Best Gaming Laptops Under $800 in 2021 – Buying Guide

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Gaming has seen a huge boost in interest lately and many more individuals who otherwise would have never imagined investing their time into gaming are becoming a part of this wonderful community. For most of these newcomers, especially those who are studying in college or working professionally building a PC from the ground up can be a bit of a chore.

Hence a gaming laptop is seen as a more appealing as well as convenient option. Therefore we have brought you a list of The best gaming laptops under $800 which can not only play intensive games but also cope with other daily needs.

Choosing the correct laptop, however, is not an easy task and it involves some understanding of the machine therefore before the actual list we have made a buyer’s guide segment that will help you to make a more informed decision.

In a Hurry? A Quick Look at the Best Gaming Laptops Under $800

Good gaming performance

1. Dell G5

  • NVidia GTX 1650 Ti
  • 10th Gen Core i5-10300H
  • 8GB RAM
  • 256GB SSD

OUR TOP CHOICE

2. Lenovo Ideapad Gaming 3

  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
  • 120Hz Ryzen 7-4800H
  • 8GB RAM
  • 512GB SSD

Excellent battery life

3. Acer Nitro 5 (AMD Version)

  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
  • Acer Nitro 5 15.6″ FHD Laptop
  • 8GB RAM
  • 256GB PCIe SSD

4. ASUS TUF Gaming F15

  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti
  • Intel Core i5-10300H
  • 8GB DDR4
  • 256GB SSD

Best gaming laptop under 800 dollars

HP-Pavilion-15 - gaming laptop under 800

5. HP Pavilion 15

  • HP Pavilion Gaming 15.6-Inch Micro-EDGE Laptop
  • Intel Core i5-9300H Processor
  • ‎8 GB SDRAM
  • ‎256 GB Flash Memory Solid State

MSI GF75 - fullhow.com

6.  MSI GF75

  • MSI GF75 17.3″ FHD 120Hz Thin Gaming Laptop
  • 0th Gen Intel Core i5-10300H
  • Amazon Alexa
  • 8GB RAM
  • 512GB PCIe SSD

7. Acer Nitro 5 – Intel Version

  • Nitro 5 15.6″ FHD Laptop
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
  • 8GB RAM
  • 256GB PCIe SSD

Good Gaming Laptop under $900

8. Acer Aspire 7

  • Excellent‎ 1920×1080 gaming performance
  • Ryzen 5 5500U / GTX1650
  • 8GB DDR4
  • ‎512 GB SSD

$800 best gaming laptop

9. MSI GF63

  • MSI GF63 Thin 8SC-030 15.6
  • Intel Core i5-8300H
  • ‎8 GB SO-DIMM
  • 256GB NVMe NVMe SSD

Best Value for Money Gaming Laptop

Lenevo L340  under $800

10. Lenevo L340

  • deaPad L340 15 Gaming Laptop
  • 9th Gen Intel Core i5
  • 8GB Memory
  • 256GB Solid State Drive

11.  Dell G3

  • Dell G3 Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-10300H
  • NVIDIA(R) GeForce(R) GTX 1650 4GB GDDR6
  • 15.6 inch FHD (1920 x 1080)
  • 8GB DDR4
  • 256GB Solid State Drive

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Good gaming performance

1.  Dell G5

Dell is a household name in the computer space and their G lineup of laptops is catered towards gamers. This Dell G5 that we have selected as our best gaming laptop under $800 takes some cues from the Alienware line of laptops that are often regarded as some of the best gaming laptops.


Pros

  • Sleek and modern design
  • Large and precise trackpad
  • Expansive array of port selection
  • 120hz refresh rate
  • Good gaming performance

Cons

  • Wobbly screen
  • Lackluster color accuracy
  • The fans get noticeably loud when gaming

Design and Build Quality

Dell G5 features a sleek and minimalist design. With the interstellar dark finish and the lack of any noticeable gamery accents, this laptop can be easily mistaken for a traditional notebook. This provides the user with the flexibility to use this machine not only for gaming but for work and university purposes aswell. The slimness of the chassis also contributes to this factor-factor and adds further convenience for day-to-day transportation of the machine.

In terms of build quality, although you are getting a full aluminum or metal body but rather a plastic one. Still, the feel of the plastic is great in the hand, and the construction of the chassis of also top-notch. However, the wobbly screen of the laptop somewhat ruins the impression of a solid build quality.

Keyboard and TrackPad

Dell G5 did not pose any problem in this regard. The touchpad has a good height albeit it can be a bit wider to accommodate people with thicker fingers but in our operation it was responsive and there were no ghost touches.

The keyboard has a similar feel as that of other Dell Inspiron laptops which is to say that it has adequate travel and feels comfortable to type on. As for the keyboard backlighting, dell has opted to go for a blue hue which is a welcome change from the usual red ones.

Features, Battery Life, and Ports

The main noteworthy feature of this laptop and the one which you will also find in the more expensive Alienware laptops is the inclusion of the Alienware command center. This software allows the user to configure the machine according to their liking and also shows up-to-date stats of the machine.

Another handy feature is the inclusion of a fingerprint sensor underneath the power button. As you would already know that digital security has become the utmost priority in this day and age so having a feature like this is very beneficial.

The only area where this laptop falls flat in terms of daily useability is the battery life. The battery life of this laptop depends heavily on the tasks being performed. With CPU and GPU extensive workloads you can easily kill this laptop in about 1-2 hours but for light tasks, the battery can last about 5-6 hours.

For ease of daily use this laptop also has a healthy port selection. The right side ports include a Kensington lock, 2x full-size USB 2.0, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a full-size SD card slot. The rest of the ports that are located on the left side include a barrel plug for power in, HDMI 2.0, USB 3.2, Ethernet port, and a USB-C.

Display and Gaming Performance

If a laptop does not deliver on the display front then the whole experience of using the laptop becomes a little sour but fortunately, dell has installed a decent display in this laptop. The screen of this Dell G5 can get reasonably bright so any viewing issue is non-existent. One thing which is a bit underwhelming though is the color reproduction of the panel.

Dell G5 only covers 70% of the sRGB color gamut while this is not terrible and can be lived with but still with competitors offering more color-accurate panels this is a bit of a letdown. If you only care about gaming this will be a non-issue but if you want to use the laptop for editing videos and pictures then this will pose a problem.

The screen fitted to this laptop has a 120hz refresh rate which if you are a gamer is a godsent. A high refresh rate screen can single-handedly transform your gaming experience but a high refresh rate screen is of no avail if the laptop lacks in performance.

With the Dell G5, you are getting 10th generation Intel I5 with 8GB of RAM. The GPU provided here is an Nvidia 1650Ti which has 4GB of GDDR6 memory. For faster loading times this laptop also features a 256GB SSD. This combination chews through any esports titles like CSGO, Valorant, or Dota 2. You will easily hit the 120fps target in these games owing to a very smooth and enjoyable experience.

This laptop will also be able to play AAA titles at decent frames. Obviously, for newer demanding games you will need the lower the graphic setting to achieve 60fps but that is to be expected. When playing these demanding games the fans can get really loud to the point where it can be annoying. Overall, the performance of this Dell G5 is adequate and it will play most games you throw at it.

Conclusion


In the gaming laptop space, it is hard to find an all-rounder. Well, what we have here with the Dell G5 is one such laptop that is not only great for gaming but can also effortlessly pull off mundane everyday tasks. For the price it is hard to find faults in the Dell G5, sure you can probably get higher specifications for this price or a laptop that has a good display but as a complete package, this laptop shines above the rest. Therefore this monitor earns the crown of the best gaming laptop under $800.

Excellent gaming performance

2. Lenovo Ideapad Gaming 3

Lenovo has recently overtaken Dell and HP as the largest manufacturer of laptops which is an embodiment of the high-quality laptops produced by the brand. The Lenovo Ideapad gaming 3 we have featured on our list as the best alternate gaming laptop under $800 is an entry-level gaming laptop from Lenovo that packs in very impressive specs for the price.


Pros

  • Good build quality
  • Clean and understated design
  • Availability of number pad
  • Good keyboard layout
  • 120hz refresh rate with AMD FreeSync
  • Good battery life
  • Excellent gaming performance

Cons

  • The trackpad is on the smaller side
  • Mediocre color accuracy
  • Subpar brightness for outdoor use

Design and Build Quality

Lenovo has played safe with the design of this laptop. The industrial chassis of this laptop is free from any gamery elements. The Lenovo branding is also placed along the edge of the screen providing the laptop a very clean and stealthy look. This understated design of the laptop makes it easily blendable in an office or university setting.

And if you plan on using the laptop in said settings you will pleased to know that the build quality of this laptop is very good. The chassis is rigid and solid with minimal flex. Even when the screen has negligible wobble and the keyboard deck also feels dense.

Keyboard and TrackPad

The keyboard on this laptop is excellent. The positioning of the keys is spot on and since this is a full 104 key configuration you also get the number pad. The keys are tactile and crisp to press yet there is some decent travel to enhance typing comfort. This leads to a very satisfying as well as comfortable typing experience. The keyboard also has blue backlighting.

As for the trackpad, it features a smooth glass surface with multi-finger gesture support. The Microsoft precision drivers are also well-calibrated hence providing an accurate scrolling experience. Our only minor gripe with the trackpad is regarding its size. Lenovo should increase the width of the trackpad in the next iteration but as of now, the trackpad can feel a bit congested especially if you are coming from a MacBook.

Features, Battery life and Ports

The biggest feature of this laptop has to be the 120hz refresh rate of the display. For gaming, high refresh rate displays are the way to go because they provide a more immersive gaming experience. With the use of Lenovo vantage software gamers are also given complete control over the performance of their machine.

With Ryzen at the core, this laptop also has a solid battery life perfectly complimenting its “one laptop for everything” charm. These AMD chips are so efficient that during light tasks such as watching youtube you can expect a battery life of around 7-8 hours. When pushed to the max this laptop falls in line with other gaming laptops providing a battery life of only 1-2 hours but that is to be expected because you are dealing with so much power here. 

Despite the relatively slim design, Lenovo has not skimped on the ports. This laptop features a handsome variety of ports which includes the likes of ethernet, HDMI, USB 3.2, USB-C, and combo headphone microphone out. The only port we missed on this laptop is an SD card slot but otherwise, this laptop covers all your connectivity needs.

Display and Gaming Performance

The display used in this laptop despite being very good for gaming due to the 120hz refresh rate is subpar for color accuracy. We measured 63% of sRGB gamut coverage which is not ideal for anything other than gaming or media consumption. The screen also has mediocre brightness and the with the peak brightness of 270nits, the outdoor visibility of the screen under direct sublight is severely lacking.

The gaming performance is where this laptop truly shines partly thanks to the AMD. The Ryzen 4800h processor in this laptop is a beast. This processor is an 8 core 16 thread processor so it offers great performance and with the efficient Lenovo cooling, it does not throttle under heavy tasks. The combination of this processor with the Nvidia Gtx 1650ti graphics leads to a fantastic gaming experience. This laptop can run most of the games at a high setting and for the other more demanding games you can lower the settings a bit to achieve 60fps.

Conclusion


Lenovo Ideapad gaming 3 perfectly slots into the do-everything laptop category. This laptop has a clean and understated design to boot and packed within this chassis is enough power to slash through any game or rendering task you throw at it. This laptop is not all perfect though and has a few flaws the major one being subpar picture quality but then again if your main purpose is gaming then this laptop will serve you quite well. If it was not for the picture quality this laptop may have been the best gaming laptop under $800 but as of now, it comes in as the best alternate gaming laptop under $800.

Excellent battery life

3. Acer Nitro 5 – AMD Version

Acer Nitro 5 is one of the more popular laptops coming from Acer and since the inception of this series it has become quite popular. Through the years Acer has made some minor tweaks with each model but this 2020 nitro sees the addition of an AMD Ryzen processor which we all know by now is a league of its own.


Pros

  • Flashy and eye-catching design
  • Good keyboard layout and typing feel
  • Excellent battery life
  • Low fan noise at light workloads
  • Good gaming Performance
  • Easily upgradeable internals

Cons

  • Subpar build quality
  • Mediocre color accuracy and peak brightness
  • 60hz refresh rate is not acceptable at this price anymore

Design and Build Quality

Acer has stuck with a gamery design for the nitro series despite the rivals opting for a more industrial design. The sharp lines and curves of this laptop are helped by the red accents found through the chassis to make the design more striking.

It seems that all the attention was given to making the laptop more flashy because the actual construction of the laptop is relatively poor. The screen is very wobbly and the keyboard deck has a good amount of flex. The feeling of the smooth plastic does not help either.

Keyboard and TrackPad

The keyboard of this laptop has a good layout and keys have good tactility. The travel is minimal but there is nothing to complain about here and with slight adjustment and usage one can easily get a comfortable typing experience.

The trackpad also serves its purpose pretty well. It has accurate pickup and the drivers are well-calibrated for multi-finger navigation and scrolling. A small niggle that we have with the trackpad is that the surface attracts finger oil and dust too easily and has to be cleaned frequently.

Features, Battery Life, and Ports

Besides the Acer’s nitrosense software there is not much to talk about in the feature segment of this laptop and the software itself is nothing to ride home about so let us proceed to the battery of this laptop which is probably the most highlighting aspect of the Acer Nitro 5.

This laptop has a 57Wh battery and when that is combined with the power-efficient Ryzen processor the numbers for the battery has quite amazing. During media playback or browsing, this laptop can easily give you 10 hours worth of battery life which quite frankly is unheard of in a gaming laptop especially at this price point. During heavy usage like gaming, the battery also fares well giving you a run time of around 2 hours which is respectable.

This laptop has also got you covered when it comes to the connectivity of a device because the port selection of this laptop is vast. Acer Nitro 5 includes an e
thernet port, 3x USB 3.1 ports, 3.5mm headphone out, and an HDMI port which is linked directly to the graphic card. The power plug of this laptop is conveniently placed at the back of the device so that you can have an interrupted gaming experience.

Display and Gaming Performance

Like most of the other gaming laptops in this price range, this Acer Nitro 5 also exhibits lackluster performance in the display department. The screen fitted into this laptop has mediocre color accuracy and peak brightness. The only saving grace of this display is its contrast which is relatively good when compared with other laptops in the same league.

Gaming performance is for the price is excellent. In this laptop, the Ryzen 4600H is aided by the Nvidia Gtx 1650 and they combine to deliver amazing fps. This configuration of the laptop comes with 8GB of ram which fortunately is easily upgradeable. You also get a 256GB SSD to boot which although being a PCI-E one has slow speeds.

This laptop easily soars past 100fps in esports titles like Valorant or CSGO and for AAA games you are also looking at stable 60fps though some more demanding games may require you to turn down the settings. With this much performance at hand, you are left wondering why Acer skimped on a higher rate display. 120hz or 144hz refresh rate would have sealed the deal on performance here.

Conclusion


Acer Nitro 5 carries an attractive design that will appeal to most gamers out there. The hardware packed inside this chassis is also top-notch for the price. Despite having so much power at its disposal this laptop has chart-topping battery life. The main negative aspect of this laptop is its 60hz refresh rate which might be a deal-breaker for most people but frankly, when you look at it there is no laptop in this category that can come close to the battery performance of Nitro 5 therefore we recommend this as our best battery life gaming laptop under $800.

4. Acer Nitro 5 – Intel Version

No, you have not gone insane this is the same laptop as the previous one but this Nitro has some crucial hardware changes that completely alter the user experience of the machine. We wanted to feature both laptops because they both cater to different individuals and offer something unique.


Pros

  • Flashy and eye-catching design
  • Good keyboard layout and typing feel
  • Easily upgradeable internals
  • 144hz refresh rate

Cons

  • Weaker battery life
  • Slightly worse gaming performance

This Acer Nitro 5 intel version is the best 144hz gaming laptop under $800, because frankly besides this there aren’t any laptops that support this refresh rate. As this Acer Nitro 5 shares some elements with the above-mentioned variant we are only going to focus on the things that are different here. So without further ado, let us begin with the display that is the main selling point of this laptop.

Display

The most impactful change in the intel version of the Acer Nitro 5 is the addition of a high refresh rate display. This screen supports a refresh rate of up to 144hz refresh rather than the 60hz found on the AMD version.

144hz refresh rate makes a huge difference when gaming because every motion on the screen is more fluid when compared with the 60hz refresh rate. The response time on this display is lower aswell to aid the aforementioned refresh rate.

Battery Life

The rated battery capacity on paper of the intel version is similar to the AMD laptop but due to the difference in hardware, the actual battery life is different. This laptop lasts around 6-7 hours on light usage and barely breaks an hour under heavy use. These are respectable figures but not quite on par with the AMD version.

Gaming performance

In terms of gaming, this laptop fares quite well. The Intel i5 processor although not as capable as the AMD Ryzen counterpart still manages to hold its own. The GTX 1650 is always a reliable companion and the combination of these two slays through most games you through at it.

Conclusion


Acer Nitro 5 Intel version goes to show how small tweaks to a laptop can entirely change its purpose. This is the best 144hz laptop under $800 and due to the 144hz refresh rate, it is more geared towards enthusiast gamers and aspiring professionals who want the fastest and the smoothest experience possible. This gaming experience comes at the cost that being the weak battery life of this machine but then again to get a 144hz refresh rate that is a sacrifice you should be willing to make.

5. ASUS TUF Gaming F15

Who does not want RGB right? The trend of RGB backlighting has been seeping through every component of the gaming industry and we are at a point now where even sub $1000 laptops have an RGB keyboard. The best laptop under $800 with an RGB keyboard is Asus Tuf F15 that not carries good aesthetics but also blends in performance as well.


Pros

  • Gamery design with sharp lines running across the body
  • Single-zone RGB keyboard
  • Well-spaced out comfortable keyboard
  • Physical clicks on the trackpad
  • Best hardware for the price

Cons

  • Weak battery life
  • 60hz refresh rate

Design and Build Quality

The design of this laptop is unmistakeably gamery with sharp creases in the body and the expansive cutouts for cooling. You get a centrally etched TUF logo on the screen lid aswell as TUF branding on the keyboard deck. Surprisingly, this laptop still manages to maintain a rather slim profile despite the powerful hardware inside.

To achieve this design sacrifice on the build quality had to be made. The entire construction of this material is from plastic and due to the sharp lines, it feels less dense. The screen is particularly wobbly and the chassis has a concerning level of flex to it.

Keyboard and Trackpad

The keyboard on this laptop is fantastic right up there with the best keyboards in this price range. The keys are tactile while also having a decent amount of travel. The cherry on top is the single-zone RGB lighting for the keyboard which is configurable through the Asus armory crate software.

The trackpad is also large and has a smooth surface. You also get physical clicks which is appreciated because it leads to a more consistent click. The trackpad also supports multi-finger gestures and navigation.

Features, Battery life, and Ports

Asus Tuf F15 is compatible with the armory crate software that lets you control the different profiles of the laptop and also allows you to configure the RGB lighting of the keyboard. The different performance profiles alter the behavior of the laptop.

As for the other features this laptop has decent speakers which are mounted to the side of the chassis for better audio dispersion. Talking about the sides you will find a variety of ports scattered on mainly on the left side. The ports include HDMI, RJ45 ethernet jack, 2x USB-A 3.2, USB-C, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. On the right side, you get a lonely USB-A 3.2 port.

When it comes to battery life, you will get weak time out of this machine. The average battery life hovers around the 4-hour mark when using the laptop casually and barely pushes past 1 hour when playing games.

Display and Gaming Performance

Truth be told most gaming laptops in this price range have somewhat similar displays and none of them is spectacularly better than the rest of the pack. This laptop also slides right into the pack with an IPS display that has an sRGB coverage of 60%.

The brightness is also average nothing extraordinary though you do get good viewing angles which is the tale with most gaming laptops in this list that have an IPS panel. Surprisingly for this version, the supported refresh rate is also 60hz which is a big letdown because the hardware inside this machine can easily push games above 60hz.

Talking about gaming performance, this laptop packs the best hardware you can find in this price range. The 10th generation intel processor and the Gtx 1650ti are solid performers and can run all modern games at decent frames. For running modern graphic intensive games, you will require an additional Ram because this laptop only ships with an 8GB stick but luckily there is an unpopulated DIMM slot.

Conclusion


Asus Tuf F15 has great potential to be the best gaming laptop under $800 and the only thing which keeps holding it back is the 60hz refresh rate. Many gamers fill appreciate the features this laptop offers and honestly, if you only plan on playing casual games then you cannot go wrong with the Asus Tuf F15 and if you are an RGB addictive then this is just the laptop for you.

6. HP Pavilion 15

Hp was been in the laptop game for a long while now and they clearly know how to make a laptop that is mass appealing. This Pavilion 15 is such a laptop because it blends the power required to run demanding games into a sleek chassis.


Pros

  • Clean yet sophisticated design
  • Front-facing speakers
  • Green backlighting
  • Fully-fledged IO
  • IPS Display technology
  • Good battery life
  • Good gaming performance

Cons

  • Subpar build quality when put against its competitors
  • Congested keyboard
  • Lackluster software
  • Low peak brightness

Design and Build Quality

Hp’s design approach with their recent gaming laptops has been minimal. Therefore this pavilion also incorporates an elegant design with subtle hints of flashiness that refrain it from dwelling into the boring category. The flashiness here comes from the use of green color in the HP logo and aswell as the deck of the keyboard.

For a gaming laptop, the profile of this pavilion is rather slim which shaves down weight and makes the laptop a convenient companion for everyday carry. The build quality for this purpose is also acceptable. Although this laptop has an entirely plastic body it is still constructed solidly. There is some flex to the screen and the keyboard deck but that is present in most of the competing gaming laptops under $800 aswell so cannot fault HP here.

Keyboard and TrackPad

At a glance, the layout of the keyboard feels congested mainly because the arrow and the nav cluster keys are not separated but as far as using the keyboard is concerned. It has a good tactile feel and the keys have a decent amount of travel for comfortable typing.

The color used for the keyboard backlighting is green which ties in nicely with the other green accents scattered throughout the body. No complaints about the trackpad on this model aswell. It works completely fine without any hiccups.

Features, Battery Life, and Ports

With the pavilion, you are not getting any surface features, so let’s get to the technical ones. The best feature of this laptop has to be the inclusion of a front-mounted speaker grill. This makes a huge difference in the perceived audio quality because the sound is directed right towards the user. In gaming as well as media consumption this speaker setup provides more detailed audio which makes the overall experience much more enjoyable.

Hp also bundled in a tuning software with this laptop which allows you to control different aspects of the laptop. It is similar to the other software’s but lacks the depth found in most of them. Fortunately, this laptop rejoins the rest of the Ryzen 4600h pack with its battery life. The average battery life is around 9-10 hours on light usage and 1-2 hours when pushing the laptop to the max.

As for the connectivity, you won’t feel left out with this laptop. Pavilion has a diverse and rich I/O which includes the likes of USB-A, full-size SD card, USB-C passthrough, RJ45 ethernet port, HDMI out, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Display and Gaming Performance

Before we begin on the picture quality one side note we would like to add is that this laptop comes in two variants. We have featured the IPS version of the laptop so the rest is only valid for the said variant. The IPS display used in this laptop produces rich colors with good accuracy. Being an IPS panel the viewing angles are also exceptional. The only major shortcoming of this display is the subpar peak brightness.

As for gaming itself, the combination of Ryzen 4600h with Nvidia Gtx 1650 makes short work on any esports title you throw at it while the more intensive AAA games will require you to turn down the display settings a notch. To store all of your games you get a 256 m2 NVME SSD and 8GB of ram for seamless multitasking which if we are honest is a little on the slower side and also runs in a single channel.

Conclusion


The HP Pavilion 15 is a laptop that perfectly slots in with other Ryzen 5 gaming laptops but does not stand out among the crowd. This is a device that fulfills all the requirements on a good daily laptop without being flashy or blingy. It has good performance, a great battery life, and a decent display. It is also among the very few laptops in this price range that provide a front-mounted speaker. Like all laptops, this is not perfect either but if you want a laptop that is subtle yet powerful then you cannot go wrong with this pavilion machine.

7. MSI GF75

Large screens are mostly reserved for flagship laptops and are rarely found on gaming laptops under the $1000 price tag. However, the laptop we have featured here from MSI not only comes with a large 17-inch display but also has some amazing hardware packed inside the slim chassis, therefore, making it the best 17-inch gaming laptop under $800.


Pros

  • Metal reinforced build provides solidity
  • Large screen size
  • Comfortable keyboard
  • Beneficial and handy features
  • Good heat dissipation system
  • 120hz refresh rate

Cons

  • The click mechanism for the trackpad needs improvement
  • Battery life is way less than the competition
  • Mediocre display

Design and Build Quality

MSI GF75 is a big laptop but the size of this machine never becomes overwhelming. This is mainly due to the rather slim profile of this laptop and honestly, we have to commend MSI here for doing such fine work with the chassis of this laptop.

Although the design of this laptop is nothing special but this laptop has a premium feel about it. Something which is commonly not synonymous with gaming laptops. We feel that this premiumness comes from the materials used for the construction of this laptop specifically the brushed metal that covers the keyboard deck and the screen lid.

Needless to say, MSI GF75 is built really well. The construction of this laptop is top-notch and the fit and finish speak for themselves. There are no creaks to be had with this laptop and the screen flex is also minimal.

Keyboard and Trackpad

The advantage of the large screen size also extends to the keyboard deck. Despite the upper deck of the chassis reserved for cooling you still get correctly spaced keys that are good to press. They lack the crispness that you expect from a laptop keyboard nowadays but rather have a good amount of travel without being too mushy. As for the backlighting, this keyboard comes with a red backlighting which is to be expected because it is the red flagship color of MSI.

The trackpad on this laptop like the keyboard is also good and responsive. It supports gesture and multi-finger navigation and is tuned well. There is one slight annoyance with this trackpad though and that is regarding its click operation. The clicks here feel spongy and inconsistent. Given the time you will get totally adjusted to the clicks but we would like to see improvement here in the next model year.

Features, Battery Life, and Ports

MSI GF75 has some really useful features that are aimed at enhancing the experience of the user. The MSI dragon center which this laptop is compatible with has to be one of the best in the industry tuning software in the industry based on the features it provides. You get a handy one-click optimization toggle that across the board improves the performance of the laptop for a better gaming experience.

This laptop also has a built-in play store emulator which basically provides you with a fully-fledged google plays store experience hence you can use any effortlessly use any app that would otherwise not be natively supported on windows. This laptop also has a HI-RES audio Dac so those of you who rely on high-quality headphones for their audio are covered here.

Due to this Dac, you get a separate mic and headphone connection. Talking about connectivity the other ports you get with this laptop include an HDMI out, 2x USB-A 3.2, Ethernet jack, and a USB-C. So basically what this means is you are covered in all regard and should have no problem with connecting any device or peripheral.

The only major downside of this laptop is the subpar battery life. At this point, we all know that Intel-based machines provide subpar battery performance compared to AMD Ryzen based machines therefore considering the fact this laptop only provides around 5-6 hours of runtime on light usage and only lasts an hour under heavy use.

Display and Gaming Performance

This laptop comes with an IPS panel which is great but the quality of the panel is a little on the mediocre side. Despite that, it is still a plus because the IPS panel provides great viewing angles and more punchy colors when compared to a TN panel.

The biggest advantage of this panel is its support for a 120hz refresh rate. Gamers who are fond of fast-paced games know the worth of a high refresh rate and even if you are not a hardcore gamer 120hz refresh rate still adds more value to the purchase by providing a smoother screen navigation experience.

The hardware components used inside this laptop ensure a great gaming experience for the user. The intel i5 the generation processor although being not as powerful as Ryzen gets the job done and the graphic card used here is the same GTX 1650 found on most of the other competing laptops. This graphic card is perfect for this category of laptops because it is a solid performer for the price.

We were thoroughly surprised when it came to the storage because this MSI GF75 comes with a 512 GB NVME SSD while other competitors only feature a 256GB drive. You are still getting a single 8GB ram stick here but fortunately enough it is user-replaceable and adding another stick is easy. All of these components are cooled by a complex system of heat pipes and fans. MSI has done a job here and this laptop never gets uncomfortably hot to the touch.

Conclusion


When you look at this is truly one of a kind laptop in this price range. Firstly you are getting a large screen which is beneficial for gamers because it provides extra real estate. The screen also supports a 120hz refresh rate. The laptop despite being geared towards stationary use has solid build quality. The keyboard is comfortable and can be used for typing long scripts. Honestly, you won’t find a laptop like the MSI GF75 in this price range therefore we wholeheartedly recommend this laptop as our best 17inch gaming laptop under $800.

8. Acer Aspire 7

Ryzen 5000 series launched to great hype recently and the first mainstream laptop that incorporates a 5000 series processor is the Acer Aspire 7. Acer has paired the processor with a discrete graphic card turning this laptop into a stealth powerhouse. Despite the power, this laptop is never far from its roots, therefore, earning a spot on our list as the best professional-looking gaming laptop under $800.


Pros

  • Simple and elegant design
  • Good build quality
  • Good touchpad
  • Good battery life
  • Ryzen 5500u processor is a great performer

Cons

  • The keyboard is not the most comfortable
  • 60hz refresh rate
  • Lack of an SD card slot

Design and Build Quality

The design of the aspire 7 is industrial to the core. This laptop was not primarily designed for gaming so it features a clean and simple body. The exterior lid of this laptop is bland and has a clean Acer branding. The interior is also free from any gamery elements making this a perfect laptop for work or college.

The build quality is also good for this class of laptop. The chassis is rigid and there is no flex to it. The screen wobble is also minimal and the feet at the bottom provide the laptop with a planted feel.

Keyboard and Trackpad

The layout and the key orientation of the keyboard on this laptop are spot on but the actual key feel is decent at best. There is not much travel and the actuation is also vague and unsatisfactory. The trackpad on the other hand is good. It has a large surface for comfortable navigation and the clicks although a little stiff has good consistency.

Features, Battery Life, and Ports

This is not a gaming laptop so donot expect a ton of features here. Acer aspire 7 caters more to the work in the day and game in the evening type of crowd. For this purpose, the laptop has a wide range of ports that include HDMI, 3x USB-A 3.2, ethernet jack, USB-C, and 3.5mm headphone out. The only port missing here is an SD card slot.

One of the key points of the newly launched Ryzen 5500u processor was the increase in efficiency of the silicon. It all seems true because this laptop has a rated battery life of 10 hours on light usage but heavy applications can still kill the battery in around an hour or two.

Display and Gaming Performance

This laptop uses a generic IPS panel which is similar to the other laptops found in this price range. IPS panels provide more color vibrancy and also have good viewing angles hence the reason they are widely popular in gaming laptops. The specific panel used here also has decent color accuracy though it could benefit from better brightness.

In the Acer aspire 7 we get to experience the potential of the Ryzen 5500u processor and we are happy to report that it lived up to our expectations. This Ryzen processor has a similar performance to the Ryzen 4600H counterpart with a much more efficient power draw.

As for the GPU we all know the capabilities of GTX 1650 by now and needless to say the combination of this new Ryzen 5500u and Gtx 1650 makes for a very enjoyable gaming experience. With this laptop, you also get a 512GB NVME SSD which was a pleasant surprise.

Conclusion


Acer Aspire 7 is not just a win for Acer or AMD but a win for the consumer. We are at a point where we can get tremendous performance out of thin and light professional laptops. Strictly speaking about this laptop it does most of the things right therefore there is not much to complain about. If you are a college student or a working professional looking for a machine that has the power of a gaming laptop but can blend with other devices in the room then do check this out because this earns our recommendation as the best professional-looking laptop under $800.

Best Portable Gaming Laptop under 800

9. MSI GF63

Portability has overtaken many factors to become the utmost priority of many gamers. MSI came early to this game and still dominates this segment with some of their models. The MSI GF63 is one such model and we have selected this laptop as our best portable gaming laptop under $800.


Pros

  • Good build quality
  • Good comfortable keyboard
  • Good variety of ports
  • Gaming performance in line with other slightly expensive laptops

Cons

  • 4-5 hour battery life
  • Stiff trackpad
  • 60hz refresh rate

Design and Build Quality

This laptop shares the same design as its biggest brother the MSI GF75. That was already a great-looking laptop and the subtle changes made here further refine the look of this machine. The sleek brushed metal finish with the red logo is a sight to behold especially in the correct lighting.

Since this laptop is primarily made out of metal build quality is not a concern. The hinge and the upper deck of the laptop feel solid and also MSI has done a good job in minimizing the screen wobble and reducing chassis flex.

Keyboard and Trackpad

Most MSI laptops have comfortable keyboards and this one is no exception. The combination of the right amount of tactility and travel is what sets this keyboard apart from its competitors. The backlighting is also plenty bright and comes in red color. Unfortunately, the goodness does not extend to the trackpad and it tells another tale altogether. Despite the size being reasonable the clicks feel stiff and the tracking is also inconsistent.

Features, Battery life, and Ports

This is mostly a barebones version of the MSI GF63 that is more oriented towards raw performance rather than features. You do get a couple of handy features in this variant that enhance the user experience. The most significant of which is the compatibility of this laptop with MSI software.

On the contrary to the features, this laptop has the full suite of ports that you need on daily basis. Starting from the right side you get 2x USB-A 3.2 ports, USB-C port, Ethernet jack, and separate 3.5mm headphone out for the mic and the headphone. The HDMI port is conveniently is placed on the back of the device while the left side holds a USB-A 3.2 port and a power plug.

It is good that the power plug is not crowded with other ports because you will frequently need that port to juice up the battery of this device. This is because the average battery backup of this machine is mere 4-5 hours.

Display and Gaming Performance

The display is one of the weakest aspect of MSI GF63. The laptop neither fares well in the picture quality department nor it has a high refresh rate. Although the picture quality is adequate for a gaming laptop but according to today’s standard, it falls quite short. It is the same case with the 60hz refresh rate which also is totally not acceptable when rival products offer 120hz panels.

As far as the gaming performance is concerned, the hardware inside this machine is similar to other competing laptops. Therefore with an intel i5 and GTX 1650 gaming performance is a non-issue. This laptop easily runs most games at decent frame rates at medium to high settings.

Conclusion


It is not wrong to say that MSI GF63 is a slightly toned-down version of the larger GF75. This is a good thing because the latter is already one of the better laptops in its category. This laptop has the same solid construction and a fantastic feeling keyboard. The biggest gripe with this laptop is the 60hz refresh rate display. Given the hardware, a higher refresh rate screen would have been better but frankly for the price you are already getting a lot here. On the contrary, the main advantage of the laptop is its portability factor therefore we recommend this laptop as the best portable gaming laptop under $800.

10. Dell G3

The Dell G series has received infinite praises ever since it was released. We have chosen Dell G3 as the best 15inch gaming laptop under $800 because the recent revision of this laptop has fixed some of the issues that were present in the previous model year.


Pros

  • Slim chassis is regard to the hardware inside
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Alienware command center software is the best in the industry
  • Full suite of ports
  • 120hz refresh rate
  • Good gaming performance

Cons

  • Mediocre keyboard and trackpad
  • Dull panel with subpar color accuracy

Design and Build Quality

This laptop scores full marks in terms of design. It has a unique design that sets it apart from other gaming laptops without being too flashy. The exterior has very elegant lines that run along the body and the multi-color reflective Dell logo provides a sophisticated look.

The laptop is also very slim almost to the point where it feels like a regular notebook laptop. This slim profile comes at the cost of build quality. This laptop is made entirely out of plastic which for the price is fine but the solidity of the structure is also lacking.

Keyboard and Trackpad

The keyboard as well as the trackpad work adequately. The keyboard is comfortable and the trackpad is free from any weird issues. They are by no means the best but since they do not pose any problem we cannot complain here.

Features, Battery, and Ports

What we love the most about Dell gaming laptops is the Alienware command center software. This is the best OEM software by far and allows you to monitor and customize every little aspect of the laptop. This enhanced user control is warmly welcomed and more manufacturers need to have similar software. You also get a fingerprint sensor with this laptop for easy authentication and logging.

The battery life of this laptop took us by surprise. Intel-based laptops tend to have a weak battery performance but that is not the case here because Dell has squeezed in a large battery here. The average backup time of this laptop is around 6-7 hours on normal use and 1-2 hours when gaming.

Dell hardly skimps on ports in their gaming laptop and this laptop is no exception. Starting from the right side this laptop has an SD card slot, 3.5mm headphone jack, 2x USB-A 3.2 ports while on the left side you get an HDMI port, Ethernet jack, and an additional USB-A 3.2.

Display and Gaming Performance

The main downside of this laptop is the display. It has a TN display that is dull and inaccurate in terms of colors. The screen has a washed-out effect which is noticeable when playing games and watching videos. The only redeeming quality about this display is the support for a 120hz refresh rate.

The gaming performance on the other hand is very good. This laptop has a GTX 1650ti graphic card which is slightly better than the regular GTX 1650 and pushed out more frames. The effectiveness of the cooling system of this laptop is also great because the laptop hardly throttles. Like other laptops in the price range, you only get a single channel 8GB memory but that is expandable through the empty DIMM slot.

Conclusion


Had it not been for the TN panel this laptop would have been much higher on the list because it does so many things right. Dell G3 has a slim and elegant design with solid build quality. The hardware inside the machine is also the best for the price and Alienware software just propels the already great gaming experience to any other level. Unfortunately, what we are left here is a fantastic laptop with a flawed display despite this we believe that this is still worth it and therefore recommend this as our best 15inch gaming laptop under $800.

11. Lenevo L340

Technology be it in laptops is getting increasingly expensive and gimmicky, therefore the products that establish a balance between technology and price should be truly appreciated. One such product that we came across lately is Lenovo L340 and due to its attributes, it gets a feature on our list as the best value for money gaming laptop under $800.


Pros

  • Clean and minimalist design
  • Tactile and comfortable keyboard
  • Good connectivity
  • Decent picture quality
  • Noticeably quieter fan compared to similarly specced laptops

Cons

  • Wobbly screen
  • Trackpad needs more fine-tuning
  • 5-6 hour battery life

Design and Build Quality

Minimalist would be a fitting word for the design of this laptop. The clean design of this laptop is quite contrary to the otherwise flashy and blingy designs of other gaming laptops. It is not to say that this laptop is overly businessy though and there are subtle blue accents about the place that spice up the aesthetic a notch.

The build quality of the Lenovo l340 falls into the mediocre category. The chassis is made entirely out of plastic which results in screen wobble. The chassis flex is present and the only redeeming point of this build is the smooth finish of the plastic. This soft and smooth finish feels great to the touch and hides some of the cheapness of the plastic.

Keyboard and Trackpad

Lenovo makes some great keyboards and this laptop truly highlights the manufacturer’s expertise. Even despite the somewhat congested layout, the typing feel is great on this laptop. The keys are tactile and have decent travel without being mushy. This makes for a comfortable as well as satisfying typing experience. Continuing the blue theme the backlighting used for the keys also features the same color.

The trackpad on the other hand is a bit of a letdown. It uses elan drivers rather than Microsoft precision drivers and the click actuation is also inconsistent. The surface needs more fine-tuning and feels somewhat unfinished therefore we recommend using a mouse with this laptop.

Features, Battery life and Ports

This laptop falls in the value for money category so you would expect limited attention paid to the features and this is exactly the case. You are not getting a whole lot of features and the ones that you do get are mostly aimed at enhancing the core user experience.

The battery life is also not incredible with the other newer Ryzen based systems. What you are getting here is a humble 5-6 hours of battery life when browsing the web and doing similar light tasks and when gaming, this machine barely cuts the 1-hour mark.

We termed the design of this laptop and being minimalist and this minimalism also extends to the ports. Rather than the ports running all around the laptop you only find them on the left side of the chassis. Right-hand gamers rejoice because now they are no cables that can get in the way of your mouse movement.

As for the ports themselves you are basically covered here with everything as this laptop includes HDMI, USB-A, USB-C, and a 3.5mm headphone slot. The only port we miss here is an SD card slot.

Display and Gaming Performance

Lenovo L340 uses an IPS panel for the display and the panel provides decent color accuracy and viewing angles. The sRGB color gamut coverage is also better than most laptops in this price range. Gaming on this panel is a joy because the colors really pop. The only weak point of this panel is that it only supports 60hz which is a bit disappointing but then again for the price you cannot complain much.

Being a previous generation model you are sacrificing some gaming performance here. This 9th generation processor is 5-10% slower than the 10th generation intel i5 processor found on other laptops in this list. Still, this should shy you away from buying this laptop because in gaming this translates to only a difference of 5-10fps. The other kit you get here includes GTX 1650, 8GB of ram, and 256GB NVME SSD.

Conclusion


Lenovo has struck has a good balance between price and performance. All the cost-cutting measures are made in the correct places therefore not impacting the overall experience of the laptop. There is not a single offering in the market that can quite match the kit you are getting here for the price therefore we can recommend the Lenovo L340 to anyone wanting a workhorse laptop as our best value for money gaming laptop under $800.

Are Gaming Laptops Under $800 Worth It?

It is a popular misconception that you need to spend a healthy amount of money to get a decent gaming laptop. While this was true back in the day but now things have changed and the lower end of the market has gained a lot of ground because of competitiveness in the field.

On the contrary, I would like to make a point that in the $800 price bracket some really good deals are to be had. Due to the competition more and more premium stuff is trickling into the lower end of the market therefore making these machines all the more worthwhile.

The latest generation hardware that you get for this price is vastly more capable than what you used to get. These days sub $800 laptops can easily run AAA games at decent frame rates on high settings. Esports or older games will run exceptionally well on this new hardware e.g CSGO will regularly hit 150+ fps on any of these machines.

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What to Look for in a Gaming Laptop Under $800 – The Buyer’s Guide

This segment will contain information regarding some crucial characteristics of a gaming laptop who you can make a more educated decision.

Processor

Gaming laptops come with either Ryzen processors or Intel processors. Ever since the release of the Ryzen, there has been a lot of hype around. Rightfully so because these processors are brilliant little units. They are efficient than their intel counterpart therefore provide better battery life and also have less thermal accumulation. They are also better performers while also consuming less power.

Given the chance go with a Ryzen processor but at times a certain laptop will only be available in an intel configuration. Intel still has some advantages that being the thunderbolt support via the USB-C slot which is very handy if you want to connect external GPUs or displays. With some intel laptops, you get better internals but that really comes down to the specific configuration of the manufacturer.

High Refresh Rate Displays

It is not a secret anymore that a high refresh rate is better for gaming. A higher refresh panel is much more smoother and also provides a faster pixel response. Still, there are manufacturers that try to sell you a 60hz panel rather than a 120hz or a 144hz.

While this might be alright in some instances if the laptop itself is already great but the rule of thumb for gaming avoid 60hz panels and look for higher refresh rate screens. Though you might get away with 60hz if you only plan on using your laptop for heavy tasks or casual story gaming.

Graphics Card

A discrete graphics card is the pinnacle component is a gaming laptop. Fortunately, for you pretty much most gaming laptops in the sub $800 price range come with either a GTX 1650 or a 1650ti. The Ti version of the card is a superior performer so given the choice get that. Otherwise, both games are absolutely fine for this budget.

Build Quality

Not all laptops are built the same yet we commonly see people ignoring the build quality aspect of a laptop. We reckon this is a very important aspect to consider because a laptop is also a daily companion so it needs to be solid to survive the day-to-day wear and tear.

Of course, as a consumer look for a laptop that used metal or aluminum for its construction because they are more rigid than plastic. At least look for the hinge being made out of metal because the screen hinge is a pressure point and if it is not properly reinforced it can break.

Keyboard and Trackpad

A good keyboard or trackpad can make or break the experience of a user and take away the thrill of using the laptop on daily basis. Mainly there are two types of keyboards. The first being the ones that have a sharp tactile click. These although provide a sense of satisfaction tend to fatigue the fingers.

Then the are the mushy long travel keyboards that lack any satisfying feel. Try to get a laptop that has a keyboard with decent tactility aswell as travel. As for the trackpad, their calibration and tuning in entirely dependant on the manufacturer, and the best you can do on your part is to get a laptop with a smooth tracking surface.

Speakers

Good speakers are vital for the smooth experience because in certain situations headphones are not accessible therefore you are left with the stock speakers of the laptop. Unfortunately, at this price range, most of the laptops do not feature decent features. Therefore in most of the laptops on the list, there is no mention of speakers because they all have 1.5W dual speakers that are tiny and recessed. The ones that do contain good speakers are mentioned in the feature segment of the product.

Salient Features

There are any extra set of features that enhance the user experience and can come in any shape or form. Most manufacturers have tuning and monitoring software for their laptops which can be considered as a basic feature and there are also some unique features aswell depending on the product. So make sure to see if there is a feature in a certain product that you take benefit of on daily basis.

Closing Thoughts

This sums up our list of the best gaming laptops under $800 that are readily available in the market. We tried to cover a broader spectrum and refrained from adding two similar laptops so that everyone can find something they like.

Before we put the article to a rest, we would like to emphasize the importance of getting the right gaming laptop for your needs. There is a wide variety of laptops in the market with each offering something different so get the one that meshes well with your usage.

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