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6 Best Gaming Laptops Under 800 Dollars (2020 Edition)

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Gaming laptops are surprisingly versatile devices. Not only are they a great choice for gamers, but they are incredibly popular productivity devices for people who want to work, play, and communicate faster. A gaming laptop is built to be faster and look better than a standard laptop, making them a great choice for a wider range of users than you might expect.

The ultimate gaming laptops are, not surprisingly, very expensive. So today we are looking at more affordable options, searching for premium gaming performance in laptops below $800. While these more affordable laptop options do force some feature compromises, the truth is that you can have an incredible gaming experience in a laptop that doesn’t cost a fortune.

So, without much droning around, let’s get right into it!


Reviews of the 6 Best Gaming Laptops Under 800 Dollars

Now, let’s have a look at the 6 contenders for best gaming laptop under 800 dollars, starting with my top pick from MSI:

Top Pick: MSI GV62 4.6 out of 5 stars

MSI GV62 8RD-200 gaming laptop

The MSI GV62 is my pick as the best gaming laptop under 800 dollars. And I’m not the only fan; this incredible machine has won the PC Mag Readers’ Choice award for two years in a row!

At first glance, you’ll notice it’s stylish design. The red-backlit keyboard has enhanced tactile response and feedback, an optimized WASD zone, and support for multi-key inputs. And the tactical brushed cover looks fantastic without adding excess weight.

But this powerful gaming laptop has more than just good looks; it has all the features you need to play AAA titles on a laptop:

  • The Intel 8th Gen Core i5 processor is 40% faster than previous generations, so you can open files more quickly, load game levels faster, and even speed up everyday tasks.
  • The NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti GPU has 17% better performance over previous graphics cards, so you can experience your games as they were meant to be seen.
  • The Cooler Boost technology has 2 fans, 2 exhausts, and 6 copper heat pipes for 20% better airflow.

Furthermore, it comes with 8 GB of RAM (upgradable to 32 GB) and the 256GB NVMe SSD lets you store games, music, and media files with super-fast access no matter where you are. And the NTSC display offers incredible color and depth to enhance your gaming experience, and Nahimic 3 7.1 enhanced audio offers immersive, accurate, in-game surround sound, while also providing excellent audio in music, movies, and communication.

The MSI GV62 doesn’t support VR games and has a short battery life typical of a gaming laptop, but it has superior performance in a compact package. It’s not a desktop replacement, but it does have the power and speed to let you play your favorite games on the go, and it’s a cheap option for laptop gaming at high-quality settings.

NameMSI GV62 8RD-200
Processor2.3 GHz Intel Core i5
GraphicsNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
Storage256GB NVMe SSD
Screen15.6 inch 1920×1080
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home Edition
Weight8.6 pounds
Battery Life4 hours

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Best Budget Pick: Acer Aspire E 15 3.5 out of 5 stars

Acer Aspire E 15

The Acer Aspire E 15 isn’t a full-fledged gaming laptop, but it does have the speed and power to let you enjoy many games on the go, for an extremely attractive price. This budget gaming laptop was rated one of the best values on the market by Laptop Mag, and Digital Trends calls it the best Windows laptop for under $600. Designed for everyday computing, the brushed metal cover and streamlined design let you travel in style, and you may be surprised by its performance.

Furthermore. it has an 8th Gen Intel Core i3 processor with speeds up to 3.4 GHz. The 15.6 display has a widescreen for high-quality viewing. And the 6GB of RAM and 1 TB hard drive lets you store all your files, games, and media and access them quickly and seamlessly. And it has up to 13.5 hours of battery life to keep you playing all day.

Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 technology lets you enjoy smooth streaming and immersive HD entertainment. Acer TrueHarmony audio is crystal clear and brings your games and media to life with richness and depth. The 802.11ac wireless is fast and offers consistent, stable connectivity.

The Acer Aspire E 15 doesn’t have a GPU or cooling system that will support the most intensive gaming experiences at full quality. But it will play a wide range of titles at tweaked settings, and excels at staying cool under pressure. It’s a versatile laptop with an incredible battery life and an unbeatable price.

SeriesAcer Aspire E 15
Processor 2.2 GHz Intel Core i3
GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 620
Storage1 TB mechanical drive
Screen15.6 inches, 1920×1080
Operating SystemWindows 10
Weight5.27 pounds
Battery Life13.5 hours

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Best Gaming Laptop Under 800 Dollars: Runner Ups

ASUS FX504 Thin & Light TUF Gaming Laptop 4.4 out of 5 stars


The ASUS FX504 TUF is a gaming laptop with all the bells and whistles you need. It even comes with Gears of War 4 and Age of Empires Definitive Edition, so you can test your new laptop and enjoy incredible games right out of the box.

This laptop won the Red Dot Award in 2018, and is recommended by CNET as an entry-level gaming laptop with an extra durable keyboard. It has a red-backlit keyboard with a 1.8-mm travel distance and a .25-mm keycap curve, that is rated for a full 20 million keystrokes for incredible durability. The stylish black matter case design has the angles and edges that make a statement and look great on the go.

Furthermore, it has the 8th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, with speeds up to 3.9 GHz, and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU for superior performance. The unique dual fan design and 3-speed fan overboost have anti-dust technology that blows dust and particles out of the laptop. Improved airflow and anti-dust tunnels prevent clogs and improve heat dissipation, prolonging the life and durability of the laptop. It has 8GB of RAM, expandable up to 32 GB.

Intel Optane memory provides faster access to the 256 GB SSD drive. It has authentic 7.1 channel surround sound, with an audiophile-grade equalizer and DTS headphone support for incredible sound in games and entertainment. It has fast 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi, 1 USB 2.0 port, 2 USB 3.1 ports, an HDMI port, and an RJ45 LAN jack.

As with other gaming laptops, the ASUS TUF Gaming FX504 has a short battery life, at just under 4 hours. But the rugged keyboard, advanced processing speed, and gamer GPU make this a great laptop in the price range. The inclusion of two incredibly popular games is the cherry on top.

SeriesASUS TUF FX504
Processor 2.2 GHz Intel Core i7
GraphicsNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
Storage256 GB SSD
Screen15.6 inches, 1920×1080
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home Edition
Weight5.1 pounds
Battery LifeUp to 4 hours

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OMEN by HP 15.6-inch Gaming Laptop 4 out of 5 stars

HP Omen

The HP Omen is a great looking gaming laptop, with the power and speed to play games like Fortnite and Overwatch on the go without compromising quality. The 2 zone backlit keyboard is dragon red, with highlighted WASD for speed and accuracy in gameplay. With 26-key rollover and anti-ghosting, the keyboard can execute multiple commands at once. And the brushed metal case has a rugged texture, angles, and graphics that exudes style.

Inside, the OMEN has an 8th Gen Intel Core i5 processor with screaming speeds up to 4.0 GHz. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU lets you enjoy your games with high-quality graphics and fast response. And the large fan with a 3-phase motor and a fluid dynamic bearing improves heat dissipation and keeps it cool.

Furthermore, the 15.6-inch narrow bezel display provides excellent quality in games and entertainment, and audio by Bang & Olufsen augmented with HP Audio Boost technology creates immersive, accurate audio. It has 12 GB of RAM, a 1TB hard drive, and 126GB SSD, with an easy access panel for fast upgrades. Bluetooth 4.2 and 802.11b ac wireless technologies give you fast, stable wireless connections, and 4 USB 3.1 ports, an HDMI 2.0 port, an RJ-45 port, and a headphone, microphone, and mini display ports allow you to use all your accessories or quickly charge devices.

The HP Omen has an incredible battery life for a gaming laptop, up to more than 10 hours. With speed and power like this, it’s nearly a desktop replacement, but fully portable and ready to play whenever you are. Engadget calls it perfect for 1080p gaming, and praises the responsive keyboard and ability to play most games at 60FPS or better. With the Omen line, HP is delivering the laptops gamers are looking for, at a price anybody can afford!

SeriesHP Omen
Processor2.3 GHz Core i5 8300H
GraphicsNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
Storage1000 GB hybrid drive
Screen15.6 inches, 1920×1080
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home Edition
Weight5 pounds
Battery Life5.5 hours streaming, up to 10 hours and 45 minutes mixed

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Dell Inspiron 15 5000 Gaming Laptop 4 out of 5 stars

Dell Inspiron 15

Dell Inspiron 15 is a solid $800 gaming laptop at an affordable price. The keyboard has red lettering, and keys tested to withstand up to 10 million strokes. This durable laptop has a lid with a hinge that is still tight after 20,000 openings, and it can survive heat conditions up to 149°. However, dual cooling fans keep it cool and under control.

With an 8th Gen Intel Quad Core i5-8250U processor with turbo speeds up to 3.4 GHz, and an Intel Integrated 620 Graphics card, this laptop packs plenty of speed and power for gaming. The 15.6 display has full HD and an anti-glare surface that provides excellent visual quality and clarity. The Waves MaxxAudio Pro has stereo speakers and a subwoofer for great sound. This configuration comes with 8 GB of RAM, and a 1TB SATA hard drive. It also has 2 USB 3.1 ports, 1 USB 2.0 port, and an HDMI port.

The Dell Inspiron 15 5000 is a solid entry-level gaming laptop, capable of playing many titles at 1080p at around 35-40FPS. It’s not a perfect gaming laptop, but a great bargain at the price.

SeriesDell Inspiron 15 5000
Processor8th Gen Intel Quad Core i5-8250U
GraphicsIntel Integrated 620 Graphics
Storage1TB SATA hard drive
Screen15.6 inches, 1920×1080
Operating SystemWindows 10
Weight2.65 pounds

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Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop 4 out of 5 stars

Acer Nitro 5

Last on my best gaming laptop under 800 list is the Acer Nitro 5, featuring a futuristic design with sleek lines and hard edges. The iron-red backlit keyboard has WASD highlights for improved accuracy, and the vented rear panel improves airflow in style. In fact, it has dual fans with Acer Coolboost technology for greater fan speed and improved cooling. Users can even manually adjust cooling when necessary for improved performance.

Furthermore, this 800 dollar laptop has a 7th Gen Intel Core i5 processor for speed and smooth performance, while the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU delivers high-quality graphics and great gameplay. It has a 15.6-inch widescreen IPS display for crisp, compelling visuals. The Acer TrueHarmony technology and Dolby Audio Premium create accurate, immersive sound.

It has 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB solid-state drive. It has 2 USB 2.0 ports and 2 USB 3.0 ports. This $800 gaming laptop is also compatible with Acer’s Windows Mixed Reality Headset, for a whole new level of immersion in your game worlds. This laptop has been called a solid value, with good performance for the price, by both PCWorld and Finally, this gaming laptop has an impressive battery life of up to 8.5 hours, for uninterrupted gameplay no matter where you are.

SeriesAcer Nitro 5
Processor2.5 GHz Intel Core i5
GraphicsNvidia GTX 1050 Ti
Storage256 GB SSD
Screen15.6 inches, 1920×1080
Operating SystemWindows 10
Weight8.5 hours
Battery Life5.51 pounds

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What Should You Look For When Buying A Gaming Laptop

As mentioned, when you are shopping for a gaming laptop on a budget, it’s important to spend your money wisely. Here’s where to scrimp and where to spend to get the past laptop for the price.

  • GPU: High-end modern games rely more on a fast, powerful, robust GPU than on the CPU. In fact, the GPU is one of the defining features of a gaming laptop. If you want to play the latest titles at the highest quality, invest in the best, fastest, latest GPU you can afford.
  • Cooling system: The other defining feature of a gaming laptop is the cooling system. With a fast and powerful CPU and GPU, the cooling system is critical for the short-term performance and long-term survival of your laptop. You simply can’t play AAA games without a sophisticated cooling system.
  • Keyboard: While you can always plug in an external keyboard to a gaming laptop, it can be cumbersome and sacrifice comfort and portability. Look for the same features in a laptop keyboard that you would look for in a desktop keyboard, and pay attention to travel distance, durability, and mechanics.
  • Ports: One advantage of a gaming laptop is that it can always be connected to external monitors, speakers, controllers, and other devices to make the gaming experience more immersive and more compelling. However, these external devices are only as good as your ports. Look for well-placed high-speed ports to connect to all your external devices, so your laptop can be even more versatile.
  • CPU: Provided your CPU is a good one and fairly recent, it’s unlikely to be a deal-breaker for game performance. While it’s nice to have fast load times, a good cache, and multitasking capabilities, it’s generally not worth paying extra for the very latest CPU.
  • Memory: Memory can easily be added or upgraded as necessary, and isn’t worth spending extra for.
  • Display: While a good display is important to a gaming experience, no laptop is going to have a truly exceptional one. Laptops are good for portability and versatility, and no 15-inch monitor is going to create a truly immersive gaming experience. Save money on the laptop display, and invest instead in an external monitor.
  • Aesthetics: It’s great to have a stylish laptop, but it’s all too common to put some red LEDs on a laptop and charge a lot more for it. It’s often a marketing gimmick, and not worth paying extra for.

Other Factors to Keep in Mind

VR gaming requires a compatible GPU

If your mobile gaming and laptop need to include VR, you simply can’t do it without the right GPU. VR-ready GPUs can cost $800 by themselves, so it’s almost impossible to find an inexpensive VR-ready gaming laptop.

Gaming laptops vs. “desktop replacement” laptops

So-called desktop replacement laptops are designed to put all the power and performance of a gaming PC into a laptop. These laptops can cost into the thousands of dollars, and still not quite match performance benchmarks of desktop PCs. Gaming laptops are simpler devices, intended to be traditional laptops with the speed and power to play major game titles.

The fact is, we simply don’t have the technology at this point to play the most powerful, demanding, immersive, best games, in devices that are small and portable. The demands of the latest games stay at the very leading edge of available technology, which takes time to become more compact and more affordable. If you’re looking for a small, lightweight, portable laptop that gives incredible gameplay with high FPS, responsive performance, and long battery life, we simply aren’t there yet.

Battery life and battery power

Speaking of battery life, that’s another area where compromise is necessary. While a tablet, or even a conventional laptop may have 12 or 20 hours of battery life, it’s simply not possible in a gaming laptop. Gaming laptops require sophisticated cooling systems, driven by high-powered fans, and these cooling systems simply require more battery life than laptops without them. Currently, a good gaming laptop can run for about 4 hours on battery power.

A person shopping for a gaming laptop will currently have to make some hard choices between the most advanced cooling systems and optimal battery life. A great gaming laptop will allow you to have some manual control over cooling, so that you can adjust battery demands and cooling demands as necessary.

Game-specific needs

If you’re buying a laptop to play a specific game, check the specs and look to forums to see how the laptop performs with that game. It’s often true that a laptop that performs well with one title doesn’t perform as well with another, despite requiring similar specs.

Keeping all these things in mind, you can actually get a great gaming laptop for less than $800. However, for the ultimate savings, consider whether you even need a gaming laptop at all. Popular titles like Minecraft and World of Warcraft don’t require expensive computers to provide years of fun. And as we speak, EA and Microsoft are working on cloud-based gaming services, where gamers pay to stream games that can be played on any device with an internet connection.

Services like Steam and PlayStation Now offer fantastic gaming experiences that don’t place huge demands on your computer. The future of cloud-based gaming looks promising, and at 2018’s E3, Electronic Arts showed that their cloud-based gaming system is nearly market-ready, with an immersive, cloud-based demo of Titanfall 2 that can be played on any device, even phones.

While streaming game services have been talked about for years, we seem to be nearing the point where it’s not only possible, but desirable. Consumers have shown, with Netflix and other streaming services, that they are ready and willing to pay monthly fees for access to the entertainment they are looking for.

And even the most dedicated gamers tire of spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on consoles and PCs that need constant upgrading and replacing before they even pay for the games themselves. We are likely to see high-end, AAA titles on streaming services within the next few years, so perhaps the days of dedicated gaming laptops are drawing to a close.

However, if you want to play the best games today, you’ll need to invest in a gaming laptop. And as we’ve seen, there are some great options available even on a budget.

Now when we know the basics about selecting the best gaming laptop under 800 dollars, let’s wrap this up:

Conclusions and Final Words

My top pick is MSI GV62 8RD-200. This amazing laptop packs a lot of power into a compact, lightweight laptop, and performs well under pressure. I love the Intel Optane Memory for a blazing fast cache and great memory performance. And the steel series keyboard has anti-ghosting and is fast and responsive, and the red backlight looks great.

In testing by PC Verge, the MSI GV62 8RD-200 didn’t have full FPS at 1080p on all game titles, but it’s natural to expect some performance compromises with a gaming laptop in this price range. It has the best gaming GPU in its price category, and reasonable to expect some downgrading of settings in a laptop this size and weight. Overall, the MSI GV62 8RD-200 is my favorite 800 dollar gaming laptop.

Furthermore, gaming laptops are good for games, but also great work computers, for those who want a more powerful, versatile device with more speed than traditional laptops. They are ideal for students or workers who need a productivity laptop that they can play games on sometimes. And these high-performance machines are more affordable than you might think, with great options available under $800.



PS, for more high-performance laptop tips please check out my review of AutoCAD laptops.