The Best Gaming Laptops Under $800: 5 Budget Gaming Laptops In 2021

We've hand picked the best gaming laptop for under $800 including hands on reviews, buyer guide and FAQ.

best gaming laptop under $800

Last Updated: 12th July 2021

For the most power in your game-playing machine, you can’t beat a desktop PC, however, sometimes the portability and flexibility that comes with a laptop wins out. Unfortunately, these features don’t come cheap, and $800 or less puts you firmly in the “budget” end of the spectrum when it comes to gaming laptops.

Below are the best gaming laptops you can buy for around and under the $800 threshold, organized relative to their main pros and cons. These selections come from a range of manufacturers and have different specs, but they all offer solid gaming performance for the price and would also make solid general use laptops too.

We would advise reading through the ‘Things To Consider’ section before getting stuck into the individual reviews. If you don’t find what you’re looking for here, check out our other guides for the best gaming laptops at different prices, which should be recommended alongside this page. Additionally, you can have a look at our sister website Which Laptop for more detailed guides on the best gaming laptops for every budget.

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Our Top Picks

01
Best All Round Gaming Laptop For $800
Best Graphics Card & Best CPU For The Price
02
Best Alternative Gaming Laptop For $800
An Intel-Powered Gaming Laptop With The Best Graphics Card For The Price
03
Best 144Hz Gaming Laptop For $800
The Best Display For Gaming With A Terrific Battery Life

The Best Gaming Laptops Of 2021 For $800 Or Under

01
Best All Round Gaming Laptop For $800
Best Graphics Card & Best CPU For The Price
Lenovo Legion 5 15

Lenovo Legion 5 Gaming Laptop (GTX 1650 Ti)

0 /5
Editor's Rating
Gaming Performance
5.0/5
Screen Quality
4.7/5
General Functionality
4.8/5
Portability
4.8/5

This Lenovo Legion 5 comes with the best CPU and GPU combination you can get at this price. For non-color accurate workstation tasks, the AMD Ryzen 5 4600H offers great multi-core support and the GeForce GTX 1650 Ti is the top graphics card at this level.

This Lenovo laptop may be lacking somewhat in terms of its screen – the color gamut is fairly narrow and the low maximum brightness limits its uses outside of darker lit spaces, however under the hood it packs a punch. The combination of the AMD Ryzen 5 4600H processor with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti graphics card means that in terms of FPS generating power, the area that typically matters most to gamers, it is the superior choice at this budget level, assuming you can get it for a good price.

02
Best Alternative Gaming Laptop For $800
An Intel-Powered Gaming Laptop With The Best Graphics Card For The Price
Dell G3 Gaming Laptop

Dell G3 Gaming Laptop (GTX 1650 Ti)

0 /5
Editor's Rating
Gaming Performance
5.0/5
Screen Quality
4.8/5
General Functionality
4.7/5
Portability
4.8/5
  1. The Dell G3 15 inch gaming laptop is the best option for those on a $800 budget who want to go with an Intel CPU. The GeForce GTX 1650 Ti is the best graphics card you can get at this price range and the laptop comes with a 512GB SSD and a 120Hz screen with solid color replication.

The Dell G3 15 inch gaming laptop, kitted out with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti and Intel Core i5-10300H doesn’t quite match the power of the Lenovo Legion 5 in that the Intel CPU cannot match the AMD processor on multi-core performance. Besides this though it has an SSD of twice the size and a screen with a much wider color gamut, which may tip some people in its favor. Backlight bleeding can be an issue in darker spaces when viewing dimly lit footage/gameplay, however, the max brightness is better than the Legion 5 so it does better in more brightly lit spaces.

03
Best 144Hz Gaming Laptop For $800
The Best Display For Gaming With A Terrific Battery Life
ASUS TUF Gaming A15 1650

ASUS TUF Gaming A15 (GTX 1650)

0 /5
Editor's Rating
Gaming Performance
4.8/5
Screen Quality
4.9/5
General Functionality
4.9/5
Portability
4.7/5

This ASUS TUF Gaming A15 comes with a quick 144Hz display, making it great value for the price. This is powered by a AMD Ryzen 5 4600H, which offers great multi-core performance, and GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card. A 512GB SSD and a great battery life round off a superb value laptop.

Another ASUS TUF Gaming A15 makes it into one of our ‘best of’ lists, this time the GTX 1650 version with the Ryzen 5 4600H CPU. Although the CPU matches our top choice in this list, the Lenovo Legion 5, the graphics card for the TUF gaming machine is not as good as the Ti model the Legion or the Acer Nitro 5 comes with. The trade-off for this however is the benefit of a 144Hz screen and a 512GB SSD, not to mention a superior battery life, all of which are great features for the price.

04
Best 17 Inch Gaming Laptop For $800
Great Value For A 17.3" Screen
MSI GF65 Thin

MSI GF75 Thin (GTX 1650)

0 /5
Editor's Rating
Gaming Performance
4.7/5
Screen Quality
4.8/5
General Functionality
4.8/5
Portability
4.9/5

For a 120Hz 17.3 inch laptop at this price, the MSI GF75 is a bargain. For a gaming laptop it has relatively quiet fans and is quite lightweight, given the size of its screen. This laptop also comes with a 512GB SSD.

The MSI GF75 17.3 inch version is one of the cheapest laptops of this screen size you will get that you can legitimately call a ‘gaming laptop’. Although the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 isn’t the most powerful GPU you can get at this price point, and the Intel Core i5-10300H processor does not match the AMD CPUs on this page for multi-tasking performance, for gaming it’s solid. The narrow color gamut means it isn’t suitable for any design work where color is important, but for games it’s fine. The 8GB of RAM isn’t ideal and upgrading it will break any warranty you have, so you need to consider this tradeoff. Besides this though this is a great value, light and portable 17.3” laptop.

05
Also Consider
A Cool-Running Alternative With An Impressive Battery Life
Acer Nitro 17 inch

Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop (GTX 1650)

0 /5
Editor's Rating
Gaming Performance
4.8/5
Screen Quality
4.7/5
General Functionality
4.8/5
Portability
4.8/5

This Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop comes with the multi-core power of a AMD Ryzen 5 4600H paired with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card. It has a very good battery life and remains remarkably cool to the touch for a gaming laptop.

This version of the Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop isn’t the best laptop on this list but its still a solid performer. It does come with the superior AMD Ryzen 5 4600H CPU, meaning it can provide decent performance in workstation tasks as well as gaming, and the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 does the job. Whilst the 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD in particular are not really large enough, these features can be upgraded. The screen has a relatively narrow color space and not the best brightness, but for gaming in non-brightly lit environments it does the job. The superior battery life of this machine and the fact it remains cooler to the touch than most of its peers under stress does work in its favor.

Best Gaming Laptops Under $800

01
Best All Round Gaming Laptop For $800
Lenovo Legion 5 15

Lenovo Legion 5 Gaming Laptop (GTX 1650 Ti)

CPU

AMD Ryzen 7 4600H

Graphics Card

Nvidia GTX 1650 Ti

RAM

8GB

Max Refresh Rate

120Hz

Resolution

1920 x 1080

Screen Size

15.6”

02
Best Alternative Gaming Laptop For $800
Dell G3 Gaming Laptop

Dell G3 Gaming Laptop (GTX 1650 Ti)

CPU

Intel Core i5-10300H

Graphics Card

Nvidia GTX 1650 Ti

RAM

8GB

Max Refresh Rate

120Hz

Resolution

1920 x 1080

Screen Size

15.6”

03
Best 144Hz Gaming Laptop For $800
ASUS TUF Gaming A15 1650

ASUS TUF Gaming A15 (GTX 1650)

CPU

AMD Ryzen 5 4600H

Graphics Card

Nvidia GTX 1650

RAM

8GB

Max Refresh Rate

144Hz

Resolution

1920 x 1080

Screen Size

15.6”

04
Best 17 Inch Gaming Laptop For $800
MSI GF65 Thin

MSI GF75 Thin (GTX 1650)

CPU

Intel Core i5-10300H

Graphics Card

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650

RAM

8GB

Max Refresh Rate

120Hz

Resolution

1920 x 1080

Screen Size

17.3”

05
Also Consider
Acer Nitro 17 inch

Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop (GTX 1650)

CPU

AMD Ryzen 5 4600H

Graphics Card

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650

RAM

8GB

Max Refresh Rate

120Hz

Resolution

1920 x 1080

Screen Size

15.6”

In-depth Review

01
Best All Round Gaming Laptop For $800
Lenovo Legion 5 15

Lenovo Legion 5 Gaming Laptop (GTX 1650 Ti)

CPU

AMD Ryzen 7 4600H

Graphics Card

Nvidia GTX 1650 Ti

RAM

8GB

Max Refresh Rate

120Hz

Resolution

1920 x 1080

Screen Size

15.6”

Pros

Nvidia GTX 1650 Ti graphics card

AMD CPU good for low-level workstation tasks

good contrast ratio

Cons

max brightness could be higher

narrow color gamut

The Lenovo Legion 5 comes in various versions, each with different price points. The version listed here is slightly beyond the budget of this list at the current RRP, but can frequently be found reduced to around the $800 mark.

The reason this laptop is our best all-round pick, is that it comes with both the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti graphics card (more powerful than the standard GTX 1650) and also the AMD Ryzen 5 4600H CPU, which offers the best overall performance at this price point and lead the Intel competition in multi-core performance in particular. This is the best combination you will get on this budget and will give you the greatest amount of power when playing games.

The 120Hz display has a good contrast ratio but suffers from a fairly low maximum brightness. Additionally, the color gamut of the screen is not particularly wide, rendering this screen unsuitable for any color-related workstation uses.

The smaller 256GB SSD is mitigated somewhat by the additional 1 TB HDD that accompanies it. The 8GB RAM is not ideal, but this can be upgraded after purchase to at least 16GB and this is probably something we would advise doing, particularly if you intend to use it for light workstation uses. The battery life is fairly respectable though, at around 7 hours of strenuous use outside of gaming.

02
Best Alternative Gaming Laptop For $800
Dell G3 Gaming Laptop

Dell G3 Gaming Laptop (GTX 1650 Ti)

CPU

Intel Core i5-10300H

Graphics Card

Nvidia GTX 1650 Ti

RAM

8GB

Max Refresh Rate

120Hz

Resolution

1920 x 1080

Screen Size

15.6”

Pros

Nvidia GTX 1650 Ti graphics card

512GB SSD

wide color gamut

stylish but reserved looks suitable for office use

Cons

battery life could be better

backlight bleeding may be an issue

Again the full listed price of the Dell G3 15 inch gaming laptop is somewhat beyond the $800 price range of this guide, however, we have seen it discounted from multiple retailers for less than this threshold value. If you can snap the variant we have listed here up for this price then we would definitely recommend doing so, given that it not only comes with an Nvidia GTX 1650Ti graphics card (most on this list only having the vanilla 1650 variant) but also a 512GB SSD.

The 8GB of RAM is to be expected at this price point but this can always be upgraded later on, should it become needed. The Intel Core i5-10300H does the job, although it won’t match the AMD Ryzen 5 4600H (as listed here on some other models) for multi-core performance. Ultimately whether you go with the Dell G3 over the Lenovo Legion 5 depends on how much prioritize having a larger SSD as standard over the multi-core performance of the latter.

The 120Hz screen the laptop comes with has solid color replication in the sRGB space and solid contrast ratio as is often the case with Dell, however, backlight bleeding is an issue if you’re using the laptop in underlit spaces and looking at darker footage/gameplay.

The laptop is not the lightest, but neither is it the heaviest. Battery life is pretty much average for a gaming laptop, at around 6 hours of strenuous non-gaming use. Aesthetically speaking, although such matters are clearly subjective, we have to say that both color variants of this laptop manage to be both stylish but subdued enough to be suitable for office use. All-in-all: a great budget laptop.

03
Best 144Hz Gaming Laptop For $800
ASUS TUF Gaming A15 1650

ASUS TUF Gaming A15 (GTX 1650)

CPU

AMD Ryzen 5 4600H

Graphics Card

Nvidia GTX 1650

RAM

8GB

Max Refresh Rate

144Hz

Resolution

1920 x 1080

Screen Size

15.6”

Pros

AMD CPU good for low-level workstation tasks

144Hz screen

512GB SSD

very long battery life

Cons

The ASUS TUF Gaming A15 comes in a variety of SKUs (i.e. specific configurations) at the budget level, and this version comes with a Ryzen 5 4600H processor and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card. The Ryzen processor is the best available on this budget, though it should be noted that the GTX 1650 Ti is superior to the vanilla GTX 1650 this machine comes with, which means this laptop cannot claim to have the best gaming performance in terms of FPS at this price point.

However, the 144Hz display is a feature that is hard to come by for a c.$800 machine. Whilst you will not be able to play the latest, most demanding games at speeds that touch 144FPS, older games such as CS:GO or COD will certainly be able to reach these levels if you don’t mind playing on medium-low settings. This means for gamers interested in playing competitively on these fast-paced titles for whom effective frames are paramount, the ASUS TUF Gaming A15 is a very attractive contender.

On top of this, the 512GB SSD and very long battery life (expect around 8 hours doing taxing non-gaming tasks) also put it ahead of some of the other offerings on this page, assuming you don’t mind the somewhat chunky build of the laptop.

Finally, the color gamut of the screen may be somewhat narrow, making it unsuitable for color work, however, the contrast ratio is good and brightness levels do the job, making it a fine machine for gaming.

04
Best 17 Inch Gaming Laptop For $800
MSI GF65 Thin

MSI GF75 Thin (GTX 1650)

CPU

Intel Core i5-10300H

Graphics Card

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650

RAM

8GB

Max Refresh Rate

120Hz

Resolution

1920 x 1080

Screen Size

17.3”

Pros

17.3” display for a budget price

512GB SSD

relatively quiet fans

relatively lightweight

Cons

narrow color gamut

upgrading RAM breaks warranty

The MSI GF75 17.3 inch version is a fairly rare sight at under $800 in that it has a larger screen than you’d commonly get for this price on a laptop with the hardware to play games. It would be nice if the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 was the more powerful Ti version, but the Intel Core i5-10300H CPU at least offers powerful single-core performance. Ultimately what you are paying for is the 17 inch, 120Hz display, and for gaming purposes, it’s a solid screen. The hardware should be able to handle demanding games on the lower settings, and on less demanding games you will be able to reach the 120 FPS cap.

The color space on the display is somewhat narrow, rendering it unsuitable for any color-focused workstation uses, however it’s perfectly adequate for games. Perhaps the biggest annoyance is the fact that the 8GB RAM (below what we’d generally advise using) cannot be upgraded without breaking the warranty – so you will have to calculate the risk of this trade-off. Fortunately, the 512GB SSD the machine comes with, means upgrading the SSD is not such a big priority.

This MSI GF75 is surprisingly light for a laptop with a 17.3” display, and for a gaming laptop it actually has relatively quiet fans, even when under moderate loads. Both of these features adds to its usefulness as a portable working/gaming machine, though as with all gaming laptops you’ll need to plug it in to have good performance on any moderately demanding game. All of this makes the MSI GF75 a cracking option for a budget gaming laptop.

05
Also Consider
Acer Nitro 17 inch

Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop (GTX 1650)

CPU

AMD Ryzen 5 4600H

Graphics Card

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650

RAM

8GB

Max Refresh Rate

120Hz

Resolution

1920 x 1080

Screen Size

15.6”

Pros

AMD CPU good for low-level workstation tasks

very good battery life

remains cool even under stress

Cons

narrow color gamut

only 256GB SSD

brightness could be better

The Acer Nitro 5 with AMD Ryzen 5 4600H CPU and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card is a solid choice, even if it comes with a weaker GPU than our top two picks on this list.

The 120Hz display has a fairly narrow color gamut and isn’t particularly color accurate, so we wouldn’t advise relying on it for color-related workstation uses, but for other workstation tasks, the multi-core AMD processor punches above its weight. Color-wise the screen is also fine for gaming on, although the low max brightness means it won’t perform best in brightly lit environments.

The 8GB RAM and 256GB aren’t ideal, though both can be upgraded post-purchase, nevertheless, this should be factored into your overall cost and budget when considering the Acer Nitro 5.

One of the biggest selling points on this laptop is the battery life. The battery on this laptop is comparable to the ASUS TUF Gaming A15 – you can expect to get up to 8 hours during strenuous usage outside of gaming. We can also say that this version of the Acer Nitro 5 remains unusually cool even under prolonged gaming usage, so if you’re prone to getting sweatier hands when typing, or will be using it in a warmer environment, this is an often-overlooked advantage you may want to consider.

Final Word

This has been our guide to the best gaming laptops in 2021 for those on a $800 budget. We hope that this has helped you decide which gaming laptop is right for you. If you are thinking of spending a bit more or a bit less on your laptop purchase, take a gander at our other laptop guides for different budgetary constraints which are listed in the recommended articles alongside this page.

If you are having second thoughts about choosing a gaming laptop over a desktop PC, take a looksie at our guides on high-end desktop builds for under $1,000 and also the best pre-built PC for under $1,000.

If there are any particular laptops you would like to see reviewed that we have not yet covered, do let us know in a comment below.

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The Author Who Worked On This Article

Technology Author
at
WePC
From halcyon days playing Sonic 2 on the Megadrive, to trying to work out how to make the “TOASTY!” man appear on Mortal Kombat 3 round his mate’s house, many of Aaron’s fondest childhood memories are associated with gaming. This might sound a sad state of affairs to some, but he regrets nothing. First getting into PC gaming through exposure to text game Drug Lord and then the original Half Life, still one of his all-time favourites, Aaron has been a PC gamer ever since. A practical need to squeeze the most out of his machine turned into a genuine interest in the technology of PC hardware, a passion which fuels his desire to always be up to date on the latest tech news.

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