Which gaming laptop Black Friday deals are best?
It’s been a rough year for anybody trying to get their hands on high-end gaming equipment. Compounded supply chain issues coupled with skyrocketing demand have made it painfully difficult to find things like graphics cards without shelling out a practical fortune. Nonetheless, manufacturers and retailers are still coming through in the clutch with various worthwhile deals on gaming laptops just in time for Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the rest of the holiday shopping season.
How to pick a gaming laptop
You don’t have to stick to the absolute most powerful components to have a quality gaming experience. That’s a good thing because those top-of-the-line components are challenging to find today. As far as what’s available on the market right now, there are quite a few gaming laptops capable of running recently released, resource-intensive 3D games at high frame rates without issue.
There are some important criteria for determining if a gaming laptop is really worth your investment. You’ll need a quad-core CPU at the very least, and both AMD and Intel make great mobile gaming CPUs. If you opt for an AMD Ryzen, look for a Ryzen 5 or 7 in the 4000 or 5000 series. For Intel, your best bet is to go with a Core i5 or i7 CPU in the 10th generation or newer.
Just as important as the central processing unit is the graphics processing unit (GPU). GPUs have been notoriously hard to come by for some time now, so laptops with the most high-end video cards like the GeForce RTX 3080 are, for the most part, exorbitantly priced. The RTX 3070 mobile GPU is a more realistic ceiling, although even that is costly and hard to find. The majority of reasonably priced gaming laptops offer a variation of the RTX 3050 or RTX 3060 chipsets. At the moment, there are no AMD Radeon GPUs worth considering in gaming laptops.
The other system components may not set the laptop’s performance floor and ceiling as much as the CPU and GPU do, but they’re still important. You’ll need a minimum of 8GB of RAM, although 16GB is widely considered the current gaming PC standard (32GB of RAM is overkill for 99% of users). A 512GB SSD or larger is highly recommended, as some modern games take up a tremendous amount of disk space.
Then there’s the laptop’s display to consider. Resolution may seem like the most significant consideration, but it’s not necessarily as important as it looks. There are no gaming laptops with lower resolutions than 1080p, and 4K gaming laptops are rare and very costly. A more important consideration for a modern gaming laptop is the refresh rate. At long last, there’s a good number of options with 144Hz panels that provide extra-smooth motion. For more information about gaming laptops and all different kinds of products, subscribe to the BestReviews newsletter, where you’ll receive up-to-date deals on everything from PC gaming hardware to home goods and more.
The top gaming laptop deals for the holidays
This is one of the top gaming laptops out there for a few reasons. First, it comes with either an RTX 3060 or 3070 GPU paired with a powerful H-series Intel Core CPU. Also important to note is its 360Hz panel with G-Sync variable refresh rate technology, as there are very few laptop screens that match this kind of performance. It’s not exactly a budget-friendly laptop, but it is immensely capable and currently seeing a significant price cut for the holidays.
Sold by Dell
At 15 inches, the Alienware M15 weighs less and is more portable than its larger sibling, yet it’s priced about the same, despite its more powerful standard hardware. It’s equipped with a GeForce RTX 3070 GPU and your choice of either a 144Hz or 300Hz screen. It also comes with a minimum of 512GB of solid-state storage, so you should be able to keep plenty of games queued up.
Sold by Dell
While the difference may not seem like much, gaming on a 17-inch laptop is significantly more immersive than a 15-inch model. This one offers 16GB of RAM and advanced features like Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity. It also sports a GTX 1660 Ti graphics card and an impressive 300Hz refresh rate, although you’ll have to turn down some of the in-game graphics settings to produce that many frames per second.
Sold by Amazon
If you don’t want to spend a fortune, it’s hard to pass up the G15. Its updated RTX 3050 Ti GPU notably outperforms its non-Ti predecessor and does an admirable job of providing reasonable frame rates at 1080p. There’s only 8GB of RAM inside, but you can add more if you need to. Alternatively, if you normally play games that are heavily CPU-dependent, there’s a version powered by an AMD Ryzen CPU that noticeably outpaces the Intel Core i5.
Sold by Dell
The CPU in this one can reach nearly 5GHz and should have no trouble feeding frame data to the GeForce RTX 3060 GPU it’s paired with. Of particular note is this model’s Dolby Vision HDR-enabled screen. When coupled with Windows 11’s newly adopted Auto HDR feature, the 5i can make games look better than ever before.
Sold by Lenovo
It won’t win any awards for blazing-fast performance, but the IdeaPad Gaming 3 is about as affordable as a gaming laptop gets these days. The hardware inside does a reasonable job with all but the most demanding games, and the 120Hz display performs a lot better than what you might expect from a $700 laptop. There’s even a ton of storage inside so that you can collect not only the newest games but also your favorite movies, music and other media.
Sold by Lenovo
With more screen real estate than most others, the Victus is particularly immersive, which is a welcome surprise from such a reasonably priced gaming laptop. The base configuration isn’t particularly exciting — although it’s definitely still playable — but you have the option to upgrade some key components at the time of purchase.
Sold by HP
Razer is one of the leading gaming peripheral manufacturers, and while their laptop lineup isn’t majorly diverse, it still contains some of the nicest ones on the market. This specific model is from last year (hence the current discount), and its RTX 2070 — or optional 2080 GPU — is still an excellent piece of hardware today. This one is packed with powerful hardware and offers arguably the best and classiest fit and finish of any gaming laptop out there.
Sold by Amazon
Acer is basically synonymous with reasonably priced yet good-performing hardware, and its gaming laptop family is no exception. The Helios 300 strikes a good balance between price and performance and is equipped with capable hardware like a GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card and a well-engineered cooling system to keep everything cool and working at top speed.
Sold by Amazon
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Chris Thomas writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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