Here’s how to make sure you’re not overpaying for a Black Friday gaming laptop deal this year
Find a property Black Friday gaming laptop deal (opens in a new tab) is not always as clear as we hope. With the ever-changing portable gaming market and retailers tending to artificially inflate prices from time to time, it’s hard to know how much is too expensive for a gaming laptop. To ease your indecision, I’ve put together the The following Black Friday laptop cradle sheet with the approximate prices you should expect to pay for a gaming laptop during the deal season.
Black Friday starts on November 25 this year, with discounts in effect throughout November and during the Big Weekend itself, then the following week via Cyber Monday and Cyber Week. While we should see some awesome discounts appear on RTX 3080-powered gaming laptops around this time, you can bet retailers will try to overcharge you for older, far less relevant gear. Luckily, there are a few easy ways to tell if a deal really is a deal or if it’s an absolute dud.
The main thing to remember when looking for a Black Friday gaming laptop deal is that just because a discount is big doesn’t mean it’s good. Many retailers will artificially inflate prices ahead of Black Friday to make the “current” price a little more palatable and a discount more attractive. We tend to check camelcamelcamel (opens in a new tab) as price charts over time will reveal any foul play.
As a general rule, you should start your search by thinking about a laptop’s graphics card. this will be the main pricing factor and will dictate what kind of games you can play and on what settings. This time around, we should see RTX 3060-powered cards well below the $1,000 mark, as next year 40-series GPUs move into the portable space.
But given that we’re unlikely to see anything as powerful as the RTX-4090 (opens in a new tab) in mobile form, there might not be much between the RTX 30 series and the new RTX 40 series GPUs in terms of raw power. That means laptops powered by high-end RTX 30-series cards are still worth grabbing, though we expect a new generation to appear come CES time.
However, we recommend going no further than an RTX 30-series GPU and avoiding 10-series and 20-series altogether at this point. Obviously, if you can find an RTX 2080-powered laptop under $700, go for it. As far as AMD goes, a Radeon RX 6000-series graphics card should be the goal, although they’re harder to find than their Nvidia counterparts.
Here’s a rough estimate of how much a gaming laptop with different GPUs will cost during Black Friday. Before opening your wallet for a tasty discount, be sure to check that there is nothing wrong with the setup.
How much should I pay for a Black Friday gaming laptop?
We recommend reviewing the following rough pricing guides for 1080p gaming laptops with the following GPUs inside.
There will be inevitable exceptions to these recommendations, however, as there are other parts of a laptop spec that can alter the price. Honestly, for us, that doesn’t really include the CPU, but rather the SSD and memory. The key element, however, is the screen. A 17-inch 4K panel will always cost more, but if it’s something you desire, it might be worth the extra outlay. Likewise, the increased 1440p panels for laptops can also be worth paying for, especially if you’re buying a machine with a high-quality GPU inside.
Where are the best Black Friday gaming laptop deals?
In the USA:
The problem with laptops is that the relationship between the various subsystems is quite tight and the upgrade options are much more limited than they are with desktop computers. The key takeaway here is not to drop $1,500 on a gaming laptop that has an RTX 3060 at its heart when you know that kind of money can net you a much more powerful RTX 3070, though there’s a little more to it than just the GPU.
When looking for a deal, a holistic approach is key. After the graphics card itself, check that you have an up-to-date CPU – we’re going no further than a 10th Gen Intel CPU with a 13th Gen on the horizon. Ideally, you want an 11th or 12th generation model (the numbers right after the “Core i5/i7/i9” bit indicate the processor generation).
For AMD you will need a Ryzen 4000 series or later, but ideally a Ryzen 5000 series chip.
Next, you need to look at the amount of memory (or RAM) on offer. Ideally you want 16GB of RAM, preferably in the form of 2 x 8GB sticks, not just a single 16GB SODIMM. If you’re running a single memory stick on a dual channel machine, you’re reducing half the available memory bandwidth. A laptop with two 8GB memory sticks will have twice the bandwidth of one with a 16GB stick. On cheaper systems you’ll often see 8GB as standard, which is a bit hard to recommend to this stage.
On the positive side, memory is generally a thing that box be upgraded. Although it is worth checking the model you are looking for first, as not all systems provide easy access to the inside of your laptop.
When it comes to storage, you want at least a 500GB or larger NVMe SSD. If we’re writing our dream specs, then a 1TB or even 2TB drive would be best given the size of games today, but you can usually upgrade later. I say usually because some laptops still come with soldered SSDs – honestly, isn’t this the year of our Lord 2022?
Whatever you’re looking for, there’s sure to be some great deals on gaming laptops. And as we get closer to Black Friday, we expect some great deals to appear. Just keep in mind how much you should be paying for what’s on offer, and you won’t make any costly missteps. Buyer’s remorse is not a feeling to take with you on vacation.