Not every laptop can qualify as a “gaming” laptop. To be called a gaming laptop, a model must be equipped with the necessary hardware that is essential to run the latest and greatest AAA titles such as DOOM, Battlefield, Resident Evil 7, etc. However, everyone always has this misconception that you need to spend over 1.5 or 2 grands on a laptop if you want a decent gaming machine that can last you for at least two or more years.
Well, not everyone has that kind of money to throw on a laptop, and if price to performance is what you’re after, then a desktop PC is the way to go since you can get much more power than a laptop for the same amount of money. So, what if you are looking for a gaming laptop at under 800 bucks? Well, there are plenty of laptops for less than 800 but few of them are gaming machines. Not every sub 800-dollar laptop will have the word “Gaming” plastered all over it, and budget gaming laptops don’t have LED accent lighting or RGB keyboards for you to play with either.
So, unless you know about PC hardware and the latest CPU and GPU releases, it can be hard to pin down a certain model for purchase in the sub 800-dollar range based on its appearances and price alone. Fear not, because we have the perfect solution to that problem- we did all the research and came up with a list of five “gaming” laptops under 800 dollars that are better than any other laptop in this price range when it comes to gaming. Keep in mind the fact that these are not the best laptops under 800 dollars, rather these are the best “gaming” laptops under that range.
So, what we looked for was processor and GPU performance, RAM size, storage space, cooling performance, and sound quality. We put battery backup and screen resolution on secondary priority, since those two are hard to get right for such a low budget, and you should know that even the most expensive gaming laptops barely last 1.5 to 2 hours while running heavy games on battery power alone.
Take a look at the list, and decide which gaming laptop would be perfect for your needs, based on your budget and the type of games that you plan to play on it.
Featuring a 7th gen Intel Core 5 processor and a NVIDIA GTX 1050ti graphics card, the Acer Nitro 5 AN515-51-55WL gaming laptop delivers premium grade performance at a relatively affordable price. Okay, it isn’t THAT cheap, but try searching for a laptop that is equipped with a GTX 1050ti GPU and costs less than 800 dollars.
You will be hard pressed to find a proper competitor to this model, since most laptops at this price range have a GTX 1050 GPU, and the 1050ti packs about 25 to 30% more performance than the 1050. Other than the amazing graphics, the Acer Nitro 5 also comes with a massive 8.5-hour battery life and a red backlit gaming keyboard which really comes in handy during those evening LAN parties (or pretty much anytime of the day since it looks so cool).
When we first laid eyes upon this beautiful 15.6” super-slim gaming laptop from Acer, we noticed something that really caught our attention- unlike most other gaming laptops at this price range, the Nitro 5 packs a NVIDIA GTX 1050ti graphics card. For those of you who don’t know what this means, let us put it this way- most laptops in the 700 to 800-dollar price range come with a graphics card that is about 25-30% slower than the one found in the Nitro 5.
They obviously do it to keep the cost down, since 800 dollars will only get you an entry level gaming laptop, and the GTX 1050 is an entry level graphics card. It will have no trouble running games such as Battlefield 1, Call of Duty WWII, Prey, Witcher III, etc. on 1080p and 60 fps, but you will have to keep the settings on low in some of the newer AAA titles.
However, when you upgrade to the GTX 1050ti, which has the same amount of graphics memory but a faster processing core, you can play the games that you love on medium settings and full 1080p 60 fps glory. The 1050ti is still considered to be a midrange graphics card, but it is a really fast midrange GPU.
Based on online reviews and benchmarks, you will get about 15 to 20% more fps on average with a 1050ti, compared to the base 1050 graphics card. That is because it packs 768 CUDA cores instead of 640 (on the 1050), and the 1050ti always comes with 4 GB of GDDR5 VRAM whereas the 1050 may or not have 4GB of memory, most of them have 2GB of VRAM equipped in the standard configuration.
Moving on from the graphics, the Nitro 5 has an Intel Core i5 7300HQ processor to take care of multitasking, gaming, and pretty much any productivity-oriented stuff that you might do on the laptop such as video/ photo editing and even 3D model rendering. This processor has 4 cores and 4 threads, with a 6MB cache and 3.5 GHz turbo frequency.
It is capable of keeping up with certain desktop i5s when it comes to gaming, and the best part is that the 7300HQ is ultra-efficient. This CPU is one of the primary reasons why the Nitro 5 laptop has a superb 8.5-hour battery life (with low to medium usage, battery life can drop significantly if you run AAA games).
The Nitro 5 is also loaded with 8 GB of high speed DDR4 RAM (2400 MHz), and a 256 GB PCIe SSD which is faster than SATA interface based SSDs. Another really cool feature we wish to point out is the 15.6” Full HD IPS display, colors appear true to life and the viewing angles are awesome for sharing content in a group.
Intel Core i5 7300HQ CPU
NVIDIA GTX 1050ti GPU
8GB DDR RAM and 256 GB PCIe SSD
15.6” 1080p IPS panel
Dual fan intelligent cooling
Iron-Red backlit gaming keyboard
Acer TrueHarmony and Dolby Audio Premium sound
Slim profile and stylish design
Windows Mixed Reality Compatible laptop
You are limited to 256 GB of storage space unless you request a hard drive kit to the laptop (available for free to US and Canada customers, contact Acer support)
Fans ramp up a bit and generate noise after you’ve been gaming for an hour or two (not an issue if you use headphones)
While the Acer Nitro 5 is a really slim laptop, it isn’t as slim as the ASUS FX503VD. Yes, you are compromising a bit on graphical performance since the FX503VD features a GTX 1050 graphics card instead of a 1050ti, but at least this is a 4GB version of the 1050. The slight loss in fps in made up for by a more compact form factor, which makes the ASUS FX503VD a brilliant machine for carrying around in the college campus or office.
It isn’t as flashy looking as your typical gaming laptop, it features a subtle dark brushed metal finish and carefully angled edges which make it look quite sophisticated. The red backlit gaming keyboard contrasts nicely with the dark body, and the 802.11 ac 2×2 dual antenna WIFI is can transfer data 6 times faster than standard BGN systems found on older laptops.
If you want something slim, lightweight, and sophisticated- look no more, the ASUS FX503VD is perfect for you. It doesn’t look like a miniature spaceship, and there aren’t a bunch of LED lights plastered all over the body to make it look cool. Instead, the FX503VD flaunts a bold, subtle look which reminds you of professional ultrabooks like the Dell XPS and MacBook, it is even slim like the MacBook- only 0.94” thick, and weighs 5.7 pounds with the battery installed. However, this isn’t a business laptop and the hardware packed within this 15.6” laptop proves it.
Powered by an Intel Core i5 7300HQ processor and a NVIDIA GTX 1050 4GB graphics card, the FX503VD can handle most modern AAA titles at low to medium settings on 1080p and will average a framerate of 60fps on most newer games as long as you don’t push the graphics settings too far. There is 8GB of 2400 MHz DDR4 RAM in this laptop, and you can add an additional 8GB of RAM whenever you wish by removing the bottom slot cover.
It has one unique advantage over the Acer Nitro 5 that we reviewed previously- instead of going with a super-fast 256GB PCIe SSD, ASUS chose to install a 1 TB SSHD instead, which happens to be a Seagate Firecuda. This SSHD packs 1TB of disk storage, along with 8GB of high speed NAND memory to assist with faster loading times on most applications.
The red backlit keyboard is a step above from most other gaming keyboards that you’ll find on laptops at this price range, it features N-key rollover, so you can press multiple keys simultaneously and the inputs will register at the same time. This comes in really handy while playing sports-based games such as FIFA, or even racing games.
The keys have a 1.8mm key travel distance along with a 0.25mm key cap curve which feels super comfortable to type on and ensures that your fingers don’t easily slip between keys. Another cool thing about this laptop is the 802.11 ac dual antenna WIFI adapter which can transfer data up to 6 times faster than older BGN WIFI systems. There are plenty of I/O ports- USB 3.1 Type A, USB 2.0, HDMI 1.4, Mini DisplayPort, Bluetooth 4.1, 3.5mm headphone/ mic jack, an Ethernet port, and a card reader.
Intel Core i5 7300HQ processor
NVIDIA GTX 1050 4GB GPU
8GB of DDR4 RAM and a 1TB SSHD
Red backlit gaming keyboard with N-key rollover and 1.8mm travel
802.11 AC dual antenna WIFI
Dual fan cooling system
Ultra slim at just 0.94” thick, and weighs only 5.7 pounds
Upon opening the bottom slot cover, you can only access the free RAM slot, not the preinstalled 8GB RAM module.
Sporting a sleek metal chassis and a brilliant 15.6” 1080p anti-glare display, the Dell Inspiron i5577-5335BLK-PUS is a notebook that you will be proud to own. Not only is this laptop extremely portable, but it is also insanely powerful. An Intel Core i5 7300HQ CPU ensures excellent gaming performance, while the 256 GB ensures lightning-fast bootups and low loading times on most applications.
What do you get when you take an Intel Core i5 7300 HQ processor, pair it with an NVIDIA GTX 1050 2GB graphics card, and throw the whole thing into a sleek 0.99” thick metal chassis? Well, you get the Dell Inspiron i5577-5335BLK-PUS laptop, one of the most well designed 15.6” gaming notebooks currently available on the market.
The Intel Core i5 7300 HQ combines excellent multitasking power with unmatched power efficiency, resulting in a laptop that is just as good at productivity as it is for gaming. This excellent Kaby Lake CPU is assisted by 8GB of DDR4 RAM, which should ensure a smooth gaming experience for at least another 3-4 years. The NVIDIA GTX 1050 2GB graphics card is excellent for playing modern AAA games on medium-high settings at 1080 resolution.
We have tested multiple titles such as Battlefield 1, Call of Duty Infinite Warfare, NFS Payback, Wolfenstein 2, Prey, etc. on this laptop, and it seems to be capable of running all these games at 1080p resolution and medium-high graphics settings at a stable 60+ fps. The display on this laptop is a full HD 1080p anti-glare type panel with excellent color accuracy and good viewing angles.
The Dell Inspiron i5577-5335BLK-PUS is equipped with a 256 GB SSD which is loaded with a copy of Windows 10 Home. Waves MaxxAudio Pro ensures a solid audio experience, thanks to the built-in subwoofer and specially designed drivers. The backlit keyboard allows you to respond faster and more accurately at all times, especially in low light situations.
Thanks to the 802.11 ac WIFI adapter, you can enjoy exceptionally fast wireless connectivity, and there is also an Ethernet port for lag-free gaming on LAN settings. Despite measuring just under an inch in thickness, this Dell laptop is loaded with all the I/O ports that one can ask for- a SD card reader, USB 3.0 and 2.0, 3.5mm headphone jack, HDMI output, and a Kensington lock port.
Intel Core i5 7300HQ processor
NVIDIA GTX 1050 graphics
8GB DDR4 RAM, with 256 GB SSD
Windows 10 Home
Waves MaxxAudio Pro
802.11 ac WIFI, backlit gaming keyboard
No optical drive
One of the few gaming laptops under the 800-dollar mark to feature an Intel Core i7 processor, the PROSTAR Clevo N855HJ is an excellent option for anyone interested in gaming as well as streaming. It is also capable of being used as a portable photo/ video editing workstation, thanks to the power of the Kaby Lake i7 processor.
With an Intel Core i7 7700HQ processor the PROSTAR Clevo N855HJ is an amazing laptop for gaming, productivity, and streaming. The i7 7700HQ is a quad-core processor (2.8 GHz base, up to 3.8 GHz turbo) with hyperthreading, and can process 8 threads simultaneously, meaning that you can game and stream at the same time without experiencing any frame drops or input lag. The NVIDIA GTX 1050 2GB GDDR5 graphics is perfect for playing new AAA titles on medium-high settings, at 1080p resolution.
The PROSTAR Clevo N855HJ is equipped with 8 GB of DDR4 SDRAM (upgradeable up to 32 GB), and a 1 TB 5400 rpm HDD that is preloaded with a genuine copy of Windows 10 Home. There is a single-color backlit keyboard, and the 15.6” 1080p display features an anti-glare coating along with a matte finish.
One of the really pleasant things about this laptop is the super silent cooling system- it features separate cooling fans for both the CPU and GPU, and these fans are independently controlled by temperature sensors present on both chips.
There are several I/O options- USB 3.0 and 2.0, HDMI, RJ-45 (Ethernet), Intel Wireless-AC 3168 WIFI + Bluetooth adapter, and an SD card reader. The only real gripes we have with this laptop is its bulky design (weighs nearly 9 pounds despite being a 15.6” laptop), and the mediocre speakers which seem like stereo speakers from a much cheaper laptop. The sound is hollow, and begins to crack at higher volumes.
Intel Core i7 7700HQ
NVIDIA GTX 1050 2GB, 1TB 5400 rpm HDD
Backlit gaming keyboard
802.11 ac WIFI and Bluetooth 4.2
Extremely bulky, weighs nearly 9 pounds
The audio quality is not as good as the rest of the gaming laptops in this price category (700 to 800 dollars).
CUK never fails to impress us with their innovative design and excellent value for money, this particular laptop is no different- the CUK HP 17t is a prime example of the fact that you can purchase premium gaming laptops for a reasonable price, if you know where to look.
The standout feature of this laptop is its gigantic 17.3” full HD IPS display. Large gaming laptops at this price is a rarity, and we just had to include the CUK HP 17t in this list because of its amazing display, which is great for both gaming as well as watching your favorite movies at home.
Finding a 17.3” gaming laptop for less than 800 dollars is an extremely challenging task. Fortunately for us, CUK has just the right machine to satisfy our needs. Meet the CUK HP 17t gaming laptop- a powerful gaming machine that combines power with an excellent 17.3” IPS FHD display, resulting in one of the most well-designed gaming laptops you can purchase for less than 800 dollars.
It is powered by an Intel Core i5 7300HQ processor, resulting in excellent gaming performance and superior multitasking prowess. The Core i5 7300HQ is a quad core CPU with 4 threads and a boost clock speed of up to 3.5 GHz.
The graphics card in this 17.3” gaming laptop is the NVIDIA GTX 1050 2GB, a powerful midrange GPU based on NVIDIAs latest architecture “Pascal”. The GTX 1050 is powerful enough to handle demanding AAA titles such as Prey, Wolfenstein 2, Call of Duty World War 2, Star Wars Battlefront 2, etc. on medium-high details, and 1080p resolution.
The display on the CUK HP 17t is what we like the most, it utilizes a 17.3” 1080p anti-glare IPS panel. If you have never used an IPS display before, then the main difference between an IPS and TN panel is the color accuracy and viewing angles. IPS panels are capable of much better color reproduction, making them far better for movies and photo/ video editing tasks. IPS panels also have wider viewing angles, so the image will not appear washed up when you view the screen from an angle.
The CUK HP 17t is loaded with 12 GB of DDR4 2400 MHz RAM, and a 1TB 7200 rpm HDD with a copy of Windows 10 home preinstalled. There is 802.11 ac WIFI and Bluetooth 4.2, along with HDMI and USB ports. HP Audio Boost enhances the sound output generated by the otherwise mediocre stereo speaker system. The chiclet keyboard is okay, but definitely not great for gaming.
Intel Core i5 7300 HQ quad core processor
NVIDIA GTX 1050 2GB Graphics
12 GB DDR4 RAM, 1 TB 7200 rpm HDD
17.3” IPS anti-glare 1080p display
Weighs 6.8 pounds