They certainly don’t shape the new generation of gaming laptops that are virtual reality-ready, but they offer great variety of high end performance that will appeal to everyone who would like to enjoy their favorite game releases at respectful framerate.
Being after a modern, versatile and powerful gaming laptop can be a very exhausting process.
This being said, you’ve probably spent long time deciding, researching and checking the benchmarks for the most proficient machine that can keep up with the challenges set up by today’s and tomorrow’s technology.
However, you haven’t found that model yet. It’s time to discover your top 5 best gaming laptops under $800 today:
Table of Contents
Top 5 Best Gaming Laptops under $800 2017
In order to play games on a mobile device such as laptop there is a lot to sacrifice, the first thing is money. The laptops with better components are significantly higher in price range than the laptops with lower performances (obviously). The marketplace and games are today focused on strong graphics cards backed up with reliable, multitasking processors and a large amount of RAM. Moreover laptops are moving towards the solid-state drives that are loved for their swift transfer speeds and smooth running. All these specifications contribute to the more unrealistic price tags that appear in online stores and other electronics shops.
However, don’t fear. In this article we’re bringing you another solution that enables gamers with tight budgets and small pockets to enjoy the benefits of games that were released in the recent years. In this article, we will talk about 5 best gaming laptops under $800.
1. Asus R516UX
Certainly, ASUS has a lot to offer with its laptops. They were always fully ready to operate in either business and gaming purposes. The dedicated graphics card that is mid-ranged compared to the older releases and integrated graphics card has a lot to offer in the growing age of newer games. You will never go wrong with Asus, because regardless of its series (ROG or not) it will still have the satisfying performance that suffices even the most demanding, graphics requiring gamers. Let’s take a look of performances of this laptop and explain you why is the Asus R516UX the laptop you’re looking for, and why is it the model that fairly deserves to be on top of our 5 best gaming laptops under $800 list.
DesignWhen we unpacked the laptop we were pleased with the balance of steamlined, light and beautiful design that is specific only for the Asus laptops.
The laptop features an attractive, modern and trendy design that will make even the largest critiques silent. The chassis of the laptop is colored in black color with a beautiful, reflective shade. The asus symbol is etched in the center of the laptop and gives it the resemblance of other laptops. All in all, the laptop looks casual and resembles of other Asus models, both business and semi-gaming models. It doesn’t feature the newest, sinister-red design such as the ROG series laptops that can be found in other articles of ours but, it’s not the outside look that decides the overall gaming performance.
The outside vents are located under the laptop. Hence it is recommended to use portable pad for providing an additional cooling to your laptop in case you choose it. You don’t want it to overheat, become noisy or worse, shut down.
When you open the laptop, you will be greeted with another laptop design and style featured by the Asus but, nonetheless wonderful. The laptop’s insides are also made of plastic but, it doesn’t mean that the plastic pad is of bad quality. The grey, silver colored deck has a power button, large keyboard with an additional num pad on the right side and a smooth looking touch pad. Additionally the deck feels sleek and smooth on touch. The laptop generally looks very attractive and it doesn’t stick out in the public so you can use it in the public places such as cafes and libraries without being genuinely interrupted.
The laptop weights around 2.2kg (5 lbs) which makes it lighter than other laptops in the range and above. It is of utmost importance for a laptop to not be too chunky and that way feel uncomfortable to travel with as the most wonderful advantage of a laptop is exactly its portability and ability to move it accordingly. Of course, this doesn’t apply on heavier models that utilize hardcore, high-end gaming performances. However their pricing moves accordingly, as well.
The dimensions of this laptop are also 15 x 10 x 0.9 inches, so you will notice that Asus again succeeded to create a sleek and slim machine even for the needs of gaming and general entertainment. We will not see sleek laptops as the ultrabook models of today, but it still features amazing gaming machine with a fashionable look.
We hope that the performance of laptop will amaze us as much as its slim, elegant design.
Keyboard and Touch Bar
Considering the fact that this is a gaming laptop but a budget gaming laptop, you can’t get the best of specifications no matter how much you try. I believe that finding a gaming laptop that meets your requirements is an impossible task
The Asus has a large keyboard with large and cushy keys with clear print. On the right side, we also have the numeric pad. It is very impressive that the laptop handled putting the numeric pad next to such a large keyboard. The keys are comfortable to press but the keys themselves are not specifically deep. Furthermore the keys are very loud. If you’re to play strategic game that requires swift fingers, you will probably be annoyed. The loud, snappy sounds of the keyboard are specific for Apple’s Macbooks, but apparently Asus didn’t pay attention to this. For this price you’ll get to enjoy a comfortable and cushy keyboard but, overtime you will grow annoyed with constant crunching sound it makes while you type it.
If we forget about the fact that it’s extremely loud, the keyboard will appeal to all people that frequently use Office Suite from Microsoft in order to accomplish their business, working, typing tasks, because the large and cushy keys are comfortable to people that are prone to making spelling mistakes. Hopefully, the keyboard is enough intuitive to them, just like it was to us.
Another thing that I like is the backlit keyboard that makes this laptop look even better than the ordinary. Although some laptops featured by Asus have casual, ordinary look, they can’t take pride in backlit keyboard that is favored by all gamers.
About the touch bar, we didn’t pay too much attention while testing it. We assume that most of the gamers are more comfortable with using mouse. Honestly, I wouldn’t use touch bar even when playing Sims as it makes me feel very uncomfortable and I couldn’t wait to switch for the mouse. I rest assured that so would you. Games are mostly playing games that require good orientation, keen eye to details and fast, swift reaction to certain calls to action. Therefore, gamers will be more comfortable with a mouse.
Nonetheless, the touch bar meets expected requirements when it comes to the general entertainment, surfing the web, watching movies and even working. I genuinely use laptop for my studying endeavors and seldom have I felt the need to switch to mouse. It is not the fastest and smoothest touch bar there is but it has the necessarily good transfer speed, reaction and accession speed. It has featured the left and the right button that replace the mouse and is eligible with multi clicking features.
Asus R516UX has a large 15.6-inch full HD screen diagonal with the maximum supported resolution 1920 x 1080 pixels. It allows you to see the picture well and large. Most of the laptops in this range of quality and price tend to have smaller, 14-inch screens that don’t produce the best picture outlet there is. However, despite the fact that this model isn’t perfect, it’s better than the most.
This full HD FHD screen has a matte finish that prevents reflection. You will have a clear sight of screen that won’t annoy you while you’re playing games and/or watching videos with your friends. The older models of laptops feature TN panels that have bad viewing angles and poor reflection that distracts and ruins the hype. Gladly this laptop features newer panel with better viewing angles and a matte finish that will allow you to use the laptop on lighter days without interruptions.
Overall the screen produces colorful picture with vivid shades and vibrant textures. It feels comfortable for eyes without causing pain or headache even after several hours. The vast majority of newer Asus laptops utilize protection from blue color that is mainly responsible for uncomfortable feelings and retinal defects and diseases. Being able to see a sharp picture with large selection of vivid colors is perfect for a budget laptop.
The SmartAudio HD sound produces a good-quality output for the R516UX. The understandable part of this is that overtime the sound gets a bit of annoying with a lot of jumps. However, it is easy to fix these problems.
Laptops don’t come with the best-quality speakers, but the Asus always tries to stand out from the ordinary. Even so, the better quality audio would probably cost more.
The machine has built in the speaker and microphone. Microphone takes decent voice input and can be used on skype and other calling programs. However, you will probably have to talk a bit louder as the microphone is silent. Moreover the speaker gives an unpleasant, broken sound when the volume is pushed towards the maximum. This is not too much of a downfall as these problems are solved with good portable, mobile speakers or headphones that are not too expensive to buy. Besides, the gamers love the sound headphones make as they make you feel like you’re present in the game yourself, either instead or along the main character you’re playing with delight.
Also, it’s recommended that those headphones have a microphone too, unless you want your voice to be overheard by an annoying, loud keyboard.
The cooling fans get very annoyingly loud when the laptop is exposed to a wide-ranged pressure during gaming. They do decent job about performance when it comes to the older, less demanding games in terms of specifications but occasionally you will feel the keyboard getting hot.
It is recommended that the fans are regularly cleaned, as the dust easily ends up inside the vents. I can’t say that this laptop has the worst possible thermal cooling options, but there are certainly better systems that arrange the heat out with ease.
This shouldn’t be stressed about. All laptops have heating issues, more or less of them. That’s why maintaining the optimal temperature is a mandatory task.
Asus R516UX has a 2-cell Polymer battery. The battery’s average life is 5 hours, but genuinely when you’re surfing the net, you’ll have approximately 4 hours of life.
Obviously, it’s not recommended to play games without a cable that is plugged in because it will result in frequent FPS drops especially with more demanding and requiring games. Moreover, the battery will last shorter because it will be exposed to pressure.
FPS matters a lot while gaming, and that we will explain in the performance section.
If you’ve reached till here, you’re about to find out some key specifications about this particular model. How good is it for business, entertainment? Is it really gaming friendly? You’re about to see all of these answers and we hope that it will meet your demands.
The 15.6-inch Asus R516UX sports a decent, mid-ranged NVidia GeForce GTX 950M graphics card with 2GB GDDR3 VRAM. This is not bad at all. In our previous articles we wrote about laptops that are equipped essentially with GTX 960M but when it comes to the 2GB of dedicated memory, there’s no too essential difference between GTX 960M and GTX 950M. Both have the potential to run some of the most popular games on high settings however, GTX 960M slightly better.
Don’t underestimate the 950M graphics card, it smoothly runs the Metro games, Assassin’s Creed games, Witcher III on medium and low and games such as WoW, Dota and LoL are piece of cake for this laptop. The laptop is also friendly with older generation of games that have a lot to offer so this laptop works fine for either older and newer games.
The system is backed up with 6th generation Intel Core i7-6500U with 2.5 GHz tact and 8 GB of DDR3 RAM. Generally it has great build. The 6th generation processor i7 has a lot to offer. It smoothly runs with all the business demands, puts up with entertainment settings and is great at running a lot of processes at once. The i7 selection of processors greatly put up with graphics design so if you’re wondering about running the CAD programs, Photoshop and others I say go for it.
The 8GB of RAM could use a bit of extension. However, the max amount of RAM supported on this laptop is 12GB. If you have the money to extend the RAM you can upgrade it to 12 GB but that won’t be completely necessary.
The laptop also has 1 TB mechanical hard-drive, 5400rpm SATA. A bit slow, but it will suffice. You can’t expect everything you want from a laptop, but it has plenty of storage for storing your movie collection, family pictures and saved games.
The system also has preinstalled Windows 10 Home.
Things that I didn’t like
- The laptops under $800 cannot provide everything for gaming, hence the lack of SSD drive or a smoother hard-drive is understandable. However, it still points out as a very detail that could improve this laptop a lot.
- I wish the battery lasted slightly longer. The mobility was the first reason laptops were made and getting to spend only 3-4 hours on it without turning it together with a charger is a bad thing.
- Noisy keyboard kills the fun and makes very uncomfortable noise if you’re deeply focused in a game or typing. The laptop is obviously focused in performance settings and not on output and input features.
Reason for Recommending
Asus R516UX is a must have model of laptop if you’re aiming for an urgent best buy. It has promising features and settings that allow the user enjoy using it. It doesn’t offer the best futuristic experience, but its amazing look, big screen and keyboard, good settings in terms of performance will allow you to use it on daily basis.
Asus R516UX is a great combination of price and performances. Not only it offers great casual usage packed up in a lovely, trendy and gallant chassis but also great gaming performance that nearly equals the best equipped laptops. Are you looking for a gaming laptop that utilizes other features and is capable of running recent game releases that don’t demand too much? This laptop is for you.
We have already written about similar Lenovo model, that you can find on our site. However, this model is different but nonetheless it provides the good-quality gameplay and all other kinds of entertainment. This laptop deserves to be on our 5 best gaming laptops under $800 because it has a large variety of technology friendly features that make it a great desktop replacement. Starting with a nice design this laptop isn’t different than the Ideapad Y700. But, knowing how the vast majority of laptops have similar design, this is nothing to be spooked about. It is a bit heavier than our first choice but it features a 15.6 inch screen diagonal with maximal supported resolution 1920 x 1080 pixels. It has a LED backlit full HD screen with a finish matte, anti-glare IPS panel on the screen. We’ve already mentioned above why are these panels so popular and the great viewing angles they provide. The model features 2.1 GHz FX-Series Eight-Core FX-8100 AMD CPU and 16 GB of RAM which is more than our winner has to offer but not necessarily essential because we said that 8 GB are more than enough for a laptop that wants to run games, especially in this given budget. The graphics performance is enhanced and provided by AMD Radeon R9 M385 with 4 GB of dedicated memory. We said that there’s no competent graphics card from NVidia that can run on the laptops of today but let’s say that the R9 is equal to GTX 950M 2 GB more or less. The laptop has 1 TB storage just like the vast majority of laptop that share the similar price tag. These things make laptops run a bit slower but it is still great offer for this price. 1TB allows you to save your most memorable gaming moments, videos, movies and family storage of pictures. The laptop comes with the Bluetooth, ports, and other features and has preinstalled Windows 10 Home 64-bit. We have mentioned the most highlights of this laptop and now we will refer to what we liked and what we didn’t like, as regardless of pros many laptops come with some unpleasant cons as well.
Things that I liked
- It can perform similarly to GTX 950M and GTX 960M and run popular game releases that came out in the previous years. It is magnificent experience to be able to run new releases without spending more than $1000 on a laptop.
- The laptop has great audio features. It nearly performs like a real good-quality, high end speakers that we set on our desktop computers. This being said, no need for headphones in order to enjoy the best quality ambient sound and music.
Things that I didn’t like
- The laptop is not the lightest of its kind. You will notice that it’s quite chunkier and heavier than other models. If you’re forced to travel with it, prepare yourselves.
- The Windows run slowly, and the system starts up even slower. It is an utmost disappointment thanks to the mechanical hard drive imbued in it.
- I’m not the biggest fan of AMD utilities because of the fast overheating.
Reason for Recommending
If you’re looking for a gaming adventure and our first gaming option was sold out this is the model that you simply must have. It does have several downfalls, but you will soon realize that gaming laptop under $800 can’t buy the best components and the highest performance.
Lenovo Y700 is a good choice for gamers with small pockets. It unites the low budget and proficient AMD components. Despite being good all in all, I’m sure that this laptop could be equipped with Intel’s and Nvidia’s components without too large of a price oscilation. If you’re in a hurry to find the laptop that can run games and you know that you’ll replace it as soon as you have money, this laptop is our recommendation. It represents a balance of good price and specifications that can run most of the games.
Acer Aspire F 15 is a budget gaming laptop and the third of our 5 best gaming laptops under $800. Along with great battery durability and life it has the perfect choice of gaming components that can run the newer games on board. The system has a 15.6 inch screen diagonal with a supported resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. It features a full HD screen with a comfortable view backlit LED with a finish matte and great viewing angles. The good-quality screen allows you to play games of either older and newer generation, watch movies and graphically demanding videos and much more. The display supports Acer’s newest setting called Acer Color Blast technology that reduces the transmitting of strong frequency colors that cause headache, pain in the eyes and also retinal disorders. This feature will definitely appeal to the laptop users that are prone to spending a lot of time in front of the computer. Let’s talk about specification and performance. The laptop sports strong equipment of 7th generation Core i5-7200U processor that can boost up to 3.1 GHz in the Turbo setting that activates itself when the laptop is exposed to the pressure. There are 12 GB of RAM which is more than sufficient for today’s demands in terms of games. The RAM can hopefully be upgraded to 16GB when the time demands that but generally the laptop could run pleasantly for at least 2 and a half years. About graphics card we have NVidia GeForce GTX 950M to boost performances of the games and videos and provide unforgettable gaming experience for everyone who prefers this kind of laptops. This laptop has a much better storage options than the prior models that we have reviewed in the 5 best gaming laptops under $800. Aside from a 1 TB mechanical hard drive, the laptop also features the newest solid state drive with 128GB storage memory. Setting the operating system to run in this smooth, fast and swift utility has a lot to offer and will give laptop an opportunity to run fast and smooth. The battery on average says that it can survive up to 12 hours, meaning that with surfing the internet, watching videos and similar actions it is estimated to live between 7 and 9 hours which is not bad. Aside from that the laptop looks very attractive and has a lovely, deep and cushy keyboard that is responsive along with its touch bar. Overall a good laptop for the price and now we’ll see some gaming features of it.
Things that I liked
- The 128GB SSD drive beats up the standard, mechanical hard drive. These hardware components are mainly being replaced with solid-state drives because of their epic speed and accessing speeds.
- Good battery life is the case with the most of Acer’s laptops, and I’m glad to see that they continue making good laptops that last for a long time despite the pressure put on them.
- Good sounds coming out from the laptop. This means that the audio quality surpassed our winning model of 5 best gaming laptops under $800. This is a good thing to see because it’s a nice thing that Acer focused on other things other than the components that enable laptop to work.
Things that I didn’t like
- The laptop can get very hot and loud after a while.
Reason for recommending
The Acer laptop offers large variety of utilities, features and settings that enhance gaming experience and much more. Reason for having it could be many but most of all, for gamers to enjoy their gaming experience in high, respectful framerates.
The Acer Aspire F 15 is a mid-priced gaming laptop that has a lot to offer despite the price. Playing games on it, it won’t feel like you’re playing on the latest ROG and MSI laptops, but it will provide great time for you, and allow you to use it in either gaming and entertainment but also business. Looking for a budget laptop? The third of 5 best gaming laptops under $800 salutes you with pride.
Acer Aspire V3 is an old fashioned generation of laptops that feature quite older model of graphics cards and other utilities. However it promises a lot of good gaming, entertainment and other amount of quality time used. This laptop won’t run games such as Witcher III, Fallout and other games but it could possibly run GTA V on lower settings. Despite being old and crumbled before the newer models from this post it can still offer large selection of performances that can make you enjoy the game releases that don’t demand too much. If you’re looking for a laptop that can allow you to play basic games and you don’t strive to playing more demanding games this laptop is definitely for you. The laptop is colored in silver like grey color and it looks very attractive and slim. It has a 15.6 inch screen that allows large 1920 x1080 picture to be displayed. The screen offers a large selection of vivid colors and vibrant textures and has preinstalled Windows 8.1. The laptop has a nice, cushy and deep keyboard and has extended numeric pad on the right side. The quality of audio is decent. However we still recommend that you enhance it through some good-quality headphones for gaming. The performances say another story. We assume that the laptop costs this much because of the i7 processor as the graphics card is quite old and it can’t keep up with the best of what today has to offer. Let’s get to the point. The laptop is equipped with Intel Core i7-550U with 4 MB cache and boosts up to 3.1 GHz processor. This is definitely not bad especially because the processor features the 5th generation of processors. Of course, this is not the HQ series of CPUs but it’s nonetheless proficient in handling daily less and more demanding operations set by the users every day. The laptop has 8GB of DDR3 RAM and stores 1 TB of data on its 5400 rpm mechanical hard drive. The laptop has a dedicated graphics card NVidia GeForce GTX 840M that is very old, but definitely not bested. You will see that the vast majority of people that can’t have the best settle with the 8 series of NVidia’s GTX series. However, it is not good if you plan to use it for gaming on long term and are eager to see new game releases. Overall the laptop is good and it has a lot to offer to all gamers and people that use laptops for the day to day experience. But it doesn’t have everything that a futuristic gamer would look forward to.
Things that I liked
- Matte finish screen that prevents reflection and has great viewing angles.
- Great keyboard with fast, smooth and responsive touch bar.
- Durable battery.
Things that I didn’t like
- The laptop is an older generation of laptops and it can’t allow the gamers to enjoy the newest releases. It is good for some less demanding games whatsoever.
Reason for Recommending
Despite the older generation graphics card. I recommend this laptop to everyone who wants to play older games and still feature a good-looking laptop that is closed in an attractive chassis and as a result of i7 processor handles multitasking projects and operations.
As a result of good amount of RAM and good processor the laptop is to meet the requirements of the vast majority of users. It doesn’t feature the best graphics card though such as the 960M graphics card but it still runs older releases on reasonable framerates and is not to be underestimated at any cost.
The last but not the least laptop of our 5 best gaming laptops under $800 is certainly the MSI GP62 Leopard Pro. Designed mainly for the gaming experience MSI laptops appeal even to the strictest gamers and this is exactly why we fall in love with these models. Not just they come equipped with great gaming components, they also feature a badass design that stands out from the sea of the gaming laptops that fit ordinary needs. The laptop is colored in a trendy black color and weights around 2.4kg. This fits in the upper limit of lightweight laptops that is still relatively comfortable with carrying on the LAN parties that are so widely supported by gamers. It features a large 15.6-inch screen with maximal supported resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The laptop sports an Intel Core i7-5700HQ 5th generation processor with 2.7 GHz. 8GB of DDR3 RAM that is extendable to 12 GB and stores 1 TB mechanical hard drive. It has a proficient GTX 950M graphics card that is responsible of offering great gaming time along with a matte finish display that offers great variety of vivid textures and shades. The 5th laptop of 5 best gaming laptops under $800 has a lot to offer and now we will highlight our favorite and least favorite things about it.
Things that I liked
- Attractive design along with great components produce high end experience while gaming and watching movies. Not just that, the laptop allows you to use it in business purposes and much more.
- Matte finish screen that prevents reflection and provides great viewing angles.
- The laptop has a good quality keyboard with cushy keys
- The laptop is extremely affordable despite the components that belong to the selection of more expensive ones.
Things that I didn’t Like
- The battery life is beyond average.
- The chassis is quite large. Despite the fact laptop is pretty lightweight, chassis itself can be very annoying.
Reason for Recommending
If the Asus and Acer laptops ran out, I’d go with this laptop. MSI always focused their laptops to be specialized for gaming, hence this laptop promises unforgettable gaming experience and most of the gamers would like to have it on their deck.
MSI GP62 Leopard Pro-002 offers a balance of portability, price and great specifications that promise at least 2 years of proficient gaming and a casual day to day operating.
The 5 best gaming laptops under $800 is brought to the end. We’ve focused on putting laptops that promise the greatest performance compared to the newer, more expensive models.
We’ve written about gaming laptops under $1000 and under $900 and you can notice that the vast majority of them offers the same specifications or at least similar ones. It is very hard to choose gaming laptop under $1000 that will have the equal or near equal power the higher-priced models that are available and run newest games at the highest performances, especially buying online.
However, we hope that another guide of ours was helpful to you and that you could find the laptop that doesn’t go over the budget of $800.