10 Best Gaming Laptops Under $800 [After 3 Weeks of Testing]

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Getting a gaming laptop at a sub-$800 price bracket can be a bit tricky as OEMs expect you to make quite a few compromises. Nonetheless, a more sensible approach will be to get a machine that covers all bases without relying way too much on the hardware.

Then again, a 800 dollar gaming laptop isn’t relevant to every gaming requirement and is mostly preferred by college students who are into casual gaming. Therefore, before moving this discussion forward we must understand that a gaming notebook in such a price range isn’t expected to cater to professional gamers and will only get hold of a moderately indulgent machine with a respectable specs sheet.

When it comes to general expectations, a mid-range GTX 1050 or even the improved GTX 1650 GPU is a budget gaming resource, often complemented by a 1080p display and a decent battery life. However, you need to realize that even though you cannot get a the RTX 2060 or 2080 GPUs on the sub-$800 modules for obvious reasons; getting a machine with a 9th gen H-series processor is still possible.

Moreover, 8GB RAM is a standard ballpark for the given price tag but the likes of ASUS can cram in 16GB of system memory. Therefore, if you are willing to spend at least 800 dollars on a new gaming laptop, extensive research can get you a processor-intensive machine with a moderately powerful graphics card.

Besides, the existing graphics conglomerate on a sub-$800 notebook isn’t equipped enough to handle demanding games like Fortnite, PUBG, Minecraft, and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey at the highest 1080p presets. However, you can always eliminate the trial and error and jump right into the world of the moderately-demanding titles like Star Wars Squadrons, Valorant, and more that can be played with 100+ and even 200+ FPS, on high 1080p presets.

Demanding games like Horizon Zero Dawn is also compatible with the GTX 1650 and GTX 1050 GPUs, but only at low 720p and medium 1080p presets. If you are looking to get a headstart before purchasing the laptop, consider games like Doom Eternal, FIFA 21, Escape from Tarkov, GRID 2019, and League of Legends, provided you are willing to play them at medium 1080p settings.

Minimum & Recommended System Requirements

Minimum and recommended system requirements for the 800 dollar price bracket concern the fps that particular games can hit for the given set of specifications.

Gaming laptops with the minimum set of specifications can run every mid-range game can be played at 720p settings, hitting close to 60FPS at all times. Gadgets with recommended specs sheets or additional features even allow you to reach ultra 1080p presets and 100+FPS for select games.

 Minimum System RequirementsRecommended System Requirements
CPU7th Gen Intel Core i58th Gen Intel Core i5
RAM4GB8GB
Storage128GB SSD256GB SSD
Display15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080)15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)
GPU2GB NVIDIA GeForce MX3504GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 or better
BatteryUp to 4 hoursUp to 8 hours

Best Laptops Under $800 in 2020

Purchasing a gaming laptop for under 800 dollars doesn’t come without its share of compromises. However, you can always conduct extensive research to zero in on the perfect machine, as per your professional and personal preferences.

This is why our experts at Freedom 251 have reviewed 67 laptops to finally come up with a list of 11 highly resourceful yet affordable gaming laptops. Each of these machines serves a specific professional, academic, or personal purpose whilst accommodating price-intensive gaming hardware for the hobbyists and moderately indulgent gamers.

Moreover, we have segregated the machines based on the pricing, processing capabilities, memory allocation, battery life, portability, and other attributes that can make or break your gadget-specific experiences. Shall we begin with the list?

1. Best Overall: MSI GF63 Thin

  • CPU: 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-9300H
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB SSD + 1TB SSHD
  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)
  • GPU: 4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
  • Battery: Up to 5 hours

It is only appropriate to start this discussion with an enviously portable and resourceful notebook in the MSI GF63 Thin. Besides featuring an extensive set of attributes, this notebook also excels when aesthetics and aligned productivity-centric specifications are concerned.

For starters, MSI stacks in the ever-reliable, Intel Core i5-9300H processor, boasting of HyperThreading support, and a single-core turbo clock speed of up to 4.1GHz. The hexa-core chipset is one of the more promising additions to the specs sheet, featuring the resourceful ability to manage gaming logic, NPCs, and gaming characters with ease.

When not used for gaming, the processor can streamline diverse professional tasks including 3D modeling, rendering in Cinema 4D, sculpting, machine learning, and running resource intensive software like Blender, Revit, QuickBooks, etc.

Working in cohesion is the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU that comes clubbed with 4GB VRAM. With 896 CUDA cores to rely on, this graphics card is capable of handling several GPU-accelerated processes with considerable ease.

As far as gaming performances are concerned, the GTX 1650 is a good enough resource for running titles like Death Stranding, Valorant, SIMS 4, Overwatch, Civilization 6, Gear Tactics, and more, at 1080p presets.

In terms of memory allocation, you get access to 8GB RAM for efficient multitasking. While the existing chunk of system memory is more than enough for handling basic to moderate gaming resources like open-world maps and temporary files, you can always upgrade it up to 64GB RAM, if and when required.

Storage-wise, you get access to an ultrafast 256GB solid-state drive along with 1TB SSHD support. MSI also offers Windows 10 as the pre-existing operating system.

MSI also makes room for a standard, 15.6-inch screen, exhibiting 1920 x 1080 pixels as the standard display resolution. In addition to flaunting sharper viewing angles, the existing display also comes equipped with a 45 percent NTSC color gamut, which renders the screen extremely color accurate. Enthusiastic gamers can also benefit from the 60Hz refresh rate, a feature that keeps screen tearing to a minimum.

In terms of productivity, you get access to a standard keyboard, responsive touchpad, functional webcam, amplified speakers, and a sleek yet feathery chassis with an exceptional thermal layout and the Cooler Boost 5 technology to rely on.

At 4.10 pounds, this laptop scales beyond the competition in terms of portability. Not just that, MSI also guarantees a 5 hours battery backup, which further contributes to the travel-centric capabilities of this innovative laptop. In terms of connectivity, this gadget doesn’t let you down and makes room for Type-A, HDMI, Type-C, Wi-Fi AC, and other resourceful specs.

Overall, this is one sleek and highly efficient budget gaming laptop, best characterized by a powerful processor and class-leading aesthetics.

Pros
  • Innovative structural design
  • Decent GPU with 4GB VRAM
  • Brilliant acoustics
  • Dual storage support
  • Intel Wi-Fi driver is top-of-the-line
Cons
  • Runs hot sans Cooler Boost Mode

2. Best Runner Up: HP Pavilion 15

  • CPU: 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-9300H
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)
  • GPU: 4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
  • Battery: Up to 8 hours

The Pavilion 15 from HP is one of the few reliable gaming notebooks to purchase, in the sub-$800 price bracket. While the processing conglomerate is nothing out of ordinary, HP brings credibility to the table followed by a handful of resourceful attributes.

Firstly, it is the mid-range, quad-core, Intel Core i5-9300H processor that kick-starts the proceedings for a standard user. While the chipset can seamlessly process Non-playing characters, gaming logic, and gaming environment, it is also a handful for other professional tasks like accounting, stock trading, video editing, and 3D modeling.

Graphics support is rendered by the GeForce GTX 1650 GPU which is more of a staple in budget gaming notebooks. The existing graphics card is ably supported by 4GB VRAM, helping you experience minimal to no trailing for texture-heavy games. Besides, the real-time rendering performances are considerably better as compared to that with GTX 1050 or other mid-range GPUs featuring the Pascal architecture.

In terms of memory allocation, you get a massive 12GB of DDR4 RAM, assisting the Intel i5 processor to handle diverse tabs, disk caches, and temporary files with ease. However, you can always consider upgrading the system memory, if and when necessary. Next in line is the 256GB SSD unit with NVMe support, capable of storing, retrieving, and loading files, data, apps, programs, and the OS in a heartbeat.

For gamers, the 15.6-inch anti-glare screen is worth digging into. However, we were pleasantly surprised by the wide-angle LED-backlit panel, which helps with power efficiency. What stands out though is the 60Hz refresh rate exhibited by the IPS screen. This feature allows you to indulge in entry-level or mid-range gaming at moderate settings sans screen tearing issues.

As far as professional productivity is concerned, the Pavilion 15 makes way for a backlit keyboard, a responsive touchpad, integrated webcam, powerful B&O speakers, and an innovative thermal layout, best characterized by the widest possible rear vents. Despite the advanced thermal hardware in play, this gadget weighs a respectable 4.90 pounds.

When it comes to port arrangement, HP accommodates the Type-A, Type-C, HDMI, and other functional slots. Then again, this is one of the best casual gaming laptops in the market to consider, in terms of autonomy. The battery on offer promises a backup of up to 8 hours and the Pavilion 15 lives up to the same, on moderate usage.

In conclusion, if you are strictly looking for a professional notebook with a less than promising gaming hardware to cut a few corners, the HP Pavilion 15 is the perfect gadget for you.

Pros
  • 9th gen processor
  • 12GB of RAM
  • Advanced thermal layout
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Anti-glare IPS panel
Cons
  • Restricted storage support

3. Best with Ryzen 5: Acer Aspire 7

  • CPU: 2.1GHz AMD Ryzen 5 3550H
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)
  • GPU: 4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
  • Battery: Up to 7 hours

If you are in the market for a feature-packed gaming laptop that readily doubles down as a go-to professional workstation on a budget, the AMD-powered Acer Aspire 7 is the one to consider.

Despite Acer ditching Intel-powered processors to achieve the perfect balance between power and affordability, the Aspire 7 is still quite a performer. Contrary to popular opinion, the AMD Ryzen 5 3550H boasts of excellent processing capabilities, courtesy of the Zen+ cores, and the simultaneous multithreading technology. The featured CPU is capable of achieving exceptional single-core performances and the boosted speed of 3.7GHz clearly validates the same.

As far as graphics support is concerned, the mid-range NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 makes an appearance, helping you manage some of the moderately-demanding titles at 1080p presets. Besides, if you are into MMORPG, MOBA, and FPS games, this graphics card, clubbed with 4GB GDDR6 VRAM can be quite a handful.

If you are a professional with diverse multitasking preferences, the 8GB DDR4 RAM is one of the more resourceful features to rely on. Furthermore, the existing chunk of system memory processes data, disk cache, and temporary files at 2666MHz making it one of the fastest modules for the given price bracket. Nonetheless, you can also rely on the 512GB, dual-lane solid-state drive with NVMe-support for faster Windows 10 Home OS boot-ups, app loading, and data retrieval.

The 15.6-inch display is more of an expected addition, exhibiting a cumulative resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Creatives, however, can make the best use of Acer’s proprietary Color Intelligence and ExaColor color for experiencing extreme levels of visual clarity and color accuracy. 

The screen looks bigger than a standard 15-inch panel owing to the narrow bezels and the enhanced screen-to-chassis ratio of almost 82 percent.

Acer scales beyond some of the other gadgets on the list with its backlit keyboard, alluring layout, and 180-degree hinge for added flexibility. Besides, you also get access to an HD webcam, powerful speakers for music listening, dual microphones, and the entire professional catalog for improved professional stead.

If and when structural innovation is concerned, the Aspire 7 is one of the more portable units around, at 4.74 pounds. Not just that, Acer takes good care of connectivity with USB 3.2 Gen 1, HDMI, Type-C, and Gig Ethernet ports added into the mix. Not just that, the MU-MIMO Wi-Fi 5 support also deserves a special mention, helping streaming twitch and online gamers establish fast and stable connections.

The battery unit is capable of churning out slightly more than 7 hours on standard usage, which readily adds to the portability-quotient of this perfectly balanced gaming notebook.

Pros
  • Comes with octa-threaded functionality
  • Mid-range GPU exceeds expectations
  • Ultrafast RAM
  • Dual-lane storage unit
  • Stellar display
  • Supports USB charging
Cons
  • Lacks Wi-Fi 6 functionality
  • The gadget might run a bit hot on heavy usage

4. Best Value for Money: Lenovo IdeaPad L340

  • CPU: 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-9300H
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)
  • GPU: 4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
  • Battery: Up to 6.5 hours

When it comes to reliability and efficiency on a budget, there aren’t many laptops that can match up to the brilliance of the Lenovo IdeaPad L340. Easily one of our favorite budget notebooks, the Lenovo IdeaPad L340 is more of an all-round device, barring the slightly underwhelming battery.

For starters, you get access to the 9th gen Intel Core i5-9300H chipset. Needless to say, this is a mid-range CPU, capable enough of reaching extraordinary processing feats, courtesy of the turbo clock speed of up to 4.1GHz, HyperThreading support, and 8MB of cache memory. When it comes to the graphics, this is one of the few budget notebooks to flaunt a module with Turing Architecture.

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 is a powerful GPU and capable of handling games like Death Stranding, Horizon Zero Dawn, and more at high 1080p presets, hitting close to 50 FPS at all times. Supporting the dedicated graphics card is 4GB of video RAM which can be assistive when intricate gaming texture and real-time rendering tasks are involved.

Lenovo brings forth an 8GB DDR4 unit for efficient multitasking followed by a 512GB solid-state storage drive for housing the Windows 10 OS, diverse gaming files, professional spreadsheets, and some of the more demanding games and application programs. The SSD module comes equipped with NVMe support which paves the way for lighting fast boot-ups.

The 15.6-inch screen is bright, color-accurate, and sharp courtesy of the cumulative display resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Besides, working through long hours on this notebook is never an issue with Lenovo making way for the elusive anti-glare, Vantage ‘Eye Care Mode’ for keeping ocular strains to a minimum.

Not to mention the excellent productivity on display with Lenovo making way for a backlit keyboard, HD webcam with physical shutter for added privacy, powerful speakers, and a top-notch UI with dedicated operational modes for allocating computing resources, as per preferences.

At 4.84 pounds, the IdeaPad L340 is still a portable device, featuring a diverse array of connectivity specs in HDMI 2.0, USB 3.2 Gen 1, Type-A, Wi-Fi AC, and more. When it comes to autonomy, the existing battery module promises 6.5 hours, on a single charge. Overall, the IdeaPad L340 is one of our personal favorites, best characterized by a high-end GPU and an extremely competitive price tag.

Pros
  • 9th gen processor
  • Exceptional GPU with Turing Shaders to rely on
  • Upgradeable RAM
  • The display comes with anti-glare properties
  • Excellent keyboard
Cons
  • Middling battery
  • Might run a bit hot at times

5. Best Under Budget: Acer Nitro 5

  • CPU: 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-9300H
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)
  • GPU: 4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
  • Battery: Up to 8 hours

Despite restrictive storage, this budget-variant of the Acer Nitro 5 is still a resourceful gaming laptop, best characterized by an aesthetic keyboard, respectable graphics conglomerate, and decent battery life.

Powering the same is the Intel Core i5-9300H CPU, boasting of a boosted clock speed of up to 4.1GHz. Thanks to the HyperThreading support, this high-performance graphics-optimized chipset is a handy inclusion. Considering the Speed Shift support, better voltage adjustment, and an improved 14nm architectural process for better gaming experiences.

In terms of graphics support, you get access to the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU that is capable of handling a majority of mid-range, 2019 titles, at 1080p presets. Working alongside the graphics card is 4GB of dedicated video RAM, capable of handling intricate gaming textures and resources with ease.

Acer persists with 8GB of system memory for seamless multitasking. As far as storage-centric requirements are concerned, you get a 256GB solid-state drive. The SSD comes with restricted storage capacity and certainly isn’t the fastest one in the market. However, the preexisting Windows 10 OS still loads at a respectable pace.

In terms of display, Acer makes peace with a standard 15.6-inch panel. Although the LED-backlit display is exceedingly power-efficient, the color accuracy and visual clarity associated with the IPS panel are not compromised one bit, courtesy of the overall resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels.

As far as gadget productivity is concerned, the Nitro 5 throws in quite a few surprises. The existing conglomerate is presided over by a backlit keyboard with red accents, vibrant webcam, serviceable microphones, and innovative cooling tech. However, in our opinion, it’s better to get an external webcam for attending video conferences, online classes, remote meetings, etc.

The thermal design deserves a separate mention as Acer features dual fans and stealth pipes, working in tandem with the CoolBoost technology. The intimidating yet durable chassis makes it one of the heaviest gadgets on the list at 4.85 pounds. Besides, Acer also accommodates every essential connectivity-specific specification, including Type-A, HDMI, Wi-Fi, and other slots for legacy connections.

The battery on offer is capable of lasting for up to 7 hours of a single charge, making this one of the more reliable sub-$800 options to invest in, provided you aren’t looking for anything future-proof.

Pros
  • Excellent keyboard
  • Sharp display
  • Excellent cooling support
  • Decent capable GPU
  • Dependable battery
  • Reasonable price
  • Brilliant acoustics
Cons
  • Restricted storage space

6. Best with GTX 1050 Ti: Dell G3 Gaming

  • CPU: 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-8300H
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 1TB HDD
  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)
  • GPU: 4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
  • Battery: Up to 5 hours

If you have a penchant for fast processing RAM modules, the Dell G3 Gaming is the perfect laptop to invest in.

Under the hood, Dell houses the Intel Core i5-8300H processor, capable of clocking at boosted speeds of up to 4GHz. Despite being an 8th gen CPU, the processing performances related to academic tasks like online schooling and gaming indulgences are nothing short of exemplary. Dell also stacks in a discrete GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card, featuring a 128-bit data bus, 4GB VRAM, and 768 CUDA cores to rely on.

Then again, it is the memory allocation that deserves a special mention, courtesy of the upgradeable, 8GB RAM, capable of processing data and files at 2666MHz. There’s a 1TB hard disk storage for sheltering the more voluminous data sets. However, the SSD unit is missing which could be reserved for the Windows 10 Home OS, offered right out of the box.

Furthermore, the 15.6-inch IPS screen is worth considering, owing to the cumulative resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Moreover, it is the anti-glare panel, clubbed with LED-Backlit technology that adds to the top-notch visual experiences. As far as productivity is concerned, you can make the best use of the WASD-compatible, illuminated keyboard, high-fidelity speakers with MaxxAudio Pro technology, a responsive touchpad, and a reliable webcam.

Dell also assumes a slimline layout but doesn’t compromise one bit on the chunkiness of the profile. At close to 6 pounds, this is one heavy gadget to move around. Besides, the connectivity-centric specs are well-provided for with Dell making way for HDMI 2.0, USB 2.0, SuperSpeed USB 3.1 slots, Wi-Fi AC, and Gig Ethernet support.

With a 5-hour battery backup, this functional notebook can easily be relied upon, either as a professional workstation or a leisure gaming unit.

Pros
  • Mid-range GPU
  • Brilliant acoustics
  • Reliable keyboard
  • Good battery backup
  • Ultrafast RAM module
Cons
  • Lacks SSD module
  • Chunkier than usual

7. Best Renewed Model: Asus VivoBook K570UD

  • CPU: 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8550U
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD
  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)
  • GPU: 4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050
  • Battery: Up to 9 hours

Firstly, you should be more than willing to purchase the renewed variant of the Asus VivoBook K570UD which is currently retailing at under 800 dollars, ready to be purchased at Amazon and covered by the 90-day renewed guarantee.

Secondly, if you are interested in a considerably powerful machine that beats its price bracket and the restrictions that come along, this refurbished notebook from Asus is certainly worth considering.

Under the hood, Asus features the Intel Core i7-8550U processor, capable of reaching the highest clock speeds of up to 4GHz. Despite being a power-efficient chipset for the sleeker notebook variants, it is more than capable when it comes to handling logic and more demanding gaming and non-gaming processing requirements.

Extending a helping hand is the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 GPU that allows you to manage a majority of modern-day games like COD Modern Warfare 2019, Borderlands 3, F1 2019, and Anno 1800 at medium 1080p settings.

ASUS makes peace with a 16GB RAM unit, which is a sizable allocation considering the multitasking and gaming requirements at hand. Storage-centric requirements are handled by the dual-storage module, including a 256GB SSD unit for faster processing and a 1TB hard disk drive.

The Windows 10 Home edition is the featured operating system that allows you access to a highly responsive professional platform. However, it is the 15.6-inch screen that steals the show, courtesy of sharper viewing angles, and a cumulative display resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Asus also ensures the highest possible levels of color accuracy followed by acceptable sunlight visibility.

Next in line is the durable backlit keyboard with decent travel, nifty fingerprint scanner, high-fidelity speakers, responsive webcam, and class-leading thermal layout to maximize heat dissipation. What stands out though is the manageable heft, tagged at a mere 4.30 pounds. Asus also takes port arrangement seriously and accommodates USB 3.1 Type-C, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, HDMI, and other functional resources.

Furthermore, Asus also brings forth excellent wireless and wired connectivity specs despite this being a refurbished notebook. However, the 9-hour battery backup is one of the better features to rely on, bested only by the fast charging support. To sum it up, the Asus VivoBook K570UD is one of the best notebooks to rely on, best characterized by a decent chunk of RAM and resourceful productivity-enhancing specs.

Pros
  • Mid-range GPU
  • Fast charging support
  • Portable chassis
  • A decent chunk of RAM
  • Fast fingerprint scanner
  • Dual-storage module
  • Illuminated keyboard with 1.4mm key travel
Cons
  • 8th gen processor isn’t future-proof
  • Lacks Wi-Fi 6 support

8. Best with GTX 1050: Asus TUF FX505DD

  • CPU: 2.1GHz AMD Ryzen 5 3550H
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)
  • GPU: 3GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050
  • Battery: Up to 5 hours

If you are convinced about purchasing an AMD-powered machine, you can always consider the Asus TUF FX505DD leading the charts.

At the core, Asus stacks in the Ryzen 5 3550H chipset, capable of reaching the highest clock speed of up to 3.7GHz. The quad-core high-performance CPU is ably assisted by the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 GPU with 3GB VRAM. While the graphics conglomerate isn’t top-of-the-line, it still boasts of convincing gaming performances, provided you are willing to play entry-level titles at 720p presets.

When it comes to memory allocation, the 8GB DDR4 RAM, processing data at 2666MHz, is more than adequate. Storage-wise, Asus offers a standard, 256GB SSD module to house data, files, professional documents, and the Windows 10.

As far as the display is concerned, you get a 15.6-inch 1080p screen with minimal bells and whistles. However, if you are a creative professional with a penchant for color-accurate gaming, the enthralling visual clarity, and sharper viewing angles are expected to be quite a handful.

Asus TUF gaming notebook also brings in an exceedingly durable keyboard, exhibiting backlit technology, 20 million KP durability, and a decent key travel. Apart from that, the TUF Gaming FX505DD also comes equipped with loud and amplified stereo speakers, a resourceful webcam, and an innovative thermal design featuring the anti-dust cooling technology.

Then laptop is still quite light at a mere 5.93 pounds. The port arrangement, however, is pretty basic with Asus featuring USB Type-C, USB 3.1, HDMI, LAN, and other functional outputs.

In terms of autonomy, Asus leaves a lot to be desired with the existing module capable of lasting for a mere 5 hours, on moderate to minimal usage. Overall, this is strictly a budget gaming notebook that readily doubles down as a reliable machine, provided you are ready to make peace with a sub-par battery.

Pros
  • Relatively cool even when computing resources are stretched
  • Innovative cooling technology
  • Excellent keyboard
  • Brilliant acoustics
  • Quad-core processor with Turbo Boost technology
  • Ultrafast RAM module
Cons
  • Subpar battery
  • Restricted storage space

9. Best Battery Life: Dell Inspiron 15 7000

  • CPU: 2.5GHz Intel Core i5-7300HQ
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 1TB SSHD
  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)
  • GPU: 4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050
  • Battery: Up to 9 hours

The Dell Inspiron 15 7000 is one of the more affordable notebooks on our list, boasting an extended battery backup and class-leading aesthetics.

For starters, this laptop feels slightly obsolete courtesy of a 7th gen i5 processor. While the Intel Core i5-7300HQ isn’t the most popular choice in 2020, it still gets the job done owing to the turbo clock speed of up to 3.5GHz. Besides, this is still an excellent processing resource for single-core processes like spreadsheet management and music production.

Despite being a dated machine, Dell still accommodates an 8GB RAM with a respectable processing speed of 2400MHz. The existing chunk of system memory is adequate enough for mid-range gaming and simultaneous multitasking. Another exciting feature associated with the Inspiron 15 7000 includes a 1TB hybrid hard disk drive or the SSHD.

While the data processing speeds are still slower as compared to a standard SSD, a hybrid drive is capable enough of reaching excellent Windows 10 OS boot-up, app loading, and file retrieving speeds, courtesy of the 8GB cache memory support.

Dell takes good care of the display with a 15.6-inch, 1080p screen at the helm. The IPS panel boasts of LED-backlit technology which is perfectly assisted by the anti-glare panel, precisely for minimizing ocular strains. You also get access to a standard yet expansive keyboard followed by powerful speakers and a host of other professional-grade specifications.

As far as cooling tech is concerned, it is the strategic placement of back vents and an innovative thermal layout that steal the show. In terms of connectivity, you get hold of USB 3.0, HDMI, Wireless LAN, Wi-Fi 5, and other resourceful specs. However, our experts were quite pleased with the heft as the gadget weighs close to 5.80 pounds, making it one of the least mobile purchases. The battery, however, is the saving grace and can churn out almost 9 hours at once.

Overall, if you aren’t particularly bothered by a 7th gen processor and the massive structural footprint, the Inspiron 15 7000 from Dell is quite a catch, considering the affordable price tag.

Pros
  • Durable chassis
  • Excellent placement of cooling vents
  • Fast RAM module
  • Sizable storage support
  • Anti-glare screen
Cons
  • Obsolete processor
  • Doesn’t support high-end games

10. Best For Affordability: Acer Aspire 5

  • CPU: 1GHz Intel Core i5-1035G1
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)
  • GPU: 2GB NVIDIA GeForce MX350
  • Battery: Up to 8 hours

The Acer Aspire 5 is one of the more sought-after budget notebooks on this list, best attributed to individuals who are more into recreational gaming rather than professional indulgences.

Under the hood, Acer houses 10th Gen Intel Core i5 chipset, capable of assuming turbo clock speeds of up to 3.6GHz. The existence of this quad-core processor readily validates the sleekness of form and the feathery chassis.

Complementing the same is the NVIDIA GeForce MX350 GPU which is capable of handling a majority of entry-level and mid-range AAA titles like Gear Tactics, Valorant, and Escape from Tarkov at low 720p presets. Texture rendering support is lent by the 2GB Video RAM.

As and when multitasking support is concerned, you get access to an 8GB DDR4 RAM module. In terms of storage, the Aspire 5 readily accommodates a 512GB NVMe-compatible unit. The featured solid-state drive is enviously fast and can boot-up the pre-existing Windows 10 Home OS and load even some of the more demanding apps and programs, faster than a traditional, SATA-powered SSD.

Amid the more daunting set of specifications, the 15.6-inch screen lends levity to the affairs, courtesy of the overall resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, and a widescreen viewing experience. Color accuracy is guaranteed as the IPS panel features the Color Intelligence technology. Besides, working relentlessly through longer hours is no more an issue with Acer’s proprietary BlueLightShield, anti-glare technology at your disposal.

Despite the affordable price tag, Acer makes no compromises and brings in a backlit keyboard, TrueHarmony speakers, HD webcam, dual mics, and a smooth yet responsive touchpad. In terms of structural innovation, this gadget weighs a mere 3.96 pounds. However, the light-weighted chassis makes way for USB 3.1, USB 2.0, Type-C with charging support, and other functional slots followed by MU-MIMO compatible Wi-Fi 5 standard and Gig Ethernet flexibility.

Acer takes autonomy seriously and features a class-leading battery module, capable of lasting for up to 8 hours, before requiring a refill. Overall, if gaming is one of your many preferences, the Acer Aspire 5 is the perfect notebook to rely on.

Pros
  • 10th gen processor
  • Light and portable
  • Acceptable storage capacity
  • Gig Ethernet support
  • Resourceful keyboard
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Stellar display
Cons
  • Not meant for professional gamers

Frequently Asked Questions

Should you opt for a  7th gen processor in an effort to make affordable purchases?

If you are strictly interested in a gaming notebook, going for the 7th gen processor isn’t all that bad a decision, provided you are opting for the H or HQ-series. A majority of 7th gen H-series CPUs lack HyperThreading support but display excellent single-core performances, making them handy enough for entry-level, Sandbox, and open-world games like Minecraft and more.

Is $800 good enough for a gaming laptop?

While we would always recommend going beyond 1000 dollars to get a good gaming notebook, $800 can still get you a respectable machine, best suited for enthusiastic gamers. However, you wouldn’t get RTX GPUs on sub-$800 notebooks. Instead, GTX 1050 and GTX 1050 Ti are more like the staples for the given price tag. Then again, you must aim for GTX 1650 with 4GB VRAM to reap the benefits of the latest Turing architecture.

Apart from GPU, which is the most important feature to look for in budget gaming laptops?

If you are looking to get a budget gaming notebook, you must ensure that the machine has a 9th gen processor with at least four cores to rely on. A good processor can help you offload certain requirements from the GPU whilst effectively processing NPCs and environments in the case of open-world games.

How important is RAM in budget gaming notebooks?

A sizable chunk of RAM can be extremely useful when certain gaming resources are offloaded to the processor. In the case of maps and non-playing characters, a high-end RAM module can speed up the CPU processes whilst improving fps values for mid-range games, in case the GPU isn’t as powerful.

What kind of display is usually available on a budget gaming notebook?

Understandably, budget gaming notebooks are still quite color accurate and flaunt 1080p panels, in case resolution is your primary concern. However, in most cases, 60Hz is the maximum screen refresh rate for budget notebooks as OEMs realize that the featured GPUs wouldn’t be able to handle high-end and even mid-range games at high 1080p preset whilst hitting 60+ fps, consistently.

The Verdict

If you are in the retail space for a budget gaming notebook, 800 dollars is a pretty respectable price point to start with. However, you would still have to make a few compromises, regardless of the brand or the machine you choose to purchase.

As you cannot get the best of every domain for 800 dollars or less, it is necessary to ascertain the preferences beforehand, precisely to make the purchase even more productive.

Based on the inferences drawn by our experts,

  • The MSI GF63 Thin is probably the most complete gaming notebook to consider for the given price bracket, courtesy of the Turing-optimized GPU and a 9th gen processor.
  • If you are okay spending little extra money on a resourceful device, the Lenovo IdeaPad L340 is also a commendable choice.
  • Last but not least, budget seekers with relatively moderate gaming expectations can persist with the Acer Aspire 5, courtesy of the sleekness of the profile, and a long-lasting battery.

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