Best gaming laptops under $800

In this price range, the best you can usually find are gaming laptops with a GTX 1050Ti and rarely GTX 1060, like a discounted Dell Inspiron 7577. If you are looking for the best performance for the price, then a GTX 1060 is your goal (MAX-Q/3GB/6GB, doesn’t matter).

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AllGLJ RecommendedPerformerUltraportable
* = FPS mark based on external benchmarks for same model** = FPS mark based on GLJ benchmarks for roughly similar model
Lenovo Y520
3911Deus Ex : Mankind Divided, High:31Metro : Last Light, Very high:47
GTX 1050 Ti 4GB (mobile), I7-7700HQ
Thermals
Build
Display quality
Display response times
3911
5.571.57
240

The Y520 is Lenovos’ low midrange gaming laptop. The GTX 1050 Ti variant is the top performer of them all.

Display is a low end IPS, much like the Lenovo Y720 (low color coverage, for example).

Connection ports selection, like in the Dell 7567, is quite limited. Expect the basic HDMI, one USB 3.0 Type-C and that’s all for “new” standards.

Gaming performance go is rather good for a GTX 1050 Ti equipped laptop, according to NBC tests.

Thermal performance is rather good in the Y520, with low chassis temperatures, GPU clocks at max and CPU clocks throttling to base clocks under highest load of Prime95 + Furmark. That is good behavior for gaming. With an I5 instead of I7, the thermals should be even better.

Battery running times are average with around 4 hours of typical web browsing workload.

Keyboard is considered to be good according to external tests.

I5 vs I7: with the GTX 1050 Ti, I would get the I5-7300HQ for gaming. Less heat, higher clocks, sometimes longer battery running times.

Bottom line, the Y520 is a nice package of performance and basic features (thermals, keyboard). However, like with other GTX 1050 Ti machines, why get this for gaming when you can get a GTX 1060 laptop, like the Dell 7577?

Radeon RX 560 (mobile), Intel I5-7300HQ
240

Please check the Y520 (1050 Ti) description.

This is the same machine, only with a AMD Radeon RX 560 GPU. Gaming performance should be between the GTX 1050 and GTX 1050 Ti and perhaps requiring more energy.

So, for the same price more or less, I’d go with the GTX 1050 Ti version (or 1060). But, as with the GTX 1050 Ti version, it’s hard to recommend any of them at all, when laptops with a GTX 1060 3GB / Max-Q are available for around the same price from time to time.

GTX 1050, Intel I5-7300HQ
Thermals
No throttling
Ports selection
Display colors and brightness
390

HP’s basic low midrange gaming laptop. With an I5-7300HQ and a GTX 1050 (2GB). Cost is around $600-$650 before US tax.

Gaming performance is good for this hardware, thanks to maximal clocks under typical gaming workload. However, a GTX 1050 Ti will have around 35-40% performance advantage on this machine.

Display is a low quality IPS, like some other machines in this category. Around 57% sRGB coverage and low maximal brightness.  Response times are relatively high.

Thermal performance is sufficient. Under highest load of Furmark + Prime95, CPU temps remains around 80C and south, but CPU clocks zigzag between the maximum and heavy throttle. I guess that this behavior could be negated with Throttlestop and perhaps Intel XTU. Under gaming load, the temps are around the same and clocks are maximal.

Battery running times are ok with around 6-7 hours of typical web browsing workload. (SSD)

Connection ports selection is basic, but includes a USB 3.1 Type-C with DisplayPort 1.2 support. HDMI 2.0.

Maintenance is hard according to the NBC review.

Bottom line, for around $600-$650 this machine is a nice option thanks to good thermals and performance. However, including US tax, SSD and perhaps additional RAM, the price reaches the levels of much more powerful machines.

GTX 1050 Ti 2GB (mobile), I5-8300H

Wait for reviews, but my guesstimation is that it provides no gaming performance improvement over previous GTX 1050 models with a Kaby Lake I5 or I7 CPU.

Dell Inspiron 7567
41Deus Ex : Mankind Divided, High:32Metro : Last Light, Very high:50
GTX 1050 Ti 4GB (mobile), Intel I5-7300HQ
thermals
battery
low noise
Ports selection
keyboard
display (some variants)
41
5.86
580

The new Dell 7567 tries to ride the popularity of the previous generation Dell Inspiron 7559 (GTX 960M) which was cheap, fast, equipped with an IPS display and had good set features. However, the 7567 doesn’t add much in my opinion, beyond the obvious GTX 1050 Ti upgrade, but the feature-set hasn’t been upgraded as well.

Connection/storage ports selection is lacking with nothing special added (NVMe, mDP, Thunderbolt 3) beyond the quite mandatory HDMI 2.0 and USB 3.0.

The display is a basic IPS for the current US models. The 7567 started with a bad TN display, but that was ditched off.

Storage is a 1TB SSHD or 256GB SSD for the same price (like the 7559 before it).

Thermal performance is ok. Even the I7 version can almost max out the GPU and CPU clocks under the highest load (at the cost of high CPU temps). The I5 will do a bit better.

Battery running times are very good for the I5 version, also thanks to the high capacity of the battery (74Wh) and can reach 10 hours of typical web browsing workload and 6-7 hours of 1080p youtube video watching.

Looks are acceptable, ditching much of the typical “gamer” look of laptops with such hardware in this category – easier to use it in public places, in my opinion.

Keyboard, in my opinion, was quite lousy. Check the review for more details.

Finally, Dell’s own 7577 adds considerably in performance and throws in a thunderbolt 3 port, sometimes for the same price. So, although the 7567 IPS + GTX 1050 Ti version is probably the best option in its price range and for its hardware, it’s being undercut by the competition of Dell’s own 7577 and the Asus FX502VM when available for this price.

Geforce MX150, Intel I5-8250U
SSD
Display colors and brightness
520

Low midrange gaming laptop from Acer. Comes with the new Coffee Lake I5-8250U CPU and Nvidia MX150 GPU. The $600 model comes with a 256GB SSD as a default.

Gaming performance is adequate for 768p high-ultra graphics settings, but will also suffice for low-medium gaming at 1080p, especially for less demanding games (Team fortress, World of Tanks and such).

Display quality is unclear to me. Reviews show it comes with an IPS display, but Amazon comments say otherwise, as well as Acer’s site. I’d say that the cheaper US model comes with a low quality TN panel.

Battery running times are very good with around 8-10 hours of typical web browsing workload. (SSD variant)

Bottom line, currently for $600, with a TN panel and an MX150 GPU, I’d suggest going with some of the little pricier GTX 1050 models, if you are ok with an HDD instead of SSD.

Geforce MX150, Intel I5-8250U
weight
High contrast display
Low noise
Ports selection
Display colors
510

The new Swift 3 with the new Intel Coffee Lake I5-8250U is a slim and lightweight ultrabook with slick looks.

Gaming performance is high enough for low-medium/medium graphics settings in many less demanding games, like Team Fortress, Overwatch, Bioshock Infinite and more and more. If you are willing to play on 768p, then most games will run smoothly, including more demanding games.

Battery running times are very good, according to tests, showing around 8-8.5 hours of typical web browsing workload.

Display quality is disappointingly low for such a laptop. around 55% sRGB and 37% adobeRGB coverage are rather low and won’t suffice for photo editing and perhaps will even lack when watching typical movies. Response times are very high (bad). Contrast is relatively high, though.

Thermals are fairly ok, with low noise and chassis remaining relatively cool.

Bottom line, I wanted to recommend this machine very much, but the display is a too big drawback. If you are willing to change the display, I’d consider it. It’s annoying to see Acer going back from previous models (the old V7-482PG with its very good IPS), but that’s the way the news go.

3911Deus Ex : Mankind Divided, High:31Metro : Last Light, Very high:47
GTX 1050 Ti 4GB (mobile), Intel I5-7300HQ
Noise
Wifi
Keyboard
thermals
3911
61.69

The Acer VX5-591G continues where the VN7-591G left. Again, it offers some nice features and performance for the same price as others.

Thermals are pretty edgy, even for the I5 version. Under highest load of Prime95 + Furmark, the CPU gets to 90C+ temps and the chassis reaches 45-50 degrees easily. I would recommend getting the I5 version and not the I7, unless you’re rendering 24/7.

The display is the typical 45% NTSC LG IPS – nothing special and no real advantage or disadvantage over the competition. This is less suitable for photo editing.

Bottom line, that’s an average gaming machine, but as with the Dell 7567. Why get this model for $800-$900, when its bigger and better brother, the Helios 300, is selling for $900-$1050 and the Dell 7577 for less, with better performance and feature-set all around?

Performer
Acer Nitro 5 GTX 1050 Ti
3911Deus Ex : Mankind Divided, High:31Metro : Last Light, Very high:47
GTX 1050 Ti 4GB (mobile), Intel I5-7300HQ
Thermals
Display
Connection ports
3911
61.69

This is the previous generation Acer Nitro 5, a basic midrange gaming laptop with a GTX 1050 Ti and I5-7300HQ CPU.

The GTX 1050 Ti performance (link) is adequate for high to very high graphic settings @1080p gaming, even in most demanding games. The “Ti” variant adds another 20-30% over the non-Ti variant.

Thermals are ok to good, with the CPU temperatures reaching 90C+ for highest load on base clocks (2.5-2.6GHZ) and GPU clocks at max (no throttle). Chassis temperatures remain relatively low for high load, which is good.

Connection ports selection is very basic and you won’t find Displayport, Thunderbolt, USB 3.1gen2 and only 2xUSB 3.0.

Display quality is typical for such a gaming laptop, which means you get a basic IPS with low color palette coverage, limited brightness. Black levels are relatively low and contrast is high, which is good. No PWM is in use, which is good (no flickering).

Battery running times are relatively good with 6-7 hours of typical web browsing.

For $650 this It's a good deal, since usually the most you’ll get for such a price is maybe a GTX 1050 or even an MX150. Getting an NVMe SSD adds to this deal compared to others as well. The Dell G3 already available for $700 after discount, with a GTX 1050 Ti, but with no SSD + no reviews yet. Just remember that if you want more power than that, for $150-$200 you’ll get the GTX 1060 Max-Q.

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