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Gaming laptops can range anywhere from $700 to $1,500 — yikes! Prices are high because they require high-end hardware so gaming runs smoothly. But if you’re on a budget, we know where you can get some of the best cheap gaming laptops for under $600. And you don’t have to wait till Amazon Prime Day or Black Friday rolls around.
To snag the best deal, you have two choices: either find a budget laptop with all the gaming features you need or check out refurbished models on retailer websites like Best Buy, Office Depot, or Amazon. And if you want to buy straight from the manufacturer, Dell Refurbished and Apple Certified programs let you save at least 15% on refurbished models.
If you still can’t find what you need, try online electronics retailer TigerDirect to find mostly pre-owned, affordable gaming laptops from various brands.
To make it easy for you to find the best budget gaming laptops, we’ve combed through deals and compiled our best and cheapest finds for under $600.
For more deals, text BLACKFRIDAY to 57299 and receive real-time text alerts when Black Friday deals go live.
The Best Cheap Gaming Laptops of 2022:
- Best Overall Cheap Gaming Laptop: ASUS Zenbook 5500U
- Best Cheap Laptop for First-Time Gamers: Lenovo IdeaPad 3i
- Best Cheap Gaming Laptop Under $300: Acer Aspire 5
- Best Cheap Gaming Laptop with Sharp Images: HP 14 – FQ1025NR
- Best Cheap Gaming Laptop for Students: ASUS VIVO 15
- Best Lightweight Cheap Gaming Laptop: HP Pavilion 14-inch
- Best Cheap Gaming For Students: Dell Inspiron 15
ASUS Zenbook 5500U
Best Overall Cheap Gaming Laptop
With the ASUS Zenbook 5500U ($570, Amazon), you get backlit keys, a front-facing webcam, plus lots of ports including two USB-C, one USB-A, one microSD, and an HDMI slot. You also get a 12-hour battery life, so you can take it with you on the go.
This ASUS Zenbook has all the right specs needed for an enhanced gaming experience, too. It comes with the top-rated AMD Ryzen 5 processor, plus a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce MX450 graphics card. Translated: it’s a great choice if you want excellent video quality while playing games or editing videos.
One thing I think this cheap gaming laptop is missing is a touchscreen. But other than that, it’s a great choice that’s selling out quickly.
Related: 8 Best Cheap Laptops Under $500, Plus How To Save on Big Brands
Lenovo IdeaPad 3i
Best Cheap Laptop for First-Gamers
For a premium gaming experience at a low price, the Lenovo IdeaPad 3i ($499.99, Best Buy) has all the bandwidth you need to run games and other programs. Plus, the 15.6-inch display screen and full HD display give you ample space for viewing. It also features a powerful Intel i3 CPU which is compatible with popular games like Grand Theft Auto IV and Assassin’s Creed.
You’ll love the extra 12GB RAM space, which makes sure games run as smoothly as possible. You also get 10-hour battery life.
Hot tip: When you apply and get approved for the My Best Buy Credit Card, you get can 10% back in rewards.
Acer Aspire 5
Best Cheap Gaming Laptop Under $300
Get this, you can game on the Acer Aspire 5 ($289.99, Amazon) for under $300. Although this laptop wasn’t designed exclusively for gaming, it comes with a spacious 15.6-inch screen and a built-in integrated UHD graphics card for a smooth gaming experience.
You also get a large 15.6-inch full HD wide-screen display, webcam, microphones, and dual-band Wi-Fi 6. Plus, it has more than the average number of USB ports, which is helpful for photo and video editing.
The only downside is that there isn’t much memory on this model, so you’ll likely wind up springing for upgrades later down the line.
HP 14 – FQ1025NR
Best Cheap Gaming Laptop with Sharp Images
The HP 14 – FQ1025NR ($403, Amazon) features an AMD Ryzen 5 processor, which is said to be one of the top CPUs for gaming. Also, it features Wi-Fi 6 and the latest Bluetooth technology.
The 1080p HD display means you’ll get sharp images plus around nine hours of battery life. You’ll find lots of USB ports, an SD card slot, an audio jack, and 8 GB of RAM. You can upgrade the RAM at any time if you need more performance.
Also, if you’re a Prime member, you can instantly save $100 if you apply and get approved for the Amazon Prime Rewards store credit card.
ASUS VIVO 15
Best Cheap Gaming Laptop for Students
The ASUS VIVO 15 ($269.99, Walmart) may not be your first choice for graphics-heavy video games. But this laptop’s a winner if you just need something for casual gaming or basic media editing. It features an Intel Core i3 processor, 8 GB of RAM, and 256 SSD. That means it’s good for uninterrupted video streaming, long research projects, and video editing.
While it features a 15.6-inch display, it’s a super slim laptop that can slip into your backpack or bag. And instead of manually logging in to your laptop with a password, you can just touch the sensor on the keypad for instant access. If at any point you want faster performance or more storage space, you can upgrade by buying more RAM.
HP Pavilion Series
Best Lightweight Cheap Gaming Laptop
The HP Pavilion Series ($329.99, Amazon) comes with the 8 GB of RAM needed for most games to run smoothly. It’s upgradeable, so you can always buy more RAM if you need additional storage or stronger performance. It also features an AMD Ryzen 3 processor so your game flows at a good pace.
Let’s talk ports: the HP Pavilion comes with two USB-A ports, 1 USB-C port, a headphone/microphone jack, and an HDMI cable port. The 14-inch laptop is light and portable so you can take it with you wherever you go. It’s also got extra-thin bezels so you can see more angles, plus an integrated graphics card for brighter colors and deeper contrasts.
Dell Inspiron 15
Best Cheap Gaming Laptop for Light Gaming
The Dell Inspiron 15 ($549.99, Best Buy) may not be the first laptop on your list when it comes to gaming. But listen, it actually has some specs that could work for casual gamers.
The Dell Inspiron 15 offers crystal-clear graphics and fair speed thanks to an AMD Radeon Vega 8 Graphics and AMD Ryzen 5 Processor. It also comes with an 8 GB memory capacity and a 15.6-inch screen. Plus, the screen’s got narrow bezels to make the most of your view. To save even more, Best Buy runs a trade-in program that marks down the original price when you donate a similar model to the one you’re buying.
Is it worth getting a cheap gaming laptop?
It can be if you’re new to gaming or only play occasionally. It’s smart to test the waters with an inexpensive laptop before investing in a pricier one. Most budget models come with the hardware needed for your game to run smoothly. Once they have a dedicated graphics card, enough RAM (8 GB is usually enough), and full HD resolution to get the best views, you should be good to go. And at the end of the day, the best part about buying a cheap laptop is that you can always buy more RAM if you want better performance.