If you’re in the market for a great gaming laptop, you have to keep in mind that they are, like as not, entirely different creatures than regular multitasking laptop. They have more powerful graphics, quicker CPUs, more RAM, bigger hard drives, much more effective cooling… This is why they, invariably, cost a bit more than their non-gaming counterparts. However, it’s perfectly possible to find decent, even great gaming laptops under $800.
So, what are some of the things you need to look out for when buying a gaming laptop? For one, decide on the budget – everything starts from that decision.
You should also decide on the desired size, screen and keyboard, as you’re more likely than not pull all-nighters on this baby. Most people go for 15.6-inch screens and a backlit keyboard. As far the screen res goes, try not to go below 1920 x 1080.
Finally, make sure it has plenty of storage (500GB and upwards), so it can fit all the various games you intend to play.
5 Best Gaming Laptops under 800 Reviews
1. ASUS K501UX 15.6-inch Gaming Laptop
Let’s start our list with the most expensive out of these five inexpensive gaming laptops. The ASUS K501UX 15.6-inch Gaming Laptop pretty much scratches the top of its head on the magic $800 line, but keep in mind that what you get is an absolute beast.
The very heart and soul of the K501UX is the mighty 6th Generation Intel Core i7-6500U Skylake processor (essentially, with Skylake processors you get DDR-4 support and a slight performance boost, but nothing monumental). The speed of the CPU is 2.5GHz (with Turbo boost up to 3.1GHz).
What helps it tackle most modern behemoths like Battlefield 4 or Far Cry Primal (granted, at low to mid settings) are the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M gaming graphics card and 8GB RAM.
For storage, you get a 256GB SSD, with option to upgrade.
This bad boy’s connectivity possibilities include Gigabit Dual-Band 802.11AC ultra-fast Wi-Fi, two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports, a HDMI port, and Bluetooth 4.0.
That was the interior; as for the exterior, the monitor features a 15.6-inch Matte FHD (1920 x 1080) display and backlit keyboard.
- Thin and lightweight
- Superior performance compared to the rest of its price range
- Up to 9+ hours (4 to 6 intense gaming) of battery life
- Spacious, ergonomic keyboard
- Trackpad seems subpar
- Relatively small storage
This is, hands down the best gaming laptop this side of 800 bucks.
Best Gaming Laptop under $800
2. Dell 15.6-Inch Gaming Laptop
The Dell 15.6-Inch Gaming Laptop gives you optimum performance for gaming, surfing, binge-watching Netflix, or what have you. It’s a veritable multitasking brute.
The centerpiece of this fella is the 6th Generation Intel Core i5-6300HQ Quad Core processor with 6M cache, clocked at 2.3GHz, but with ability to boost up to 3.2 GHz.
For even greater speed, there’s an 8GB DDR3L RAM, as well as the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M graphics card with its own 4GB GDDR5 RAM.
The storage capacity is a bit underwhelming, with mere 256GB SSD, so you’d probably want an external HDD by and by.
As far as connectivity goes, you have available one Ethernet jack port, one HDMI port, one Media Card Reader (SD, MMC), three 3.0 USB ports, but no optical drive.
The most important exterior features are its 15.6-Inch FHD IPS, Wide-Angle Anti-Glare screen and backlit ergonomic keyboard.
- Excellent build quality, comfortable keyboard
- Versatile, decent dedicated GPU
- Strong Wi-Fi
- Four to five hours of battery life
- You only get 200GB effective storage space
- The touchpad feels hollow
The Dell Gaming Laptop may not have as powerful a CPU as the previous item on our list, but it more than makes up for it by being cheaper. Moreover, despite the misgivings about Dell’s CPU and its speed, this fella is more than capable of multitasking, smooth gaming, as well as tackling some taxing programs.
Best Gaming Laptop under $800 for Multitasking
3. Lenovo Z50-70 Laptop Computer
If you’re in the market for a good gaming laptop under $800 that will be able to keep your back covered for other purposes as well, look no further than the Lenovo Z50-70 Laptop. The awesome storage capacity and more than adequate CPU and GPU guarantee smooth gaming experience, effortless video and image editing, as well as hours upon hours of music and movies,
The quintessence of this puppy is its 4th Generation Intel Core i7-4510U Processor with 4MB cache, 2.00GHz Base frequency, and ability to boost to 3.10GHz.
The functional memory takes the form of an 8.0GB PC3-12800 DDR3L SDRAM 1600 MHz Memory. Additionally, the graphics card is the NVidia 820M with 2GB of its own RAM.
The storage capacity of this beauty is a beastly 1TB HDD, with option to upgrade with an SSD.
As far as connectivity goes, the 750-70 provides you with one Gigabit Ethernet port, Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3160, DVD Recordable Drive (Dual Layer), 2-in-1 card reader, single 3.0 and two 2.0 USB ports, one HDMI port, and Bluetooth Version 4.0. There’s also a headphone/microphone combo jack.
The monitor features a 15.6″ Full HD 1080p (1920×1080) LED Glossy Display; the keyboard, sadly, is not backlit, but it’s ergonomically driven, and feels very responsive.
- Decent value for money
- Super easy to upgrade (two RAM slots, only one in use)
- Large screen, great sound (Dolby)
- Average (4.5 hours) battery life
- The keyboard’s not backlit
- Bad viewing angles on the screen
AS they say, this puppy is as versatile as Dota2’s Windrunner and LoL’s Nidalee combined.
Best Gaming Laptop under $800 for Mobility
4. HP 15-ay013nr 15.6″ Full-HD Laptop
For those of you who take your gaming on the road, the HP 15-ay013nr 15.6″ Full-HD Laptop just might be the way. It’s ultra-light, easily portable, and has incredibly clear and crisp display. Moreover, it’s a really decent budget laptop, and easily one of the two most affordable gaming laptops on the list.
The laptop holds a 6th Gen Intel Core i5 6200U, Dual-Core Processor with 2.3GHz base frequency. It’s not the best CPU out there, but for it’s great for its price range.
As far as memory goes, the 15-ay013nr has a 8GB DDR3L-SDRAM Memory and 128GB Solid-State Drive (SSD) storage capacity. Again, it’s not outstanding, but adequate. You still get the option to upgrade it at leisure.
The crisp 15.6-inch HD screen lets you enjoy oldies like CKII, Rome Total War, even Mount & Blade (at mid settings). If you’re a true gamer and care more for the backstory than “amazing” graphics and elaborate cut-scenes, you’ll be able to enjoy your Minecraft or Dwarf Fortress for hours on end thanks to the long-lived battery and efficient power-consumption (about 7+ hours).
- Very long-lived battery (7+ hours)
- Lightweight, easily portable
- Fairly versatile
- Quality build
- The touchpad feels hollow
- Small storage capacity
In a nutshell, if you want to pass the time pleasantly on the road, this is your go-to laptop.
Best Gaming Laptop under $800 Best Value for Money
5. Acer Aspire E5-573G 15.6-Inch Gaming Laptop
If you’re determined to get your money’s worth, the Acer Aspire E5-573G 15.6-Inch Gaming Laptop is just the thing for you. It’s affordable, a decent budget laptop, and even able to hold its own with the big dogs.
The E5-573G is a part of the E5 series, which is, in turn, very versatile, and more importantly, fairly affordable series. The product in question, though, hides a 5th Gen Intel Core i5-5200U 2.2 GHz Processor (with 2MB cache and Turbo Boost Technology up to 2.7GHz), 8GB DDR3L SDRAM, and a TB 5400rpm HDD, with option to upgrade.
As if that wasn’t enough, the E5-573G makes use of NVIDIA 940M dedicated graphics card with 2GB of its own RAM.
The exterior is mostly comprised of the 15.6-inch Full HD Widescreen (1920 x 1080 resolution; 16:9 aspect ratio) ComfyView LED-backlit Display and ergonomically driven keyboard
- Great beginner laptop
- Lots of tutorials on YouTube
- 5-hour battery life
- Great cooling system, surprisingly good build quality for full-plastic casing
- Subpar speakers
- Touchpad feels loose
- No optical drive
In the briefest terms, if you want the biggest bang for the buck, you’ve just found it.
On a balance, whether you were buying a budget or state of the art gaming laptop, it all boils down to your personal preferences. Make sure, though, that you don’t overpay for a hollow bunny, but on the other hand, don’t be afraid to shell out some extra moolah if it means better quality.
As is, the recommendation stands like so: for best value for money, definitely go for the Acer Aspire E5-573G; alternatively, if you value mobility over anything, opt for the HP 15-ay013nr; the Lenovo Z50-70 is the smartest way to go if you need a multitasking platform, whereas the Dell GL and ASUS K501UX are almost neck to neck when it comes to quality, with the ASUS K501UX having the advantage thanks to the better hardware. The last item may be the most expensive on the list, but rest assured you’ll feel where the extra money went.