Best Laptops Under $800: Best Value Office & Gaming (2020)

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Winner
Lenovo Ideapad L340 Gaming Laptop, 15.6 Inch FHD (1920 X 1080) IPS Display, Intel Core i5-9300H Processor, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 512GB Nvme SSD, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650, Windows 10, 81LK00HDUS, Black
Best Price-Performance Ratio
ASUS TUF Gaming Laptop, 17.3” Full HD IPS Type, AMD Ryzen 5 3550H CPU, AMD Radeon RX560X, 8GB DDR4, 512GB PCIe SSD, Gigabit Wi-Fi 5, Windows 10 Home - FX705DY-EH53
Latest 2020 HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop 15.6" FHD 1080p Core i5-9300H NVIDIA GTX 1050 3GB 8GB RAM 256GB SSD Windows 10
Model
Lenovo Ideapad L340 Gaming
ASUS TUF Gaming Laptop
HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop 15
Test Result
Test Result 9.8/10 Excellent June 2020
Test Result 9.7/10 Very Good June 2020
Test Result 9.5/10 Very Good June 2020
Manufacturer
Lenovo
ASUS
HP
RAM
8 GB
8 GB
8 GB
CPU
Intel Core i5-9300H
AMD Ryzen 5 3550H
Intel Core i5-9300H
Graphics Card
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
AMD Radeon RX560X
NVIDIA GTX 1050
Storage Capacity
512GB SSD
512GB SSD
256GB SSD
Performance
Value for money
Weight
4.8 lbs.
5.9 lbs.
4.9 lbs.
Pros
  • Best gaming performance
  • Bright display with good contrast
  • Good battery life
  • Best price-performance ratio
  • Solid performance with games
  • Decent thermals
  • Relatively low price
  • Strong overall and graphics performance
  • Slick design
  • Balanced hardware package perfect for casual gaming
  • Crisp audio via B & O solution
Cons
  • No memory card reader
  • Average battery life
  • Dim display
Recommended by us?
Winner
Lenovo Ideapad L340 Gaming Laptop, 15.6 Inch FHD (1920 X 1080) IPS Display, Intel Core i5-9300H Processor, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 512GB Nvme SSD, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650, Windows 10, 81LK00HDUS, Black
Model
Lenovo Ideapad L340 Gaming
Test Result
Test Result 9.8/10 Excellent June 2020
Manufacturer
Lenovo
RAM
8 GB
CPU
Intel Core i5-9300H
Graphics Card
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
Storage Capacity
512GB SSD
Performance
Value for money
Weight
4.8 lbs.
Pros
  • Best gaming performance
  • Bright display with good contrast
  • Good battery life
Cons
  • No memory card reader
Recommended by us?
Best Price-Performance Ratio
ASUS TUF Gaming Laptop, 17.3” Full HD IPS Type, AMD Ryzen 5 3550H CPU, AMD Radeon RX560X, 8GB DDR4, 512GB PCIe SSD, Gigabit Wi-Fi 5, Windows 10 Home - FX705DY-EH53
Model
ASUS TUF Gaming Laptop
Test Result
Test Result 9.7/10 Very Good June 2020
Manufacturer
ASUS
RAM
8 GB
CPU
AMD Ryzen 5 3550H
Graphics Card
AMD Radeon RX560X
Storage Capacity
512GB SSD
Performance
Value for money
Weight
5.9 lbs.
Pros
  • Best price-performance ratio
  • Solid performance with games
  • Decent thermals
  • Relatively low price
Cons
  • Average battery life
Recommended by us?
Latest 2020 HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop 15.6" FHD 1080p Core i5-9300H NVIDIA GTX 1050 3GB 8GB RAM 256GB SSD Windows 10
Model
HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop 15
Test Result
Test Result 9.5/10 Very Good June 2020
Manufacturer
HP
RAM
8 GB
CPU
Intel Core i5-9300H
Graphics Card
NVIDIA GTX 1050
Storage Capacity
256GB SSD
Performance
Value for money
Weight
4.9 lbs.
Pros
  • Strong overall and graphics performance
  • Slick design
  • Balanced hardware package perfect for casual gaming
  • Crisp audio via B & O solution
Cons
  • Dim display
Recommended by us?

Best Laptops Under $800: Best Value Office & Gaming

High working speed, good gaming performance and lavish equipment: Notebooks between 600 and 800 dollars are real all-rounders.

Notebooks with current processors from AMD and Intel competed against each other in the Techtestreport test center.

All notebooks under 700 Dollar work with a model of the Core i3 series from Intel.

The only exception: the Packard Bell Easynote TM87.

A Core i5-430M processor works in the Packard Bell mobile PC, just like in most of the more expensive devices.

Unlike its little brothers, it is additionally fueled by the Turbo Boost technology:

It should ensure that the processor works with a higher clock rate when both cores aren’t loaded.

Three notebooks come with a processor from AMD: The Acer Aspire 5551G for 699 Dollar works with the Phenom II N830 tri-core model.

The Acer Aspire 5553 and the HP Pavilion DV6, which both cost 799 Dollar each, are equipped with the Phenom II’s quad-core variant.

Acer uses the N930. HP’s lower clocked P920 is more economical.

Speed: Clear victory for the Intel fraction

In the test, the notebooks with Intel processors worked 30 to 40 percent faster than the AMD fraction.

The higher clock speed and larger cache memory of Intel processors get most programs running more efficiently than the three or four true cores of AMD’s competitors.

In the internal Intel duel, the Corei5 notebooks were about 10 percent faster than the Core i3 models in terms of working speed.

But the small speed advantage is hardly noticeable in everyday life.

Games: Beware of the DirectX 11 trap

The notebooks with an ATI Mobility Radeon HD5650 or HD5165 were in front in the gaming tests.

Most games with DirectX-10 effects ran smoothly on them, even in high resolution.

An ATI Mobility Radeon HD5470 or 5430 or an Nvidia Geforce GT320M is also sufficient for most current DirectX 9 games.

10 of 13 devices rely on an ATI graphics card. This is because ATI, unlike Nvidia, can currently offer graphics chips that display DirectX-11 effects with the 5000 series.

But all notebooks with these graphics chips were too slow in the test to play such games smoothly.

Nevertheless, the manufacturers advertise with DirectX-11 and also mislead the buyers:

For example, the name ATI Mobility Radeon HD5165 indicates that the card should be able to display DirectX-11 effects in the Medion and Toshiba models.

In reality, it’s an older DirectX-10 card with a new name.

Battery life, features and conclusion

With one battery charge, the notebooks lasted between three and four hours in the test. Only the Sony VPCEB1M1E/T came off weaker with 2.5 hours.

If you’re looking for a mobile PC that can get by longer without power, a netbook or a so-called sub-notebook is better suited:

Such devices work eight to ten hours before they have to be connected to the mains again.

Features: hardly more than standard

Eye-catching equipment extras are sparse in this price class. Only the DVD drives in the Acer Aspire 5741G, Medion Akoya P6625 and MSI CX620 also play Blu-ray discs.

Blu-ray burner or USB 3.0 sockets? Nothing. The fast USB ports can’t be retrofitted with an express card in most notebooks in the test field. Only the mobile PCs from Fujitsu, Medion, MSI and Sony have a slot for such expansion cards.

Six of the test candidates offer a fast E-SATA hard disk connection, mostly via USB combination socket.

In this test you will only find the top three models of our test that we can recommend 100%.

Test Results: Best Laptops Under $800: Best Value Office & Gaming

Ranking First: Lenovo Ideapad L340 Gaming

Pros

  • Best gaming performance
  • Bright display with good contrast
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • No memory card reader

Best performing Laptop for under 800 Dollars

The Lenovo IdeaPad L340 is optically a simple notebook that scores with strong hardware and a high maintenance friendliness.

Thanks to the Nvidia GeForce MX230, it’s not only well suited for everyday office life, but also allows reasonable editing of pictures and videos.

When I unpacked the IdeaPad L340, my enthusiasm was limited.

However, the notebook surprised me quite a few times in the test. But before I explain this to you in detail, I’ll give you a quick overview of the technical data.

Scope of delivery

There is not much to say about the scope of delivery. In the box you’ll find the IdeaPad L340, the charger including cable and two small booklets. One with setup guide and one with warranty information. That’s it.

Design and finish

Lenovo relies on tried and tested design.

You won’t find ultrasonic display frames here.

They are almost 0.2 inches wide at the sides and a bit wider at the top and bottom.

The webcam is integrated in the upper frame. It has a privacy shutter.

This covers the webcam, so that nobody can watch you if you don’t want to.

The keyboard takes up almost the entire width of the IdeaPad L340 and has a complete number pad.

It is set into a small recess. The keys offer a relatively soft typing feel and have a very short stroke.

I first had to get used to the typing feel. But after a short time I got along well with the keyboard.

The keys are all easy to reach and even longer texts are no problem on this keyboard.

The touchpad is slightly indented to the left, as is the case in all notebooks with a complete number pad.

Since there’s relatively little space on the left side, you’ll often come across the touchpad with the palm of your left hand at the beginning.

But you’ll get used to it quickly and you won’t have any problems with it.

The touchpad itself has a pleasant size and reacts very precisely to input.

At the front end are the two mouse substitute keys, which are optically not separated from the rest of the pad, though.

Decoration is kept within limits in the IdeaPad L340. Only the front right has a small and inconspicuous Lenovo logo.

The lettering is once again found in black on the display lid. That’s it. I personally like this very much.

The case is made of plastic and is stable. Only the display can be bent easily.

As long as you don’t try to bend it, there’s no danger of breaking anything.

Lenovo Ideapad L340 Gaming

There’s nothing more to say about the design. It is plain and unagitated.

There’s nothing wrong with the workmanship. All parts fit and the gaps are even. There are no sharp edges or burrs either. Everything is as it should be.

Connections

In most notebooks, the ports are distributed on both sides of the device.

This is different with the IdeaPad L340. Here, all ports are on the left side of the device.

Only the device for the Kensington lock is found on the right.

The reason for this unusual arrangement is the slot for an optical drive.

You can – if the rare need arises – install a DVD burner on the right side or with a corresponding frame another SSD.

The IdeaPad L340 has a solid selection of connections with which you should get quite far in everyday life.

In detail, you have a USB 3.1 Gen1 Type C port, a 3.5mm 2in1 audio jack, two USB 3.1 Gen1 Type A ports, 1x HDMI 1.4b and an Ethernet port.

If you need more ports, you should get a corresponding docking station.

Display

Lenovo installs a matt full HD IPS panel in the IdeaPad L340. With a 15.6″ diagonal, you get a PPI value of 142, which means that contents are displayed crisply and sharply.

As it is matt, there are also no problems with reflections.

The display brightness averages 203 cd/m², which is within a normal range for office notebooks, but could be brighter for my taste.

The illumination is not quite even.

But that’s not a problem in everyday work life, as the deviations are within limits and can hardly be seen with the naked eye.

Lenovo Ideapad L340 Gaming

There is also no surprise in the color space coverage.

As in many office notebooks, it’s not outstanding. To be precise, it’s not really convincing.

55% sRGB color space, 39% NTSC color space and 41% AdobeRGB color space are truly no dream values.

For everyday office life this is easily enough.

First and foremost, colour accuracy is not the most important thing. If you have color-critical work to do, you should look for another notebook.

The IdeaPad L340 is also suitable for occasional Netflix sessions.

Software

There is not much to say about the IdeaPad L340’s software.

Windows 10 Home 64 bit is pre-installed on the 512 GB SSD. Fortunately, this comes almost without Bloatware.

Only LinkedIn is pre-installed.

There is at least a certain benefit to be seen in an office notebook.

Otherwise, there is only McAfee in a test version.

Of course they try to convince you to get the full version. If you don’t feel like it, you can completely uninstall it.

Lenovo Vantage is also installed so you don’t have to search for the latest drivers for the IdeaPad L340.

With it you can let the updates run automatically in the background.

The software also shows you the warranty status, you can have your system scanned for errors and contact Lenovo support directly.

The first time you start the software, a menu will appear that allows you to set up the IdeaPad L340.

Besides the already mentioned Lenovo Vantage you can download several more or less useful apps (Amazon, YouTube, WinZip).

But you can also leave it alone. There is also a wizard that helps you to get your old data onto the new computer. It is self-explanatory with step-by-step instructions.

The SSD has 440 GB free on delivery.

Performance

Lenovo Ideapad L340 Gaming

For everything that has to do with Office, there is more than enough power available in this notebook.

The NVMe SSD is fixed and all applications load quickly.

Switching between different programs is smooth and there was no bottleneck during the test.

In the AS SSD benchmark, the IdeaPad L340 achieved values of 1299 MB/s write and 1228 MB/s read.

Thus, it establishes itself in the top group in our database in comparably equipped notebooks.

The IdeaPad L340 also cuts a good figure in other benchmarks. You can see the performance in detail in the graphics.

The graphic card is a rebrand of the MX130 and is only conditionally suitable for gaming.

It simply has too little power to offer gaming fun.

But it is an excellent accelerator for image editing or light video editing.

You should, however, connect a monitor for this purpose, as the color space coverage of the L340 makes a usable editing almost impossible.

Battery

Nowadays, the notebook is rarely always in a place close to the power outlet, but you have it with you when you’re on the move.

In everyday life, the notebook lasted a good four hours without a power outlet. The brightness was set to 200 cd/m². That means in this case that the display ran at full brightness.

The notebook lasted a little over four hours. That is a reasonable value.

If you turn the display brightness down, you will of course get even longer battery life.

Emissions

In everyday life, the IdeaPad L340 is a quiet notebook.

The fans start up for a short time every now and then, but are quiet most of the time. We also put it through the AIDA64 stress test, of course.

Lenovo Ideapad L340 Gaming

There it got louder, but not unpleasantly loud.

Normal office noises drowned out the notebook without any problems.

The values remained in the green range in terms of temperature.

On average, the CPU became 72° Celsius warm and there was no throttling at any time.

The graphics card didn’t get excessively warm either. It warmed up to an average of 69° Celsius.

Overall, the notebook remained pleasantly cool during the test.

It only warmed up a bit directly in front of the display, because the waste heat is transported out of the IdeaPad there.

Upgrade

The IdeaPad L340 is a dream to upgrade.

All you have to do is loosen 13 screws on the bottom, pull out the cover for the optical drive bay and then use a credit card or something similar to lever up the bottom.

Please don’t use a screwdriver for this. You would almost certainly leave scratches and dents in the case.

The battery is also only screwed and can be replaced if necessary.

And last but not least you can install a 9mm DVD drive if you need one. Or you can get an appropriate frame and install another hard disk drive.

Sound

The IdeaPad L340 surprises with its sound.

Notebooks tend to be height-heavy in most cases.

This is due to the fact that there is simply no resonance chamber in which depths could come to the fore. However, there is a lot of space inside.

The IdeaPad L340 offers a rich and balanced sound.

Basses, middles and highs are well balanced at half volume.

If you turn the volume up to 100%, the sound balance remains. The trebles become a bit more dominant, but by no means shrill.

Verdict: Best performing Laptop for under 800 Dollars

The IdeaPad L340 offers enough power for all tasks in everyday life.

The built-in hardware with Intel Core i7, 8 GB RAM and a NVMe-SSD is more than sufficient for the next few years.

You only have to accept compromises with the display.

It offers all the important connections and the IdeaPad also scores points for sound.

The extremely easy upgrade is also positive.

You can easily exchange all important components if necessary and also install an additional hard disk.

If you like, you can also install an optical drive or another SSD.

At the moment you have to pay almost 800 Dollar for the IdeaPad L340. All in all this is a fair price & it is a great performing Laptop for under 800 Dollars.

Ranking Second: ASUS TUF Gaming Laptop

ASUS TUF Gaming Laptop

Pros

  • Best price-performance ratio
  • Solid performance with games
  • Decent thermals
  • Relatively low price

Cons

  • Average battery life

Best price-performance ratio Laptop for under 800 Dollars

At first glance, the design and workmanship of the FX705DY is convincing.

This is mainly due to the well-done gaming look, which not only rounds off the design with a color change (black/red), but also a matching creation.

The 15.6 inch display of the ASUS TUF Gaming (FX505DV-BQ099T) has a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels and offers a refresh rate of 60 Hertz.

An AMD Ryzen 7 3750H is at work inside the notebook.

The processor has four computing cores and clocks with 2.300 MHz as standard. Meanwhile, a GeForce RTX 2060 provides the necessary graphic power.

It still has 16 gigabytes of DDR4 RAM at its side. A 1 Terabyte SSD is used as memory.

Asus has to accept a bit of criticism in the workmanship, though.

Overall, the device seems to be quite stable, but a slight creaking can be made out occasionally, for instance when carried with only one hand.

The lid can also be noticeably pressed in. But that’s not too surprising in a 17 inch device.

With 4.8 lbs., we’re not dealing with a lightweight, which is also confirmed by the dimensions of 15.70 x 11.00 x 1.10 inches.

For a device in this class, however, the mobility is reasonable, after all, thinner and lighter devices often cost more than twice as much.

Design & Processing

The design of the notebook is comparatively simple and consists mainly of black plastic.

The somewhat more conspicuous indentations on the case lid alone suggest that this is a powerful gaming laptop.

Asus has dispensed with RGB lighting – so at least on the outside.

A colorfully illuminated keyboard attracts attention as soon as the device is opened and turned on.

The brightness of the illumination can be adjusted directly via the keyboard.

It can also be completely disabled if desired. There are ventilation slots above the keyboard and the touchpad is below.

Overall, the notebook makes a solid impression.

Of course, the plastic facade doesn’t look quite as high-end as aluminum or similar.

But the ASUS TUF Gaming (FX505DV-BQ099T) is undoubtedly well manufactured and also lies comfortably in the hand.

Interim conclusion:

The notebook scores with a simple design and flawless workmanship. Due to the plastic case, it doesn’t look quite as noble as other, but usually also significantly more expensive competing products.

Keyboard, touchpad and display

ASUS TUF Gaming Laptop

The keyboard, whose labeling is kept in red, is more clearly oriented towards gaming than the case.

The WASD keys are also especially highlighted.

The layout is generally well implemented by Asus, but the number pad seems to have demanded some trumps despite the notebook’s size.

For one thing, there isn’t a full-size enter key and for another, you have to put up with quite narrow arrow keys. We quickly got used to the latter circumstance in the test, though.

Typing on the keyboard is quite good, but the stroke distance could have been a bit longer here.

The FX705DY’s touchpad is medium sized and has flush keys, which certainly looks better optically, but could put off one or two users.

Unfortunately, we weren’t convinced by the usability because the touchpad sat a bit loosely and always teetered a bit when touched.

However, it might be a Monday model, because this circumstance definitely doesn’t seem normal.

The 17.3 inch display has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and offers a brightness of 300 cd/m² with a refresh rate of 60 hertz.

Considering that the Radeon RX 560X is at best a midrange GPU, the mentioned specifications seem extremely appropriate.

Connection possibilities

All connections are located on the left side of the notebook – as seen from us.

There are three USB-A ports, an HDMI port, a LAN port and a combined headphone/microphone port. In addition, there is a speaker slot on both sides.

The built-in AMD-APU Ryzen 5 3550H is designed for use in high-performance notebooks and works with a TDP of 35 watts.

The four cores run at 2.1 Ghz (base) up to 3.7 Ghz (boost) and can each process two threads (8 threads in total).

It is thus more or less the direct competitor to Intel’s Core i5-8300H with also 4 cores / 8 threads.

ASUS TUF Gaming Laptop

The working memory in DDR4-2400 format is 8GB in size and occupies only one of the two slots, so the RAM can be expanded by the user.

Meanwhile, the SSD is an M.2 model from Kingston with 512GB, which is connected via PCIe.

The graphics card is, as already mentioned, the Radeon RX 560X from the Polaris series.

It has 4GB GDDR5 RAM and is between the GTX 1050 and GTX 1050 Ti in terms of performance.

In terms of wireless connectivity, the FX705DY offers WLAN 802.11a/b/g/n/ac as well as Bluetooth 4.2.

On the left, we find 1x power connector, 1x Ethernet, 1x HDMI, 1x USB A 2.0, 2x USB A 3.0 and 1x combo audio jack.

On the right we find – and this is a bit surprising – nothing at all, apart from a Kensington lock.

By the way, the battery is firmly installed and offers a capacity of 64 Wh.

First impression

The fans already make themselves clearly noticeable when setting up the notebook.

Even on the desktop, they are still audible for a few minutes before they calm down again.

Also annoying: the McAfee advertisement, which doesn’t exactly catch our eye unobtrusively.

Unfortunately, Asus again supplies various bloatware, which has to be removed first.

After these initial difficulties, the device runs flawlessly, though.

First trips into the wide world of the internet run absolutely smoothly, even if we sometimes play several YouTube videos at the same time.

With the help of the touchpad, the mouse pointer can be precisely controlled. The plastic is clearly creaky under pressure, though.

The display makes a good impression.

It delivers realistic colours and a good viewing angle stability, but could use a little more brightness.

The loudspeakers are, well, typical notebook loudspeakers.

They are okay for everyday use, but we would rather recommend additional headphones – especially when the fans turn on again.

As we noticed during the test, this happens quite often.

The gaming performance

The heart of the FX505DV-BQ099T is without a doubt its graphics card.

A GeForce RTX 2060 is a real highlight, especially in this price range.

And it delivers a very decent performance not only on paper, but also in practice.

We installed three different games for our test: League of Legends, The Witcher 3 and Battlefield V, whereby the notebook can also prove its raytracing capabilities in the latter.

All games are tested with maximum graphics settings – and of course a Full-HD resolution.

ASUS TUF Gaming Laptop

For gamers, notebooks from the Republic of Gamers (ROG) series are often considered the most appealing gaming devices.

But as the FX705DY shows, the more attractive TUF series can also convince visually.

But the design is by no means everything, which is why we now also address the performance aspect.

In Battlefield V we reached almost 40 FPS with maximum settings in FullHD, and in medium details we reached 60 FPS after all.

The Battle Royale shooter Apex Legends only reached just over 30 FPS at the highest details, while an acceptable 45 FPS was displayed at medium settings.

Older games, such as GTA 5 and Battlefield 4, which we also tried briefly, ran at medium details with well over 60 FPS.

We also ran through a classic benchmark with Cinebench R20, where we reached 1585 points, which corresponds to the performance of a Core i7-6700HQ.

The Ryzen processor remained quite cool with 70 degrees Celsius. Finally, the CrystalDiskMark also showed the speed of the SSD, which worked with 1600 MB/s in sequential reading and 1030 MB/s in writing. These are good, although not outstanding values.

Also only in the midfield is the battery life, with which we could reach about seven hours in surfing and just under two hours under load.

There would certainly have been some room for improvement here, but in general the runtimes are okay.

ASUS TUF Gaming Laptop

As expected, the notebook delivers the best performance in the graphically rather less demanding League of Legends.

Everything runs smoothly, there aren’t any frame break-ins and the FPS counter always certifies more than 100 FPS.

In Witcher 3, we also land above the magic 60 FPS mark on average, although in certain situations – without any noticeable effects – we do fall below it for a short time.

In Battlefield V we reach an average of 73 frames per second.

That’s also enough for a smooth gaming experience. As soon as we activate the RTX function, the notebook reaches its limits, though.

Here it’s only enough for 48 FPS in maximum graphic settings – including short frame drops. In order to also land near the 60 FPS mark with raytracing effects, we have to reduce the graphics settings.

At this point, it should be noted that anything above 60-FPS usually doesn’t make any noticeable difference. The notebook’s display can only show up to 60 frames per second anyway.

Entertaining fun without a power supply

The biggest advantage of a gaming laptop: it is mobile and can theoretically be used anywhere for gaming.

But unfortunately, the FX505DV-BQ099T can’t really play it out.

As soon as you disconnect the device from the power, you can watch the battery run down live.

Depending on the game, it’s already over after an hour in gaming mode.

You can’t watch the extended version of Lord of the Rings in battery mode without having to take a break from charging in between.

ASUS TUF Gaming Laptop

Even though the FX505DV-BQ099T is undoubtedly a gaming notebook, we also took a look at how it performs in everyday office life.

Basically, the AMD Ryzen 7 3750H has enough power inside to handle the daily office work.

However, the performance isn’t designed for demanding video editing.

Whilst the keyboard comes out quite well in video games due to the short stroke distance and the virtually non-existent feedback, it can’t really convince us when writing text.

So, yes, you could theoretically take the FX505DV-BQ099T with you to university or the office, but it won’t necessarily present itself from its good side there.

Verdict: Best price-performance ratio Laptop for under 800 Dollars

Although we can’t resist the one or other criticism, we are finally quite taken with the notebook. Why?

Because Asus has achieved exactly what they set out to do: designing a low-priced gaming notebook that can cope with current AAA games and (theoretically) doesn’t shy away from raytracing.

Of course there are deductions in the B-note, but they usually have nothing to do with the gaming performance and are therefore easy to get over.

The only thing we can’t ignore is the loud fans – headphones are actually obligatory.

If you’re looking for a decent gaming performance, but don’t want to spend too much money, the FX505DV-BQ099T is a good choice. The notebook is available online from 780 Dollar.

In view of the equipment, a quite reasonable price & all in all, it offers the best price-performance ratio for a Laptop for under 800 Dollars.

Ranking Third: HP Pavilion Gaming 15

HP Pavilion Gaming 15

Pros

  • Strong overall and graphics performance
  • Slick design
  • Balanced hardware package perfect for casual gaming
  • Crisp audio via B & O solution

Cons

  • Dim display

Great performing Laptop under 800 Dollar

Hewlett Packard has a series of gaming notebooks in its product range with the Gaming Pavilion series.

The series is arranged below the HP Omen series and is supposed to come up with a good price-performance ratio.

Thus, the Pavilion models are only available with GPUs in the middle class (GTX 1050 to GTX 1660 Ti).

The GPU upper class (GeForce RTX) is reserved for the Omen models.

Our test device is driven by a Core i7-9750H processor and a GeForce-GTX-1660-Ti-Max-Q-GPU.

We recently tested the 17.3-inch sister model equipped with the same hardware.

Case – HP relies on plastic

Hewlett Packard uses a new case for the Gaming Pavilion.

Nevertheless, a certain relationship to the case of the predecessor model can be seen.

The complete case of our current test device is made of matt, black plastic (Shadow Black).

HP sets colorful accents with the green key illumination and a glossy green HP logo on the back of the lid.

The most striking design feature is the air vents on the back.

The battery is firmly installed. The notebook doesn’t have a maintenance flap. The case would have to be opened in order to get to the innards. More about that later.

The 15.6 incher doesn’t reveal any manufacturing flaws.

The gaps are correct and material protrusions can’t be found.

The two lower corners of the lid as well as the corners at the elevations of the air vents deserve criticism, though (see picture). These are very sharp. There is a risk of injury here.

There is nothing great to criticize on the stability side.

Thus, the base unit yields a bit beside both sides of the keyboard and underneath the touchpad – but the whole thing still moves within the frame.

This also applies to the base unit’s stiffness.

The lid on the other hand can be twisted too easily. At least pressure on the lid’s back doesn’t lead to image changes.

The centrally arranged hinges hold the lid firmly in position, but teeter a bit. A one-hand opening of the lid is possible. The maximum opening angle is about 130 degrees.

Features – No Thunderbolt 3

HP Pavilion Gaming 15

The HP gaming notebook comes up with a round interface selection overall.

All three type A USB slots work according to the USB 3.2 Gen 1 standard, the type C USB port according to the USB 3.2 Gen 2 standard.

The latter supports Displayport-per-USB-C (requires an adapter to be purchased separately).

It also has an HDMI 2.0 output, a combo audio connector, a Gigabit Ethernet slot and a cable lock port.

The slots are located in the rear areas on the right and left side. An obstruction of the mouse use by cables is rather unlikely.

We would have preferred a Thunderbolt 3 slot to a USB 3.2 Gen 2 port.

This should be standard equipment in a gaming notebook in this price range. It would open up the possibility of plugging in a more powerful external GPU.

SD card reader

The memory card reader accepts SD cards completely; they do not protrude.

They are also locked in the reader. The reader installed here is one of the faster representatives of its kind.

When copying large data blocks, a maximum transfer rate of 77.6 MB/s is achieved. The transfer of 250 jpg image files (about 5 MB each) is completed at a speed of 74.1 MB/s.

We are testing memory card readers using a reference card (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II).

Communication

The WLAN module carries a Realtek chip (RTL8822BE).

This chip supports the WLAN standards 802.11 a/b/g/n as well as the fast ac standard.

It also offers Bluetooth 4.2 functionality.

The transmission speeds determined by us under optimal conditions (no other WLAN devices in the immediate vicinity, short distance between notebook and server PC) turn out well.

HP relies on two antennas. A Gigabit Ethernet chip from Realtek’s well-known RTL8168/8111 family handles wired network connections. This chip does its job smoothly.

Accessories

In the box of the pavilion you will find the usual documents: a quick start poster and warranty information. Other accessories are not included.

Maintenance

HP Pavilion Gaming 15

The notebook does not have a maintenance flap.

In order to get to the innards, the lower shell would have to be removed.

To do this, all screws on the underside of the device must be removed. Afterwards the lower shell can be removed with the help of a flat spatula.

This has to be done with dexterity, as the clamps holding it are quite tight. Afterwards you have access to the entire hardware.

Input devices – a key illumination is included

Keyboard

Hewlett Packard equips the 15.6 incher with a chiclet keyboard.

The main keys have dimensions of 0.7 x 0.7 inches and are easily distinguishable from each other.

The smooth-running keys offer a medium stroke and a clear pressure point overall.

The resistance should turn out more crisp for our taste, though.

The keyboard yields a bit in the middle during typing. It hasn’t proven to be annoying.

The single colored key illumination has two brightness levels that can be selected via a function key. All in all, HP supplies a keyboard suitable for everyday use here.

Touchpad

The multi-touch capable click pad occupies an area of approximately 4.5 x 2 inches.

Thus, there is no lack of space for using the gesture control.

The smooth surface doesn’t hinder the fingers when gliding.

The pad reacts precisely to input – even in the corners. The pad acknowledges mechanical clicks with a clearly audible and palpable pressure point.

Display – 144-Hz-IPS

The display of the Gaming Pavilion works with a native resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels.

With a brightness of 324 cd/m², the HP notebook has the brightest screen within our field of comparison on board.

The contrast (821:1) turns out acceptable, but should be beyond 1000:1 for a notebook in this price range.

The panel installed here is a 144 Hz model that comes up with good response times.

Positive: The display shows no PWM flickering.

The display is already very well calibrated in the delivery state and scores with a great color display.

With a DeltaE-2000 colour deviation of 1.3, the target (DeltaE less than 3) is fully met.

Furthermore, the display does not suffer from a blue cast.

By means of a calibration we carried out, we could only achieve a minimal improvement.

Thus, the color deviation drops to a value of 1.1 and the gray scales are displayed in an even more balanced way.

The difference is not noticeable to the user.

The color spaces AdobeRGB and sRGB are not completely represented. Here the coverage rates are 60.5 percent (AdobeRGB) and 94.9 percent (sRGB) respectively.

The color profile we provide allows the color representation of the screen to be adjusted according to our calibration.

In the case of the HP notebook this is – as has been shown – unnecessary.

If the project is nevertheless carried out, it is important to make sure that the same display model (manufacturer + model number) is used as in our test device.

Otherwise the color representation can deteriorate. Within a notebook model series, screens from different manufacturers are often used.

Performance – Enough for the next years

With the Gaming Pavilion 15, HP has a 15.6-inch gaming notebook in its range.

It brings every current game smoothly onto the screen and also cuts a good figure in all other application areas.

About 800 Dollar have to be put down for our test device.

Other equipment variants are available.

The cheapest model at the time of testing can be had for just under 700 Dollar. It is equipped with a Core i5-9300H processor and a GeForce-GTX-1050 GPU.

Processor

HP equips the notebook with a Core i7-9750H six-core processor (Coffee Lake Refresh) from Intel.

A suitable choice for a compact gaming notebook, as the CPU represents a good compromise between performance, energy consumption and purchase price.

Accordingly, we find the processor in many gaming notebooks.

The 9750H works with a base speed of 2.6 GHz.

The clock rate can be increased to 4 GHz (six cores), 4.1 GHz (five cores), 4.2 GHz (four cores), 4.3 GHz (three cores), 4.4 GHz (two cores) or 4.5 GHz (one core) via Turbo.

HP Pavilion Gaming 15

The processor briefly processes the Cinebench R15’s multi-thread test at 4 GHz.

Then the clock rate drops to 3 to 3.3 GHz. The single thread test is completed with 4.0 to 4.5 GHz.

So much for the behavior in mains operation. In battery operation, the speeds are 2.5 to 2.9 GHz (multi-thread) and 2.5 to 4.5 GHz (single-thread).

We check whether the CPU turbo is also permanently used in mains operation by running the Cinebench R15’s multi-thread test in a continuous loop for at least 30 minutes.

The results drop by a good 10 percent from the first to the second pass and then remain at a constant level. The turbo is used, but does not work at full power.

The results of the CB15 loop are somewhat disappointing.

The HP notebook clearly does worse here than its competitors, which are also equipped with six-core processors. This seems to be intended by HP as well.

The 17.3 inch sister model, equipped with the same CPU-GPU combination, delivers similar results.

System performance

Just one look at the equipment list reveals that the Gaming Pavilion does not lack system performance.

A powerful six-core processor, dual-channel memory and a fast NVMe SSD ensure a nimble and smooth system.

This is complemented by a mid-range GPU that can bring all the latest computer games to the screen.

The very good results in the PC-Mark benchmarks certify that the notebook offers enough computing power even for applications beyond gaming.

Graphics card

The HP notebook comes with a dedicated GeForce-GTX-1660-Ti-Max-Q graphics core from Nvidia.

This is a version of the regular GTX 1660 Ti trimmed for efficiency, which is intended for thin and light notebooks.

Whilst the latter has a TDP of 80 watts, the TDP of the Max-Q version is 60 watts.

HP Pavilion Gaming 15

The GPU belongs to the upper middle class and is based on the Turing architecture.

In contrast to the Turing GPUs of the RTX-2000 series, the GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q doesn’t offer raytracing and Tensor cores.

The UHD-Graphics-630-GPU integrated in the processor is active and the notebook works with Nvidia’s toggle graphics solution, Optimus.

The GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q supports DirectX 12 and works with a base speed of 1.140 MHz.

An increase up to 1.335 MHz is possible via boost. However, higher speeds can also be achieved if the GPU does not reach a defined temperature and/or energy threshold.

Thus, we register a maximum of 1,500 MHz, which can only be held for a short time, though.

The Witcher 3 test is run at an average speed of 1,377 MHz. The GPU can use fast GDDR6 graphics memory (6,144 GB).

The results in the 3D Mark benchmarks are at a normal level for this GPU.

It positions itself just in front of the GTX 1060. Less than half of the graphics performance is available in battery mode.

Gaming Performance

The hardware of the Pavilion can bring all current games in Full-HD resolution and with high to partly maximum quality settings smoothly on the screen.

The built-in GPU can handle resolutions beyond Full HD primarily in combination with games that have been around for a few years or do not place too high demands on the hardware.

HP Pavilion Gaming 15

A gaming notebook must be able to deliver largely constant refresh rates at a playable level over a longer period of time.

We’ll check whether HP’s 15.6 incher is capable of this by running the game “The Witcher 3” for about 60 minutes with Full-HD resolution and maximum quality settings.

The character embodied by the player isn’t moved during the entire period. A collapse of the frame rates is not noticeable.

Verdict: Great performing Laptop under 800 Dollar

The HP Gaming Pavilion 15 does what it is supposed to do: It brings all current games smoothly to the matte screen.

Core i7-9750H processor and GeForce-GTX-1660-Ti-Max-Q-GPU make it possible.

Positive: The notebook doesn’t generate excessive noise over the entire load range – this also applies to gaming.

A fast NVMe SSD ensures a nimble and smooth running system.

Even though the SSD only has a total capacity of 256 GB to offer, the notebook doesn’t lack storage space.

There is also a 1 TB hard disk in the computer. Both storage media can be swapped. This would require opening the case.

The 144 Hz IPS screen scores with short response times, stable viewing angles, a good brightness value and a great color display.

The display’s contrast turns out acceptable, but should be on a higher level in a notebook in this price range.

The pavilion is not a runtime wonder. The battery runtimes turn out quite decent for a gaming notebook.

The chiclet keyboard has proven to be suitable for everyday use.

Good: An illumination is available. The device basically offers a round interface offer.

However, we miss a Thunderbolt 3 slot.

All in all, a great performing Laptop under 800 Dollar

Final Verdict: Best Laptops Under $800: Best Value Office & Gaming

In conclusion, you cannot make the wrong choice with these three top laptops.

For absolute top gaming performance you should chose the Ideapad L340.

If you do not use your laptop primarily for gaming, but more for work or other productive tasks we recommend the price-performance ratio winner, the ASUS TUF Laptop.

It offers the most performance for your money.

If you have a tight budget and don’t need top performance all the time, you should take the HP Pavilion Laptop 15.

We keep this post updated when newer and better models are available.


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