Roundup Review: Best Gaming Laptops under $600

Cutting Edge on a Budget: Reviewing the best gaming laptops under 600 Dollars.

Too often does one buy a band-new laptop only to have it become obsolete in a matter of months, where simple tasks or newer software lag to the point of pure frustration.We understand this feeling of buyers regret all too well - any prolific laptop buyer has surly felt the same, and we are here to avoid this completely.

Since there are several different brands and configurations to select from. When you try to purchase a budget notebook, you frequently have to choose certain attributes over another- for instance, you cannot have performance, a fantastic battery life and top-notch sound at the same time. 

Thus we focus our interest toward the fundamentals on what makes a laptop great. See below, our table of the top products in this category followed by our reviews to shed a better light on the laptops.

The Acer Aspire E5-575G-53VG
1. Acer Aspire E5
HP-ProBook-455
2. HP ProBook 455
 
The ASUS X555DA-WS11
3. The ASUS X555
 
Samsung 15.6-Inch
5. Samsung 15.6-Inch

What to Expect from a Laptop Under $600?

When it comes to affordable laptops, it's all about compromises. Budget laptops often use cheaper, lower-end Core i3 chips or AMD A10 APUs. Mobile chips are designed to operate on extremely low levels of electricity and thus at the price of performance.

 ​We do not imply these laptops for serious gaming, although it's possible to play some old AAA titles from 2010-2014 once you turn down the graphics to moderate.

You will find notebooks on our list which include dedicated graphics processors, these offer lower battery life compared to those that use Intel HD series on-board graphics, and they also generate more heat.

You might need to travel a lot with your laptop and thus game or work on the go. Therefor the laptops with lighter builds might be better suited to your needs due to being suited to portable use.

 Adversely  if you're a college student and want to find a notebook for research and casual gaming, then we recommend that you take a close look at our list and focus in on our top selections, with a higher gaming focus, these laptops are higher spec'd with dedicated GPU's giving an all-round performance.

1. The Acer Aspire E5-575G-53VG

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    CPU                                                                                                                                                2.3 GHz Intel Core i5 
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    Graphics                                                                                                                                        Nvidia GeForce 940MX       
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    Display                                                                                                                                          15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080
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    Memory                                                                                                                                         8 GB DDR SDRAM 
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    Storage                                                                                                                                           256 GB SATA

Acer is a computer manufacturer that makes laptops for all users. Known for fantastic customer support, Acer prides itself in its aggressive pricing policy.

That being the case, there are a lot of Acer priced at less than $ 600 whose specs and features rival those of high-end laptops.

Thus it should come as no surprise that the manufacturer is behind one of the best mid-range laptops on the market. The Aspire E5-575G-53VG lacks the sleek design and aesthetic beauty of its competitors.

In fact, at first glance, you might be forgiven for dismissing this laptop as just another cheap low-quality knock-off. However, what it lacks in looks it more than makes up for in its performance.

The Acer Aspire E5-575G-53VG

Our Rating

Who is it for?

As stated before, the Aspire E5-575G-53VG does not score high regarding construction and design. Thus, if you are not big on design and aesthetic appeal but are big on performance, this is the laptop for you. In particular, if you are gamer looking for a pocket-friendly notebook then look no further. 

This notebook will appeal mostly to gamers. And while it lacks the portability of some of its rivals, it performs better than most of its competitors. Therefore, it is the ideal laptop for anyone looking for a laptop that performs great irrespective of its design. 


Features


The first thing you notice when you flip this laptop open is the 15.6-inch screen. The latter is a 1080p HD screen. The screen is a standard 15.6-inch screen and lags behind those of the laptop’s rivals in regards to brightness. The screen is paired with a 4.1 by 3.0-inch touchpad and backlit keyboard. This backlit keyboard is spacious and offers a great typing experience.

At the heart of the laptop’s performance is a 6th generation core-i5 6200 processor clocked at 2.3 GHz. This processor can be turbocharged up to 2.8 GHz. The processor is then paired with 8 GB of RAM. With this laptop, you can multitask all you want and can stream from different channels all at the same time.

Gamers will be more than pleased with Acers’s decision to install the NVidia GeForce 940MX graphics card with 2GB memory. This kind of graphics card is rare to find in laptops within the Aspire’s price range. Additionally, with this graphics card, you will be able to enjoy modern games such as Overwatch. The card combined with the powerful processor and the RAM makes this a great gaming laptop.

Unlike some of its competitors, this Acer Aspire offers 256 GB of Hard Drive capacity. Nevertheless, this is still sufficient storage for all your needs. There is no denying that Acer compromised on design to offer the best performance. In this regard, this laptop is powered by a 2500 Mah battery.

While it does not sound like much, this battery can last you up to five hours. This is quite impressive considering most Notebooks at this price point can only last for four hours.

With regards to connectivity, this laptop has three standard USB ports, a USB type C port, and a HDMI port. An Ethernet port is also available for wired internet connectivity. This is in addition to the SD card slot.


Pros
  • The RAM can be upgraded up to 32 GB
  • The Nvidia graphics card in this laptop is a great bonus
  • Can go for up to 5 hours or more without requiring re-charging
  • The inclusion of a USB c port is a great bonus
  • It is offered at a very pocket-friendly price considering its features
Cons
  • The design and build of this laptop is rather boring and unappealing
  • The screen is dull and lacks impressive color accuracy
Summary: The Top Choice

Granted the Acer Aspire E5-575G-53VG is not the best-looking laptop out there and neither is it the most portable. However, the inclusion of a Nvidia Geforce graphics card gives it an edge over other similarly priced notebooks.

 It is great for gaming and can handle all the other basic computing tasks that you will be engaged in. So is it worth to purchase? Well, it all depends. For gamers looking for a laptop on a strict budget, purchasing this laptop makes a lot of sense. Furthermore, it offers the right balance between performance and price. Therefore, in conclusion, the Aspire model has all the right features and is our best laptop under 600 dollars.


2. HP ProBook 455 G3

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    CPU                                                                                                                                                AMD A10-8700 APU 1.8-3.2 GHz 
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    Graphics                                                                                                                                       AMD Radeon™ R6       
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    Display                                                                                                                                          15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 (HD)
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    Memory                                                                                                                                         16 GB DDR3L-1600 SDRAM 
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    Storage                                                                                                                                           1TB 7200 rpm SATA

This is among the few laptops available on the marketplace which may be used for enjoying contemporary games, despite having a dedicated graphics processing card. 

The AMD A10-8700 APU is not as effective as Intel's 7th production Core I series chips, but its high core count and strong built-in R6 images system ensures you could play games like Prey, Battlefield 1, COD WW2, etc - with decent fps. 

Settings in the laptops native resolution of 1366 x 768 p. This is a good notebook for budget players.

HP-ProBook-455

Our Rating

Features


As stated above the ProBook 455 is an awesome notebook for budget gamers, in addition its suited to casual content creators that are learning picture/ video editing. The AMD A10 8700 APU is a mix of an extremely powerful notebook processor and a portable graphics chip in a single package. This results in decreased overall energy consumption in addition to lower heating output.

The AMD A10 8700 APU can boost up to 3.2 GHz, also because it's a quad-core (non-hyperthreaded), you'll have the ability to run several programs concurrently without lagging. This APU can be aided by 16 GB of DDR3 RAM- the maximum RAM you may see on any notebook on this listing.

Four threads and 16 GB of RAM are lots for casual gambling- you can conduct any indie match or last-generation AA name easily in the notebooks native resolution, that can be only 1366 x 768 p. The reduced resolution does not suit film viewing or picture editing, but also, it usually means that the load onto your notebooks APU is reduced because the game is operating at a lower resolution.

We favor high framerates over fair graphics, and if you play online competitive multiplayer games, you also will love the greater fps.

With regards to connectivity, this laptop has three standard USB ports, a USB type C port, and a HDMI port. An Ethernet port is also available for wired internet connectivity. This is in addition to the SD card slot.

Pros
  • AMD A10 8700 APU with Radeon R6 graphics
  • 16 GB of DDR3 RAM
  • 1TB 7200 rpm SATA HD
  • Windows 10 preinstalled
  • Plenty of I/O
Cons
  • 1366 x 768 p display
  • Second-rate webcam
Summary: A Pocket Power-House

Ideal for Gamers on the move, the HP ProBook is a hard hitter in the 'Under $600' range. It might have a rather small screen but with a solid performance build with its great CPU/GPU combo it more than covers its weaknesses. 

Dont buy it for luxury accessories mind you, as its webcam is a little under-par and the keyboard is somewhat flimsy, but in the long run it will serve wonderfully as a pocket gaming system for either a student or a designer on a budget. A highly recommended Laptop. 


3. The ASUS X555DA-WS11 15.6-inch Laptop

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    CPU                                                                                                                                                AMD 1.8 GHz A10-8700P 
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    Graphics                                                                                                                                       AMD Radeon R6     
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    Display                                                                                                                                          15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080
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    Memory                                                                                                                                        8 GB DDR 3 RAM 
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    Storage                                                                                                                                          1 TB

Asus is a company that is synonymous with the manufacture of high quality and affordable laptops. The manufacturer has been in the forefront of producing cutting-edge laptops at competitive prices.

This is a strategy that the company has taken to make high-performance laptops available to consumers.

One of Asus’ recent releases is a testament to the firm’s tradition of producing high-quality machines at competitive prices. Dubbed the Asus ASUS X555DA-WS11 15.6-inch Laptop, it is comes at a friendly price tag. 

Do not let its price tag fool you, as the X555DA-WS11 boasts of high-end features.

The ASUS X555DA-WS11

Our Rating

Who is it for?

Apart from being affordable, this Asus model is also lightweight weighing only 6.9 pounds. Additionally, it has a generous 15.6-inch screen. That being the case, this laptop is ideal for students looking for a highly portable yet functional laptop.

Apart from students, thanks to the laptop’s powerful processor it is also perfect for gamers. This laptop will, in particular, please gamers looking for a high-quality laptop at an affordable price. In this regard, this laptop is an affordable gaming laptop that can also be used to meet every day basic computing needs.


Features


As stated above, the Asus X555DA-WS11 boast of high-end specs and features. However, at first glance, it is easy to dismiss the X555DA as just another cheap laptop. It has a standard 15.6-inch screen with HD resolution and a chic-let style keyboard. The gray chassis is also bland looking. But underneath, the laptop is powered by a powerful AMD A10-8700 processor. The CPU is the equivalent of the Intel i5 6200 processor. 

Backing this processor is 8GB of RAM and a hard drive with a 1TB capacity. While the AMD processor has a base speed of 1.8 GHz, it goes up to 3.2 GHz when doing demanding tasks.

The 8GB of RAM is more than enough to handle multitasking. Also, the RAM is sufficient to handle complex operations. In regards to gaming, this Asus is not the best gaming laptop out there; however, it can handle most games of current standard at medium to low settings. 

The laptop comes with an AMD Radeon R6 GPU graphics card. Therefore, it might struggle to handle some of the more graphics intensive AAA gaming titles of recent release. Fitted with a solid 2 cell battery will provide you with up to 3 hours of battery life. In regards to connectivity, the X555DA comes with one 2.0 USB port and two 3.0USB ports.

There is also a HDMI port and a VGA port, in addition to the Kensington port and a Gigabit Ethernet port. Also included is an optical drive, a 3.5 mm audio jack port and an SD card reader. For internet connectivity, the laptop supports the 802.11 ac networks and Bluetooth 4.0. 

What makes this budget laptop stand out are its powerful processor, storage capacity, and RAM. It is hard to find another laptop with these features in this Asus’ price range.

Pros
  • The laptop is offered at a great price tag
  • Has a powerful processor capable of handling complex tasks
  • Offers a huge storage capacity
  • It is lightweight making it very portable
  • Has a Large Display
Cons
  • The 2 cell battery does not offer much regarding battery life
  • The SD card reader on this laptop is relatively slow 
Summary: More Than  Meets the Eye

The Asus X555DA might not have some of the high-end specs of other pricier laptops, but it offers a lot considering its price tag. In all honesty, the 8 GB of RAM is more than most manufacturers are willing to provide for a laptop under $600.

Additionally, most laptops in the under 600 price segment features a core i3 or lower processor. Thus, the fact that this laptop comes with a processor that is the equivalent of the core i5 is phenomenal. And while this laptop is not without its fair share of drawbacks, it is a great purchase. It is important to note that this might not be the best laptop for intensive and extended hours of unplugged use. The 2 cell battery will require plugging into a power outlet more often. In conclusion, this laptop offers more than most in its price segment.


4. The NOTEBOOK 15-AY011NR

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    CPU                                                                                                                                                2.3 GHz Intel Core i5 
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    Graphics                                                                                                                                       Intel HD 520 graphics card     
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    Display                                                                                                                                          15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080
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    Memory                                                                                                                                        8 GB DDR3L SDRAM 
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    Storage                                                                                                                                          1 TB SATA

Hewlett-Packard is a company with a wide array of high-performance laptops under its HP brand-name.

Known for producing notebooks with cutting-edge design, the company makes laptops for many price markets, and is no surprise that HP does have some high-performance laptops in the mid-range of under $600.

One of the company’s best sellers in this budget is the NOTEBOOK 15-AY011NR. This laptop is priced at just under $600; however, its performance matches that of other pricier HP models.

With a sleek and lightweight design, this is ideal for portable use.  Thanks to its awesome features it can also be used for gaming.

Our Rating

Who is it for?

The one question that comes up whenever you go laptop shopping is who a specific laptop is designed for. The Notebook 15-AY011NR is best suited for users looking for a portable alternative or replacement to a desktop computer.

Weighing 4.7 pounds means that it is built for portability. Thus, this is the kind of laptop that you want to get if you do a lot of traveling. This laptop will also appeal to gamers interested in a portable laptop that does not compromise on screen size and Hard Drive capacity.


Features


The 15-AY011NR main selling point is the 6th generation core-i5 processor. This processor has a processing speed of 2.3 GHz and can be turbocharged up to 2.8 GHz. The processor can handle most basic computing tasks. Additionally, paired with the laptop’s Intel HD 520 graphics card, the processor can run most games at decent settings.

However, it will begin to struggle when playing,  modern and graphic intensive games. For multitasking, the laptop features 8 GB of RAM, which is more than enough to handle complex multitasking. This is coupled by 1 TB Hard Drive.

When it comes to design, the 15-AY011NR does not disappoint. While it is not the slimiest laptop, it has a sleek design. The reason why this laptop loses marks in regards to slimness is HP’s decision to install an optical drive, and most of the slightest laptops on offer today, lack an optical drive.

The 15.6 inch HD display is large enough for comfortable movie watching. It is worth noting that not many laptops in the AY011NR’s price segment feature a full HD screen capable of displaying 1080p HD videos.

With the exception of a VGA port, this laptop offers all the connectivity options you would expect from an HP Notebook. This means you get an Ethernet port, a HDMI port, a headset jack, an SD card reader, a 3.0 USB port and two 2.0 USB ports. In addition to this, you also get integrated 4.0 Bluetooth and 802.11 wireless connection.

There is also a DVD burner included. The laptop’s lack of a VGA port might disappoint some; however, it is not a deal breaker. Especially when you consider not many modern monitors use VGA ports. The battery on this laptop can last you up to 4 hours, which is pretty decent considering its price.

Pros
  • Comes with a full HD screen
  • It is lightweight, hence very portable
  • Comes with more than enough storage space
  • The 8GB of RAM can be expanded to 16 GB
  • It offers all the features of a full-sized laptop without compromising on portability
Cons
  • The 1TB Hard Drive is relatively slow 
  • AAA gaming titles will suffer FPS issues
Summary: A Solid Performer

Sure the Intel HD 520 Graphics card that HP opted for is not the best; however, it can still accommodate some decent games, such as GTA V. Therefore, for gaming this laptop has a lot to offer. And the fact that you can upgrade the RAM to 16GB is a bonus.

With regards to the Hard Drive, if you find it too slow for your comfort there is always the option of changing the SSD. All in all, the NOTEBOOK 15-AY011NR has a lot to offer thanks to its high-end specs and features. And when you consider its price it is more of a bargain. Overall, this laptop is a great alternative to some of the pricey Notebooks in the market.


5. Samsung 15.6-Inch HD Touchscreen Laptop

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    CPU                                                                                                                                                2.5​​​​ GH​​​​z Intel® Core™ i5-7200U
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    Graphics                                                                                                                                        NVIDIA Geforce 920MX    
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    Display                                                                                                                                          15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 (HD)
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    Memory                                                                                                                                        8 GB RAM 
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    Storage                                                                                                                                          1 TB SATA

Samsung is a company that has acquired a reputation for producing high-quality electronics from smartphones, tablets to laptops.

Speaking of laptops, Samsung laptops are known for their design aesthetics and high performance. An in the under $ 600 price segment, the South Korea based manufacturer has some very decent laptops.

One of which is the Samsung 15.6-Inch Premium HD Touchscreen Laptop. As its name suggests, this is a touch-screen laptop with specs and features to satisfy most modern gamers.

Offered with the Windows 10 Home Operating System pre-installed, this laptop has very few cons to speak of. Also, it offers the right balance between price, performance, and design.

Samsung 15.6-Inch

Our Rating

Who is it for?

Many laptops are marketed as budget gaming laptops. However, not all are as good as they are marketed to be. Fortunately, this Samsung laptop does not fall under this category.

The features and specs on this laptop point to it being a budget gaming laptop. As such, it is ideal for gamers looking for an affordable notebook with a sophisticated design. The inclusion of a touchscreen adds to the appeal of this notebook. And apart from gamers, this laptop will appeal to basic computer users.


Features


The backbone of any laptop is its features. And Samsung went all out in ensuring that this notebook has what it takes to compete with other notebooks in its category. To start with, this laptop features a 7th generation core i5-7200U processor. Clocked at 2.5 GHz this processor can be turbocharged up to 3.1 GHz. This processor is backed by 8GB of RAM. With this kind of RAM, you can handle different tasks at once.

One of the laptop’s main selling features is its screen. Unlike other budget notebooks, this laptop sports a 15-inch touchscreen. This LED-backlit widescreen has an HD resolution of 1366 x 768. The natural finger touch feature of the screen makes navigation easy.

The audio quality of the laptop is fantastic thanks to the built-in speakers and the SoundAlive auto adjustment. To ensure that its screen size does not interfere with its portability, this notebook weighs 4.37 pounds. And it is 1 inch thin, which is pretty impressive.

For connectivity, you get Bluetooth 4.1 and one 3.0USB port. To expand your viewing options this notebook also has a HDMI port and two 2.0 USB ports.

The built-in media reader supports SD, SDHC, and SDXH memory card formats. To achieve its 1-inch thinness, this laptop lacks a DVD/CD drive. However, it makes up for this with its next-generation wireless connection and Headphone/microphone combo jack. There is also an Ethernet port and an integrated Web camera and supports both 802.11 bgn and 802.11 wireless connectivity.

What will appeal to gamers is the integrated Nvidia Geforce 920 MX graphics card with 2 GB of memory. This graphics card is found in very few mid-range laptops. Apart from the graphics card, gamers will be pleased with the large 1 TB Hard Drive storage capacity available. When it comes to battery life, this Samsung model is ahead of the competition with an impressive battery life of 8 hours.


Pros
  • Offers a long battery life
  • Has a large hard Drive storage capacity
  • Lightweight Design
  • Offered at a Great Price
  • Has a great graphics card integrated
Cons
  • Does not have an optical drive
Summary: An Excellent Option

The lack of an optical drive in this Samsung Notebook is not a deal breaker. The reason being that it is not that much of a necessity today. Thus, when you consider the specs and features that the Samsung 15.6-Inch Premium HD Touchscreen Laptop has to offer, purchasing it makes a lot of sense.

The integrated Nvidia Geforce graphics card with 2 GB of memory sets it apart from the competition. Also, the 15-inch touch screen is unlike any other that can be found in most 15 inches.

Additionally, the core i5 processor on this laptop is a 7th generation processor, meaning it performs better than most found in other similarly priced laptops. In conclusion, the Samsung 15.6-Inch Premium HD Touchscreen Laptop is one of the best gaming laptops in its price point.


This brings us to the end of our list,  hopefully you have a better insight into to the rocky world of finding a well priced, properly tailored machine that does what you need!

Should you need laptops in other budget ranges we offer more articles which will cover other niche equipment or budget needs. Check out our under 200 dollar review if funds are really tight!

~ Gary Botha - Domaine-Nowara Head Editor