Best Gaming Laptops Under $800 in 2019

Best Overall

ASUS TUF Gaming Laptop FX504

ASUS TUF Gaming Laptop FX504
  • CPU and GPU are both top shelf for a gaming laptop under 800 
  • Offers pretty exceptional sound quality 
  • Fan cooling is top notch, particularly given the compact size 
CLICK FOR PRICE
Premium Choice

MSI GV62 8RD-275 – Gaming Laptop

MSI GV62 8RD-275 – Gaming Laptop
  • Tons of easily accessible ports 
  • NVMe technology makes the most of the SSD hard drive 
  • Keyboard is comfortable, well lit, and produced by an industry leader 
CLICK FOR PRICE
Great Value

Acer Aspire E 15 Laptop

Acer Aspire E 15 Laptop
  • Comes with a ton of ports 
  • Offers wireless connection speeds three times faster than earlier generations 
  • Provides strong performance without sacrificing battery life 
CLICK FOR PRICE

The market for gaming computers that are also portable was once practically absent, but there’s still the misconception that playing the hottest games on the go is a luxury that most people can’t afford. That’s not the case. While you could spend the cost of a late model car on a gaming laptop, many of these high end machines are more status symbols than they are practical necessities.

Technological advances have made important hardware and cooling elements cheaper and more compact than ever before, and you can absolutely get a decent gaming laptop under $800. But that doesn’t mean you’ll be safe picking up the first “gaming” laptop you see. Our list can help you find a budget gaming laptop under $800 that’s worth your time and money.

Best Overall

1. ASUS TUF Gaming Laptop FX504

ASUS TUF Gaming Laptop FX504HotRate Editors Choice

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE

All of the appropriate specs you'd expect for an entry- to mid-level gaming rig are present in the ASUS TUF . It offers an eight generation Intel Core for responsive performance and a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card to ensure respectable graphical fidelity on most modern games. That's all well and good, but some manufacturers prioritize CPU and GPU in favor of cutting corners elsewhere. That's not the case here. The speakers built in to this ASUS gaming laptop under 800 are crisp, loud, and supported by the included DTS audio app. The backlit keyboard is durable enough to keep going for 20 million keystrokes. Storage is available in the form of a one terabyte solid state hybrid drive, and you can expect less lag due to the 1.7 gigabit Wi-Fi. All of this is complemented by the aggressive dual fan design and three speed fan overboost and dust protection.

Key Features
  • CPU and GPU are both top shelf for a gaming laptop under 800 
  • Offers pretty exceptional sound quality 
  • Fan cooling is top notch, particularly given the compact size 
  • Comes with copies of Empires Definitive Edition and Gears of War 4 
Memory8G DDR4 8G + 16GB Optane Screen Size15.6 in GraphicsNVIDIA GeForce GTX 
1 X
Very bad! Bad Hmmm Oke Good!
0% 0% 0% 0% 100%
  • HotRate Editors Choice
Premium Choice

2. MSI GV62 8RD-275 – Gaming Laptop

MSI GV62 8RD-275 – Gaming Laptop

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE

MSI is known throughout the industry specifically for the quality of their gaming laptops, so it's no surprise that this MSI gaming laptop under $800 performs to expectations well above its price range. Like the ASUS TUF, this machine sports both an eight gen Intel Core and a NVIDIA GTX card, but it's a step above with its SteelSeries keyboard. The comfortable design will help you maintain your accuracy even during heated marathon gaming sessions. The secret weapon of the GV62 is its NVMe technology, an inclusion that boosts the read speed from the SSD hard drive to minimize load times. 7.1 virtual surround sound is available in the form of Nahimic 3. That makes it easy to track your targets by sound and establishes great sound when communicating over headsets. This is a laptop that can really show off what a good gaming headset can do.

Key Features
  • Tons of easily accessible ports 
  • NVMe technology makes the most of the SSD hard drive 
  • Keyboard is comfortable, well lit, and produced by an industry leader 
  • High level of performance customization options via the Dragon Center management app 
Memory8GB DDR4Screen Size15.6 in GraphicsNVIDIA GeForce GTX 
Great Value

3. Acer Aspire E 15 Laptop

Acer Aspire E 15 Laptop

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE

Acer's Aspire prolific series is largely focused on creating all-around casual computers. Combine this with the fact that the E15 is the most cheap gaming laptop under $800 on our list, and you may be skeptical of what it can do. You needn't be. While it can't quite compete in terms of performance with some of the meatier beasts on this list, it's still a worthwhile gaming rig with a modern Core processor and above average graphics. Even better, easy access via the compartment door means that you can easily upgrade the hard drive or memory if it doesn't quite meet your needs. It makes use of the latest Wi-Fi standards to provide a smooth connection without hiccups, and its battery life of roughly 15 hours is one of the better on this list. Quality fan cooling and a comfortable and responsive keyboard round out an all-around solid package.

Key Features
  • Comes with a ton of ports 
  • Offers wireless connection speeds three times faster than earlier generations 
  • Provides strong performance without sacrificing battery life 
  • Easy access compartment door is a great inclusion for amateur computer modders 
Memory8GB DDR SDRAMScreen Size15.6 in GraphicsNVIDIA GeForce MX150

4. Lenovo Legion Y530 Gaming Laptop

Lenovo Legion Y530 Gaming Laptop

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE

The Legion may be an exceedingly portable machine, but Lenovo has made the most of this limited size. This Lenovo gaming laptop under 800 dollars has trimmed down its bezels to almost nothing, allowing Lenovo to maximize screen size without leaving much in the way of unnecessary fat. The GeForce GTX is a solid graphics card that understandably shows up a lot on this list, and despite Lenovo opting for a plastic design for the sake of budget, it looks good and is impressively durable. The keyboard is shallow and soft, responding naturally and responsively to rapid keystrokes. The sound quality is also above average, but that keyboard is really the standout feature here. In terms of processing and graphical performance, this machine doesn't perform quite as well as its contemporaries, but it's great for casual games and a good choice for new AAA games on more modest graphics settings.

Key Features
  • Bezel is micro-thin to a level that's unseen in this price range 
  • Sports a sleek and stylish design that looks good for gaming or casual use 
  • Packed with a ton of useful ports 
  • Keyboard is expansive and very responsive 
Memory8GB DDR SDRAM Screen Size15.6 in GraphicsNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 

5. Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop

Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE

For a modest price increase, the Nitro is a much more confident gaming laptop than its Aspire brethren. The latter can sometimes feel like a casual computer moonlighting as a gaming rig (though it performs admirably all told), but the Nitro 5's design wears its interesting curves and red backlit keyboard comfortably. It's a rather light laptop for its size as well, and it doesn't sacrifice battery life for the sake of performance or size. And while the inclusion of a seventh gen Core processor is a bit of a downgrade compared to many of its competitors, its graphical performance is top notch for its class. It can run without sluggish response even in high definition. Support for Dolby Audio Premium and Acer TrueHarmony means that you can accompany those high def graphics with an immersive and engaging sound experience. It's also compatible with Acer's Windows Mixed Reality VR headset.

Key Features
  • Sleek, predatory, and sculpted design will stand out in a crowd 
  • Offers quality performance at high def settings 
  • An exceptional battery life of about ten hours 
  • Supports Acer's proprietary virtual reality headsets 
Memory8GB DDR4 Screen Size15.6 in GraphicsNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti

6. HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop

HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE

The specs on this HP gaming laptop are pretty much standard with all the expectations on this list across the board. In that respect, it's something of a template for a budget laptop purchase. That goes for the CPU, the GPU, and the screen size, though the brightness is relatively better than the sometimes overly dim screens of laptops like the MSI GV62. The fully sized island style keyboard feels comfortable to the touch and is more spacious than the options available in many laptops, and the full terabyte of storage space is some of the best in its field. As games become increasingly larger and hog more space, that's certainly a great advantage to have. Just keep in mind that it's a traditional rather than solid state drive. In terms of performance, it runs smoothly in most modern titles at mid- or even high-level graphical settings.

Key Features
  • Full sized island style keyboard comes with green backlighting 
  • Diagonal FHD IPS display is glare resistant and sports a narrow bezel 
  • Solid CPU and GPU ensure consistently quality gaming performance 
  • Front firing speakers supported by HP Audio Boost 
Memory8GB DDr4-2666 SDRAM Screen Size15.6 inGraphicsNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 

7. Dell G3 Gaming Laptop

Dell  G3 Gaming Laptop

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE

Dell's G3 is powerful enough to run practically any modern game at mid-level or even high settings, and that power even makes it a suitable option if you're looking for a rig that's ready to run virtual reality without taking you out of the experience. Partner that with its high-quality battery life, and you have a gaming laptop that will support marathon gaming sessions even when you don't have an electrical outlet on hand. The FHD display rocks an anti-glare surface, and it offers easy switching between in-plane and wide-viewing angles. Despite its sleek size, there's some powerful sound potential stuffed into this frame. The two front facing speakers are supported by Waves MaxxAudio Pro, and the dual fans work very well even for those longer gaming sessions. The G3 supports the latest Wi-Fi standards for more reliable performance in online multiplayer or game streaming.

Key Features
  • 56Whr battery offers a battery life of about seven hours while in use 
  • Great fps even at high settings and strong VR performance 
  • Dual fans keep the unit cool even in high intensity circumstances 
  • Strong sound quality 
Memory8GB 2666MHz DDR4 Screen Size15.6 in GraphicsNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 

8. ASUS Vivobook K570ZD Gaming Laptop

ASUS Vivobook K570ZD Gaming Laptop

CLICK HERE FOR PRICE

ASUS' only entry in this list of budget gaming laptops makes some interesting divergences from the norm. In place of a standard Intel Core processor, it uses AMD Quad Core Ryzen 5. In practical terms, that doesn't have a major effect on quality but the low power nature of AMD's GPU means that you can worry less about throttling in demanding circumstances. And combined with the efficient cooling system, overheating and loud fan noises are kept to a minimum. That's an especially good thing given the quality of the sound system in the VivoBook. While they aren't exceedingly loud, there's a great level of consistent quality across all ranges. And while the battery performance may not be as great as some other options here, its impressive quick charging functionality allows you to get back in the game with a quickness.

Key Features
  • Minimal noise and heat in high stress gaming situations 
  • Speakers are some of the best available at this price point 
  • 1080p FHD and IPS panel offers vibrant and crystal clear colors 
  • Utilizes the ASUS Splendid video optimization technology for better and smoother visuals 
Memory8GB DDR4 Screen Size15.6 in GraphicsNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050

Best Gaming Laptops Under $800 Buyer’s Guide

What to Look For

If you’ve ever taken the effort to shop for a PC before, you have a good start on the basics you need to keep in mind when shopping for a gaming laptop. But the specialized necessities of a good gaming laptop means that there’s probably still a few things to learn. Here are the fundamentals you should keep in mind when you start your search.

CPU

When you make an input into a computer peripheral – whether that means typing on the keyboard, clicking the mouse, or just adjusting your virtual reality headset – the computer needs to translate that into instructions and then execute them. Modern computers often have to engage in some incredibly sophisticated arithmetic and logical thinking, and modern games are especially complex. That’s where the CPU (or central processing unit) comes in. A good CPU means a faster response time, lower risk of crashing, and the capability to handle games and other software that may be too complex for lower end CPUs to handle.

The recognized leader for CPUs in mid-range gaming laptops today is Intel’s eight generation Core processor, and any top gaming laptop under $800 will likely have one built in. These processors constitute a pretty major shift from the seventh generation, so you can expect a significant dip in performance if you opt for an earlier generation instead. All but one of the laptops on this list sports a Core. Intel’s processors are so prevalent because they’re still the best in the industry, but the Ryzen 5 sported by the Vivobook certainly isn’t a bad choice and represents an impressive and recent comeback from manufacturer AMD.

When looking at the CPU, you’ll also want to take the model into consideration. The i5 is pretty much the standard for any budget gaming laptop, although a few models manage to pack in the more powerful i7. While a higher number is inherently better here, the substantive upgrades made to the tech means that generation should take precedent over model. Anything beneath an i3 won’t be suitable for most gamers’ needs. Anything above an eighth gen i5 or a seventh gen i7 will almost certainly go beyond budget pricing (and beyond the practical needs of all but the most serious gamers).

GPU

While the CPU processes the higher level thought processes of the computer, the GPU or graphics processing unit, determines how those thoughts manifest. While the GPU can often run quicker functions more quickly than CPU and bolster processing power in general, the most obvious and important results for gaming are pretty standard. The GPU renders the graphics to be displayed on your laptop’s display.

NVIDIA is practically the only name in the game regarding GPUs, and there isn’t a laptop on our list that doesn’t utilize a variation of their gaming-oriented GeForce card. NVIDIA GeForce is simply the gold standard for gaming rigs. For more expensive high- and mid-range laptops, that means the 1060, 1070, or 1080 models, but there are three budget models that dominate our list for the practical sake of budgeting.

The GTX 1050 is the lowest tier in NVIDIA’s GeForce line, and that makes it the GPU du jour for practically any manufacturer creating a budget laptop. Despite the fact that it’s the lowest rated card from NVIDIA, it should still be up to the task of rendering graphics for any modern game. But if you’re looking for a little more oomph, you may want to keep an eye out for the 1050 Ti. While its performance is better, it likely won’t be a make or break decision for most players.

It’s a more modest jump in quality, especially when compared to the difference between the 1050 and 1060. You’ll also sometimes see the MX150 listed in gaming laptops. While it’s not marketed explicitly as a gaming chip, it isn’t exactly a slouch. While it won’t provide you with the same amount of power you’ll get from any GTX, it’s a lower power chip. That means it consumes less power and can facilitate longer battery charges.

Memory

The final major component in how a computer handles information is the RAM, or random access memory. It can be seen as the short term memory for a machine. It holds information that will continually need to be used by the CPU and GPU to lighten the load on their ends. A decent RAM can get you in the game quicker and speed up loading times significantly once you’re already playing. The more information your RAM can hold, the less your CPU and GPU will have to pull from the standard hard drive for memory, and that can boost your overall gaming performance as well.

That being said, RAM is mostly standardized in budget computers because RAM is less important than GPU and CPU for overall performance. All of the laptops here utilize 8 GB of RAM. Anything less is impractical for a gaming machine, and while you may find models with more, that shouldn’t be your highest priority when examining specs. The ASUS TUF is notable for its inclusion of Optane memory. This proprietary tech by Intel serves as a bridge between your conventional hard drive and the RAM, speeding up the process of pulling information from the former.

Benchmarks

If you were to just glance at the specs – particularly the CPU and GPU – on this list, many of them would seem literally or virtually identical. But those specs only tell half the story. Due to the complexity of hardware and configurations, computers with the same specs can show significant discrepancies in how they perform.

While we’ve touched on individual performance on this list, if you want a more accurate understanding of how these machines stand up to each other, you’ll want to check out the performance benchmarks in more focused reviews. They provide more detailed and technical results based off of varied stress tests that show how those specs actually pan out in practical use.

Commonly Neglected Features

The importance of performance specs in gaming means that most machines are going to be largely comparable in those regards. But since all of these laptops are budget priced, that means that manufacturers often have to cut corners elsewhere.

It’s important to understand where these cuts most often occur so you can more carefully scrutinize computers that may look interchangeable on the surface. Displays are the most prominent feature that’s deprecated for the sake of budget. The best GPU in the world won’t mean as much if the colors are dim and visual fidelity is sacrificed as a result. Ideally, you want to look for an IPS panel that supports FHD graphics. Keyboard quality is a close second for sacrifices made.

But a number of the options here provide full sized island keyboards. They give you enough space to play accurately without mistakes. SteelSeries is possibly the best manufacturer in the business for built-in keyboards. We’ve also highlighted a few computers with strong speakers, a trait that’s often not present in budget models. That said, low quality speakers, keyboards, or track pads don’t have to make or break your experience.

If you’re using these laptops for serious gaming, these issues can be overcome with peripherals. A good mouse, keyboard, or pair of headphones can remedy poor features for little hassle, but sub-par a graphics card or monitor can’t be compensated for nearly as easily.

Conclusion

Gaming laptops under $1500 are considered mid-tier, but that doesn’t mean that slashing that price in half locks you out of a decent gaming rig. The best gaming laptop under $800 will ultimately come down to what games you need to play and how much value you place in factors like processing, graphics, and portability. But whatever you need, there’s a laptop on this list that can suit your demands.