rate you will find under 0 is 60Hz, and this is not suitable for competitive, fast-paced shooters – the maximum 60FPS will put you at a considerable disadvantage. Ultimately this limits laptops in this price range for use only if you’re into singleplayer shooters, RPGs, adventure games, strategy games and the like. If you want more than this, you’ll have to either pay more money, or consider buying a refurbished laptop with greater power.

Resolution

1920 x 1080 is almost guaranteed to be the upper limit for all gaming laptops under $600 in 2023. In order to get 1440p or above, you will have to spend considerably more money. That being said, 1080p is still the resolution of choice for most competitive gamers who play fast-paced online shooters, so arguably this won’t be much of a negative, depending on what you’re using it for. Furthermore, if your laptop has a 15 inch or smaller screen, some of the higher resolutions are of debatable value anyway.

Hard drive and RAM

256GB is generally the best SSD you will get in a new gaming laptop if your budget is capped to 0. 256GB is in our opinion, too small a size to be practical for most gamers: many of today’s games require over 50GB of disk space, and the operating system and other necessary files will also take up a good amount of space. We’d advise, if possible, to upgrade your SSD to a larger one, or out in an additional SSD or HDD to supplement it.

The above also applies to RAM. You won’t find memory higher than 8GB at this budget and we’d recommend upgrading this to at least 16GB if possible.

Color replication

Color replication past a certain point is of debatable worth to people who are only interested in gaming, as beyond a level of quality most people won’t notice much difference. You can certainly get a decent color gamut for playing games on under $600. For people interested in doing some light design work though, 100% sRGB replication is unlikely, as is much expectation for color accuracy. As a result, if you want to get a machine that can be used for color-dependent workstation tasks, you’ll need to spend more cash.

Temperature

Given the relatively low-powered components in these low-budget machines, you’re unlikely to suffer much from overheating or thermal throttling, but just in case you can always pick up a cheap laptop cooling pad or laptop stand to help reduce this.

The best gaming laptops under $600 in 2023 frequently asked questions

Which low budget laptop is best for gaming?

If you can find an Acer Nitro AN515 on sale, or a refurbished model, for around $600, then this is the gaming laptop we’d recommend for this price range. If possible, we recommend spending a bit more money though, and picking up a gaming laptop for under $700$800, or $1,000. Check our guides on these price ranges for our recommendations.

Is 8GB enough RAM to play games?

8GB of RAM will be sufficient to play many older games to an enjoyable standard, and will meet the minimum requirements of many more recent games as well. In order to ensure you can play more modern titles to a good standard though, and to browse the web with a decent number of tabs open, we would always recommend upgrading to 16GB RAM where possible.

In-depth laptop reviews

‘Best of’ brand guides

‘Best of’ price guides

Final Word

So there we are, this has been our best gaming laptop under $600 in 2023 guide, and we hoped it has helped you find the budget gaming laptop you were after.

To reiterate, the Acer Aspire 5 A515-43-R6DE Slim Laptop is the best option if you’re looking for something new, but we’d consider going with a refurbished model such as the Acer Nitro AN515 if you actually want to get some decent gaming performance, as the specifications you can get for the same price are much more powerful.

Please see more options in the menu above for recommended laptop guides for different budgets if you didn’t find what you’re looking for here, including the best gaming laptop under $700 and best gaming laptop under $800 guides, or the best gaming laptop under $1,500 if you’re open to splashing ab it more cash.

If there’s any particular laptop you’d like us to cover that we haven’t already, please also leave a comment below.

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