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Best Gaming Laptops Under $800

by prolifestyletips   ·  3 weeks ago   ·  
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For the most power in your game-playing machine, you can’t beat a desktop PC, however, sometimes the portability and flexibility that comes with a laptop wins out. Unfortunately, these features don’t come cheap, and only $800 puts you in the upper end of the “budget” end of the spectrum when it comes to gaming laptops. If you don’t mind playing newer games on the lower settings, or are only interested in playing less demanding and/or older games, then an $800 laptop may suit you just fine.

We would advise reading through the Things To Consider When Buying A Gaming Laptop Under $800 section before getting stuck into the individual reviews. If you don’t find what you’re looking for here, check out our other guides for the best gaming laptops at different prices, which should be recommended alongside this page.

Best Gaming Laptops Of 2021

1. Lenovo Legion 5

The Lenovo Legion 5 comes in various versions, each with different price points. The version listed here is slightly beyond the budget of this list at the current RRP, but can frequently be found reduced to around the $800 mark.

The reason this laptop is our best all-round pick, is that it comes with both the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti graphics card (more powerful than the standard GTX 1650) and also the AMD Ryzen 5 4600H CPU, which offers the best overall performance at this price point and lead the Intel competition in multi-core performance in particular. This is the best combination you will get on this budget and will give you the greatest amount of power when playing games.

The 120Hz display has a good contrast ratio but suffers from a fairly low maximum brightness. Additionally, the color gamut of the screen is not particularly wide, rendering this screen unsuitable for any color-related workstation uses.

The smaller 256GB SSD is mitigated somewhat by the additional 1 TB HDD that accompanies it. The 8GB RAM is not ideal, but this can be upgraded after purchase to at least 16GB and this is probably something we would advise doing, particularly if you intend to use it for light workstation uses. The battery life is fairly respectable though, at around 7 hours of strenuous use outside of gaming.

PROS

Nvidia GTX 1650 Ti graphics card
AMD CPU good for low-level workstation tasks
good contrast ratio

CONS

max brightness could be higher
narrow color gamut

2. Dell G3 Gaming Laptop

The Dell G3 15 inch gaming laptop is the best option for those on a $800 budget who want to go with an Intel CPU. The GeForce GTX 1650 Ti is the best graphics card you can get at this price range and the laptop comes with a 512GB SSD and a 120Hz screen with solid color replication.

The Dell G3 15 inch gaming laptop, kitted out with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti and Intel Core i5-10300H doesn’t quite match the power of the Lenovo Legion 5 in that the Intel CPU cannot match the AMD processor on multi-core performance. Besides this though it has an SSD of twice the size and a screen with a much wider color gamut, which may tip some people in its favor. Backlight bleeding can be an issue in darker spaces when viewing dimly lit footage/gameplay, however, the max brightness is better than the Legion 5 so it does better in more brightly lit spaces.

PROS

Nvidia GTX 1650 Ti graphics card
512GB SSD
wide color gamut
stylish but reserved looks suitable for office use

CONS

battery life could be better
backlight bleeding may be an issue

3. ASUS TUF Gaming A15

The ASUS TUF Gaming A15 comes in a variety of SKUs (i.e. specific configurations) at the budget level, and this version comes with a Ryzen 5 4600H processor and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card. The Ryzen processor is the best available on this budget, though it should be noted that the GTX 1650 Ti is superior to the vanilla GTX 1650 this machine comes with, which means this laptop cannot claim to have the best gaming performance in terms of FPS at this price point.

However, the 144Hz display is a feature that is hard to come by for a c.$800 machine. Whilst you will not be able to play the latest, most demanding games at speeds that touch 144FPS, older games such as CS:GO or COD will certainly be able to reach these levels if you don’t mind playing on medium-low settings. This means for gamers interested in playing competitively on these fast-paced titles for whom effective frames are paramount, the ASUS TUF Gaming A15 is a very attractive contender.

On top of this, the 512GB SSD and very long battery life (expect around 8 hours doing taxing non-gaming tasks) also put it ahead of some of the other offerings on this page, assuming you don’t mind the somewhat chunky build of the laptop.

Finally, the color gamut of the screen may be somewhat narrow, making it unsuitable for color work, however, the contrast ratio is good and brightness levels do the job, making it a fine machine for gaming.

PROS

AMD CPU good for low-level workstation tasks
144Hz screen
512GB SSD
very long battery life

CONS

not thin or particularly portable
narrow color gamut

4. MSI GF75 Thin

The MSI GF75 17.3 inch version is a fairly rare sight at under $800 in that it has a larger screen than you’d commonly get for this price on a laptop with the hardware to play games. It would be nice if the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 was the more powerful Ti version, but the Intel Core i5-10300H CPU at least offers powerful single-core performance. Ultimately what you are paying for is the 17 inch, 120Hz display, and for gaming purposes, it’s a solid screen. The hardware should be able to handle demanding games on the lower settings, and on less demanding games you will be able to reach the 120 FPS cap.

The color space on the display is somewhat narrow, rendering it unsuitable for any color-focused workstation uses, however it’s perfectly adequate for games. Perhaps the biggest annoyance is the fact that the 8GB RAM (below what we’d generally advise using) cannot be upgraded without breaking the warranty – so you will have to calculate the risk of this trade-off. Fortunately, the 512GB SSD the machine comes with, means upgrading the SSD is not such a big priority.

This MSI GF75 is surprisingly light for a laptop with a 17.3” display, and for a gaming laptop it actually has relatively quiet fans, even when under moderate loads. Both of these features adds to its usefulness as a portable working/gaming machine, though as with all gaming laptops you’ll need to plug it in to have good performance on any moderately demanding game. All of this makes the MSI GF75 a cracking option for a budget gaming laptop.

PROS

17.3” display for a budget price
512GB SSD
relatively quiet fans
relatively lightweight

CONS

narrow color gamut
upgrading RAM breaks warranty

5. Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop

This Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop comes with the multi-core power of a AMD Ryzen 5 4600H paired with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card. It has a very good battery life and remains remarkably cool to the touch for a gaming laptop.

This version of the Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop isn’t the best laptop on this list but its still a solid performer. It does come with the superior AMD Ryzen 5 4600H CPU, meaning it can provide decent performance in workstation tasks as well as gaming, and the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 does the job. Whilst the 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD in particular are not really large enough, these features can be upgraded. The screen has a relatively narrow color space and not the best brightness, but for gaming in non-brightly lit environments it does the job. The superior battery life of this machine and the fact it remains cooler to the touch than most of its peers under stress does work in its favor.

PROS

AMD CPU good for low-level workstation tasks
very good battery life
remains cool even under stress

CONS

narrow color gamut
only 256GB SSD
brightness could be better

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