As your budget increases, so do the options available to you which can easily lead to confusion as you decide on what specs you need, which laptop is the better value, and so on.
However, there’s no need to worry – we have done the research. We do it so you don’t have to. All you have to do is sit back, relax, and go through the collection of gaming laptops we’ve put together for you. Enjoy!
Table of Contents
Best Gaming Laptops Under $800
First on our list is the Acer Nitro 5.
What makes this laptop unique and deserving of our #1 spot, is that it’s the overall best gaming laptop under $800.
It comes with an Intel Core i5-10300H processor which is pretty fast for gaming and some content creation. That said, we only recommend Intel processors for gaming, not for making videos and other heavy tasks; AMD is a better choice for the latter.
Its 144Hz display makes it one of the best gaming laptops out there in this budget range. However, it may not be best in terms of color accuracy, as most gaming laptops suffer from inaccurate color panels, which makes them not so good of a choice for content creation (again, we recommend AMD for stuff like this).
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti found inside this laptop is a great budget gaming GPU that will allow you to enjoy almost any current and upcoming triple-A games.
Here are two of the most popular games and this GPU’s performance when running them along with frame rates:
You can look at more frame rates and benchmarks over at Notebookcheck.com
The Nitro is one of the lightest laptops on this list, which is another reason why it’s our #1 pick. It weighs 2.65 lbs, making it even lighter than Apple’s new MacBook Air M1 that was launched back in November 2020.
As for RAM, it has DDR4 8GB, which may not be ideal for some gamers out there that like to play heavy-duty triple AAA games on their gaming laptops. As usual, we recommend that you upgrade the RAM to at least 16GB. If you can, you should get a single stick of 8GB, so you can have a Dual-Channel DDR4 RAM, which is faster than a single-channel and might even up your gaming experience a bit.
As always, budget gaming laptops come with 256GB SSD storage, which is good because SSDs are way faster than traditional HDDs which means fewer delays and faster loading times. On the other, it’s slightly problematic because we have to store games and SSDs aren’t really the best place to store them.
Personally, I like to get an HDD or inexpensive 1-2TB SSD that will be able to store all of my games and will still be able to give me the best speeds an SSD can offer.
One of the best SSDs of this caliber is the Samsung EVO 850, you can easily grab its 1TB version at a dirt-cheap price.
Another thing that makes this the best gaming laptop under $800, is that it has the all-important RJ-45 connector which is great for gaming at low ping rates and for when your router doesn’t provide a high-quality Wi-Fi signal. (An ethernet connection is always better for gaming than a Wi-Fi connection.)
There’s also a backlit keyboard, a USB 3.2 Type-C (which offers crazy fast transfer speeds at 20Gbps), and three USB 3.2 Type-A ports, one of which supports charging!
Overall, we think this is the best gaming laptop you’ll find within this price range.
- It has a fast Intel Core i5-10300H CPU for gaming
- Lightest gaming laptop, even lighter than the MacBook Air M1
- All of its USB ports are 3.2 and one USB Type-C and that too is rated at 3.2
- A high refresh rate display at 144Hz, best for gaming
- Its GTX 1650 Ti is a great budget gaming Graphics Card
- RAM and Storage could use an upgrade
Coming in at 120 Hz, the Dell Gaming G3 laptop has a lower refresh rate display, than our first pick, however, there’s not that much of a difference between the two, so there’s no need to stress this.
The screen is about 0.6 inches smaller than the Nitro – 15-inch compared to the 15.6-inch – which, again, won’t be a big deal for most people, including me.
This laptop features the same Intel i5-10300H processor and GTX 1650 Ti GPU as our first pick so you can expect the same performance.
You can look at more frame rates and benchmarks over at Notebookcheck.com
Unlike our first pick, this laptop has better SSD storage: 512GB of fast NVMe which makes it a slightly better choice than our first pick. However, storage shouldn’t impact the laptop’s gaming performance, which is why this laptop is our second pick.
Again, we have DDR4 8GB RAM, which we recommend that you upgrade to 16GB if possible. Also, the RJ-45 connector is present along with two USB 3.0 ports, and two USB 2.0 ports (it would be better if they were USB 3.0s).
As for portability, this laptop might prove a bit heavy for carrying around as it weighs 5.18 lbs. We mention this for those who like to take their laptops with them, otherwise, it’s not something to be concerned with as your gaming experience will not be impacted in any way (unless you play with your laptop on your lap…we don’t recommend that!).
- It comes with a 1080p 15-inch 120Hz gaming-ready display
- Only gaming laptop in this list that comes with 512GB of fast SSD storage
- With its RJ-45 port, you can play games with the lowest ping rates
- RAM could use an upgrade
Compared to the Intel i5-10300H found in our first and second picks, the Ryzen 5 4600H is about 2% slower in terms of average speed, which is why it is third on our list. However, don’t even think for a second that it is inferior to Intel processors in any way; the 2% speed is only mentioned because we’re listing these laptops for gaming, and in gaming, every bit of speed counts.
As a matter of fact, for video editing and other multi-core performance-focused tasks, the Ryzen 5 4600H would always come on top! So, if you only want to play games, we recommend Intel i5-10300H-based laptops. Otherwise, you should go for the Ryzen 5 CPU, if you’re a YouTuber as well as a gamer and/or Twitch streamer.
Another reason that this laptop is third on our list is its GPU; this laptop features the GTX 1650, not the 1650 Ti version. Again, there isn’t a whole lot of difference in terms of gaming performance, as you can see in this video:
Nevertheless, even if it’s 1% slower, we have to rank it lower than the previous laptops because every bit of performance counts, especially when we are on a budget.
Now, a great thing is that this laptop not only comes with an SSD storage of 256GB, it also comes with a 1TB of HDD storage that you can use to store all your games and media files.
Coming in at 4.37 lbs. this is the second lightest laptop on our list, which is good to know if you like carrying your laptop around with you.
There’s a backlit keyboard and an RJ-45 connector which again is crucial if you’re planning to play games that require fast response times and quick actions, such as Fortnite. (In the blink of an eye, someone can come up to you and kill you, in that game! I’ve been playing it for almost 3 years and still haven’t managed to kill more than just a couple of opponents in a single game. This is why fast response times are a must!!)
It also comes with an HDMI port, a USB Type-C port, a USB 3.0 port, a USB 2.0 port, and a SD card slot that allows you to import DSLR footage, in case you’re planning to use this laptop for video editing.
Last but not least, it features a combo headphone jack, so you can listen to the sweet sound of your opponent dying.
- Great storage capacity for games
- Comes with an RJ-45 connector, USB C, and USB 3.0 as well as an HDMI port
- Full HD 1080p Display
- It isn’t a high refresh rate display
Coming in at 5.18 lbs., it’s a little on the heavier side, but it’s still a great gaming laptop for the price range.
It comes with the Intel i5-10300H CPU which is the best for laptops in this price range. It comes paired with the GeForce GTX 1650 4GB variant Graphics Card.
Its display is 1080p at 60Hz but only comes with 220nits of brightness, which means that you won’t be able to take it outside. This is not a big deal, though, because you shouldn’t take it outside anyway. It’s a gaming laptop, and they generally don’t look attractive to most people.
If you want to take your laptop outdoors, we recommend something like the MacBook Air. It has 400nits of brightness and is somewhat stylish as well, especially with its rose-gold color.
The 256GB of SSD storage, although fast, isn’t much to store games. You’ll need to upgrade and get an external HDD to store those huge game files. You know the drill!
Also, its 8GB DDR4 2933MHz RAM is probably sufficient for playing Minecraft or Mario kart, but not much else. Again, you know the drill! (If you don’t, and you should, we mean upgrade the darn thing!)
And then we have the ports. You’ve got the RJ-45, an HDMI port, a USB 3.2 port (which is about 10 times faster than the USB 2.0 standard), and a USB 2.0, which is kind of strange. (Why not make both ports USB 3.2s? Yes, we are shaking our heads.) Let’s not forget the combo headphone jack, we want smooth sound, not choppy sound.
- It has a great CPU for gaming on a budget
- RJ-45 port for a stable and reliable internet connection while playing games
- Fast SSD storage for quick loading times
- Full HD 1080p Display
- A little heavy, and needs RAM and Storage upgrades
Its Full HD 1080p 120Hz display makes it a great choice for gaming, especially if we consider our budget.
Its combination of 120Hz 1080p display, Intel i5-10300H CPU, and NVIDIA GTX 1650 4GB GPU, makes this Lenovo a great budget laptop for gaming.
This laptop is lacking in storage size as it only comes with 256GB of SSD storage which may be enough to store your applications and your operating system but isn’t nearly enough to store today’s HUGE games.
Its 8GB of DDR4 RAM is also a downside. However, given our budget, it’s expected so it’s not that big of a deal. As usual, we recommend an upgrade to at least 16GB.
Finally, this laptop is on the heavier side with its 6.82 lbs. weight, so if portability is a thing for you, now you know.
- Intel i5-10300H processor for gaming on a budget
- Full HD 1080p and 120Hz display which is best for gaming
- The GTX 1650 GPU is also a great addition for a better gaming experience
- As always, Storage and RAM needs an upgrade
While it’s great that this Lenovo has 512GB of Fast NVMe SSD storage, it does have flaws; for example, it comes with the older 9th Gen Intel Core i5-9300H CPU, which is about 7% slower than the previous Intel i5 10300H processor, which isn’t that big of a difference when you think of it.
It comes with a Full HD 1080p display, but only 60Hz, which is not necessarily bad, as most all budget gaming laptops come with a 60Hz panel.
Coming in at 4.84 lbs., it’s a bit lighter than our previous gaming laptop in the list, but still a bit heavy.
It has 8GB RAM and DDR4, which could use an upgrade because some games require you to have at least 16GB of RAM to even be able to run them, let alone play them at a good frame rate and enjoy them. The featured NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 4GB GPU is also great for gaming on a budget.
Finally, you have a blue backlit keyboard and two USB 3.0 ports.
- Decent storage of 512GB, almost no need for an upgrade
- Backlit Keyboard to help you see the keys you’re pressing more easily
- Full HD 1080p Display
- RAM could use an upgrade
The Ryzen 5 3550H CPU is not only great for gaming, but also for creating and editing videos for your YouTube channel. Ryzen processors are generally superior in terms of multi-core performance, which is what most video editing programs depend on.
This Asus comes with a 15.6-inch Full HD 1080p display at 60Hz, which allows you to experience gaming in high definition.
(Short story: After I bought my 13-inch M1 MacBook Air, I started appreciating my 15.6-inch gaming laptop’s display, because the former isn’t meeting my needs properly.)
Its GeForce GTX 1650 4GB Graphics Card is great for gaming on a budget and is the most commonly used GPU at this price range.
Then you have a DDR4 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD. The 8GB requires an upgrade and we recommend an HDD to make up for the small amount of GB on the SSD.
Coming in at 4.85, it’s a little on the heavier side so it’s not recommended for placing on your lap or taking outdoors (carrying this laptop around for a while will definitely tire you out!).
It comes with an RGB backlit keyboard, which you can look at below if you’re not familiar with how they look:
Last but not least, this laptop comes with two USB 3.1 ports, one USB 2.0 port, and a combo headphone jack.
- It has the RGB Keyboard!!!
- Great CPU for gaming and for multitasking or video editing
- A good GPU option for gaming on a budget
- 6-inch Full HD 1080p display for extra details
- Fast SSD storage
- Ram and Storage need upgrades
This Asus comes with the Ryzen 7 3750H processor, which on paper looks like a great option, but in reality, is about 34% slower than the Ryzen 5 4600H found in our third pick, and about 37% slower than the Intel i5 10300H found in our first pick. This is the main reason it’s here at the very bottom of our list.
It’s not a bad gaming laptop by any means, but it’s not the “best” option. However, if for some reason the Intel 10300H or Ryzen 5 4600H gaming laptops on this list aren’t available, feel free to consider this laptop as a suitable replacement.
It comes with a red backlit keyboard, meaning that no other color except red, will illuminate the keys in the dark. It also has an RJ-45 connector, 2X USB 3.1 ports, 1X USB 2.0 port, and a combo headphone jack.
- Backlit Keyboard makes it easy to see what keys you’re pressing
- A decent Graphics Card for gaming on a budget
- RJ-45 port for a more reliable internet connection while gaming
- RAM and Storage could use an upgrade, and a bit on the heavy side
Buyers’ Guide: How to Select the Best Gaming Laptop Under $800
Here are some of the things you should consider before buying a gaming laptop under $800. These are the same things we took into consideration as we researched the laptops on our list, so if you don’t feel like doing your own research, know that we’ve already done it for you, hence this list.
The most common CPU in this budget range is the Intel i5 10300H which is a great gaming processor in this price range. If you’re considering a laptop and it has a less powerful processor, we recommend that you move on.
In terms of AMD CPUs, the minimum CPU you should have in mind is the Ryzen 5 4600H, anything less you shouldn’t consider. Why get something less powerful for the same price as something that is more powerful? Doesn’t make sense, right?
In terms of GPU, the most common Graphics Cards were the GTX 1650 and the 1650 Ti.
Of course, the 1650 Ti is recommended over the 1650, as it’s more powerful. However, if it’s not available, the non-Ti version would do fine.
If you run into an integrated GPU laptop, run away, and don’t look back! The laptops we’ve encountered in this price range are dedicated gaming GPUs and they are some of the best currently available. So, no, we don’t want an integrated GPU! Run!
In terms of RAM, there wasn’t anything of note. Most laptops in this price range come with 8GB of DDR4 RAM which requires an upgrade to at least 16GB. If by chance you find a laptop that has the above-mentioned specs and has more than 8GB of RAM, we suggest that you grab that deal and run!
As for storage, we don’t think you’ll find a better option than what we have listed here for our third pick, the HP Pavilion 15.
It has 256GB of fast SSD storage for storing your operating system, as well as 1TB of HDD storage to store your games. Nah man, we don’t think you’ll find a better option than this combination of HDD and SSD at this price range.
If you do, though, that’d be amazing! We’d say grab that deal!
The best display we found in this budget range was the 144Hz 1080p 15.6-inch panel which is featured in our first pick, the Acer Nitro 5.
There are some other things you should consider in a gaming laptop under $800. One of these things is an RJ-45 port that will allow you to play games with a stable Internet connection, so you don’t experience any drop in frames or lag while gaming (just remember what I said about my experiences with Fortnite!).
Also, if you plan on using your gaming laptop as a video editing machine, make sure you get a laptop that has an SD card reader like our third pick, the HP Pavilion 15.
Best Gaming Laptops Under $800: Quick Answers
✅ Do gaming laptops overheat?
Yes, they sure do. The good thing is that most modern CPUs are becoming more and more power-efficient while delivering better performance. For example, Apple’s M1 chip is a great CPU that runs on 5watts and delivers performance like no other! With its efficiency, this laptop barely gets warm, let alone overheats.
Intel and AMD CPUs aren’t there yet, while Apple’s been doing it for years for the mobile processors found in their iPhones and iPads. They’ve started using the same technology in their MacBooks, which is why they’re so much better in terms of power saving and efficiency and which is why they don’t get as hot as some of their counterparts from Intel and AMD.
✅ What are the disadvantages of gaming laptops?
Well, for one, they overheat. They’re also heavy which makes them difficult to carry around freely. They can also be a little noisy, especially when you start playing games on them, as they need to expel the heat you’re producing.
There could be more, but these are some of the main disadvantages gaming laptops have.
✅ How long do gaming laptops last?
They typically last between 3 to 6 years. As they age and you play more and more games on them, the overheating lessens their performance, and they start to wear out as does their battery’s lifespan.
✅ What’s the difference between a gaming laptop and a regular laptop?
For starters, gaming laptops are more powerful and consume more energy, making them less useful for simple tasks like doing work in MS Office, as their powerful components require more power than a regular laptop would require, making them last for noticeably less time than a regular laptop would on its battery power.
Regular laptops aren’t that powerful, they’re great for long use on battery and typically last longer than gaming laptops, as they don’t produce as much heat as gaming laptops.
Heat is what kills these laptops and shortens their lifespan, so if there’s not a lot of heat, the overall lifespan of the laptop will be longer, which is the case with regular laptops.
✅ Are gaming laptops better than normal laptops?
Yes and no.
If you’re someone who likes to open plenty of Chrome tabs and does multitasking often, a gaming laptop would be your best bet.
However, if you’re an average user who doesn’t do a lot of web browsing, multitasking, etc. then you would do well with a normal laptop.
We tried our best to find the best gaming laptops under $800. We also provided a simple guide in case you want to do your own research. However, rest assured that you will not find better gaming laptops under $800 than those featured on our list! So, we say, just choose the one that best meets your needs and go with it! Thanks for reading!
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