The hobby that is gaming is already expensive enough without dropping a fortune on your gaming laptop. The best budget gaming laptops are still affordable without sacrificing performance. With a little research, you can find all the processing speed, RAM, and other hardware you need to run the hottest titles.
After scouring the options, we found the best budget laptops that give you the biggest bang for your buck. The gaming laptops on our list are all well under $600, yet can keep up with many of the latest games.
Important Gaming Laptop Features
Despite what some gamers might say, you don’t need a state of the art computer to play most PC games. The newest AAA titles may be out of your reach, or you may have to play them on lower settings, but the best budget gaming laptops still deliver impressive performance.
Even the best budget gaming laptops need to compromise some components in order to be affordable. Thankfully, things like sound card and gaming monitor upgrades are easy to make as you can afford them. If the gaming laptop that you buy now doesn’t have all the hardware you want, don’t be afraid to simply upgrade in the future.
Here are the important specs to consider when choosing a quality budget gaming laptop. Always check your favorite games’ requirements to ensure the gaming laptop that you want can run them.
- Processor (CPU). Laptop experts love to talk about the importance of a powerful processor. The truth is, many games don’t require the newest or most impressive processor. Many of the best budget gaming laptops use processors that are a couple years old, but which will still perform well with most games.
- RAM. The newest game titles regularly list 8GB of RAM as a minimum requirement. Even for games that require less RAM, gaming laptops with 8GB+ of RAM will always run more smoothly. This is especially true if you like to run background programs while gaming.
- Graphics Card (GPU). Arguably the most important spec to consider when picking up reliable budget gaming laptop, good graphics cards are difficult to come by. Ideally, gamers want a dedicated graphics card, but these are expensive and can easily overheat inside laptops. Integrated graphics cards are more limited, but run cooler and are more affordable. If you play graphic heavy games, spring for a best budget gaming laptop with a dedicated GPU. If your games are more CPU intensive, you can save big with an integrated GPU.
Top 7 Best Budget Gaming Laptops Comparison Guide
Reviews of the Top Rated Budget Gaming Laptops
For the price, you simply won’t find a better value in a budget gaming laptop. The Lenovo Y40 is catered to gamers’ needs, featuring all the hardware you need most. The 4th Gen i5-4210 U processor performs well beyond what you’d expect from a dual core unit. Between this CPU and the Radeon R9 graphics card, this inexpensive gaming laptop is equipped to keep frame rates fast and steady. It all looks great on a 14” FHD display, too.
This laptop is a functional, versatile size. At 5.5lbs, it features a large screen but remains portable. The battery will last about 5 hours surfing the web, and about 3 hours if you’re playing games. We also like that this gaming laptop uses hybrid storage with both a 500GB HDD and a tiny 8GB gaming SSD. Store all your games and personal files on the same device without switching between flash drives and external hard drives.
The Lenovo Y40 comes with 8GBs of DDR3 RAM, which is enough to meet the minimum requirements of almost all games. It’s also enough for any personal program you may want to use, including video editing and digital design software. Overall, the Lenovo Y40 is perfect for gamers on a budget. It comes with respectable hardware, a gorgeous display, and the indestructible construction we expect from Lenovo.
If the Lenovo Y40 is still out of your budget, we found another cheap gaming laptop for you. While the hardware in this laptop is certainly out of date, casual games will still work great on this machine. If your favorite games are 2D, or aren’t heavy on graphics, this budget gaming laptop will dependably deliver.
At the very top of the line for its price range, this ASUS laptop has a Radeon R6 integrated graphics card working alongside a respectable AMD A10-8700P quad core processor. Notably, this laptop only comes with 4GB of RAM. Games that can run with 4GB of RAM should also be able to work with this CPU and GPU combo, though you may need to set lower graphical settings.
For the price, we can’t believe this laptop has a full sized, 15.6” HD screen. When you’re ready to upgrade, there are plenty of connection options that make adding a computer gaming monitor easy. There’s also an Ethernet port for serious gamers that value every split second of connection speed. Coming in at an unbeatable price, this is easily one of the best budget gaming laptops.
Have a couple extra bucks to spend? If you’re willing to save for something a little better, you can’t beat the Lenovo Ideapad 510. This budget friendly gaming laptop is the most expensive on our list, but for good reason. It features a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce 940MX graphics card, the best on our list. This card was made specifically for the demands of gaming. The GeForce 940MX is paired with an i5-6200U@2.3GHz dual-core processor. Together they’ll give you flawless, tear free play of all but the most intensive video games.
This laptop features 8GB of DDR4 RAM, which is faster and more efficient than the DDR3 that comes with the Y40. You’ll also get twice the storage in this model as you will with the Y40. The Ideapad 510 comes with a 1TB HDD that’s large enough to hold all your favorite games at once. Now you’ll never have to remove one game to install another again. This is one of the best budget gaming laptops if your favorite games have high system requirements.
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