Gaming laptops are similar to ordinary laptops. The only difference is that they come with enhanced features such as advanced processors, graphics, and durability to meet your gaming needs. Most of these features are toned down slightly in gaming laptops under $800 compared to premium gaming laptops. However, you can still find some with a good compromise of features and price which offer great value for money.
|Most Powerful||Asus FX504 TUF||
|Best Performance||HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop||
|Budget Pick||2019 Acer Nitro 5||
|Acer Aspire E5-774G-56SX||
|Omen by HP 2019 15-DC1010NR||
|2020 Dell G3||
|Asus Vivobook S15 S512||
|Lenovo Ideapad L340||
|MSI GV62 8RD-275||
|Dell G5 15 5590||
Can I play my favourite games despite the inferior features?
Yes, even though your budget won’t allow you to buy the latest high-end laptop with GTX 2080 graphics. You are probably now wondering, will my budget laptop handle some of the best games without these advanced features?
Well, you needn’t worry. Here’s a list of less graphic-heavy classic games that you can run smoothly on you gaming laptops under $800 without melting your processor:
- Minecraft running with high graphics settings
- Civilization V with high graphics settings
- Need for Speed series with medium settings
- GTA V with medium settings
- Assassins Creed Odyssey with medium graphics settings
- Hitman 2 with low-medium graphics settings
Despite your budget laptop having weaker features, you’ll still be able to enjoy a number of new indie titles as well as older classic titles. With that out of the way, let’s take a look at the 10 best gaming laptops under $800 that you should try.
1. Asus FX504 TUF – Most powerful
CPU: 8th Gen Intel 6-Core i7-8750H, 2.2 GHz | GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, 4GB | RAM: 8GB DDR4, 2666MHz | Storage: 256 GB SSD | Display: 15.6” 1920×1080, 120 HZ | Weight: 5.1 lbs | Battery life: 5 hours | Price: $789
TUF stands for The Ultimate Force series of laptops which are light weight and durable and designed to strike fear into the hearts of the enemy. This laptop is built to last and give you the ultimate gaming experience. While most mid-range gaming laptops have a poor keyboard, the ASUS TUF backlit keyboard is guaranteed for 20 million key presses.
The cooling fan design facilitates efficient removal of dirt and dust particles which not only extends the life of the laptop but also keeps it cool while you are gaming. With an 8th generation Intel 6-core i7-8750 processor, you are assured of a great gaming experience and it has the ability to handle other heavy tasks if required.
An 8GB DDR4 RAM at 2666MHz frequency also ensures that you can effortlessly multi-task with minimum resistance. It also comes with 256GB SSD storage which reduces boot time as well as allowing quick access to your files. At just 5.1lbs, it is relatively light for a gaming laptop, and this makes it easily portable.
Add the NVIDIA 4GB GeForce GTX 1050 Ti dedicated graphics card to the processor, and you will have a smooth gaming experience that will rival any other gaming laptops under $800. It looks and feels like a premium gaming laptop. External components include a USB-A 2.0, two USB-A 3.0, an HDMI port, an Ethernet port, and a headphone jack – all are found on the left.
However, the laptop’s display is a major problem. While it comes with a great 1080p display, it uses a TN panel instead of an IPS-type panel. This creates a poor viewing angle which makes colours look inverted if you are not viewing from the right angle.
Overall, if you are looking for a powerful, durable, and portable gaming laptops under $800, then the ASUS FX504 TUF is perfect.
2. HP Pavilion Gaming 15-Inch Laptop – Best performance
CPU: 9th Gen Intel Quad-Core i5-9300H, 2.4 GHz | GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650, 4GB (GDDR5) | RAM: 12GB DDR4, 2400MHz | Storage: 256 GB SSD | Display: 15.6” 1920×1080, 60Hz | Weight: 5.24lbs | Battery life: 8 hours | Price: $871.47
Performance-wise, the HP Pavilion is one of the best Gaming Laptops under $800 price mark. With high-grade processing power and graphics, this laptop is not only great for gaming but also multi-tasking with various hefty tasks. It is powered by a 9th generation 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-9300H quad-core processor which allows you to use multiple applications simultaneously.
If you need more power, the turbo can boost the processor from 2.4 GHz to 4.5 GHz, which is a more than adequate level of computing power. 12GB DDR4, 2400MHz RAM, allows you to access your files and programs quickly, even when multi-tasking. It is also equipped with 256 SSD storage, which is enough to install your favorite games.
At only 5.24lbs, the Pavilion is sleek, compact, and relatively light for a gaming laptop and, therefore, easily portable. It is also fitted with three USB-A 3.0 ports, a USB-C 3.0 port, an Ethernet port, an HDMI port, a headphone/mic jack, and an SD card reader. The keyboard is also great with sturdy keys which are easy to click.
The 15.6” screen features 1080p full HD resolution with a 16:9 aspect ratio and an antiglare coating. For a sharp and clear picture/video, the HP Pavilion is fitted with a 4GB dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card which facilitates smooth gaming and multimedia editing.
Below the screen is a row of upward-firing speakers which are loud and clear when playing music but are a bit unpleasant for gaming. The 1080p IPS screen has a 60HZ refresh rate, which makes it a bit less harsh on battery power, especially during the day.
Overall, the Pavilion is great for gaming and handling your daily tasks.
3. Acer Nitro 5 – Best budget laptop
CPU: 8th Gen Intel Quad-Core i5-8300, 2.3 GHz | GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, 4GB (GDDR5) | RAM: 12GB DDR4, 2400MHz | Storage: 256 GB SSD | Display: 15.6” 1920×1080 | Weight: 5.95lbs | Battery life: 5 hours | Price: $815
At first glance, the Acer Nitro 5 does not look like a budget gaming laptop. Although it has a plastic casing, its faux-brushed metallic paint makes it look quite high-end. The vents on the rear cover two fans are fitted with patented Acer Coolboost technology, which increases fan speed by 10%. This allows you to monitor and customize the cooling system during heavy use.
The 2.3 GHz 8th Gen Intel Quad-Core i5-8300 processor paired with a 12GB DDR4 RAM provides sufficient processing power for multi-tasking, heavy gaming, and endured performance. A 256GB SSD hard drive also provides enough storage capacity for your files and enough space to complement the 12GB of RAM.
Fitted with a 4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card, you will be able to play current games at medium/high detail settings complemented by the laptop’s 1080p full HD resolution. It has a spacious backlit keyboard that is ideal for gaming in the dark.
It is fitted with a USB-C 3.1 port, two USB-A 2.0 ports, a USB-A 3.0 port, an HDMI port, an Ethernet port, an SD card slot, and a headphone/mic jack. The Killer Ethernet E2500 allows you to effortlessly stream games without any delays.
However, the Acer Nitro 5 camera does provide grainy video quality. The sound has an echo, especially when the volume is turned up high. The trackpad does not have left or right buttons and is very stiff. This means you must press harder for any reaction, and this may result in finger fatigue.
Ultimately, this Acer laptop is a great gaming laptop under $800 with lots of positive aspects, particularly when it comes to performance.
4. Acer Aspire E5-774G-56SX – Largest laptop
CPU: 7th Gen Intel Dual-Core i5- 7200U, 2.5 GHz | GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M, | RAM: 8GB DDR4 | Storage: 256 GB SSD, 1TB HDD | Display 17.3” 1920×1080 | Weight: 7.28lbs | Battery life: 5 ½ hours | Price: $769
At 17.3”, the Acer Aspire is one of the biggest Gaming Laptops under $800 on the market.
With 256 GB SSD + 1TB HDD, it provides more than ample space to run your programs/games as well as to store the majority of your files without needing an external drive. The SSD allows for faster boot times and most heavy computing while you can use the HDD for storing files such as pictures, music, documents or videos.
Running on a 2.5GHz 7th Gen Intel Dual-Core i5- 7200U with an 8GB DDR4 RAM, the Acer Aspire will be able to handle heavy tasks smoothly. However, with a 7th generation dual-core processor, it will be much slower than other gaming laptops with later generation processors of a similar price.
The dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M GPU, while being great at improving viewer experience, is also inferior when compared to other gaming laptops in the same category. However, with 8GB of RAM, this gaming laptop can handle most games but at low settings.
It comes with a USB-C 3.1 port, two USB-A 2.0 ports, one USB-A 3.0 port, an HDMI port, an Ethernet port, an SD card slot, a DVD Burner, and a headphone/mic jack. It has a decent keyboard and a touchpad and reasonable battery life. Overall, the Acer Aspire is a decent gaming laptop, especially for older games, as it does not have the best CPU or GPU.
5. Omen by HP 2019 15-DC1010NR – Best Gaming Laptop
CPU: 9th Gen Intel 6-Core i7-9750H, 2.6 GHz | GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650, 4GB (GDDR5) | RAM: 8GB DDR4, 2666MHz | Storage: 256 GB SSD | Display: 15.6” 1920×1080, 60 Hz | Weight: 5.34lbs | Battery life: 13 hours | Price: $899
The Omen series by HP is specifically made for gaming, which means that great attention has been paid to its specs to give good value for money. While most gaming laptops under $800 in the Omen series are made for the high-end market, the Omen 15-DC1010NR makes a few compromises to bring the price down without losing appeal.
The Omen 15 has quite a sturdy build, considering that there is a combination of plastic and aluminum in the body. It also uses a central hinge to connect the lid to the base which gives an angular design to the bottom corner for a great and tactical look. It uses Omen Tempest Cooling technology which has a fan and three vents for excellent airflow and cooling.
In terms of display, it features a 1080p Full HD screen with a 60Hz refresh rate, which provides a great display and smooth gameplay. The bezels on the side are also quite reduced, which creates space for a much larger screen. You will also have access to the OMEN COMMAND Centre, which allows you to minimize latency and prioritize gaming traffic.
It also has excellent processing power and packs a 9th generation 2.6GHz 6-Core I7-9750H Intel processor. This, combined with 8GB RAM with 2666MHz frequency, will give you enough power to handle almost any task or game you throw at it. This also allows for multitasking and playing games at higher settings.
Add that to the 256GB SSD storage, and a dedicated 4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU, and you have a laptop that has faster boot times and greater processing of graphics than any other in the same price bracket. Overall, Omen 15 is one of the gaming laptops under $800 in the midrange category.
6. Dell G3 – Highest storage capacity
CPU: 8th Gen Intel Quad-Core i5-8300H, 2.3 GHz | GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, 4GB (GDDR5) | RAM: 8GB DDR4 | Storage: 256 GB SSD+ 1TB HDD | Display: 15.6” 1920×1080, 60Hz | Weight: 5.6lbs | Battery life: 7 hours | Price: $799
The Dell G3 is a cheaper model than the G5 series. Some of their components overlap, which makes the G3 a great choice for someone on a budget. For example, the Alienware Command Centre app is available for monitoring usage of the laptop’s CPU, GPU, RAM and temperature.
Dell has used newer Intel and Nvidia chips for the CPU and GPU which don’t heat up easily. Therefore, the G3 is lighter and thinner as it does not require much cooling. With an 8th Gen Intel Quad-Core i5-8300H processor running at 2.3GHz and 8GB DDR4 RAM, you will be able to run most of your games with ease.
The G3 also has slimmer bezels on the side, making its 15.6” full-screen look bigger and more modern. It has a great display with a 1080p resolution but saves battery power while the screen color is a bit unimpressive. The GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU offers a refresh rate of 60Hz, which means that you can enjoy smoother gaming of up to 60fps (frames per second).
The G3 has plenty of ports for plugging in your gadgets. On the left, you have a headphone jack, power jack, Ethernet port, HDMI 2.0 port, USB-C port, and a USB-A 3.1 port. On the right, there is an SD Card slot, two USB-A 2.0 ports, and a Noble lock slot. Despite their small size, the keyboard keys are also quite comfortable to use, and the touchpad is a bit stiff but responsive.
With 256GB SSD+ 1TB HDD storage, it offers plenty of processing power, great boot time, and plenty of space for your files. It also has a great battery life of close to 7 hours under heavy use. Ultimately, if you are looking for a cheap gaming laptop that also performs great, this is the ideal laptop for you.
7. Asus Vivobook S15 S512 – Cheapest laptop
CPU: 8th Gen Intel Quad-Core i5-8265U, 1.6 GHz | GPU: NVIDIA GeForce MX250, 2GB | RAM: 8GB DDR4, 2400MHz | Storage: 256 GB SSD | Display: 15.6” 1920×1080 | Weight: 3.97lbs | Battery life: 8 hours | Price: $507.49
While the Vivobook is quite a stylish, portable, and well-designed laptop, it does not quite meet the high standards set by gaming laptops. The 1.6GHz 8th Gen Intel Quad-Core i5-8265U processor is quite powerful while the 8GB DDR4 RAM allows for great processing power and quick response time.
The 256GB SDD drive also gives it ample storage space as well as fast boot times. However, the 2GB NVIDIA GeForce MX250 GPU does not provide enough power for high-level gaming. You will only be able to play light games or games at low-level settings. Also, the processing ability with high-level graphics is not as smooth as you’d like it to be.
It has a good design and is surprisingly light for a 15.6” laptop. It has an FHD display, stylish aluminum lid, and narrow bezels. ASUS NanoEdge bezel technology ensures the screen fills 80% of the entire body of the laptop.
The layout of the Vivobook keyboard gives you enough typing space while the touchpad is highly responsive and has excellent precision. In the same thin space, the laptop sports three USB ports (type C and USB 2 and 3), an HDMI port, and an SD memory card reader.
The laptop’s touchpad also acts as a screen pad display for working a second monitor which makes it easier to access tools such as calendar, calculator, music or stream a game on the mini-screen while working on the main screen. Overall, it is a great laptop for your regular daily tasks but a poor one for gaming purposes.
8. Lenovo IdeaPad L340 Gaming Laptop – Most stylish
CPU: 9th Gen Intel Core i5-9300H, 2.4 GHz | GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650, 4GB (GDDR5) | RAM: 8GB DDR4, 2400MHz | Storage: 512 GB SSD | Display: 15.6” 1920×1080 | Weight: 4.84lbs | Battery life: 9 hours | Price: $ 872
The world’s largest laptop maker makes not only office devices, but also great gaming laptops. The IdeaPad L340 is a budget gaming laptop under $800 which offers great value for money. From the powerful GPU to the ample SSD storage, this is a quite a premium gaming laptop for the price.
Although the body is made of plastic, the smooth surface finish gives it a premium look. The screen opens at a 180° angle while the display has very narrow bezels which further add to the premium feel. At just 4.84lbs, the Lenovo L340 is one of the lightest gaming laptops under $800.
Only the essential ports are provided; it does not have features such as the SD card slot. It comes with a USB-C 3.1 port, an HDMI port, an Ethernet port, two USB-A 3.1 ports, an audio port, and a power port. The keyboard is more suitable for typing than gaming, but is comfortable to work on. However, the stiff touchpad will affect your gaming experience.
The 1080p FHD display offers a great viewing experience even at different angles. The brightness is also decent enough for comfortable use when outdoors. The 4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU is also great for games and viewing, as well as complex multimedia editing.
In terms of performance, the IdeaPad comes with the latest 9th Gen Intel Core i5-9300H, 8GB DDR4 RAM, and a 512GB SSD drive. Therefore, the IdeaPad is strong enough to run most current games smoothly. However, as is the case with most gaming laptops under $800, medium to low settings will enable smoother running than high settings.
Overall, the Lenovo IdeaPad L340 is a powerful, light, and well-designed gaming laptop with enough processing power for games, and it’s portable. It offers great value for money while retaining a premium look and feel.
9. MSI GV62 8RD-275 – Most portable
CPU: 8th Gen Intel 6-Core i5-8300H, 2.3 GHz | GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti, 4GB (GDDR5) | RAM: 8GB DDR4, 2400MHz | Storage: 256 GB SSD | Display: 15.6” 1920×1080, 60Hz | Weight: 4.8lbs | Battery life: 4 hours | Price: $999.7
The MSI GV62 is one of the slimmest (1.06”), lightest, and most portable gaming laptops in the $800 range on the market. It has a minimalist design on the outside and wouldn’t stand out among the more colorful laptops in the same price range.
For such a slim laptop, it packs quite a number of ports. You’ll find an audio jack, an E2400 Ethernet port, and two USB 3.1 ports on the left, and an SD card slot, an HDMI port, and a USB 2.0 port on the right. The keyboard is quite spacious, comfortable, and durable with a Numpad and a great touchpad which feels smooth but is sturdy and responsive.
While the 1080p FHD is not the best display, the brightness and contrast are at acceptable levels which allows for great gaming and video viewing. Additionally, the 4 GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti GPU offers great gaming at medium to low settings but is average at high settings.
Performance-wise, it is a powerful laptop which can handle gaming and other demanding media tasks such as multimedia editing. The 2.3GHz 8th Gen Intel 6-Core i5-8300H processor complemented by 8 GB RAM and a 256GB SSD drive allows the processor to handle most tasks with ease.
The MSI GV62 is a great budget gaming laptop which offers great performance, and decent viewing for your video projects. It is quite light for a gaming laptop; you may be tempted to carry it to the office. Overall, it offers decent gaming capabilities, particularly at medium or low settings.
10. Dell G5 15 5590
CPU: 8th Gen Intel Quad-Core i5-8300H, 2.4 GHz | GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti, 4GB (GDDR5) | RAM: 8GB DDR4, 2666MHz | Storage: 128 GB SSD+1TB HDD | Display: 15.6” 1920×1080, 60Hz | Weight: 6.26lbs | Battery life: 8hours | Price: $898
The Dell G5 is another powerful gaming laptop from the Dell G-series of gaming laptops. It comes with some premium components which makes it one of the best gaming laptops under $800. It has a slimmer and smaller design with thin bezels giving it a premium look. It also has a great battery life for this price range.
Most of the connectivity ports are at the back of the laptop, making it easier to attach peripherals on your desk. It features three USB-C 3.0 ports, a USB-C 3.1 port, an Ethernet port, an HDMI port, an audio jack, an SD Card reader, and a Noble lock slot. The performance of the SD card reader is a bit slow, compared to other budget gaming laptops.
It has a 1080p Full-HD resolution for gaming and a 60Hz refresh rate. The 4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti GPU allows for smooth viewing – even for 3D/VR – and a great gaming experience, even at high settings. However, it operates better at medium or low settings.
With the relatively new 8th Gen Intel Quad-Core i5-8300H processor, it offers great processing power for the majority of your activities. The 2.4GHz based clock can be boosted to 4.1 GHz using the turbo boost when the CPU is under heavy use. The processor is supported by 8GB DDR4 RAM and 128GB SSD +1TB HDD storage.
While the 1TB HDD offers excellent storage, the 128GB SSD is a bit smaller, which may affect boot times as well as the speed of reading or writing files on the hard drive. Overall, the Dell G5 is a great gaming laptop for its price, it offers some premium features and has a great battery at a budget price.
What are some features you should look for when purchasing a gaming laptop?
As a general rule of thumb, here are the features that you should always be on the lookout for when purchasing a gaming laptop:
- Screen size
- Battery life
For any laptop, the CPU functions as the brain which powers the entire laptop. With the advancement of technology, manufactures can now produce powerful processors which are not only small in size but also don’t require a lot of cooling. This allows laptop manufacturers to make more compact and portable gaming laptops.
For gaming laptops, a minimum processor for smooth gaming should be the Intel Core i5 or the AMD Ryzen 5. For more complex games, the Intel Core i7 or the Core i9 or the AMD Ryzen 9 will run smoothly even at high graphics settings. For Intel chips, anything 8th generation onwards is the minimum requirement; the current is the 10th generation.
Remember, the greater the processing power, the more expensive the laptop. The number of cores determines how powerful the laptop is. For example, the MSI GV62 8RD-275 has six cores, while the Dell G3 has four cores, which means that the MSI GV62 8RD-275 is more powerful. For laptops below $800, you will mostly get the Intel core i5 processor.
Although having a Core i7 increases the price, there are still some laptops under $800 which come with this processor, such as the Asus FX504 TUF.
Decision: in the under $800 range, the core i7 offers great value for money. However, the Intel Core i5 also offers great processing power.
RAM (random access memory)
RAM plays a vital role in the storage of short-term data, in order for it to be easily accessible when working on a single document or even when multitasking. Gaming laptops with greater RAM capacity can function quicker even when under heavy use.
Sizes range from 2 GB, 4GB, 16 GB to 128 GB RAM or as much as the computer motherboard can handle. The HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop has the best RAM with 12GB.
Decision: For a gaming laptop, a minimum of 8 GB of RAM is required for proper performance. In the price range of $800 and below, 8 GB or 16 GB will offer the best performance.
GPU (graphics processing unit)
Most gaming laptops come with dedicated GPU which has its own RAM which is independent to the laptop’s RAM. They are used for higher graphics processing as they are faster and can be easily upgraded to suit your needs.
Decision: If you are a gamer or a designer who does complex multimedia editing, then a dedicated graphics card of at least 4GB is required.
More: The Best Kids Laptop
SSD (Solid State Drives) have become the industry standard for most new generation laptops on the market rather than HDDs (traditional Hard Drives).
While HDDs use a spinning disk to read/write data, SSDs use flash memory to retrieve data or load applications. SSDs are more expensive than HDDs but offer greater speed. The best you can get for a gaming laptop under £800 is 512GB. Some laptops in the $800 range come with 128GB SSD+1TB HDD drives, which function adequately and have huge amounts of storage space.
Decision: When buying a gaming laptop under $800, 256 GB SSD is sufficient to run your applications and store your information externally. With 256 GB SSD+ 1TB HDD, the Dell G3 has more than enough storage for your gaming needs.
Screen size varies according to the intended use of the laptop. Most gaming laptops have a minimum of 15.6” with some extending to 17.3”. An IPS screen is also referred to as a TN panel screen as it allows better viewing from different angles.
The resolution of the screen is also a factor which should be considered when buying. Most gaming laptops range from 1080p (ultra HD) to 2160p (4k). If you have a 60Hz laptop, it refreshes 60 times per second.
Decision: For gaming laptops under $800, a 15.6” screen with a 1080p resolution and 60Hz refresh rate is the minimum requirement.
Finally, battery life is a major consideration when buying a gaming laptop. For most gaming laptops, the battery life decreases quickly, particularly when under heavy use. Due to this, the average battery life for a gaming laptop under heavy use is around 4 hours.
Decision: While many gaming laptops are not easily portable, battery life is also important. The minimum acceptable battery life under heavy use should be 4 hours and at least double that under light use. With a battery which lasts for more than 13 hours, HP’s Omen series is a no brainer for gamers.
What specs are absolutely non-negotiable?
It is possible to get a gaming laptop under $800 with great features with minimal compromise. Ultimately, the choice depends on your taste and preference of brand or aesthetics. However, this hardware combination is absolutely essential, regardless of the brand.
- 8.9.ot 10th generation Intel Core i5/i7 processor or AMD Ryzen5/7
- A minimum of 8GB RAM
- 256GB SSD or 128GB SSD+1TB HDD storage
- 4GB dedicated graphics card
- 1080p resolution, a 60Hz refresh rate with an IPS panel
Gaming laptops are future-proof (i.e. most features are made with the future in mind). You will get more advanced features ahead of time, thereby saving you the cost of upgrading once these features are available on office computers. Therefore, it is crucial to choose your gaming laptop wisely to avoid future upgrading costs.