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Best gaming laptops under $800 in 2024 – Top picks for under 800 dollars

Looking for the best gaming laptop under 800 dollars? We have got you covered
Last Updated on April 15, 2024
Best gaming laptops under $800

When it comes to gaming on a budget, finding the right mix of performance and affordability is key. This guide is all about helping you pick the best gaming laptop under $800. Whether you’re a casual gamer or a more serious player, we’ll look at the important features like how fast the laptop is and how smooth the graphics are. By checking out powerful processors and important specifications, we’ll show you that some gaming laptops can deliver excellent performance while also providing bang for your buck.

Products at a Glance

How we picked the best gaming laptops under $800

Selecting the best gaming laptop under $800 involved thorough research and the consideration of various factors that ensure optimal performance and value for money.

Firstly, we considered the processing power, focusing on laptops equipped with efficient CPUs capable of handling demanding games smoothly. Additionally, we looked at graphics performance, prioritizing laptops with dedicated graphics cards to deliver immersive visuals and smooth gameplay. Secondly, portability and build quality were also key considerations, as we aimed to identify durable and easy-to-carry laptops. Lastly, we evaluated display quality, storage options, and battery life to provide a comprehensive overview of each laptop’s capabilities. Through this meticulous process, we aimed to present a curated selection of gaming laptops that offer exceptional performance and features within the $800 price limit.

 

Our Recommended

Product Reviews

1
PROS
  • Reliability and credibility with MSI
  • Upgradability
  • Futuristic design
  • Impressive Refresh Rate
CONS
  • High-end price range
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 2050

Our first choice for the best gaming laptop under $800 is the MSI Cyborg 15 Gaming Laptop. Firstly, the MSI has a strong brand reputation, which is important for reliability and credibility.  MSI is a well-established brand known for quality gaming laptops, offering better assurance in terms of build quality, customer support, and potentially better cooling systems. With impressive raw specs, the MSI allows for the potential for improvement. For instance, the Cyborg 15 can be configured with up to an RTX 4060 graphics card and a 13th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, which is excellent for a sub-$800 laptop if you can find it at that price.

The Cyborg 15 boasts a futuristic design with translucent parts, which might appeal to gamers who prefer a more distinctive look. Lastly, the 144Hz Refresh Rate is crucial. A higher refresh rate display improves smoothness for fast-paced games.

The MSI Cyborg 15 is a compelling option for sub-$800 gaming if you can find a configuration with powerful enough specs (RTX 4050 or 4060, i5 or better processor) at the right price. The brand reputation, strong performance, and unique design are all pluses.

2
PROS
  • Compelling price
  • Impressive 144Hz Refresh Rate (uncommon for under $800)
  • Upgradability (Ability to add more RAM)
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Graphics
CONS
  • Average battery life is not ideal for long/unplugged gaming
  • Plastic build - less substantial than metal
  • Heat concerns

Our second pick for the best gaming laptop under $800 is the Lenovo LOQ 15. In this price range, the LOQ 15 offers a compelling combination of decent specs (RTX 3050 or 4050 graphics, 13th Gen Intel Core i5 processor) for running most modern games at moderate settings. The model also features a 144Hz Refresh Rate. This display feature is uncommon for laptops under $800, providing smoother visuals and a better gaming experience. Lastly, the upgradability of this gaming laptop is crucial. The ability to add more RAM or storage later can extend the laptop’s usability.

In terms of cons, the average battery life of the Lenovo LOQ 15 is only 4-6 hours, which isn’t ideal for unplugged gaming. Similarly, the plastic build feels less substantial compared to other metal laptop builds. This also goes hand-in-hand with heating concerns. The cooling system might struggle with demanding games, impacting performance.

The Lenovo LOQ 15.6″ with 16GB for under $800 is a good choice for casual gaming due to its decent specs and 144Hz display. However, be aware of the limitations in storage, battery life, build quality, and potential thermal throttling. If those are dealbreakers, consider broadening your search to other sub-$800 laptops, prioritizing strong core specs, and looking for deals.

3
PROS
  • Fast startup out of the box
  • Impressive specs
  • Intel Arc A550M graphics card
CONS
  • No standout features

Our third choice for the best gaming laptops under $800 is the NUC Intel X15 Gaming Laptop. This laptop packs a serious punch for gamers on the go. With a powerful 12th Gen Intel Core i7 processor with 14 cores and an Intel Arc A550M graphics card, it can handle even demanding modern games. The 16GB of high-bandwidth DDR5 RAM lets you run multiple programs and browser tabs smoothly, while the enormous 1TB PCIe M.2 solid state drive ensures super fast boot times and data transfer. The 144Hz refresh rate display with IPS technology provides sharp visuals and smooth gameplay, perfect for fast-paced games. On top of that, it has plenty of ports for connecting all your peripherals, and Windows 11 Pro keeps things running efficiently. Whether you’re a casual gamer or someone who takes gaming seriously, this laptop has the specs to deliver a great experience.

4
PROS
  • Packs a punch
  • Fast loading times
  • Adaptive-sync technology
CONS
  • Just below $800 price cap

Our fourth and final choice here is the ASUS TUF A15 Gaming Laptop – 15.6″ | 8GB. This AMD Ryzen 5-powered gaming laptop punches above its weight and price tag. The combination of this processor and the Nvidia RTX 2050 graphics card tackles modern games smoothly. Speedy DDR5 memory and a large 512GB PCIe drive ensure fast loading times and ample storage for your favorite titles. Similarly, the 144Hz display with adaptive-sync technology keeps gameplay silky smooth and free from tearing, giving you a competitive edge.

Durability is another strong point. This laptop meets military-grade standards, making it a top choice for gamers on the go. The dual-fan cooling system effectively dissipates heat during intense gaming sessions, preventing performance drops. As a bonus, you get a free 3-month subscription to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, granting access to a vast library of games – perfect for trying new titles. With its well-rounded specs and durability, this laptop is a compelling option for budget-minded gamers who prioritize performance and a smooth gaming experience.

5
PROS
  • High performance
  • Thin design
  • Large screen
CONS
  • Not ideal for running games on highest graphic settings

If you want a lightweight gaming laptop that comes within an $800 budget, then you should check out the MSI Pulse GL66 – which we think should be a budget contender for the best RTX 3050 gaming laptop.

The laptop sports a 15.6-inch screen with FHD resolution, which should deliver good quality visuals for your video games. Plus, the laptop offers a good enough refresh rate to give you a smooth gaming experience.

On the inside, the MSI laptop has an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card, which promises to deliver high graphics performance. Plus, you get an Intel Core i5-11400H processor, which should give you efficient performance.

As mentioned earlier, this is a lightweight laptop, and it weighs only 4.63 pounds. This may not sound too light, but then gaming laptops are usually heavy, and this one is comparatively a lighter device.

Further, as far as aesthetics are concerned, the laptop comes with a single zone RGB-lit keyboard, which should give you the “gamer” look without looking too flashy.

Best gaming laptops under $800 – Features and considerations

When searching for the best gaming laptop under $800, several key features and considerations come into play. Here’s a breakdown of these aspects:

Performance

Look for laptops with powerful CPUs, ideally quad-core or higher, to ensure smooth gaming performance. Similarly,  a dedicated GPU is essential for gaming. Seek models with at least an entry-level dedicated graphics card from Nvidia or AMD for optimal visual quality and frame rates. Additionally, adequate RAM, preferably 8GB or more, ensures smooth multitasking and gaming performance without lag.

Display

Choose a laptop with a screen size and resolution that suits your preferences. Remember, larger screens offer better immersion, and higher resolutions provide sharper visuals. Likewise, higher refresh rates, such as 120Hz or 144Hz, offer smoother gameplay, especially in fast-paced games.

Storage and Connectivity

Opt for laptops with SSD storage for faster load times and better overall system responsiveness. Alternatively, models with a combination of SSD and HDD offer a balance between speed and storage capacity. Meanwhile, ensure the laptop has ample connectivity options, including USB ports, HDMI, and ideally, Thunderbolt 3 for high-speed data transfer and external display support.

Build Quality and Cooling

Look for laptops with sturdy build quality to withstand the rigors of gaming on the go. Aluminum or high-quality plastic constructions are preferable. Effective thermal management is crucial to prevent overheating during prolonged gaming sessions. Look for laptops with robust cooling solutions, such as multiple heat pipes and efficient fans, to maintain optimal performance and longevity.

By considering these categories—performance, display, storage and connectivity, and build quality and cooling—you can make an informed decision when choosing the best gaming laptop under $800 that meets your gaming needs and budget constraints.

What is the best gaming laptop for under 800 dollars?

Our top choices in the current marketplace are the Lenovo LOQ Gaming Laptop, the Intel X15 Gaming Laptop, the MSI Cyborg 15 Gaming Laptop, and the ASUS TUF A15 Gaming Laptop. All offer excellent value for money while packing a significant punch with performance. Check them out if you get a chance.

Our Verdict

With a $800 budget, we’d say that the MSI Cyborg 15 Gaming Laptop – 15.6″ | 16GB is a solid pick. However, this guide serves as more of a general selection of gaming laptops to fit a wide array of wants and needs. Our other choices – the Lenovo LOQ Gaming – 15.6″ | 16GB, NUC Intel X15 Gaming Laptop, and ASUS TUF A15 Gaming Laptop are all well-equipped machines for under the price range. Be sure to check them all out if you get a chance.

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