A gaming laptop that can provide hours of fun for both casual and serious gamers can be had below $800 these days. Either discounted from year old models or new models benefiting from the reduced production cost from lower RAM and hard drive costs, gaming laptops which are among the most powerful laptops in the market generally become more affordable to a wider market thanks in a stable economy. Just to guide in your search for a gaming laptop within the $800 price point, here are some things you should consider.
What games do you like to play?
If you want to play the most demanding games seamlessly the highest game setting on the highest HD resolution of 1920 x 1080, don’t bother to continue reading this. You won’t find a laptop in the $800 or below MSRP or discounted price points. But if you have a more reasonable expectation playing even the most demanding games at medium game setting at a more modest HD resolution, there are several excellent specimens at that price point.
What to look for
Several laptops are in the same price point but not all have the necessary specifications that make them suitable for video gaming enthusiasts. A powerful laptop that can be classified as a gaming laptop is often heavier and bulkier than most in the same price point, while some of the slimmer and lighter laptops costing more may not have the same gaming muscle.
- The CPU: Today’s dual and quad core CPU engines are more than adequate to play just about all the games released to date regardless of clock speeds. Several recent games already take advantage of the multhreading capability offered by these multi-core processors with some also capable of 64-bit execution where 8MB system RAM and above can be fully maximized. Table 1 shows some of the more common quad core engines you can find in laptops at this price point. Lower quad core engines have lower L2 and L3 cache memory which aids in improving data fetching speeds. However, because of the incremental difference is numeric computational power among them, laptops using the least powerful quad core processor but coupled with a powerful GPU perform better in gameplay than one with the most powerful CPU but using a weaker GPU.
- System RAM: A lot is said about being better on the side of plenty when it comes to system memory. If memory is cheap which it usually is, that’s not a problem. We recommend no less than 4GB RAM for those using 32-bit OS which can only recognize 4GB of addressable memory, but 8GB with two separate 4-DIMM modules is better to maximize the dual architecture of multi-core processors and optimizes a 64-bit OS. Most laptops use a compromise 6GB single DIMM module and should be able to allow you to upgrade to 12GB at the least with another module.
Table 1: Overall real world gaming performance
- The GPU (Graphics card or engine): More than the CPU, the GPU determines how seamlessly (no frame freezing, no video frame skipping or judder and no audio synchronization issue) a computer can play a game at a given game setting or screen resolution. Most games will play at their lowest configuration play settings and lowest screen resolution, but not those complex demanding RPG and FPS games released recently like Battlefield 3, Far Cry 3 or even those released earlier like Skyrim: Elder Scrolls V. You will never see a Class 1 category video card such as the upscale NVidia GeForce GTX 680M, AMD Radeon HD8970 or even the lower end among Class 1 GPUs such as the GeForce GTX 660M or the Radeon HD 7850M in a gaming laptop at this price point. In nearly all gaming laptops at this price point, you’d be lucky to find one using a top-end Class 2, unless it is heavily discounted from a $1000+ price point. There are more of them using low to midrange Class 2 graphics cards such as those highlighted in Table 2 below. There are many gaming laptops at this price point using Class 3 GPU but any laptop using anything lower than the Class 3 Intel HD 4000 Graphics do not quality as a gaming laptop from our point of view. Stay clear from these.
- A word about in-built graphics card. Our minimum gaming GPU standard is Intel HD 4000 Graphics which is built-into the Intel Ivy Bridge architecture used in the i7 quad cores. Some laptops use this GPU exclusively while other use another discreet GPU which can be switched to using NVidia Optimus technology which allows you to use the lesser in-build GPU for less graphics-intensive applications. At any price point, a discreet or separate GPU is always preferred, especially one that has its own video RAM. On the other hand, in-built GPUs from either Intel or AMD share the video memory requirements with the system RAM, often allocating 500MB to 1GB of the RAM.
Table 2: Middle ranking laptop graphics cards in the Class 2 category.
Class 2: Midrange graphics cards that can play the most demanding games at medium game detail settings with anti-aliasing at low HD (1366 x 768) to medium HD (1600 x 900) screen resolutions. Some may not play or have problems unless using lower game settings or using lower HD resolution (1366 x 768)
- Excellent display screen quality: With all things equal, a gaming laptop that can play Battlefield 3 seamlessly will be more expensive in one that has a 17-inch screen than a 15-incher. There are few gaming laptops in the $800 price point sporting a 17-inch screen, while some of the most muscled use only 14-inch screens with the lowest 1366 x 768 HD resolution. If you can enjoy playing games on a 3.5-inch iPhone or a 10-inch Tablet, small screen gaming laptops shouldn’t be a problem. If it has an HDMI or VGA-out port, which most do, you can always connect them to a larger monitor or HDTV set.
- Screen displays in most laptops use a generic LCD TN (Twisted Nematic) TFT screens that have over the years benefitted from improved contrast ratios, deeper blacks, and faster response times that their predecessors 2-2 years back. You may like the consistent color accuracy across a wider viewing angle in IPS (In-plane switching ) LCD screens like the one used in Apple iPads and iPhones, but they can be an overkill when used by gamers who watch the screen directly centered.
- Solid State Drive (SSD). Everyone loves to have all the largest data storage space they can afford and with prices falling progressively on hard disks, it is not surprising that most laptops today have no less than 750 GB SATA drives as a basic offering that anyone can readily upgrade to a higher 1TB or 1.5TB. But serious gamers who know the rewarding benefits of having faster game loading and faster entry to higher game levels and new map textures will want to have a solid state drive (SSD) on their laptops. This is still an expensive option with a 128GB SSD costing about the same as 1TB hard drive. Several laptops, across various price points sport a second drive bay and users can complement their HDD with an SSD where they could easily transfer the games for improved performance. At the $800 price, some have a second drive bay for this purpose.
- Data connectivity: With online games, it pays to have an in-bui8lt WiFi feature so that serious gamers can easily bring their laptops in WiFi hotspots and start playing. If you want to use your large flat panel HDTV sets, a gaming laptop can benefit from having a HDMI port to connect to any of these. Most if not all gaming laptops are also multimedia laptops and have these features as basic. USB connectivity, whether in version 2.0 or 3.0 is also a common feature.
- Optical drive: Games are mostly downloadable over the internet but there are still many in their shrink-wrap retail versions that require you to load a DVD on your laptop to run them. In this case, a laptop with the standard multi-format optical drive that can read or write into the disk is standard in most laptops at this price point. But this is not critical for those who purchase their games online.
Finding a gaming laptop that offers value for the money can be made less challenging when you know what you want and what compromises you are willing to take. Hopefully the above considerations can help you make a rewarding decision in getting a reasonably powered gaming laptop within your budgetary constraint. Here are a few of the laptops available online that we consider worth their prices at or below the $800 price point.
Best Gaming Laptop Under 800 Reviews and Comparisons
The 8 Best Gaming Laptop Under $800 Reviews:
1. Lenovo Ideapad 3 Gaming Laptop
The Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 projects a quiet and serene confidence with smooth, crystal-clear visuals and seamless gameplay that stays cool through improved 5th Generation thermals. The IdeaPad Gaming 3 is also stunning visually turned on or off with a clear FHD display and an advanced gaming keyboard housed in an iridescent slick Onyx Black that refracts light at the nano-molecular level—for a gaming PC that truly catches the eye.
- 8GB RAM | 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD
- Equipped With The Latest and Powerful Enough 10th Generation Intel Core i5 Processors, Intel Quad-Core i5-10300H (Beats i7-8850H), (2.5 GHz base frequency, up to 4.5 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost Technology, 8 MB cache, 8 Treads)
- 15.6 inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) 120Hz In-plane Switching (IPS) Technology LED Backlight Display, Dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 4GB GDDR6
- 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C, 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x RJ-45, 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x Headphone-out/microphone-in combo jack
- Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit), Integrated 720p HD Webcam with Privacy Shutter, Backlit Keyboard, Bluetooth, Dolby Audio, 3-cell 45 Wh Lithium-polymer, up to 9 hours battery life : 【HDMI Cable】
2. MSI GF75 17.3″ Gaming Laptop, i5-10300H
MSI GF75 17.3″ Gaming Laptop, i5-10300H, 8GB, 128GB SSD+1TB
|Specific Uses For Product||Gaming|
|Screen Size||17.3 Inches|
|Human Interface Input||Keyboard|
3. MSI GF63 THIN 9SCX-005 15. 6″ FHD Gaming Laptop
MSI GF63 THIN 9SCX-005 15 6 FHD Gaming Laptop Intel Core i5-9300H GTX1650 8GB 256GB NVMe SSD Win10. Power up with 10% performance gains over the previous generation. Smoothly handle the demands of multitasking to efficiently complete your next project. *Select models only.
- 15 6″ FHD (1920*1080) IPS-Level 60Hz 45%NTSC Thin Bezel NVIDIA GeForce GTX1650 [Max-Q] 4G GDDR5
- Core i5-9300H 2 4 – 4 1GHz Intel 9560 Jefferson Peak (2×2 802 11 ac)
- 256GB NVMe SSD 8GB (8G*1)DDR4 2666MHz 2 Sockets Max Memory 64GB
- USB 3 2 Gen1 Type C *1 USB 3 2 Gen1 *3,720p HD Webcam
- Win 10 Multi-language Speakers 2W*2 3 cell (51Whr) Li-Polymer 150W
4. Lenovo Ideapad L340, 81LK00HDUS
The Lenovo 15.6″ Laptop casual toploader T210 is the perfect computer carrying case for anyone looking for a sleek, modern, relaxed bag. This convenient laptop shoulder Bag is large enough to hold any brand of computer up to 15.6 inches, held securely in a designated padded compartment. The large main area also has room for books, a notepad, and other accessories, while smaller, separate internal pockets can hold business cards, mobile devices, and other helpful tools. Dimensions: 12.21 x 2.17 x 16.15 inches.
- A new dimension of gaming performance awaits – with 9th-generation Intel Core i5 processors, the IdeaPad L340 gaming has the power you need to outshoot, outrun, and outsmart anyone. Includes 8GB DDR4 RAM and 512GB NVMe SSD
- Take it to the next level – With the latest NVIDIA GeForce Graphics behind you, you can tame the hottest titles with faster, smoother, and more power-efficient gameplay. Plus, the 15.6-Inch screen delivers a stunning full HD IPS Display with 1920 x 1080 resolution
- A portal to a new sound dimension – hardwired into every Idea Pad L340 gaming is advanced Dopoundsy audio technology. Take your mobile gaming experience to another dimension and have a real blast along the way
- Control your own fate – Game in ‘quick’ Mode or work in ‘quiet’ Mode. It’s your call with a simple function setting that lets you shift gears between modes, instantly.
- Final product may vary slightly from image
5. Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 15
The Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 escalates your game and levels the playing field. Engineered with the latest generation AMD Ryzen™ 5000 H-Series processors and NVIDIA® GeForce® graphics, DDR4 memory and PCIe SSD storage options, this gaming laptop projects a quiet and serene confidence with smooth, crystal-clear visuals and seamless gameplay. The IdeaPad Gaming 3 also stays cool, with a reengineered high-performance thermal system that keeps you playing without worry.
Enjoy the clear 1080p FHD display with a 120Hz refresh rate for tear-free gaming, and blazing-fast NVIDIA® GeForce GTX™ 1650 GPU to supercharge today’s most popular games, including modern titles. Plus, the IdeaPad Gaming 3 is also stunning visually turned on or off with a sleek Shadow Black exterior that is perfect from the classroom to the dorm room.
A gaming laptop needs great gaming inputs, and the IdeaPad Gaming 3 has what it takes to make all the difference. Play your favorite PC gaming titles on the spacious, high-caliber gaming keyboard with white backlighting and 1.5 mm of key travel, and a 120 x 70 mm one-piece PTP Gaming TouchPad. Stay connected with the 720p HD webcam and microphone array with privacy shutter, 2×2 WiFi 802.11 ax, and Bluetooth® 5.0. Ports include RJ45, HDMI™ 2.0, USB-C, USB 3.0, and an audio combo jack. At home or on the go, this slim laptop computer offers 8 hours* of battery life and Rapid Charge Pro for quick recharging.
*All battery life claims are approximate and based on results using the MobileMark® 2018 v188.8.131.52 battery life benchmark test. Actual battery life will vary and depends on many factors such as product configuration and usage, software use, wireless functionality, power management settings, and screen brightness. The maximum capacity of the battery will decrease with time and use.
- Fueled by the revolutionary AMD Ryzen 5000 H-Series mobile processor, this IdeaPad gaming laptop delivers the wins. With 6 ultra-responsive cores, it’s the new standard for gaming performance in innovative, thin, and light laptops
- 15.6″ FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS display with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU to supercharge your favorite games. Slingshot your gaming visuals with 120Hz refresh rate for tear-free gaming
- 8GB 3200 MHz DDR4 RAM memory and 256GB M.2 PCIe SSD storage
- Connectivity: RJ45 Ethernet, 2×2 WiFi 802.11 ax, Bluetooth 5.0; 720p HD webcam and microphone array with privacy shutter; HDMI, USB-C
- 2 x 2W speakers with Nahimic Audio for Gamers; spacious gaming keyboard with white backlight
6. Acer Nitro 5 AN515-55-53E5 Gaming Laptop
Acer gaming laptops deliver advanced performance for all gamers. The Nitro lineup of gaming PCs and accessories are ideal for casual gamers who are ready for something better. The Acer Nitro 5 AN515-55 is equipped with a beautiful 15.6 inch FHD display to help you visualize the win. The latest NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 series GPU supports 2nd Gen Ray Tracing Cores, 3rd Gen Tensor Cores, DLSS, Resizable BAR, Microsoft DirectX 12 Ultimate, and so much more. With Killer Ethernet and Wi-Fi 6, get quicker matchmaking and never worry about disconnecting during a game.
The Acer Nitro 5 with Intel Core i5 processing power enables impressive performance whether you’re challenging your buddies to battle or focusing on a new hobby. This Acer Nitro laptop is configured with 8GB RAM memory and 256GB solid-state drive storage space, and the ability to upgrade as needed. Use the HDMI 2.0 port for a monitor, use power-off USB charging, and plug in your favorite accessories with the array of USB Type-A and USB Type-C ports. (NH.QB0AA.001).
- Dominate the Game: With the 10th Gen Intel Core i5-10300H processor, your Nitro 5 is packed with incredible power for all your games
- RTX, It’s On: The latest NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 (4GB dedicated GDDR6 VRAM) is powered by award-winning architecture with new Ray Tracing Cores, Tensor Cores, and streaming multiprocessors support DirectX 12 Ultimate for the ultimate gaming performance
- Visual Intensity: Explore game worlds in Full HD detail on the 15.6″ widescreen LED-backlit IPS display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 144Hz refresh rate and 80% screen-to-body, 16:9 aspect ratio
- Internal Specifications: 8GB DDR4 2933MHz Memory (2 DDR4 Slots Total, Maximum 32GB); 256GB NVMe SSD (2 x PCIe M.2 Slots, 1 x 2.5″ Hard Drive Bay Available)
- Prioritize Your Gameplay: Killer Ethernet E2600 and Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 gives you an edge online by taking control of your network and prioritizing your gameplay
- Stay Cool Under Pressure: When heavy use requires an added boost, Acer CoolBoost technology increases fan speed by 10% and CPU, GPU cooling by 9% compared to auto mode, overall increasing thermal performance by 25% for better gaming comfort
- Take Control of Your Gaming Laptop: The Nitro Sense UI can be called up with the dedicated keyboard button so you can instantly visualize your PC’s component temperature, fan speed, loading performance, power plan, and more
7. ASUS – TUF Gaming, Intel Core i5-10300H
ASUS – TUF Gaming 15.6″ Full HD Laptop – Intel Core i5-10300H- 8GB Memory – 256GB SSD -NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti – Black
- Intel Core i5-10300H, Quad-core 2.50 GHz (up to 4.50 GHz) 8 MB Cache
- 15.6 inches Full HD (1920 x 1080) display, 8GB DDR4, 256GB SSD
8. Asus TUF FX505DT Gaming Laptop, Ryzen 5 3550H
Asus TUF FX505DT 15.6-inch FHD Gaming Laptop, AMD Quad Core Ryzen 5 3550H, Nvidia Geforce GTX 1650 4GB Graphics, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB Solid State Drive, RGB Backlit Keyboard, Windows 10 Home, Black
- AMD Quad Core Ryzen 5 3550H Processor (2.1Ghz, up to 3.7Ghz)
- 15.6-inch FHD (1920×1080) Display, Windows 10 Home 64 bit
- RGB Backlit Keyboard, 1×USB Type-A 2.0, 2×USB Type-A 3.1
- DTS surround sound, Wifi 802.11ac + Bluetooth 5.0
Last update on 2022-06-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API