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The best gaming laptop under $800: the best budget gaming laptop 2023

We've hand picked the best gaming laptops for $800 and under including Lenovo, Dell, and ASUS models

Updated: Jun 30, 2023 2:27 pm
The best gaming laptop under $800: the best budget gaming laptop 2023

This guide will help you pick the best gaming laptop under 800 USD, which is what we’d consider to be the best budget gaming laptops available before you reach the mid-tier price range.

We have organized the best gaming laptops you can buy for around and under the $800 threshold, 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. If you’re interested in the best laptops regardless of budget, then consider reading our best gaming laptop page.

Best gaming laptops under $800 in 2023

MSI GF65 Thin (RTX 3060, 144Hz)

MSI GF65 Thin

CPU

Intel i5-10500H

Graphics Card

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060

RAM

8GB

Max Refresh Rate

144Hz

Resolution

1920 x 1080

Screen Size

15.6”

HP Victus 16 (RTX 3050 / 3050 Ti, 1080p)

HP Victus

CPU

AMD Ryzen 7 5800H

Graphics

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 / 3050 Ti (80W)

RAM

16GB

Storage

1TB SSD

Screen Size

16.1”

Max Refresh Rate

144Hz

Lenovo Legion 5 (Ryzen 5 5600H, RTX 3050 Ti)

Lenovo Legion 5 Ryzen 5 5600H RTX 3050 Ti

CPU

AMD Ryzen 5 5600H

Graphics Card

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti

RAM

16GB DDR4

Max Refresh Rate

120Hz

Resolution

1920 x 1080

Screen Size

15.6″

ASUS TUF Gaming A15 (GTX 1650)

ASUS TUF Gaming A15 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”

MSI GF75 Thin (GTX 1650)

MSI GF65 Thin

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”


Best gaming laptops under $800: reviews

A good value Lenovo Legion 5 with GTX 1650 Ti graphics card

MSI GF65 Thin (RTX 3060, 144Hz)

MSI GF65 Thin

CPU

Intel i5-10500H

Graphics Card

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060

RAM

8GB

Max Refresh Rate

144Hz

Resolution

1920 x 1080

Screen Size

15.6”

Pros
  • The cheapest RTX 3060 laptop GPU you’re likely to find
  • 144Hz screen for cheap
Cons
  • older gen Intel Core i5-10500H
  • only 8GB of single-channel RAM

This MSI GF65 Thin is a rare beast in this price range: not only does it have a display with a 144Hz maximum refresh rate, but most impressively, comes with an RTX 3060 laptop graphics card – the most powerful option you’ll see in any of the picks on this page.

Such gaming power does come with sacrifice however – the Intel Core i5-10500H processor is a good few generations old now, and will lead to some performance benchmarking in comparison to other RTX 3060 machines. Still, the additional power the graphics card brings makes it the best gaming performer in FPS terms on this page.

The 16GB of RAM is exactly what you need and the 512GB SSD is also welcome. Build quality is okay, though could be better, and it’s a similar story with the keyboard and trackpad. The peak brightness and color replication of the screen are far from the best, but no worse than what you’d expect for this amount of money. All-in-all, an absolute bargain of a gaming laptop, though if you’re looking for something more mid-range then take a look at our best gaming laptop under $1,000 or best gaming laptop under $1,500 guides.

The laptop with the best GPU & CPU for the price
Editor’s Pick

HP Victus 16 (RTX 3050 / 3050 Ti, 1080p)

HP Victus

CPU

AMD Ryzen 7 5800H

Graphics

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 / 3050 Ti (80W)

RAM

16GB

Storage

1TB SSD

Screen Size

16.1”

Max Refresh Rate

144Hz

Pros
  • superb value
  • RTX 3050 Ti GPU
  • 144Hz version has decent color replication
  • 16.1″ display
  • decent battery life
  • SD card slot
Cons
  • screen wobble
  • poor build quality

The HP Victus gaming laptop line is HP’s latest range and aims to provide a cheaper alternative to their HP Omen range. Indeed, the Victus offers the best FPS performance per $ of any laptop on this list by some margin. The main sacrifice made to get these laptops down to a cheaper price is build quality, with the lid of the Victus 16 in particular being very wobbly and bendable, although not enough to be a nuisance when gaming so in our opinion. The overall build is very plasticy and it’s far from the most robust feeling laptop around. Still, this is an acceptable trade-off in our opinion – just make sure you treat it with care!

Having said this, the keyboard on the laptop is surprisingly good, feeling quite tactile and clicky for a membrane keyboard, although it does have a lot of flex due to the aforementioned build quality. The touchpad is decent enough though. The speakers on the high-end version we have picked here are also respectable for a gaming laptop, though cheaper versions of the HP Victus 16 reportedly come with lower-quality ones.

In terms of the core components then, the AMD Ryzen 5 5600H processor performs well, and has the added advantage of extending the laptop’s battery life to levels above what the Intel versions can manage: expect at least 7 hours during general usage (web browsing, word processing, and the odd YouTube video) with the most advanced display option, which is decent if not amazing. The 1080p displays reportedly can last up to 10-11 hours, which is very impressive.

The specific Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics card the Victus 16 comes with isn’t the most powerful in TGP terms compared to other laptops out there with the same GPU model, however compared to the GTX 1650 and 1650 Ti machines in the same price range it is substantially better. Not only do you get better FPS performance in-game, but you also have superior DLSS support to enhance this further.

A 16-inch display at this price is welcome. As to the quality of the display, this varies substantially depending on which one you go with.  The 165Hz 1440p/QHD version is the best of the bunch, hitting around 99% sRGB, making it suitable for color work, and with a stated 3ms response time (likely to be higher in reality, but still great at this price). However, opting for the RTX 3050 Ti GPU plus this display will likely take you out of the range of $800 budget. The 144Hz 1080p option has a lower 7ms response time and substantially worse color replication, but still does the job and has a respectable peak brightness. We wouldn’t recommend going with the cheaper options than this though, as they are likely capped at 60Hz.

All things considered, the HP Victus 16 is one of the best value gaming laptops out there.

Lenovo Legion 5 (Ryzen 5 5600H, RTX 3050 Ti)

Lenovo Legion 5 Ryzen 5 5600H RTX 3050 Ti

CPU

AMD Ryzen 5 5600H

Graphics Card

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti

RAM

16GB DDR4

Max Refresh Rate

120Hz

Resolution

1920 x 1080

Screen Size

15.6″

Pros
  • RTX 3050 Ti laptop GPU option for cheap
  • powerful CPU option for the price
  • 120Hz refresh rate for cheap
  • Good battery life
Cons

If the two top picks don’t tickle your fancy, then the Lenovo Legion 5 is a great alternative pick from a brand which regularly features in our best gaming laptop guides.

The graphics card this laptop comes with is the GeForce RTX 3050 Ti – again, not one of the best performing graphics cards we’ve ever seen, though usually the best you’re likely to see in any machine on this budget. This Lenovo Legion 5 come with an AMD Ryzen 5 5600H CPU – a solid performer. It also means good battery life again, extending to around 7 hours of non-gaming use, with all battery saving settings enabled.

The build quality is however a bit better than our top two picks – the machine feels sturdier with less of a plasticky feel and screen wobble. The keyboard is also of a respectable quality.

The best display for gaming with a terrific battery life

ASUS TUF Gaming A15 (GTX 1650)

ASUS TUF Gaming A15 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
  • not thin or particularly portable
  • narrow color gamut

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.

Great value for a 17.3″ screen

MSI GF75 Thin (GTX 1650)

MSI GF65 Thin

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.


Is the best gaming laptop under 800 USD worth buying?

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 only $800 puts you in the upper end of the “budget” end of the spectrum when it comes to gaming laptops. Although there are cheaper gaming laptops on the market (see our best gaming laptop under $500 page for the absolute bottom rung) playing the latest AAA games, except for on the lowest settings, could be a struggle for these machines.

If you don’t mind playing newer games on the lower settings, or are only interested in playing less demanding and/or older games, then a $800 laptop may suit you just fine. If you decide you’re not much interested in gaming after all, you can go even cheaper (see our best laptop under $400 guide for some examples).

Things to consider when buying a $800 gaming laptop

For a more thorough look at what to think about when shopping for a gaming laptop generally, have a quick scan of this same section on our Best gaming laptop page. Below is a quick summary of things to consider when shopping to a $800 budget specifically.

Realistic Expectations Of Gaming Performance

The portability advantages of laptops, coupled with the engineering challenges of putting powerful components into a laptop’s chassis and effectively cooling them, means you typically pay at least 50% more on a laptop compared to a desktop computer for the same Frames Per Second (FPS) in game.

Limiting your budget to $800 unfortunately means you cannot expect to be able to play the newest releases on high settings and get a good FPS. At this level, even medium graphical settings on demanding may be a stretch, though certainly low settings will be feasible. At this price point and lower if you want decent FPS on high settings you will need to stick to somewhat older games, or at least newer ones that have less graphical demands. Broadly speaking, you could probably expect to get around 70-90 FPS on GTA V on high settings on most of the laptops listed below. If you want more than this then we would advise you either consider spending more and have a look at our best gaming laptops for under $1,500 page, or alternatively consider a desktop PC you can build yourself or a prebuilt computer, for under $800.

Maximum Refresh Rate

At around the $800 mark, 144Hz screens become uncommon, and the typical maximum is 120Hz. Having said that, 144Hz do occasionally crop up on this budget, though usually, they sacrifice some other aspect.

Resolution

Under $800 the best native resolution you can hope for in a gaming laptop is 1920 x 1080. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as 1080p is the resolution many competitive gamers who play fast-paced online shooters would use anyway, no matter their budget. On top of that, unless you are looking for a screen side above 15 inches its debatable how much you’d get out of higher resolution screens anyway.

Hard Drive & RAM

Typically we’d say 256GB for an SSD in a laptop or desktop PC is too small a size to be practical. Many of today’s games can reach 50GB plus, and once you’ve installed the operating system this doesn’t leave a lot of room. Unfortunately at under $800, 256GB becomes much more common. If the laptop you have your heart set on only has 256GB then we’d advise upgrading the SSD to a larger one or adding an additional SSD or HDD. Similarly, 8GB RAM becomes common in laptops at around $800. We’d strongly advise upgrading this to 16GB where possible.

Color Replication

At this price point, screens with a wide color gamut become hard to find. 100% sRGB replication is unlikely, as good color accuracy, although there may be at least one example on this page which has this in its favor.

Ports & Connectivity

Ports and sockets are usually at the bottom of a customer’s priorities, hence manufacturers of budget laptops tend to sacrifice them first before other components. Hence, you’re unlikely to find SD card readers or Thunderbolt support in laptops under $800, and the amount of USB coverage may not be as extensive.

Temperature

Given the relatively low-powered components in these low-budget machines, you’re unlikely to suffer much from overheating or thermal throttling, but just in case you can always pick up a cheap laptop cooling pad or laptop stand to help reduce this.


The best gaming laptops under $800 in 2023 frequently asked questions

 Will a gaming laptop under $800 play the latest games?

Although a gaming laptop under $800 will likely meet the minimum requirements for every game currently released, the quality of gameplay on the newest, most demanding titles, even with the graphical settings turned down, won’t be the best. Older titles or less demanding games however should run well on low-medium settings, depending on the specific game in question.

Some Of Our Other Gaming Laptop Articles

In-depth laptop reviews

‘Best Of’ brand guides

‘Best Of’ price guides

Final Word

This has been our guide to the best gaming laptop under 800 USD in 2023. 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.

1 thought on “The best gaming laptop under $800: the best budget gaming laptop 2023”

  1. liquidevilgaming

    The fact the HP Victus with the RTX3050 isn’t on here is a bit shocking. It can often be found on sale right under $800 and the 3050 blows the 1650 away,and that’s before even considering DLSS for further performance improvements.

    Reply

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