Budget gaming laptops are always hard to find, especially since there are so many different configurations and brands to choose from. When you try to buy a budget laptop, you often have to choose certain features over the other- for example, you can’t have performance and a good battery life at the same time.
Also, when it comes to affordable laptops, it is all about compromises. Which features are you willing to forfeit in order to gain better performance in other areas? Budget laptops tend to use cheaper, lower-end Core i3 processors or AMD A10 APUs. Mobile processors are designed to run on extremely low amounts of power, at the cost of performance.
We don’t suggest these laptops for serious gaming, although you can definitely play some older AAA titles from 2010-2014 after you turn down the graphics to medium. There are laptops on our list which come with dedicated graphics chips, these offer lower battery life than the ones which use Intel HD series onboard graphics, and they also generate more heat.
However, you won’t notice the difference in battery life unless you travel a lot with your laptop and game on the move. If you are a college student and wish to get a laptop for studies and casual gaming, then we suggest that you get one with either an AMD A10 APU, or a laptop with a NVIDIA GeForce series dedicated GPU.
If you are into content creation, then we suggest a laptop with an I7 processor and at least 8 GB of RAM. All of the laptops on our list were chosen after looking at customer reviews and price-to-performance ratio. Take a good look at the specifications, as well as pros/ cons of each model. Everyone has unique needs, and that is why you need to choose a laptop that suits you the best.
With an Intel Core i5 7200U processor, 8 GB of RAM, and a full HD 15.6” display, the Acer Aspire E15 E5-575G-57D4 provides solid value at a reasonable price tag. The brushed metal finish and tactile keyboard make this laptop feel premium, while the above than average speaker quality and bright screen means that you can use this laptop as a portable media/ entertainment station.
It features ample I/O ports and has enough power to run most current-gen AA games such as Overwatch, CS GO, DOTA 2, etc. at 1080p, 60 fps.
The Acer Aspire E15 E5-575G-57D4 is a great all-round laptop for students, casual gamers, and home entertainment. It has just enough I/O ports for you to connect all your external media and peripherals, while also packing enough internal storage so that you can keep all your important documents, favorite music, movies, etc. in one place without the need for an external hard drive.
The Core i5 7200U 7th generation processor excels at general purpose multitasking because of its hyperthreading, and can boost up to 3.1 GHz when applications demand extra processing power. It is not exactly a gaming CPU, but gets the job done as long as you play older AAA titles or less demanding games from the current year.
This laptop is great for esports gaming, thanks to the NVIDIA GeForce 940MX 2GB GDDR5 graphics chip. You will be able to easily sustain 60 fps averages on games such as Overwatch, CS GO, LOL, DOTA 2, etc. while playing at the laptops native resolution of 1080p.
Its 15.6” widescreen display is bright and colors are actually really good considering that this is a regular TN panel on a budget laptop. The colors are enhanced by software through Acer Color Blast technology, allowing to customize the display parameters such as color saturation, brightness, contrast, etc. for different scenarios- movies, gaming, photos, etc.
The battery lasts up to 12 hours with light usage, thanks to the 256 GB SSD which consumes less power than a HDD. Windows 10 Home is installed, and there is 8 GB of DDR4 RAM for effortless multitasking/ gaming. A convenient compartment door on the bottom gives you easy access to the SSD and RAM for potential future upgrades.
The speakers are assisted by Acer TrueHarmony technology, and utilize a paper cone diaphragm design which is constructed from light weight foam. This design results in better sound reproduction and fuller-bodied audio. There is both USB Type 3.1 (Type C) and 3.0 for ultra-fast data transfers/ phone charging.
Core i5 7200U processor
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX graphics
8GB DDR4 RAM
256 GB SSD for super-fast boot up/ application load times
Compartment door on the bottom for easy RAM/ SSD upgrades
Acer ColorBlast and TrueHarmony technology
Limited storage with just a 256 GB SSD
This is an amazing low-budget multimedia/ college laptop from Dell. It is well-built, packs a highly efficient processor, upgradable with the option to go up to 16 GB of RAM, and sports a 1 TB HDD for mass storage. Casual gamers who like to play older games/ indie games and watch movies will love the 1080p True-life LED backlit display.
When Dell decided to go ahead and create a budget-friendly multimedia/ student oriented laptop, they had to consider several things- an efficient as well as reasonably powerful processor, ample RAM, a good display, and solid batter life. Well, with the i5567-0927PRP 15.6” laptop, they got it all right.
This laptop doesn’t sport a dedicated GPU unlike the Acer model that we reviewed previously, but it does have a few advantages of its own that make this a very compelling purchase option if you are a gamer on a budget, or student.
To begin with, it features one of the best displays on any laptop under 600 dollars- the True-Life 1080p display uses an IPS touch panel that displays colors very accurately. It is the brightest display of any laptop on this list, and has amazing contrast.
Images appear sharp and well-lit, watching movies or playing games on this display is an absolute treat. It is also touch-capable, so content creators and students are going to love this. If you plan on using Photoshop, Lightroom, etc. then the touch display will help out quite a bit.
There is 8 GB of DDR4 RAM onboard, along with a 1 TB 5400rpm HDD for mass storage. The core i3 7100U processor doesn’t win any awards for raw power, but it is the least power hungry CPU on this list, meaning that you will often get 10-13 hours out of the battery on this Dell laptop. The Intel HD 620 graphics isn’t exactly powerful, but gets the job done with esports titles and older AAA games from 2-3 years ago.
Extremely efficient Core i3-7100U CPU
8GB of 2400 MHz DDR4 RAM
1 TB HDD
1080p IPS touch display
1 Year Premium On-site Service
No backlit keyboard
This is one of the few laptops on the market that can actually be used for playing modern games, despite lacking a dedicated graphics processing unit. The AMD A10-8700 APU isn’t as efficient as Intel’s 7th generation Core I series processors, but its high core count and solid built-in R6 graphics system means that you can play games such as Prey, Battlefield 1, COD WW2, etc. on low settings at the laptops native resolution of 1366 x 768. This is a great laptop for budget gamers.
The ProBook 455 is an amazing laptop for budget gamers as well as casual content creators who are learning photo/ video editing. The AMD A10 8700 APU is a combination of a highly powerful laptop processor and a mobile graphics chip in one single package. This results in reduced overall power consumption as well as lower heat output.
The AMD A10 8700 APU can boost up to 3.2 GHz, and since it is a quad-core (non-hyperthreaded), you will be able to run multiple applications simultaneously without lagging. This APU is also assisted by 16 GB of DDR3 RAM- the most RAM you will find on any laptop in this list.
Four threads and 16 GB of RAM are plenty for casual gaming- you can run any indie game or last-generation AA title with ease at the laptops native resolution, which is just 1366 x 768. The lower resolution doesn’t suit movie viewing or photo editing, but it also means that the load on your laptops APU is reduced since the game is running at a lower resolution.
We prefer high framerates over pretty visuals, and if you play online competitive multiplayer titles, you too will appreciate the increased fps. The Radeon R6 graphics compressor inside the A10 8700 APU is much better than Intel’s HD 620 series onboard graphics when it comes to gaming performance, albeit at the cost of increased power consumption.
Battery life is between 6-7 hours, and Windows 10 is preinstalled. Wireless connectivity is enabled through 802.11 ac WIFI and Bluetooth. There is a DVD ROM for feeding disks, but you can swap it out to add an additional storage device such as an SSD or an additional hard drive. There is a 1 TB HDD installed in the laptop, and display out is done via an HDMI port and a Display Port.
AMD A10 8700 APU with Radeon R6 graphics
16 GB of DDR3 RAM
1 TB 5400rpm HDD
Windows 10 preinstalled
Plenty of I/O
1366 x 768 display
This is one of the newest models in the Inspiron 15 lineup- it comes with a 1366 x 768 touchscreen display and a 7th generation Intel Core i3-7100U mobile processor. The combination of a 768p display and a 7th generation low power Core i3 CPU means that the battery should easily last for more than 10 hours with some light usage (web browsing, music, videos, etc.).
If you are planning on buying a cheap laptop for some light gaming, then the Dell Inspiron 15 5566 is definitely worth checking out. It is lightweight, well-built, sports a touchscreen, and is extremely power efficient. This is the perfect laptop for on-the-go web browsing, presentation design, or coding.
You can obviously use it for playing games, but don’t expect to run stuff at high graphics settings on a Core i5 7100U processor. The Intel HD 620 graphics chip is extremely good at sipping tiny amounts of power, but not so good at running AAA games.
Worry not- games such as CS GO, DOTA 2, LOL, etc. pose no threat to this laptop. It will run them all at 60+ fps thanks to the fact that you are going to be playing 768p resolution. That’s right, the display resolution is somewhat low if you consider the fact that competing laptops from Acer, HP, etc. all use 1080p screens. But there is one bonus- this is a touchscreen. You get to make the most out of Windows 10, which of course comes preinstalled on the machine.
There is 8 GB of DDR4 RAM onboard, which is plenty for light multitasking and casual gaming. This laptop can definitely act as a placeholder until you upgrade to a gaming desktop or high-end gaming laptop.
It is great for college students and casual home users alike, and is extremely well-built with better than average audio quality and a keyboard that surprisingly doesn’t feel like a wet cardboard panel (scissor dome switch based). The webcam is decent, and the battery life is amazing. There are plenty of I/O ports, and storage is provided in the form of a 250 GB SSD.
Extremely efficient Core i3 7100U processor
8GB of DDR4 RAM
Good audio and keyboard
Windows 10 preinstalled
1-year premium on site service
1366 x 768 display resolution
Storage is limited by having just a 250 GB SSD
This is the laptop that we recommend to content creators and gamers who are on a budget. It is powered by an Intel Core i7 6500U processor, which despite being last generation is pretty powerful at multitasking and general computing tasks.
The Intel HD 520 graphics is not that far behind the Intel HD 620 series onboard graphics found on current-gen Skylake CPUs, and the 1080p 15.6” display does an excellent job of displaying colors accurately.
With the Intel Core i7 6500U processor and 12 GB of DDR3 RAM, you will be able to breeze through daily computing workloads as well as most last generation AAA games. There is no dedicated graphics chip, so you are stuck with the Intel HD 520 series onboard graphics solution.
Frankly, it is not the best that you can get at this price, since there are competing laptops which offer either AMD APUs or NVIDIA GeForce 900 series mobile graphics. But what this laptop does offer you, is an Intel Core i7 processor. This CPU is not a full-fledged 4-core mobile i7, rather it is a lower power “U” series SKU that packs 2 hyperthreaded cores, for a total of 4 threads.
But it still features higher clocks than an i5, along with more cache. More clock speed results in higher framerates while gaming, and better general multitasking performance. The 12 GB of RAM also helps a lot, and allows you to edit high resolution photos, load 3D assets faster in blender, and you can play games with background programs running, since games rarely use more than 8 GB of system memory.
The 15.6” 1080p screen is an excellent addition- colors are accurate and the display is bright enough for outdoor usage during daytime. Battery life is pretty good, despite the 1080p display and 12 GB of RAM. It is around 9 to 10 hours on average, which is plenty for most college students or casual gamers.
There are 2 USB 3.0 ports along with a single USB 2.0 port, an HDMI port, and RJ-45 ethernet. Windows 10 64-bit is preinstalled, and the laptop features a 1 TB 5400 rpm HDD.
Intel Core i7 6500U processor
12 GB of DDR3 RAM
1TB 5400 rpm HDD
Windows 10 Home preinstalled
Good battery life
Webcam isn’t very good
Intel HD 520 graphics
This laptop from Samsung is the complete package- it has a highly efficient processor that is more than capable of carrying out daily computing tasks, ample RAM, a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce graphics chip for superior gaming performance, a touchscreen display, and solid battery life. On top of it all, the price is very appealing. If you are a gamer on a budget, this laptop should definitely be on your list.
Samsung went ahead and created a 15.6” touchscreen laptop with dedicated graphics from NVIDIA that costs less than 600 dollars. Yes, you heard that right- a laptop with touchscreen and dedicated graphics that costs less than 600. Surprising, right? Well, there is one catch- the display has a resolution of 1366 x 768.
While that might put off some aspiring buyers, gamers don’t need to bother since you weren’t on getting a premium gaming experience at this price anyways. When you are playing on a 15.6” display, the 1366 x 768 resolution won’t make a dramatic difference in terms of visual clarity. Gamers on a budget will probably be playing at low- medium graphics anyways, and you will gain more fps as the resolution decreases.
The CPU is an Intel Core i5 7200U. It is almost as good as the Core i7 7500U in terms of gaming performance, since both of these CPUs feature the exact same core count and use the exact same architecture.
The only difference between a low power laptop i7 and a low power laptop i5 is clock speed and cache size. The i7 runs faster and has a larger cache for more efficient multitasking and swifter application loading times.
There is 8 GB of RAM onboard, and the graphics is handled by a NVIDIA GeForce 920 MX card. This GPU is supported by 2 GB of dedicated GDDR5 graphics memory, and will run most modern AAA games at 60+ fps on low to medium graphics settings at 768. You will be able to play esports titles on high settings at ease, since they are not very hardware intensive.
There is a 1 TB 5400 rpm HDD for mass storage, and wireless connectivity is handled by a 802.11 ac WIFI adapter. The 3 cell Li-Ion battery has a capacity of 3780 mAh, resulting in a battery life of up to 8.5 hours. The touchscreen display is great for students and content creators, and it definitely allows you to enjoy the full power of Windows 10 which comes preloaded with the laptop.
Core i5 7200U dual core, 4-thread CPU
8 GB DDR4 RAM
GeForce 920MX 2GB graphics
1 TB 5400 rpm HDD
1366 x 768 display resolution
No optical drive
We hope that these reviews were informative and helped you in deciding which laptop you need to buy. Gaming on a budget is tough, but it can always be made easier if you purchase the right hardware. Get something that will last if you don’t plan on upgrading anytime soon, such as the laptop with a NVIDIA GT 940MX graphics unit.
If you are planning on upgrading to a better laptop or even a gaming desktop anytime soon, then you can manage with any one of the laptops which are powered by AMD A10 APUs or even a Core i3 based laptop that runs Intel HD graphics. Make sure that whichever laptop you buy has ample I/O and connectivity for your specific needs.
If you plan on using the laptop for school/ college work, resolution of the display is no big deal. Touch screen doesn’t matter for gaming, but it is a huge bonus for content creators or students. If you are planning on using the laptop as a portable media center, make sure it has a 1080p display and decent speakers built-in.