If you’ve got a tight budget for a new gaming laptop, in this guide, we’ve rated five of the best gaming laptops under $800 to help you find an inexpensive option that will serve you well for 1080P gaming
While a desktop gaming computer will give you more performance on a dollar-for-dollar basis when compared to a laptop, some people out there just need the mobility that a laptop offers. And, fortunately, if you’re a gamer that doesn’t have an enormous budget but you still want to be able to play your favorite games, there are solid options out there at reasonable prices.
In this guide, we’re going to take a look at five of the best gaming laptops under $800 at a variety of price points and feature sets so that we can help you find an option that will serve you well both as a laptop and as a gaming system.
A Quick Look at the Best Gaming Laptops Under $800
ASUS TUF Gaming A15
HP Pavilion 15
Lenovo Ideapad 3
ASUS TUF FX505DT
*To read our write-ups on the sub-$800 gaming laptops listed above, click the “Read Review »” link.
1. ASUS TUF Gaming A15 15.6″
The best gaming laptop under $800
- AMD Ryzen 5 4600H
- NVIDIA GTX 1650
- 8GB DDR4 RAM
Most of the gaming laptops in the $700-$800 price range come with an NVIDIA GTX 1650 GPU. And, so the real difference between the options on this list come in what kind of display they offer, what processor they come with, how much RAM they have, and how much storage space they’ll give you.
And, in our opinion, the ASUS TUF Gaming A15 laptop currently offers the best mix of hardware for PC gamers in the sub-$800 price range. it comes with an AMD Ryzen 5 4600H processor, an NVIDIA GTX 1650 GPU, 8GB of DDR4 memory, and a 512GB SSD.
Its screen is what truly separates it from the rest of the options on this list, though. It comes with a 15.6-inch 1080P display. That is pretty standard for gaming laptops in this price range. However, what is not standard is that the ASUS TUF Gaming 15’s display comes with a 144Hz refresh rate.
They higher refresh rate display will allow for a smoother in-game experience and that ultimately gives this laptop an edge over its competitors.
2. HP Pavilion 15.6″
Our runner-up gaming laptop selection
- AMD Ryzen 5 4600H
- NVIDIA GTX 1650
- 16GB DDR4 RAM
As games become more advanced, they tend to take up more and more system memory. Many games still can’t utilize over 4-8GB. However, some newer and more demanding games are starting to use up more than 8GB. And, so, running those kinds of games on a laptop that only has 8GB of RAM can result in less performance while gaming.
One of the few gaming laptops under $800 that comes with 16GB of RAM is this HP Pavilion. Along with its 16GB of DDR4 memory, it also comes with an AMD Ryzen 5 4600H processor, an NVIDIA GTX 1650 GPU, and a 1TB SSD.
The downside of this laptop in comparison with the ASUS laptop above, though, is that you won’t get a 144Hz refresh rate display. And, really, the decision between this HP Pavilion and the ASUS TUF Gaming laptop listed above will be a tough one.
Will you need the extra 8GB of RAM? Or, would you prefer the higher refresh rate display? In our opinion, it would be better to get the higher refresh rate display now, because you can always add a second 8GB stick of memory to the ASUS TUF laptop later. But, if you don’t feel comfortable upgrading your own laptop’s memory and/or you don’t think you need the higher refresh rate display, then this HP Pavilion would likely be the better choice for you.
3. Lenovo Ideapad 3 15.6″
Solid Intel-based gaming laptop option
If you’d prefer to choose a laptop that has an Intel processor in it over a laptop that has an AMD processor in it, one similar option to the ASUS TUF Gaming laptop is this Lenovo Ideapad.
This laptop comes with an Intel Core i5-10300H CPU, an NVIDIA GTX 1650 processor, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and a secondary 1TB hard drive. For the display, you get a 15.6-inch 1080P screen with a 120Hz refresh rate.
So, really, in terms of competition for our top pick, the ASUS TUF Gaming 15, this Lenovo Ideapad is the closest in hardware. The i5-10300H and the Ryzen 5 4600H will provide similar gaming performance, they both have the same GPU and the same amount of memory, and both have high refresh rate 1080P displays.
The ASUS TUF Gaming A15 does have an edge in refresh rate (144Hz vs 120Hz), but that small difference likely won’t provide a noticeable difference. The other difference that you’d want to consider, though, is the multi-threaded performance advantage that the Ryzen 5 4600H offers. In games, you won’t see a big difference between the AMD and Intel processor, but if you’re doing video editing, graphics design, spreadsheet work, or any other CPU-intensive task, the extra multi-threaded performance that the Ryzen 5 4600H offers might come into play.
For the Lenovo Ideapad, the one advantage it has is that it comes with more total storage (it comes with both a 256GB SSD and a 1TB hard drive, whereas the ASUS TUF Gaming 15 comes with a single 512GB SSD.)
Since both laptops cost about the same, the option that would be better for you will really all come down to whether you want the multi-threaded performance of the Ryzen 5 4600H or the extra storage that the Lenovo Ideapad comes with. In our opinion, we prefer the ASUS TUF Gaming A15 option a bit better, because you can always add more storage later down the road—but you won’t be able to make the Lenovo Ideapad perform better in multi-threaded applications.
4. MSI GF75 17.3″
Top 17-inch gaming laptop under $800
If you’re willing to spend a little more in order to get a larger 17.3-inch screen, then you might want to check out MSI’s GF75. While this laptop doesn’t cost under $800 (it’s ~$850), it does offer essentially the same specs as the Lenovo Ideapad listed above, just with a larger display.
It has an Intel Core i5-10300H processor, an NVIDIA GTX 1650 GPU, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 1080P 120Hz display. It also comes with a single 512GB SSD.
Again, though, as we mentioned above, we’d prefer to have the better multi-threaded performance that the Ryzen 5 4600H in the ASUS TUF Gaming A15 laptop offers. But, if you don’t mind sacrificing that for a larger display and you’re willing to pay a little extra, this MSI laptop is probably your best bet.
5. ASUS TUF FX505DT 15.6″
A cheaper laptop option under $700
- AMD Ryzen 5 3550H
- NVIDIA GTX 1650
- 8GB DDR4 RAM
If you’re working with a tight budget and you’d be open to saving even more money on your laptop purchase, an even more affordable option than the laptops listed above is the ASUS TUF FX505DT.
At just under ~$700, it is at least ~$100 less than the other options listed above. And, while it comes with a slightly older AMD Ryzen 5 3550H processor, that shouldn’t make too much of a difference in terms of in-game performance.
The ASUS TUF FX505DT also comes with the same GPU (an NVIDIA GTX 1650) and 8GB of RAM. It doesn’t have a higher refresh rate display, though. So, the decision you’d have to make is whether you want to save ~$100, or spend that extra money to get a 120Hz-144Hz refresh rate display.
Which gaming laptop under $800 is the best for you?
Not everyone has thousands of dollars to drop on a new gaming laptop. And, while you could always build a really powerful $800 gaming desktop, some people just need the mobility of a laptop. So, if that’s you, one of the options listed above should meet your needs of both a mobile laptop computer and a capable gaming system.