Best Gaming Laptop Under $800 in 2021 – Our Top Picks

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Gaming laptops are a great and portable alternative to the standard gaming PC. With a gaming laptop, you can get very similar performance to that of a gaming PC with the only difference being that you can have the luxury of enjoying your favorite titles on the go, without any limitations.

In this guide, we will review the best gaming laptops that we have found under $800. In the end, we have allowed ourselves to add one extra gaming laptop that costs a few hundred dollars over the 800 dollar budget just to show you what is currently out there for a little bit more money.

In order to find the best gaming laptop under 800 dollars, we conducted extensive market research while considering each of the laptop’s:

  • Screen Size
  • Display Resolution
  • Graphics Card (GPU)
  • Processor (CPU)
  • RAM
  • Storage Capacity
  • Battery Life

In our selection, we had a total of ten laptops. In the end, we narrowed down our final selection to the best six gaming laptops under 800 dollars.

Let’s take a deeper look at our findings.

Why You Can Trust This Review

The purpose of this guide is to provide you, our valuable readers, with honest and transparent reviews of the best gaming laptops under 800 dollars. Do note that the products you will see today were picked based on our personal opinions as gamers, a lot of market and community research, as well as common sense.

We want you to be able to shop and browse our recommendations with utmost confidence and know that the product you are about to buy is really one of the top choices on the market today.

How We Picked

In order to pick the gaming laptops that you’ll see today, we considered each of the product’s:

Screen Size

As a general rule of thumb, you should stick to gaming laptops that are a minimum of 14″ and no larger than 17.3″. This way, you will still be able to enjoy the portability by keeping your laptop on the smaller size but also be able to see the enemies without having to be up close.

As a result, the gaming laptops you will see today are mostly in the range of 15.6″ as we believe that this is the perfect screen size for a gaming laptop.

Display Resolution

With the natural progression of video game graphics, we believe that no gamers should be playing on 720p monitors, especially since the price difference between a 720p monitor and a 1080p display is practically non-existent.

For that reason, we have only gone ahead and picked gaming laptops with a minimum display resolution of 1920x1080p.

GPU

The graphics card found in your gaming laptop will have a tremendous impact on the graphics and FPS that your laptop can generate. As a result, we have made sure to only review laptops which are equipped with gaming graphics cards that can really perform.

CPU

In a similar fashion to your GPU, your processor will also be of fundamental importance to the performance that your laptop can generate. Without a decent processor, your entire system will be bottlenecked by the CPU, causing you to not be able to get the maximum performance out of your laptop.

RAM

Whether you’re buying a gaming PC under 1000 dollars or a gaming laptop, when it comes to RAM, as an absolute bare minimum, make sure that the product you’re about to buy has at least 4 GB of DDR4.

This is important because a lot of the newer games are a lot more demanding. Ideally, what you want to aim for is 8 GB of RAM and to be absolutely safe, even for five years into the future, go for 16 GB.

Storage Capacity

As a gamer, you probably play more than one video game. As a result, it would be best for you to go for a gaming laptop with a minimum of 256 GB – be it HDD or SSD.

The products we have selected are mostly equipped with SSDs, however, in some cases, you will find that some laptops come with both an SSD and HDD to offer you the maximum level of storage flexibility.

Battery Life

One of the luxuries of gaming on a laptop is that you can play your favorite titles on the go. In order to do this, you will rely on the integrated battery of your gaming laptop. As a result of that, we made sure to include gaming laptops, which have a large enough battery to last for hours on end before a recharge is necessary.

Note: Unlike our guide which reviewed the best gaming laptop under 600 dollars, this time around, our budget for 800 dollars allowed us plenty of flexibility to really find gaming laptops that didn’t lack in their set of specs.

Best Gaming Laptop Under 800

Screen SizeResolutionGPUCPURAMStorage SpaceBattery Life
15.6″1920x1080pNVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050Intel Core i5-10300H8GB DDR4256GB NVMe SSD 7 Hours

Upon finalizing our research, we concluded that the Acer Nitro 5  is, at least in our opinion, the best gaming laptop under 800 dollars.

The price at the time of writing was $799.99.

From an aesthetic standpoint, the Acer Nitro 5 looks like a gaming laptop the most. From the chipped corners on the screen to the backlit keyboard in red, visually speaking, this gaming laptop has it all. In regards to actual size, this gaming laptop measures 14.31″ (L) x 10.04″ (W) x 0.94″ (H) and weighs just 5.07 bs.

In terms of performance, this is probably the only laptop out there for under 800 dollars that features the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 GPU – the new generation of GPUs by NVIDIA. Aside from that, you’ll also find 8 GB of DDR4 RAM and the 10th Gen Intel Core i5-10300H processor. When put together, you can expect a whole different level of performance as compared to every other product under $800 that we’ve reviewed in this guide.

Another impressive feature of this laptop is that the Full HD 15.6″ 1920x1080p display is capable of running any game you throw at it in the super-smooth 144 Hz refresh rate. That’s not something you find in every under $800 laptop.

On the downside, this laptop does come with 256 GB of NVMe SSD, which is fairly low, however, should you need more, you can simply buy an additional SSD and integrate it into the laptop using one of the remaining slots.

When a gaming laptop can generate such a level of performance, most knowledgeable laptop gamers would think that it would overheat a whole lot. That is actually not true with this laptop thanks to the Acer CoolBoost technology, which can increase the fan speed by 10%, which will then increase the overall thermal performance of the laptop by 25% for better and more comfortable gaming.

Best Budget-Friendly Gaming Laptop

Screen SizeResolutionGPUCPURAMStorage SpaceBattery Life
15.6″1920x1080pAMD Radeon Vega 10 AMD Quad Core R7-3700U8GB DDR4512GB PCIe SSD8 Hours

If you’re looking for a decent gaming laptop without having the need to spend all $800 of your budget, then be sure to check out the ASUS VivoBook 15,

The price at the time of writing was $579.99.

The VivoBook 15 by ASUS features a very sleek and solid design in slate grey that weighs a total of 3.53 lbs. In terms of actual size, this 15.6″ laptop measures 14.1″ (L) x 9.1″ (W) x 0.8″ (H), which makes it one of the more portable picks on our list of recommendations today.

One cool feature of this laptop is the 4-way NanoEdge bezel display. It allows you to comfortably immerse yourself into the games that you play, and with the stunning 88% screen-to-body ratio, this immersion is only enhanced that much more.

As far as performance is concerned, the VivoBook 15 is equipped with an AMD Radeon Vega 10 graphics card, AMD Quad-Core Ryzen 7 3700U processor, and 8 GB of DDR4 RAM. One drawback of this laptop is the graphics card as it can definitely be better, but you can’t really ask for more from a laptop in this price range.

In regards to storage capacity, this model is equipped with 512 GB of PCIe NVMe SSD, which is plentiful for the average gamer. Should you need more, you can simply purchase an external hard drive.

Some other cool features that the VivoBook 15 features it an ergonomic chiclet backlit keyboard and a fingerprint sensor that allows you to unlock the laptop without the need for typing in your password – very much like modern-day mobile phones.

Runner Up

Screen SizeResolutionGPUCPURAMStorage SpaceBattery Life
15.6″1920x1080pNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650Intel Core i5-9300H8GB DDR4 512GB Nvme SSD6.5 Hours

The Lenovo Ideapad L340 is one fantastic gaming laptop for above-average gaming. It’s not only beautiful in design but is also amongst the top-performing picks for under $800.

The price at the time of writing was $792.99.

The Ideapad L340 by Lenovo boasts one of the most premium and gaming-looking designs that we’ve come across during our entire market research. The fine black color with the smooth and bright sky-blue keyboard backlighting will really have an impact on your mood.

Size-wise, this 15.6″ model by Lenovo measures 14.29″ (L) x 10.02″ (W) x 0.94″ (H) and weighs approximately 4.84 lbs, which is a fairly decent weight and size for a laptop of this caliber.

As far as performance is concerned, this gaming laptop is fully equipped with gaming in mind. Beneath the surface, you’ll find an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650, an Intel Core i5-9300H processor, 8 GB of DDR4 RAM, and 512 GB of NVMe SSD storage.

This gear alone can comfortably run quite literally every game out there. Though you can expect quite a decent performance, do note that your FPS will vary quite a bit depending on the graphical settings you decide to play on.

Other Great Gaming Laptops Under $800

Couldn’t find a suitable gaming laptop for your needs from above? Below, you can find three other models that we believe are definitely worth taking a look at.

MSI GF63

Screen SizeResolutionGPUCPURAMStorage SpaceBattery Life
15.6″1920x1080pGeForce GTX1650Intel Core i5-8300H8GB DDR4256GB NVMe SSD4 Hours

MSi is known to produce world-class, high-end products, which have become immensely popular amongst gamers. The only MSi entry today is the MSI GF63, which is another fantastic gaming laptop for intermediate gamers.

The price at the time of writing was $749.79.

Visually speaking, like most of our other picks, the GF63 by MSi features a black design measuring 14.13 x 9.99 x 0.85 and weighing a total of 7.48 lbs, slightly more than the average 15.6″ gaming laptop. That is all as a result of the solid and high-quality casing of the laptop.

Despite the above-average weight, this model features a FHD 1920x1080p thin-bezel display that can comfortably run any video game in the smooth 60 Hz.

In regards to performance, the GF63 by MSi is equipped with an Intel Core i5-8300H 2.3 – 4.0 GHz processor and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX1650, which together can bring you over 100 FPS in a vast range of high-end video games. Do note that your actual FPS will greatly vary on your in-game settings and other factors.

All of this is supported by a single stick of 8 GB of DDR4 RAM, which can be expanded up to 64 GB should you have the need for so much RAM.

One of the only drawbacks of this gaming laptop is its rather low storage capacity, which is only 256 GB. It is worth mentioning though that the storage is a solid-state drive as opposed to the in-times slower HDD.

As for the battery of this laptop, MSi state that it can last for upwards of 4 hours, however. Do note that the actual battery life of the laptop will vary whether you are playing games or are simply browsing the internet.

ASUS VivoBook F512

Screen SizeResolutionGPUCPURAMStorage SpaceBattery Life
15.6″1920x1080pAMD Radeon Vega 8 AMD Quad Core Ryzen 5 3500U8GB DDR4128GB SSD + 1TB HDD5 Hours 20 Minutes

If you’re looking for an affordable and performing gaming laptop with a lot of storage space, then we’d highly suggest the ASUS VivoBook F512. It is the only model on our list with over 512 GB of storage capacity thanks to the integrated SSD and HDD drives.

The price at the time of writing was $624.49.

Visually speaking, this gaming laptop by ASUS looks sleek, simple, and compact. Measuring at only 14.1″ (L) x 9.1″ (W) x 0.75″ (H) and weighing in at 3.70 lbs, this model can easily find its place in any traveling backpack for easy and convenient portability.

In a similar fashion to the VivoBook 15, the F512 also hosts a 4-way NanoEdge bezel display with a screen-to-body ratio of 88%. Combined with FHD 1920x1080p graphics, it is the perfect recipe for immersing and enjoying your video games just as well as you would if you were to play on a gaming PC.

As far as the actual specifications of the laptop, it is home to the powerful AMD quad-core Ryzen 5 3500U processor, AMD Radeon Vega 8 graphics card, and 8 GB of DDR4 RAM. Though the RAM and processors are very decent, the GPU could definitely be better, but according to some tests that we ran, it doesn’t cause any system bottlenecks so you can expect a great level of performance.

One unique aspect of this gaming laptop that differs from the rest is the versatile solution for storage. Though a tiny amount, the F512 is equipped with 128 GB of SSD, allowing you to store vital files such as your OS and perhaps a single or multiple games (depending on their size) on your SSD with the ability to access them in seconds. Once you run out of space on that, you can simply start using the additional 1TB hard drive. Combines, this laptop is easily the best solution for those that need a lot of space.

What a Little Bit More Money Can Get You

Screen SizeResolutionGPUCPURAMStorage SpaceBattery Life
15.6″1920x1080pNVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050TiAMD Ryzen 7 5800H Processor16GB DDR4 512GB NVMe SSD5-6 Hours

If you can expand your budget of $800 by a few hundred more, you can get your hands on the Lenovo Legion 5. This laptop will take your gaming experience to a whole different level thanks to the brand new series of GPU by Nvidia.

The price at the time of writing was $1049.99.

The Legion 5 by Lenovo hosts one of the most gamer-driven designs in black. This 15.6″ gaming laptop measures only 14.27″ (L) x 10.26″ (W) x 0.89″ (H) and weighs a total of 5.29 lbs, making it a super portable and lightweight option for on-the-go gaming.

One of the most notable features of the 1920x1080p display is that the screen can deliver crystal-clear images for full-fidelity gaming.

In regards to actual in-game performance, thanks to the AMD Ryzen 7 5800H processor, 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, and the brand new NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics card, you can enjoy your favorite titles without stutters with over 100 FPS on most major titles at max settings.

The Legion 5 is also equipped with 512 GB of NVMe SSD, which allows for you to install a number of your favorite titles and access them in seconds, in times faster than if you were to use a standard hard drive.

When it comes to powerful gaming laptops, naturally, most gamers would buy the best laptop cooling pad in order to keep their laptop nice and cool. This particular model is equipped with next-level thermal control, which keeps the laptop cool and quiet with zero throttling even when you play for hours on end.

This gaming laptop is also equipped with a built-in 720p webcam, making it useful for those who also want to stream or use the laptop for work. As far s connectivity ports and specs are concerned, the Legion 5 features WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 technologies, 1x USB-C, 4x USBs, 1x HDMI 2.1, 1x DisplayPort 1.4, and 1x RJ45 Ethernet port.

Shopping Tips for Buying a Cheap Gaming Laptop

During the search for the best gaming laptops under 800 dollars, we compiled a number of tips that we believe you could greatly benefit from prior to buying your next gaming laptop.

Laptops With Less Than 4GB of RAM Are Not Recommended

Ten or even five years ago, you could easily get away with having a gaming laptop with 4 GB of RAM. In this day and age though, with the rapid advancement in graphics and technology around the game development industry, every game requires more and more RAM in order to run smoothly.

As a result, unless you are planning on playing games that are a little older, we’d suggest that you avoid gaming laptops with less than 4 GB of RAM. Even then, we’d suggest that you go for 8 GB if possible as that really is the sweet middle and pretty much guarantees that you won’t be experiencing any issues with running the games of today.

The Ideal Gaming Laptop Screen Size Is 15.6″

We believe that 15.6″ is the perfect screen size for a laptop. It’s neither too small nor too big, which would make it a lot less portable. Of course, there is nothing bad about going for a 14″ or a 17.3″ gaming laptop, we just believe that the sweet middle of 15.6″ is the most perfect size across the board.

This is because a 15.6″ display is large enough so you can see everything going while the laptop remains convenient enough for easy and convenient portability.

The Graphics Card and the Processor Are the Most Important Parts of Your Laptop

If you take a look at a standard laptop for $800 and a gaming laptop for $800 and put them together head to head, you will find that most parts are relatively similar, except the processor and the graphics card.

Those two specs go hand-in-hand in delivering the best gaming experience possible. Without them, you can only dream of getting a decent FPS. If you want to know exactly how much FPS you’ll get from any given gaming laptop (from this guide or elsewhere), you can simply use a benchmarking tool for free on the internet, which will give you an approximate FPS that you can expect when you put the two parts together.

Picking the Right Gaming Laptop for Your Needs

Not sure which gaming laptop is right for your needs? Below, we have created three hypothetical scenarios alongside our recommendation for a gaming laptop.

Scenario 1: Your budget for a new gaming laptop is $800, but if there was a product that was a whole lot better without costing a whole lot over your budget, you’d be happy to consider it.

In this case, we’d suggest that you take a closer look at our final recommendation, the Lenovo Legion 5.

Scenario 2: Though your budget is $800, you’d be more than happy to save as much money as possible without majorly sacrificing the performance you are likely to get.

In this scenario, we’d recommend you check out our budget-friendly pick, the ASUS VivoBook 15.

Scenario 3: You have a budget of $800 and aren’t looking to spend a penny more. Despite your strict budget, you’re really on the lookout for the best gaming laptop under $800 that money can buy.

For this case, we’d suggest you consider our best overall pick, the Acer Nitro 5.

Final Thoughts

Playing on a gaming laptop allows you to enjoy your favorite titles regardless of your location – be it in your bed or on the plane. Above, we showed you what we believe to be the best six gaming laptops under 800 dollars on the market today.

It’s worth mentioning that our initial selection consisted of ten laptops, and even though four of them didn’t make it, we believe that they at least deserve an honorable mention.

In case you didn’t find the laptop you were looking for from above, don’t hesitate to also check out the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming, HP - Pavilion, Lenovo IdeaPad 3, and Acer Swift 3.