Best Laptop Under $800

Last Updated: August 1st 2016

Thanks to Microsoft bringing out Windows 10, innovations such as Broadwell and Skylake processors from Intel, and Maxwell series of graphics cards from Nvidia, laptops are making a sweeping come back in the market. The ruling days of tablets are currently behind us as laptops are now thinner and lighter while still staying powerful for your every need.

And with so many options of amazing laptops out there, selecting the best laptop for under $800 to meet YOUR requirements becomes a very important, but often overwhelming, task. So, we narrowed it down to two great laptop computers within that price.

But before we begin…

What should you be looking for in a sub-$800 laptop?

A powerful processor with massive amounts of RAM is (or should “absolutely” be) the most important factor to consider when looking for a laptop, no matter what your budget. And a laptop that costs $800 is aimed at high-end, power-hungry users. So, to aim to get a 6th Generation Intel (Skylake) Core i7 processor with at least 8 Gigs of RAM wouldn’t be far-fetched.

The next thing you would want is a hard drive with a decent amount of storage, say 500GB at least, if not 1TB. A hard disk with a speed of 5400RPM is sufficient for most uses.

One of the things you most definitely want from an $800 laptop is a good display screen for bright, crisp images and a higher screen resolution. Depending on your usage, you may also want a dedicated graphics card in your laptop for visually intense applications… especially if you’re a gamer.

And whether you’re a gamer or into photography & post-processing or a business traveller or just a casual, home user, you most definitely want a laptop with a good battery life, a minimum being 3-4 hours.

If you’re a movie buff (who rents movie DVDs regularly) or even a music head who prefers buying CDs, you most definitely want a laptop having a DVD Drive, preferably one with writing capabilities. Good speakers on the laptop in this case would probably be a big factor in your laptop purchase decision.

A good keyboard (preferably a backlit one for usage in the dark), a decent webcam, at least USB 3.0 port for faster data transfers, and a touchpad that works are some other considerations you probably most definitely have from a laptop that demands $800. We expect even the most basic laptops to offer these.

Finally, you want the package to look somewhat nice and not an eyesore or difficult to handle & carry around. Even a half-good-looking laptop passes.

When you are ready to pay up to $800 for a laptop, you open yourself to a very wide selection of laptops that come with varying internal specifications, build quality, workmanship, and looks. In this price range, you can find a fast machine that is not only comfortable to use but also capable of taking on intensive programs for years. The most typical screen size you can get is of 15.6 inches with an aspect ratio of 16:9. Most of these screens support a resolution of 1366×768, which is great for 720p high definition but not 1080p in all its glory.

Our best laptops for under $800: Top Picks

Let’s get to the face-off of the Sub-$800 mighty two…

Dell Inspiron 15-5000 Series i5558

The i5558 from Dell is a beast, deserving to be called ‘mighty powerful’. Let’s jump into the meaty details, the tech specs that is.

  • Processor: 5th Gen Intel Core i7-5500U 2.2 GHz (with turbo boost of up to 3 GHz)
  • DDR3L RAM: 8GB Dual Channel (4GB x 2) with a bus frequency of 1600MHz [Sweet!]
  • CPU L3 Cache: 4MB
  • Screen:6” HD Truelife LED-Backlit Display (supporting a resolution of 1366 x 768)
  • Graphics Coprocessor: Video/Graphics Card NVIDIA GeForce 920M having a dedicated RAM of 4GB (DDR3) [Gamers Delight! Oh Yeah! :D]
  • Hard Disk/Drive: 1TB (5400 RPM)
  • Operating System: Windows 8.1 (64-bit architecture)
  • Speakers: Wave MaxxAudio®
  • Other Specs: 4-cell Lithium-Ion 40WHr battery (removable), DVD Drive +/- RW, Backlit Keyboard (with dedicated number pad), USB 3.0 (1) + USB 2.0 (2) + HDMI Port (1), HD Webcam (720p), Bluetooth 4.0, WLAN 802.11 b/g/n/ac.

With a weight of 5.4 lbs, the Dell Inspiron 15-5000 Series i5558 laptop packs some serious power with a good Broadwell processor accompanied by massive amounts of system RAM and a crazy 4GB of dedicated RAM in the GPU department too. With a 1-year international warranty from Dell, the i5558 is a truly a steal of a deal for $760.

Click here to view the Dell Inspiron 15-5000 Series i5558 laptop

HP Pavilion 17-g192nr

The 17-g192nr from HP is a signature edition laptop, calling which ‘THE Powerhouse’ would be an understatement. The only thing it lacks in that regard is a dedicated graphics card. Let’s check out the specs on this one.

  • Processor: 6th Gen Intel Skylake Core i7-6700HQ 2.6 GHz (with turbo boost of up to 3.5 GHz) [Awesome!]
  • DDR3L RAM: 8GB with a bus frequency of 1600MHz
  • CPU L3 Cache: 6MB
  • Screen:3” Full HD IPS Touchscreen Display (supporting a resolution of 1920 x 1080)
  • Graphics Coprocessor: Newest Generation of Intel HD Graphics 530 Series (shared graphics memory)
  • Hard Disk/Drive: 1TB (5400 RPM)
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home Edition (64-bit architecture)
  • Speakers: Bang & Olufsen Play (2 speakers)
  • Other Specs: 4-cell Lithium-Ion 41WHr battery (removable), DVD Drive +/- RW, Keyboard with dedicated number pad, USB 3.0 (2) + USB 2.0 (1) + HDMI Port (1), TrueVision HD Webcam, Bluetooth 4.0, WLAN 802.11 b/g/n/ac (Miracast enabled).

The HP Pavilion 17-g192nr Signature edition laptop, powered by the 6th Generation Intel (Skylake) processor, is an insanely-powerful machine. The image-output of this machine is crystal-clear, thanks to the IPS technology and a large display screen size of 17.3-inches. The 17-g192nr is truly one of the best laptops we’ve come across in a long time. As mentioned earlier, the only downside with this one is the lack of a dedicated graphics card but that is far outweighed by the firepower the processor packs. This laptop weighs about 6.5 lbs due (majorly due to the large screen), so HP was smart enough to dish out a 15.6” screen version as well which sells for a heavily discounted, which is again a powerhouse since the configuration is exactly the same except for the screen size.

It’s been very hard for us to pick a winner, but we went with HP Pavilion 17-g192nr thanks to the sheer power it packs where it matters the most.

Click here to view the HP Pavilion 17-g192nr

Alternative Choices…

  1. Lenovo IdeaPad Z580

Lenovo IdeaPad Z580 Laptop

The Lenovo IdeaPad Z580 is 35 mm thick and weighs 2.4 kg, so it is not the most portable and light mid-range laptop. Nevertheless, it looks very stylish and sleek with its brushed gunmetal grey lid and keyboard. The rest of the device is a plain black but sturdy plastic, and the screen has a glossy black bezel that is frankly an eyesore as compared to the rest of the laptop. The laptop has a full keyboard with numerical pad, although this comes at the cost of a small Enter key. It may not seem like much, but it turns out to be a problem when you type and miss the key absentmindedly.

Priced at around $799, the Lenovo IdeaPad Z580 just fits the budget and offers good build quality and stylish looks. Performance is good but not eye-popping. It has an Ivy Bridge Intel Core i7 3612QM processor with Turbo Boost, which is one of the best components in the system. A good 8 GB of RAM is available, along with a 1 TB SATA hard drive. Graphics performance is backed by an NVidia GeForce GT 630M, a mid-range graphics card that can handle most modern games with medium settings.

Notable features of this laptop include:

  • Stylish and well-built laptop for the price
  • Good graphics and gaming performance
  • Third-generation Intel Core i7 processor

Read more about the Lenovo IdeaPad Z580 here.

  1. HP Pavilion DV7- 6101SA

HP Pavilion DV7 Laptop Review

Priced at around $700, the HP Pavilion DV7 is one of the few laptops that come with a 1 TB hard drive at such a low cost. It comes with a 2.1 GHz AMD A4 3310MX accelerated processing unit, which is a cheaper and, of course, less powerful version of its Intel dual-core counterpart, the Core i5. Its integrated graphics unit is nowhere near as powerful as the Intel HD 3000, and the core speed is comparable to an older-generation Intel Core 2 Duo processor.

Nevertheless, the HP Pavilion DV7 does have some redeeming elements that make it a worthwhile laptop. It has a dedicated AMD Radeon graphics card that delivers a much better gaming performance than the Lenovo Z580. It combines with the integrated graphics card to support some of the latest gaming titles at playable frame-rates of 40-60 fps. There is also 6 GB of RAM, which is higher than the 4 GB DDR3 RAM that is available with most laptops in this price range.

Notable features of this laptop include:

  • 17-inch screen with brilliant color and sharpness and native resolution of 1,600×900
  • Beats speaker system for quality audio performance
  • Strong graphics unit

Read more about the HP Pavilion DV7 here.

  1. Dell Inspiron 15R 5520

Dell Inspiron 15R Laptop ReviewOne of the first laptops from Dell to get an Ivy Bridge Intel processor, the Dell Inspiron 15R is priced at a surprisingly low $580. It has a screen size of 15.6 inches as compared to the 17-inch screens in the above two laptops. Weight at 2.7 kg and with a thickness of 35 mm, the Inspiron 15R is almost as thick as and slightly heavier than the Lenovo IdeaPad Z580. It has a very curvy design with a stylish brushed metal-type finish on the lid and around the keyboard, and integrating with the trackpad.

The Dell Inspiron 15R has a reasonably sized keyboard with usable keys and a responsive trackpad. Inside, it gets the mid-range Intel Core i5 3210M processor that clocks at 2.5 GHz and 3.1 GHz with Turbo Boost. The processor is combined with a 4 GB DDR3 RAM and a 1 TB SATA hard disk. For a laptop of its price, the Dell Inspiron 15R performs admirably well but not as much as the Z580 or DV7 laptops mentioned above. The lack of a dedicated graphics card is the biggest reason for this.

Notable features of this laptop include:

  • Third-generation Intel Core i5 processor
  • Integrated Intel HD 4000 graphics
  • Curvy and stylish exterior design

Read more about the Dell Inspiron 15R here.

  1. Lenovo G570 M51BPUK

LENOVO M51CKUK G570 Laptop Review

Priced at around $600, the Lenovo G570 offers a well-designed keyboard, lots of RAM, a decent Intel Core i5 processor, and, more importantly, a Blu-Ray drive. It does come with an AMD Radeon HD 6370M graphics card, but it does not perform as well as other laptops in this list with dedicated graphics cards.

Notable features of this laptop include:

  • 4GB DDR3 RAM
  • Intel Core i5 processor
  • 500 GB SATA hard drive

View more about the Lenovo G570 here.

  1. Asus K55VD

Asus K55VD Laptop Review

The Asus K55VD is priced at the same range as the Lenovo G570 above, but it offers a lot more for that price. It comes with an Intel Core i5 3210M processor, making it one of the cheapest laptops powered by Intel’s Ivy Bridge technology. The GeForce 610M graphics card in the Asus K55VD is another powerhouse, offering great gaming performance for a laptop of this price. However, this performance comes at the price of build and design. The overly plastic construction lacks class, although the metal wrist rest does redeem it a little.

Notable features of this laptop include:

  • Small 500 GB hard drive
  • Third-generation Intel Core i5 processor
  • Powerful NVidia graphics card

Click here to read more about the Asus K55VD.