When people look for performance in a laptop, the most common answer is to look at its ‘gaming performance’. At this point, it doesn’t matter what the laptop is going to be used for. Gaming laptops can perform just multimedia tasks, business tasks, or any other thing that a computer might be used for just as well as it can run games.
The specifications required to run games well are the same specifications that allow it to perform other tasks, making a gaming laptop one of the most versatile portable machines a person can have.
While top-of-the-line gaming laptops also tend to be on the expensive side, many good models fit under a moderate $800 budget.
Here are our top picks for best gaming laptops under $800.
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1. HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop 15t
The shadow black color finish combined with the backlit keyboard in acid green or ghost white completes the sleek overall design of this laptop. It weighs 4.92 pounds. That’s a little heavy for a regular laptop, but it’s standard for a gaming laptop. It’s easy enough to put it in a backpack for travel.
Its 15.6-inch Full HD 60 Hz IPS WLED-backlit display is easy on the eyes, figuratively and literally. It runs on an Intel Core i5-9300H processor with an 8 GB DDR4 RAM card.
The basic version comes with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card, which is pretty great. It has a 256 GB PCIe M.2 SSD, which is on the smaller side of things. Its battery is an average 52.5 Wh 3-cell Lithium-ion battery that supports fast charging. This laptop can charge up to 50% of its battery in about 45 minutes.
The HP online store offers some upgrade options for their laptops, including the HP Pavilion Gaming 15t. The most appealing one is the storage upgrade. Replacing the 256 GB SSD to a 1 TB SATA drive and a 16 GB Intel Optane adds $50 to the price.
For an additional $200 to the base price, the laptop can have a 1 TB SATA drive and a 512 SSD. The processor, graphics card, RAM card, and display monitor can also be upgraded. This laptop can have an Intel Core i7-9750 processor, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, a 32 GB DDR4 RAM card, a 144 Hz 1080p monitor or a 4k monitor for a substantial cost.
All of these upgrades can be selected separately.
2. Dell G3 15-inch Gaming Laptop
The Dell G series is one of the best lines of budget gaming laptops. This one featured here is Dell’s G3 series of gaming laptops, featuring a strong set of hardware specifications housed in a slim body. It comes with an Intel Core i5 8300HQ, a 4 GB DDR4 RAM card, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card paired with 4 GB of dedicated video memory, and a 15-inch Full HD IPS backlit display.
It is one of the more unique-looking laptops with alpine white and recon blue color options, apart from its standard licorice black.
The power that the Dell G3 series packs in its 5.57-pound package is already fairly good. It can run any game with ease at relatively high settings. For those looking for upgrades, there are a few options too.
The processor can be upgraded to an Intel Core i7 8750HQ. Its video card can be a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti. The RAM card can go up to a 32 GB DDR4, and the hard drive can be a 256 GB SSD or a 128 GB SSD paired with a 1 TB HDD.
All of these can be selected separately on the Dell online store for a moderate to a substantial price increase.
3. MSI GL73 8RD 17.3 Inch High-Performance Laptop
This will be the largest laptop on this list, featuring a massive 17.3-inch display. The MSI GL73 8RD still runs on Full HD, though. Despite its size, it only weighs 5.95 pounds. Its strong black chassis packs some serious hardware.
It comes with an 8th Generation Intel Core i7 processor, an 8GB DDR4 RAM card, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card with 4 GB of dedicated memory, and a 256 GB SSD for storage.
The processor normally runs at 2.2 GHz but can turbo boost to 4.0 GHz when needed. Its 8 MB cache memory makes it an excellent performer for any task. The 3-cell battery can keep the laptop running for 5 hours for regular tasks or 3 hours of continuous gameplay.
4. ASUS TUF FX504 15.6″ Full HD Gaming Laptop
It’s a 15.6-inch laptop with a Full HD display that’s backed by an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card and its 4 GB of dedicated memory.
The laptop runs with an Intel Core i5-8300H processor, an 8 GB DDR4 RAM card, and a 256 GB SSD.
When needed, the processor can clock up to 3.9 GHz on turbo boost mode. Overall, it’s pretty great for a machine under $800.
5. Dell G5 Series 15″ Gaming Laptop
The Dell G5 Series gaming laptop is a step up from the Dell G3 Series. It’s aimed at the mid-range segment but delivers some impressive specifications. This is a 15.6-inch laptop that follows the industry standard Full HD IPS display at 1920 x 1080 pixels.
The Dell G5 series is powered by an Intel Core i5-8300H processor and an 8GB DDR4 RAM. In terms of storage, it comes with a 1 TB HDD together with a 128 GB SSD. The graphics card is an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Max-Q) with 6 GB of dedicated memory, an upgrade from the other offerings in this list so far. Combined, the Dell G5 Series makes for a powerful 5.76-pound machine.
It also comes with a 4-Cell, 56 Whr Battery. It can keep the laptop running for 5 hours continuously, which is pretty good. The battery supports quick-charge too, charging 25% of the battery in 15 minutes.
Its proprietary audio hardware and software features make for an excellent theater experience too, which is a nice plus.
6. Lenovo Legion Y530
The Lenovo Legion Y series has always been a mainstay in the gaming laptop department for its durability and performance. This Lenovo Legion Y530 follows expectations as an excellent in gaming and multitasking. The generous specifications on this machine make it easily capable of running modern games at medium settings stably.
The Lenovo Legion Y530 weighs 5.1 pounds and has a 15.6-inch FullHD IPS Display that can go up to 144 Hz. Its processor is an Intel Core i5-8300H that can be upgraded to an Intel Core i7-8750H.
The graphics card is an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 that can be changed to a GTX 1050 Ti or a GTX 1060. Furthermore, the RAM card starts at an 8GB DDR4 and can go up to a 32 GB DDR4.
The default storage hardware is a 1 TB SATA hard drive paired with a 128 GB SSD. These can be upgraded up to a 2 TB HDD with Intel Optane and a 512 GB SSD.
Legion Y530’s sleek design is also easy on the eyes. It also comes with a wide variety of ports for those who are particular about their ports. Its hardware allows it to be a decent all-around laptop, capable of performing well in gaming as well as other tasks.
7. ASUS VivoBook S14
The ASUS VivoBook S14 is a slight departure in terms of form factor in this list. It doesn’t have the weighty and edgy design that gaming laptops have, opting instead for a lighter and thinner package.
It’s a 14-inch laptop that weighs 2.87 pounds and is 18.8 mm thick. Don’t mistake its small frame for weakness, though. This laptop packs the specifications to run the latest games at a decent quality too.
Its processor starts at an Intel Core i3-7100U and can go up to a Core i7-8550U. The display is a 14-inch LED-backlit 60 Hz monitor at 1280 x 800 that can be upgraded to 1920 x 1980 with a 178˚ viewing angle. Its video card isn’t the best, though.
It comes with an NVIDIA GeForce MX150 with 2 GB of dedicated memory that can be upgraded to 4 GB. The RAM starts at 8 GB and can go up to 16 GB. There are a variety of storage options available, going up to a 512 GB SSD or a 1 TB SATA HDD.
While it definitely can’t compete with the rest of the laptops in this list (especially in the graphics department), it comes in a much smaller and lighter package. This is a laptop that can be brought into business meeting rooms and can still be played with.
The other offerings in this list are bulkier, heavier, and can be awkward to bring into a formal meeting. This one is for the gamer who needs to sneak in their games in the workplace.
The ASUS VivoBook S14 defies expectations by having a sleek design without compromising power too much.
Hopefully you’ll find a great gaming laptop under $800 in this article!
This article was composed by a freelance writer.