Best gaming notebooks under $800 (November 2017)

With Black Friday today, there can hardly be a better moment to get a good deal on some gaming notebooks. A lot of discounts will continue for the entire weekend and sooner than later will Christmas sales begin. Since we know that most users are not too needy when deciding on a new notebook, we have decided to create a list of the best gaming notebooks under $800.

It may seem rather odd for some, but with today’s technology and all the sales around you can purchase a decent gaming notebook for a low cost.

Note that the prices and availability change from day to day and sometimes even more frequently than that so the information we display might not be 100% accurate. We try to keep up and update daily.

You can check the detailed specs of the following and other notebooks in our Laptops Specs system.

15.6-inch models

Acer Nitro 5

Let’s start off with a model by Acer. Acer is known for delivering overall more powerful hardware than the competitors at the desired price. That is just the case with the Acer Nitro 5.

The Acer Nitro 5 is powered by the Intel Core i5-7300HQ backed by 8GB of RAM but while most of the notebooks that will follow on this list are equipped with the GeForce GTX 1050, the Nitro 5 turns things up a notch and offers the GTX 1050 Ti.

While the Core i5-7300HQ and GTX 1050 Ti are not record-holders, they deliver just enough processing power to run every modern game on low to mid settings with a reasonable frame rate. Another good thing about the Nitro 5 is the screen. It may not cover too much of the sRGB gamut but it is 100% flicker-free making it good for the eyes. You can check more details and gaming tests in our in-depth review.


Next up is the MSI GL62M. It features the exact same configuration as the Acer Nitro 5 including the GTX 1050 Ti graphics card. It offers a TN panel rather than IPS but getting an MSI notebook always has its perks.

The panel may be TN but it is very color accurate with its 94% coverage of the sRGB color space. The GL62M also uses Nahimic 2 audio that offers virtual 7.1 surround sound through the four available speakers. You can also take advantage of a WTFast free premium license for 2-month – a private network designed for gamers. And, of course, let’s not forget the exclusive SteelSeries keyboard.

These are just a fraction of the gamer-centric features that MSI provides to its users.

Dell Inspiron 15 5577

Third on the list is the Dell Inspiron 15 5577. It is the first one to not feature the GTX 1050 Ti. Instead, it relies on the GTX 1050 graphics card. The processor is still the Core i5-7300HQ.

Intuitively, the GTX 1050 is less powerful than the GTX 1050 Ti but it still pumps enough power to run most modern titles. It is a perfect way to get your first steps into the gaming world especially if you do not want to make it hard for your wallet. One good thing is that the model of the GPU is the one with 4GB of GDDR5 RAM rather than the 2GB version.

Of course, the lesser power is reflected in the price – the Inspiron 15 5577 can be found for around $100 below our set budget while keeping all the other common features.


Next up – the ASUS FX503. The ASUS FX503 is a recently released notebook with lots of different configurations, the most affordable of which made it to this list. It is a simple entry-level gaming notebook with a couple of interesting features to brag with.

The ASUS FX503 is powered by the usual suspects – the Core i5-7300HQ and the GTX 1050 but this time the 2GB version. As we said, it covers the basics. The first interesting feature is the rather big 4-cell battery with a capacity of 64Wh. We have not tested this notebook yet but a good battery life is to be expected because most other models feature batteries with capacities between 40 and 50Wh.

The second interesting feature of the FX503 is the hard drive. Hard drives are not considered interesting for a few years now and we expect to have an SSD at least for the operating system but the hard drive on the FX503 is not a generic one. It is a Seagate FireCuda hybrid drive (SSHD) which claims to be up to six times as fast as a regular HDD. In addition, you have an M.2 slot that supports NVMe drives for upgrading.

ASUS VivoBook Pro 15 N580

Another model by ASUS – the VivoBook Pro 15 N580. Again not too powerful but gets the job done. The VivoBook Pro 15 N580 offers some premium and useful features instead of some great performance.

The N580 features a thin and light chassis with a sturdy build. The build consists of both aluminum and plastic but the aluminum part is bigger and the overall quality is good. Also, the device is quite portable with a profile of just 19 mm (0.75″) and around 2 kg (4.40 lbs) in weight.

The dual stereo speakers of the VivoBook Pro 15 N580 are co-developed & certified by Harman/Kardon to ensure crystal-clear audio with maximized volume. You can check out our detailed review here.

17.3-inch models


Just like the GL62M, the MSI GL72M is an entry-level gaming notebook but this time with a larger 17.3-inch display. It also packs a bit more powerful hardware.

The MSI GL72M is the first model on this list to feature the Intel Core i7-7700HQ – a big step up from the more common Core i5 from this price range. However, GL72M is not equipped with an NVIDIA 10-series GPU at all. It relies on the GTX 960M graphics processor with 2GB of GDDR5 memory.

You can check out our comparison of the GTX 1050 vs the GTX 960M to see that the GPU from the newer generation is indeed better but the GTX 960M is still a reasonable choice when it comes to budget gaming. It is perfect for eSports and capable to run modern games with lower demands.

Of course, you get some of the MSI perks like the SteelSeries keyboard or Nahimic 2 sound technology.

HP Pavilion 17t

The second and last notebook to make it to the 17.3-inch category and this list as a whole is the HP Pavilion 17t which is a rather old model that features a lot of bang for the buck.

For just below our price limit you get an entry-level gaming notebook with an NVIDIA 10-series GPU and a beautiful 17.3-inch display. The Pavilion 17t downgrades to the Core i5-7300HQ compared to the MSI GL72M but upgrades back to the GTX 1050 2GB. It is also the first configuration on this list to come with 16GB of DDR4 RAM.

The best feature of the Pavilion 17t is undoubtedly the screen. An IPS panel with 95% sRGB color gamut coverage, good color reproduction, and high contrast. The display is also virtually flicker-free making it good for long sessions of working or playing. It uses PWM to regulate the brightness levels only to about 70 cd/m2 or 25%. You can check out further analysis and a link to our custom-tailored display profiles in the in-depth review. Optionally, you can go for a touchscreen panel but it will cost more.

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