Laptop computers have a lot of advantages in today's world. They offer us the chance to keep in touch, run programs for work or school, and keep up on home automation applications. Finding the right laptop can be a challenge.
This article examines the best laptops under $800, reviewed and compared for those on a budget and looking for a higher-end model. If you want to save even more, we have also covered the best laptops under $400.
When shopping for a laptop, you should understand the price range you are shopping in. Laptops that fall between $600 and $800 tend to be considered mid-range and will offer good components with modern specs.
Displays will fall between 14 and 17 inches, usually in HD or UHD resolution. You can also expect Intel i-series CPUs (9th and 10th generation) or their AMD equivalents. This processing power will result in 2.4 to 3.4Ghz and at least 4-cores.
Multiple USB inputs, HDMI outputs, and other accessories will also be included. Storage space will generally fall between 256 and 512GB for SSD, or you can find 128GB SSD with a 512GB - 1TB HDD.
While some models will fall short on these specs (and others will exceed them), the basic standard should let you know what you are getting for your money.
Laptops Under $800 Compared
Intel i5 8th Gen
Up to 10 Hours
AMD Ryzen 5
Up to 8 Hours
AMD Ryzen 5
Up to 8 Hours
Up to 12 Hours
AMD Ryzen 7
Up to 6 Hours
What to Look for When Buying Laptops Under $800
Screen Size & Display
In the $800 range, you will find displays in all sizes. Everything from a 10-inch up to the massive 17-inch screen is available. The video cards that run them, though, maybe different. Just because you have a large screen doesn’t mean you will get the best resolution.
However, for the price, you should expect a moderate to excellent video card and a display fully capable of HD or even UHD resolution, up to 1440X900 pixels.
RAM & Storage Space
The RAM at this price point will be enough to power your machine for quite a while. As most are easily upgraded, you can find a model with at least 8 to 16GB of RAM and not have to worry about spending more for an upgrade later.
Disk storage (except for Chromebooks) will vary in range greatly. For this price, though, You can expect a 128GB SSD with up to 1TB HDD added storage. For those with a single hard drive, 256GB should be the minimum, with 512GB average and 1TB or more the top-end exceptions.
The CPU in this price range can be low end or top of the line. Most laptops will use the Intel or AMD chipset, and you can expect to see a lot of 9th and 10th generation i-8 or i-9 Intel CPUs. You may also prefer the AMD options and should expect Ryzen 7 or Ryzen 9 CPUs to power those machines.
Battery Type & Life
Batteries in the $800 laptop price range are usually going to be pretty good as well. 6 to 9-cells with an “all day” charge capacity (8 to 10 hours) isn’t uncommon. Recharge times will vary, though.
In most cases, a fully charged battery will require about 4 hours plugged in. Many manufacturers will include charge boost or quick charge features that can get the battery to 50% charge in less than an hour.
The laptops' designs will be a bit more flashy for the most part, too. You can expect vibrant colors, full-sized keyboards and slim bezel designs. This is the price range where the laptops begin to look like they are more than just plastic toys.
However, don’t discount the plain style laptops. What money is saved on appearances will show up inside with better hardware options. Make sure you have the best mix of performance and style.
Laptop designs are more lightweight than ever. While we may never see an 8+ pound laptop again (except for Alienware, of course), you can expect the overall weight to be even lower at this price. Less than 3 pounds is about average here.
Many laptops around $800 will have extra features or accessories to entice your purchase. Some may be more worthwhile than others, but each one is a personal call on your part. Look for things like mice and mouse pads, headphones, or carrying cases.
You will also want to look for hardware and software features, like quick charge battery settings, automatic backups, offline mode, and built-in software to help you save money on future purchases or upgrades.
Because laptop insurance and extended warranties make a lot of money, manufacturer warranties are getting smaller. The average for a new warranty is between 1 and 3 years, but you can find a few models with an impressive 5-year warranty if you look hard enough.
7 Best Laptops Under $800 Reviewed
1. Microsoft Surface 6
- A best in class laptop with the versatility...
- More power now with the new 8th Generation...
- Ultra slim and light, starting at just 1.7...
- All day battery life, with up to 13.5 hours...
Best Laptop Under $800
Intel i5 8th Gen (i7 available)
2736 x 1824 pixels
The Microsoft Surface has been the largest competitor to the Apple Macbook since it was first released. The Surface 6 is one of the latest versions to add features and make the entire laptop more versatile.
The screen is 12 inches but has ultra-high definition for crystal clear clarity and a large viewing angle. The touch screen display works with the Surface Pen and almost any stylus or even your finger. The pen and other accessories are all sold separately, though.
The Surface Pro 6, unlike Macbook, can be upgraded, and you can start before you make your purchase. The Surface 6 comes with the Intel i5 (8th Gen.) but can easily be upgraded to the i7 for a nominal fee.
You can also upgrade the RAM to up to 32GB, and the included 256GB SSD can also be upgraded to any size up to 1TB. Of course, each of these upgrades will add to the cost, which may knock the laptop's price over $800.
When buying the base model, though, you get the full Surface experience, including excellent sound quality and super-fast charging. The battery is an important point as well. The all-day battery can last a long time and will even go almost 14 hours while streaming.
When the battery does die, you can recharge it to 100% in just under 4 hours, making it one of the fastest recharges without quick-boost. The 1-year warranty with 90-day tech support isn’t the greatest but is about average for the industry.
However, you do have the option to upgrade to 2 or even 4-year protection plans, and there is always laptop insurance to buy if you need it.
2. HP Pavilion x360
- Four versatile modes: Easily convert from...
- Connect in more ways: Whether it's online...
- BIOS recovery and protection: Automatically...
- Display: 14.0-inch diagonal full HD, IPS,...
Best Convertible Laptop Under $800
Intel i5 (10th Gen.)
Up to 10 Hours
HP’s x360 line takes all of their top lines and turns them into convertibles. The HP Pavilion x360 is one such model and the best convertible laptop under $800. With the benefits of a tablet and the power of a laptop, it is easy to see why.
The 14-inch screen is a great size for a laptop and large for a tablet. However, the entire unit weighs less than 3.5 pounds and comes in a sleek finish that looks great anywhere. With HD resolution, you can view your documents, movies, images, or drawings from any angle.
There are several upgrades available, such as a faster processor. The $800 model uses the Intel i5 (10th generation) that produces speeds up to 3.6Ghz, but you can upgrade to the 10th Gen. Intel i7 if you need even more power.
You also get 8GB of RAM installed but can easily swap for up to 32GB. However, with the RAM, your selection at purchase (if you have the option) is what you get. The RAM on this model can not be upgraded.
You get 512GB of storage with the SSD included, which can be swapped for a larger capacity if you feel you need it. However, for home, office, and school use, 512GB is usually plenty.
The HP 1-year warranty is standard with all HP laptops, but depending on where you buy, you have the option to pay a little more for a 2, 4, or even 5-year extension. Laptop insurance through 3rd party vendors is also an option.
Also Recommended: Best 2-in-1 Gaming Laptops
3. Lenovo Yoga 730
- 【CUSTOMlZED, Professional Upgraded to:...
- The Powerful 8th Generation Intel Core i5...
- 13.3 inch Full HD (1920 x 1080 ) IPS...
- 1 x Thunderbolt 3 (DisplayPort), 1 x USB 3.1...
Best Lenovo Laptop Under $800
Intel i5 (8th gen)
The best Lenovo laptop in this price range is easily the new Yoga 730. This 2-in-1 laptop doubles as a tablet and comes with an IPS touch screen for all of your daily tasks. It will even run games and apps that require touch.
The screen is slightly smaller than the HP model listed above, but it has low bezels to increase viewing size. You also get HD clarity with the 1920x1080 resolution, and you get a 172-degree viewing angle.
The battery life is the most impressive aspect of this machine, and with a whopping 10.5 hours of runtime, it is easy to see why. Even browsing the internet and listening to streaming music, the battery will last over 8 hours. A true all-day battery that impresses in the working world.
For students or home use, the Intel i5 processor and 8GB of RAM will power you through any browsing or game session. You also get 256GB SSD to store your files, game saves, and documents.
If you decided to upgrade later, the Yoga 730 will support 16GB of RAM and 2TB SSD disk drive. However, if you do plan to upgrade, make sure you stay in the specifications of the 8th generation i5 CPU so you don't cause overheating or underperformance.
The Lenovo 1-year warranty is again, fairly standard. However, there is an upgrade to add an additional 4-year warranty or 3rd party insurance during the purchasing process.
Also Recommended: 5 Best Lenovo Laptops for Students
4. Asus TUF Gaming FX505DT
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 4GB graphics (base:...
- Quad-core AMD Ryzen 5 r5-3550h processor
- 15.6” 120Hz full HD (1920x1080) IPS-type...
- 256GB NVMe SSD | 8GB DDR4 RAM | Windows 10...
Best Gaming Laptop Under $800
AMD Ryzen 5 (R5-3550H)
Up to 8 Hours
Asus has come a long way from their beginnings. Instead of the brand that most people stayed away from, they have turned into a powerhouse of gaming, office, and student computers. The TUF series are budget-friendly gaming laptops with great components.
The 15.6-inch screen has an HD resolution and a 160 degree viewing angle. You also benefit from one of the top-end video cards for the price in the GeForce GTX 1650. With crystal clear display and high-end graphics, any modern game will look great.
The 256GB SSD can be upgraded, but as is will hold plenty of game installs and save files. You will also have Windows 10 Home for all of your document and internet needs. The AMD Ryzen 5 has 4-cores and enough speed to keep the refresh rate up on all but the highest intensity games.
With an 8-hour battery, you can game for those long sessions and recharge quickly. Even with a 0% charge, you can be back in action in under 3 hours. Asus also stands behind their computers and offers an industry-leading 5-year warranty to keep your peace of mind.
Also Recommended: Best Gaming Laptop Under $700
5. Lenovo ThinkPad E595
- 15.6-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS 250nits...
- AMD Ryzen 5 3500U Quad-Core Processor, 2.10...
- 8GB 2400 MHz DDR4 Ram, 256GB M.2 NVMe PCIe...
- 1 x USB Type-A (USB 2.0), 2 x USB Type-A (USB...
Best For Business
AMD Ryzen 5 (3500U)
Up to 8 Hours
Lenovo makes the list again with the best laptop for business under $800. The ThinkPad has long been the choice of office professionals on the go. With specs and hardware enough to run some of the most modern games, this laptop is durable, rugged, and capable of handling anything in your office.
The large 15.6-inch display runs HD resolution with an integrated AMD graphics card. While it may not be the best for playing the latest MMORPG, it will keep your documents, files, and internet cat videos crisp and clear.
The hard drive has a 256GB capacity (SSD) but can be upgraded to 512GB or even a 1TB drive if you want the extra space later. You can also choose to upgrade the 8GB RAM that comes installed. However, for most school and office needs, 8GB is plenty.
The downside here, once again, is the small 1-year warranty. Keeping the ThinkPad under $800 means you probably won’t upgrade or pay for the extra years of coverage (optional at check out). However, if you decide to, you can get a total of 4 extra years coverage.
Also Recommended: Best Small Business Routers: Wireless Connection Reviews
6. Acer Spin 3
- 8th Generation Intel Core i7 8565U Processor...
- 14 inches Full HD (1920 x 1080) Widescreen...
- 16GB DDR4 Memory & 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
- Rechargeable Active Stylus; Thin 0.38 inches...
Best 14” Laptop Under $800
Intel i7 (8th Gen)
Up to 12 Hours
Acer is another company like Asus that started as a virtual unknown and built a reputation as a reliable and dedicated computer company. The Spin 3 is a convertible 2-in-1 laptop with a lot of power in a compact design.
The screen has a tiny bezel, which allows more viewing area. The 14-inch monitor also uses the Intel integrated graphics. Like the ThinkPad mentioned above, integrated graphics cards work, but aren’t the greatest for modern gaming. With the Spin 3, though, the stylus pen is included and docks in the charging port on the side of the laptop.
The sound is clear and loud, too. There are multiple speakers on this model, all with a front-facing mount. When in laptop mode, the speakers are on top of the keyboard and face the user. When in tablet mode or tent mode, the speakers are angled up for additional sound clarity.
Like most others, the limited warranty is set at 12 months of coverage. You can add either 2 or 4 additional years during your initial purchase, though.
7. Asus Vivobook
- 【Upgraded】 Seal is opened for upgrade...
- 17.3" Full HD (1920 x 1080) Display, AMD...
- 20GB DDR4 Memory, 256GB PCIe SSD
- 802_11_AC, Bluetooth 4.2, Card Reader, 1 x...
Best Value For The Money
AMD Ryzen 7 (3700U)
Up to 6 Hours
Another entry from Asus rounds out our list. With the best value for the money, the Asus Vivobook is large, vibrant, and full of cost-effective yet powerful solutions. The 17.3-inch screen is the largest on this list and comes in HD resolution for your streaming, browsing and computing needs.
The downside here is that the computer uses the integrated AMD Radeon RX Vega 10 graphics card. This is fine for video streaming, images, and the internet, but you may find the graphics lacking if you decide to use the Vivobook for gaming.
What you do get is the AMD Ryzen 7 CPU. This rivals the Intel i7 for speed, performance, and functionality while still bench testing with the Intel i9 in some areas. This multi-core processor will handle anything you can throw at it, including multiple programs, devices, or controls.
The battery is another weak point. This, along with the graphics card and increased weight, are what helps keep the cost lower. The battery, though, is a 3-celled battery with a maximum charge time of about 6 hours. However, this is when the computer is on stand-by. If you are using the programs, software, or even browsing the internet, it can easily fall below 3 hours.
This 5-pound monster also comes with a 2-year warranty, and as with most others, it can be extended through your purchase agreement. You also have the option of 3rd party insurance to cover user-caused damage.
Popular Laptop Brands Under $800
When it comes to brand recognition, you will find plenty in the $800 price range—names like Microsoft Surface, Dell, Acer, and Asus all jump out. You will see HP or Lenovo in the mix, too.
Every now and then, a new up-and-coming brand will have a spot in each price range for their models, and names like iGames and even Samsung Computers will surprise you with great products at lower prices.
Laptop Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting
Taking care of your investment is a crucial aspect of laptop ownership. You don’t want to drop $800 on equipment only to break it in the first 30 days. The best thing you can do is get a carry bag, sleeve or backpack to transport your laptop in.
You also want to avoid food and drinks near the laptop. Liquid is bad for any electronic device, and food can get stuck under keys or in ports and jacks, causing damage or hinder functionality.
Most warranties will not cover user-caused damage, so you need to be extra careful around your new device. Maintenance is also something you need to do regularly. Aside from software updates and cleaning junk files from the operating system, you need to clean your laptop, the screen and keyboard to keep dust and debris from piling up.
As with most electrical devices, something will go wrong from time to time. While your specific brand or model will have various troubleshooting methods, the following few items are the more common issues and ideas on how to fix them.
Laptop Won’t Power On
The most likely culprit is the battery. Make sure the battery has a charge enough to power the laptop. Batteries can have damaged cells and report a full charge when there isn’t a charge at all. In these instances, you can only replace the battery.
If you know the battery is good, make sure the laptop is plugged in completely. Then plug into the laptop, the outlet, and the power brick can all come loose, causing a lack of connection.
Overheating a computer can be detrimental. All of the internal hardware produces heat, and heat slows down electronics. Vents become clogged with dust and debris, and fan blades can also become caked with debris.
You should make sure your intake and exhaust ventilation ports are clear and air can flow freely. If you keep your laptop on your lap or a soft surface, you might inadvertently block these vents. Keep the laptop clean and airflow moving, and the laptop will cool off.
Blue Screen Appearing When Booting
Many different factors can cause a blue screen (often called the BSOD - Blue Screen of Death). If it happens during the boot, the most likely culprit is your memory, hard drive, or boot files.
The best way to check is to remove a portion of your RAM (if you have multiple sticks) If the laptop boots, the removed RAM is the problem. If it persists, swap the RAM and try again.
If this isn’t the problem, then a boot file may be corrupt. You can use the diagnostics of the hard drive or a separate disk to run checks on all files and find & fix any issues found. If the BSOD continues, the issue may be with your hard drive, and you may consider taking the laptop to a repair shop for conclusive diagnostics.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
What’s a good processor speed for a laptop under $800?
Processor speed has a lot to do with the type of CPU the laptop has installed. For the $800 price point, you can expect pretty good speeds averaging around 3.4Ghz or more. In some cases, lower speeds are acceptable, depending on the full system set up. Some hardware performs well with 2.4Ghz speeds.
Which processor is better for non-gaming use?
You can save a bit of money (or put the cost in other hardware features) by lowering the CPU size in your choice. If you only need a great office or school laptop and don’t plan on much gaming, you can get a great deal by choosing the Intel i3 or i5 series processors. For AMD fans, the Ryzen 3 or Ryzen 5 can also save some money and still perform well in modern systems.
Are i7 laptops really better than i5 in terms of performance?
The Intel Core i-series processors are among some of the best in the business. Oddly, making a perfect processor is a highly complicated task. All i-series CPUs start as i9 versions.
However, during the processing, certain connectors, and diodes may not work or break. Depending on the number of non-perfect pieces, you end up with an i7, i5, or even i3. Of course, the processors still work but are limited in speeds, cores, or other abilities.
Depending on your needs, an i5 may not perform as well as an i7. For gaming or other high-intensity applications, the i7 is a better choice. For general computing, though, the i5 has a higher cost to value ratio, making it a better deal.
Does Apple produce laptops under $800?
Apple doesn’t produce new model laptops that fall under $800. However, with 2012 and 2014 models becoming outdated, you can find new or refurbished Apple laptops around the $800 price range. However, these models generally cannot be updated and will use older hardware that may not meet current needs.
How long do laptops typically last?
New laptops with proper care and maintenance can last quite a while. Performance-wise, you can expect a good 3 to 5 years until the laptop becomes outdated. However, when it comes to functionality, most laptops can easily last 8 to 10 years (with a battery replacement or two) before they begin to wear down and are difficult to keep running.
Where is the best place to start browsing for top laptops under $800?
When shopping for laptops computers under $800, the best place to start your search is Amazon. On Amazon, vendors sell surplus inventory, post special deals, and other coupons on the site. You can also find deals on renewed and refurbished models that would normally cost above the $800 threshold.
Is it okay to buy refurbished or renewed laptops?
If you see that your model is a refurbished model, this isn’t generally cause for concern. Amazon has trusted and verified repair centers that take returned laptops and fix them up like new again.
Most returns are simply open-box with no problems, cracked screens, or battery problems. Once fixed, they cannot sell as new anymore, so they offer them at significant discounts that you can cash in on.
Finding the ideal laptop for you comes at a cost. When your budget allows a laptop at or under $800, your choices are quite vast. This article was designed to help you determine what to look for when shopping for your next laptop and give you the 7 best laptop options under $800.
If you are still unable to decide which model is right for you, we invite you to take a second look at the Microsoft Surface 6. Our top pick is a couple of years old but offers you everything you need to perform with the best at a price you can afford.
Holly Curell is a US-based freelance writer & editor extraordinaire. With over a decade of writing technical manuals, blog articles, & even company communications, Holly has a passion for providing value to readers on everything she knows about tech-related topics. When she’s not writing, Holly enjoys reading, hiking, wine, & wandering the aisles of Trader Joe’s. Holly is currently based out of North Carolina, where she lives with her husband Ken & their three children.