The best options under/around $600 are gaming laptops with a GT 840M/940M or Radeon M370/M375 performance level and an 1080p screen, currently. The 1080p screen is a big plus compared to past laptops under $600 and you should look for it. This kind of performance is adequate for low-midrange graphics settings.
Frankly, there was not a lot of change in gaming performance in this price range in the last year or year and a half and besides some deals here and there. Some aspects were improved, like display quality, in some laptops.
For now, I’d suggest waiting and trying to catch deals or go to a higher budget of around $800, then you can get considerably more 3D performance and some extra features. From time to time, there are discounts or short lived deals like the Asus G551JK for $700 or, alternatively, you can get a refurbished laptop for around this price.
- Refurbished/Used laptop with GTX 850M/950M/860M/960M (refurbished only link) under $700. I have no specific recommendation, expect making sure the laptop has an 1080p display and at least 6-8GB RAM. Usually you can find laptops like the Lenovo Y50 or MSI GP60/GE60
- The other recommendations are currently the same as the $500 laptops recommendations – please check.
Acer V5-552PG(15.6″) for $380! A8-5557M, Radeon 8750M, 4GB RAM, 720p. Screen is lousy, build quality and speakers are average at best, but for $380 you can’t beat it in terms of gaming performance per money in the $600 section. If you are looking for something cheap, that’s an excellent option! Acer V5-561G-6407 15.6″ with Radeon R7 M265 (which is actually the older 8750M), 6GB DDR3 and 500G HDD. Weight is around 2.4kg (not as good as the previous V5-552G 2kg) and it is rather cool and quiet. The only problem is the lousy 720p display – for those of us who like to tinker with stuff, I would recommend replacing the display with a good like this AUO 1080p IPS display – see here how it works. Battery performance should be around 4-5 hours *at least* and build quality is so-so.
For heavy gamers, I would recommend saving some more money or wait for good refurbished deals.
For higher performance, I suggest checking the 600$-800$ gaming laptops recommendations. The $800 up to $1000-$1100 gaming laptops are usually much more cost effective in terms in gaming performance (like screen quality) and general value you get for your money.