Wednesday, April 7, 2021
Reviews

Best Gaming Laptops Under $600

best budget gaming laptops

Gaming laptops are an excellent way to never stop playing your favorite titles. Instead of being relegated to mediocre phone games when out and about, you can get yourself a portable PC strong enough to play AAA games. To make things even better, you don’t even have to break the bank to get your gaming fix on the go. If you can save up to around $600, you will have a robust selection of devices to choose from. Here is everything you need to know about the best gaming laptops under $600.

What should you focus on when choosing a great laptop for gaming?

There are many different specs that influence a computer’s performance. Some of them are critical to playing modern games at a reasonable resolution and framerate. Here are the top specs to focus on when choosing your ideal machine.

GPU

As the name implies, the graphics processing unit allows for the advanced visuals that are commonplace in modern titles. You can play most games on medium settings with a GPU in this price range. You can choose between the AMD Radeon or the Nvidia GeForce GTX series. Both companies offer the most compatibility with the widest range of games on the market.

CPU

The central processing unit allows your computer to run multiple programs simultaneously without sacrificing performance. If you play online titles and rely on additional apps for voice chat, then a strong CPU is a must. A CPU with at least five cores should do the trick. Gamers who close everything while playing can make do with a three-core setup.

RAM

Your random access memory determines how much your PC can handle at once. As games become larger, they need more memory allocated to them. More RAM means you are able to run more complicated games without crashing. 8 GB of DDR4 is ideal, but you can make do with 4GB should you plan to play older titles.

Storage type and space

There are two main types of hard drives to consider. Mechanical hard drives transfer data slowly but offer far more storage capacity for less money. Solid state drives are much faster than their mechanical siblings but often come with less storage to keep costs reasonable. If you need more space, go with a HDD with at least 1 TB of storage. If you want the best performance, go with an SSD with at lest 256 GB of storage.

Display

One of the primary perks of PC gaming is breathtaking visuals. You’ll want a competent display to show off what your hardware can do. You’ll need a full HD display that outputs at least 1080p resolution. The size of the screen is more down to your own preference. However, smaller screens are usually cheaper so they can be a lifesaver when trying to stay within your budget.

The best gaming laptops under $600

With the fundamentals out of the way, we can dive right into the best models currently on the market. While each of these laptops is a great choice for gaming overall, you can use your newfound knowledge of PC specs to make the ideal choice for your unique situation.

2020 HP Pavilion 14” HD Touchscreen Laptop

First up on the list is one of HP’s flagship laptops. The great thing about this unit is how customizable it is. You can order multiple configurations with additional memory and horsepower should you want to splurge on something extra. The configuration we chose features 8GB of DDR4 RAM and a 256 GB solid state drive. The Ryzen 3-3200U this baby is rocking will let you play most games with a high frame rate. That being said, games look beautiful in motion on the 14 inch HD display. The touchscreen functionality is also a nice bonus for added convenience throughout the day.

Pros

  • Great specs for an unbeatable price
  • Customizable memory options
  • Bright screen that handles quick motion with aplomb

Cons

  • Built-in webcam has a very low quality image

2019 ASUS VivoBook

Despite being last year’s model, the VivoBook from ASUS packs quite a bit of value into a small package. This is especially true now that it is over a year old. You can easily find them for cheaper than sticker or even on clearance in some rare instances. This Windows 10 PC has a 128 Gb SSD and 4 GB of DDR4 RAM. The screen is a whopping 15.6 inches and has a vibrant display. There is also an HDMI port so you can use your TV as an even bigger monitor. The Radeon R7 is pretty good for many games, but may struggle to run games coming out in the next few years.

Pros

  • 802.11 AC WiFi for uninterrupted online play
  • Beautiful display and HDMI port image quality
  • Quad core CPU improves multitasking and productivity immensely

Cons

  • Could use a stronger graphics card for the sake of futureproofing

Black Acer Aspire A315

Acer is another brand that has been dominating the laptop game for some time. It is easy to see why once you take a closer look at the specs on their latest machine. You get 6 GB of DDR4 memory and a 256 GB SSD to work with. If that wasn’t enough speed, you get a seventh gen i5-7200U for processing everything you throw at it. You can easily play games while having half a dozen other apps open. This makes it a dream come true for anyone like myself who can’t bear to close any browser tabs. The only downside is the integrated intel graphics chip. While it gets the job done for most titles, you will need a stronger GPU if you hope to crank up the visual settings in your games.

The Pros

  • Bright display that doesn’t cause eye strain
  • Incredibly efficient data transfer speeds
  • Perfect for keeping everything open at once

The Cons

  • Intel GPU holds it back from ultra high settings

Lenovo Flex 14

A 2-in-1 laptop wouldn’t normally be a gamer’s first choice, but Lenovo managed to pack in some pretty powerful hardware into such a small design with the Flex 14. The most impressive aspect of this device is the 8 hours of battery life. While some demanding games will drain the battery quicker, you are guaranteed to get a satisfying play session in on each charge. The Ryzen 3500U graphics processor and the 8GB of DDR4 RAM make the Flex a powerhouse. The 14-inch display doubles as a touchscreen. You can use the included stylus pen to precisely control certain games and apps.

Pros

  • Powerful hardware for a hybrid design
  • 8 hours of battery life keeps you in the game for longer
  • Stylus pen is included as a bonus

Cons

  • The screen is too dim for bright environments

Dell Inspiron 15.6″ HD Laptop

This is the only laptop on this list with a mechanical HDD. Although it results in slower transfer speeds, you are able to store a massive 1 TB of data. If you have a ton of games that you play regularly, this may be the deciding factor for you. Both the CPU and GPU use intel chips. This would put a damper on most other machines. However, the Inspiron has 12 GB of DDR4 memory to make up for it. Provided your game doesn’t have a known CPU bottleneck, you will be able to run it with ease by taking advantage of all that RAM.

Pros

  • Plenty of customization options and the ability to use a SSD instead
  • Excellent WiFi codec that provides a smooth wireless connection
  • Immaculate 15.6-inch display

Cons

  • Intel processors may make it hard to play the most demanding next gen games

The Final Verdict

Overall, each of the above laptops will provide an amazing portable gaming experience on a budget. You can play all the latest titles without having to sacrifice too many of the extra visual effects. That being said, there is one particular unit on this list that provides the most bang for your buck.

The HP Pavilion Touchscreen Laptop boasts some impressive specs that are rarely achieved for such a low cost. If you are on the fence about which gaming laptop to buy for less than 600 dollars, than HP has you covered. You can purchase the Pavilion flagship and rest easy knowing you can game for a good while before inquiring about your next upgrade.

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