Best Gaming Laptop Under $600 - 2018 Reviews and Top Picks

We’ve hunted to find the best gaming laptop under $600 suited to your desires and needs. In this article, we’ve narrowed it down to three main choices. Which you choose is up to you, but it will be the best.

Finding The Best Gaming Laptops Under $600

Buying a gaming laptop is a point of contention for many. This is because of the diminishing price/performance in a gaming laptop versus a custom-built desktop.

But, since you’re here, you’re probably more interested in portability than raw performance-per-dollar.

With this in mind, we’ve worked to find the best gaming laptop under $600. You won’t get world-class gaming performance at this price range with a laptop, but you can get something that’s well-built, respectable and should suit your on-the-go gaming needs.

The three contenders in this article are all Acer brand laptops, since that manufacturer currently dominates this price range. Rest assured that there’s no brand bias here.

If anything, revel in the irony a bit. Acer’s greatest rival for the best gaming laptop under $600 is...itself.

Our top pick is the 17-inch Acer Aspire model, thanks to increased screen space, a ton of ports and a higher overall build quality. What you’ll settle on, however, is up to you.

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-52RJ

Contender Breakdown

namestoragescreen sizecpugpuRating
The EntrantAcer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-52RJAcer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-52RJ1TB HDD15-inch LED-Backlit at 1080pDual-Core Intel Core i5 6200U (2.30 GHz)NVIDIA GeForce 940MX (2GB VRAM)3.5/5
The Prodigy Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4256 GB SSD15-inch LED-Backlit at 1080pDual-Core Intel Core i5-7200U (2.50 GHz-3.1 GHz)NVIDIA GeForce 940MX (2GB VRAM)4.25/5
The GiantAcer Aspire 17.3 Inch Full HD Flagship High Performance Black Edition Gaming Laptop PCAcer Aspire 17.3 Inch Full HD Flagship High Performance Black Edition Gaming Laptop PC256 GB SSD17-inch LED-Backlit at 1080pDual-Core Intel Core i5-7200U (2.50 GHz-3.1 GHz)NVIDIA GeForce 940MX (2GB VRAM)4.35/5
#1

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-52RJ

TECH SPECS

  • Storage
    1TB HDD
  • Screen Size
    15-inch LED-Backlit at 1080p
  • CPU
    Dual-Core Intel Core i5 6200U (2.30 GHz)
  • GPU
    NVIDIA GeForce 940MX (2GB VRAM)
  • RAM
    8GB DDR3
  • 3 USB 2.0 Ports
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • Windows 10

First up is the cheap option. This Acer Aspire E 15 has the same basic specs as most laptops in this range, but comes with the unfortunate downside of an older CPU and a less-than-great display.

It does compensate for this in two main areas, though.

Its lower price is much easier to swallow for people who can’t shell out $600 for a laptop. It usually sells for around $500-$530 and doesn’t usually go higher.

The 1TB HDD also means that you can hold a lot more games and media than you could with the other laptops on this list.

However, the choice of an HDD here over an SSD means a much slower overall system. Everything’s a choice, right?

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#2

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4

TECH SPECS

  • Storage
    256 GB SSD
  • Screen Size
    15-inch LED-Backlit at 1080p
  • CPU
    Dual-Core Intel Core i5-7200U (2.50 GHz-3.1 GHz)
  • GPU
    NVIDIA GeForce 940MX (2GB VRAM)
  • RAM
    8GB DDR4
  • 2 USB 3.0 Ports, 1 USB 2.0 Port, 1 USB 3.1 Type-C Port
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • Windows 10

This Acer Aspire E 15 trounces its younger brother in just about every conceivable way, bumping up the display quality, storage speed, CPU speed, USB compatibility, battery life...

But those things go with two major trade-offs.

One being its price. It rings in at just under $600 on most days, which is a fair dent in anybody’s wallet. The second is the size of its storage.

While SSDs do come with their own unique benefits, modern games need a lot of space.

While your SSD will make your system much snappier and your games load quicker, you still are trading off greater storage and savings by opting for this machine.

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#3

Acer Aspire 17.3 Inch Full HD Flagship High Performance Black Edition Gaming Laptop PC

TECH SPECS

  • Storage
    256 GB SSD
  • Screen Size
    17-inch LED-Backlit at 1080p
  • CPU
    Dual-Core Intel Core i5-7200U (2.50 GHz-3.1 GHz)
  • GPU
    NVIDIA GeForce 940MX (2GB VRAM)
  • RAM
    8GB DDR4
  • 2 USB 2.0 Ports, 2 USB 3.0 Ports, 1 USB 3.1 Type-C Port
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • Windows 10

The Acer Aspire 17.3 Inch offering is the best gaming laptop under $600 right now. Unfortunately, we can’t be sure how long it’ll stay that way, due to a fluctuating price.

If you can snag it before it raises in price, though, it’s pretty admirable. It basically one-ups the other two on this list by having a larger, better screen and improved USB 3.1 compatibility.

However, the larger screen doesn’t seem to come with a better battery, so this machine suffers from a much poorer battery life than its predecessor in this list.

What it sacrifices in battery life, however, we believe it makes up for in superior build quality, additional expandability through its extra USB ports and its larger screen.

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What do I want in this price range?

Before buying any PC, laptop or desktop, you should know what you’ll be getting for the money you’re putting in. In the $500-$600 price range, what kind of performance should users expect in their search?

What kind of features should they want?

Here are a few good pointers.

An i5 processor or better

At this point, you don’t want to settle for a poor processor. Not only can these devastate gaming performance, but laptop components are notably weaker than desktop ones.

This means that a good laptop i5 is roughly equivalent to a desktop Pentium, at least when it comes to gaming performance. Since you want to do gaming, you shouldn’t settle for any laptops that don’t have at least an i5’s level of power.

Discrete graphics as a guarantee, not an option

Integrated graphics are also unacceptable at this price range. All gaming-oriented laptops should be offering discrete AMD or Nvidia GPUs for at least decent mobile gaming performance.

Be extra careful that you aren’t buying an integrated graphics laptop for gaming!

Playable framerates at 720p in most new games

The laptop GPU that dominates this price range is the Nvidia GeForce 940MX.This card should be able to pull off modern games at 720p with some settings adjusted.

It should be able to handle older titles with less adjustments.

How do I choose?

Simply put, what do you want the most? If you want raw, portable gaming performance at the cheapest possible price, The Entrant is probably the best choice for you.

The mild boost in CPU performance shouldn’t make a big difference in gaming performance moving up.

If you value a higher battery life, The Prodigy is the obvious choice. Not only does it have power on par with The Giant, it has far better battery life and isn’t missing out on much in comparison to The Giant.

The Giant is our choice, though, since we believe the large display, superior build quality and wealth of USB ports is of the most interest from a pure gaming standpoint. If you’re OK with a 15-inch screen, though, and don’t need a lot of USB peripherals...maybe one of the other two will be right for you.

What’s Your Choice?

Ultimately, the choice is yours. The glory of PC gaming is that you can always choose how you want to play:

Whether that’s at your desk with the best possible price-performance or on the go with an awesome laptop. Whether that’s prioritizing GPU power or prioritizing storage space or playing with a controller or mouse/keyboard.

PC gaming is all about choices. Comment below and tell us: what’s yours?

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