Gaming laptops are a great way to play the latest games when you’re out and about, and they’re increasingly powerful enough to make great PC replacements for many gamers.
It’s no wonder that gaming laptops are some of the most popular deals during Black Friday, especially since many of the best gaming laptops are also quite expensive. This is even more true for laptops with RTX 3080 GPUs or high-res, high-refresh displays from top brands like Razer, Gigabyte, and Alienware. But with some good Black Friday gaming laptop deals, these laptops can see some dramatic price cuts, sometimes as high as $500/£500.
But even if you’re looking for something more in the mid-range or budget category, there are still great deals on cheap gaming laptops, and in many cases you can find plenty, like the HP Victus 15, that won’t force you to sacrifice too much when it comes to it’s about hardware or performance.
However, there are some laptop deals you should avoid, and not just on the lower end of the price spectrum where you’d expect to find some of the more shoddy products. There will be plenty of high-end gaming laptops that look great at first glance, but are far less important when you delve into the specs.
As we prepare for the holiday sales event, there are plenty of reasons to expect great deals this year and we’ll help you decide which ones to look for and which ones to avoid.
What to Look for in a Black Friday Gaming Laptop Deal
So what should you watch out for when shopping on Black Friday? There are a few key points to remember when it comes to buying a gaming laptop.
First, we are already pushing the boundaries of what a great gaming laptop really needs to play the best PC games, as almost all modern AAA games are geared towards console compatibility first rather than trying to maximize what the best is. Gaming PC is able to do manipulation. The days of asking “But can Crysis run?” came and went, honestly.
As such, there’s very little reason to turn up your nose at a 12th Gen Intel Core i5 or an AMD Ryzen 6000-series CPU paired with an Nvidia RTX 3060 GPU, as this type of gaming laptop is more than capable of playing it all. currently available at very high settings at 1080p.
And since 1080p is what even high-end gaming laptops often use to maximize screen refresh rates, you don’t need much more than that right now and they’ll see some great price cuts this Black Friday.
Second, keep in mind that on a laptop, a 4K display doesn’t offer much more than 1080p in terms of sharpness. Yes, you’re doubling the pixels per inch, so the images will be twice as sharp, but the images will also be much smaller on a 14 or 15-inch screen than they would be on the best gaming monitors pushing 32 or 42 inches in diameter.
Our eyes just aren’t capable of appreciating the detail on something as small as a gaming laptop screen, especially when things are glowing in an action-packed title like Doom Eternal or some competitive shooters. At most, aim for 1440p if all you care about is PC gaming. You’re not losing much by settling for 1080p, but you’ll probably save a lot of money.
There are some Black Friday-specific considerations to mention as well. First, you will see many high quality products laptops with very gaming-specific hardware, get some impressive price cuts this Black Friday.
Here’s an example from last year:
If you’re interested in getting a laptop that can play the latest games at the highest possible graphics fidelity, you can find great deals on the best mobile workstations for creative professionals that have the same hardware as the most premium gaming laptop, but come with perks like 4K OLED screens that gaming laptops often don’t have.
The downside is that these monitors will have standard 60Hz refresh rates, as that’s not the sort of thing creatives really need for their work. Non-OLED displays can also have terrible pixel response, which makes them less suited for fast-paced gaming.
That said, if you’re looking for eye candy at a leisurely pace, a creative workstation can be a smart way to get a lot out of very powerful hardware. However, if you want to play competitively, you might want to stick to proper gaming laptops with more responsive, higher refresh screens.
Gaming laptops in general will have price cuts
We’ve been doing this for many, many years and have a lot of experience watching how Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales events tend to run. The last couple of years, with the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting supply chain issues, have changed things for sure.
However, there are still some pretty consistent transmission lines, namely that the cadence of gaming laptop releases provides plenty of incentive for retailers to clear some inventory and make way for newer products with the latest hardware.
These latest gaming laptops are often the least likely to see price cuts, but that will still happen, so don’t expect the only gaming laptops on sale to be those that are a generation or two behind everyone else.
Additionally, most of the newest mobile computing hardware, such as new mobile processors and GPUs, are announced at the beginning of the year, typically around CES. And since most laptop hardware has been on the market for several months, if not more than a year, we expect new mobile CPUs and GPUs to be announced or at least announced in January by AMD, Intel and Nvidia.
That means demand for current-gen tech is likely to wane this Black Friday as people wait to see what will be revealed next year. As a result, the prices of current-gen gaming laptops will have to drop to compensate, and you should definitely take advantage of these deeper price cuts.
One of the best ways to see what kind of gaming laptop deals to expect this year is to look at what we saw last year. Thanks to the magic of the internet, we can bring some highlights from our Black Friday 2021 coverage to illustrate.
No matter what kind of game you plan on making, there are a few things you’re likely to see this Black Friday that you’ll want to avoid unless the price is absolutely unbeatable.
First, don’t look for anything less than 8GB of RAM unless you’re only planning casual gaming. Windows 11 is going to take up a lot of RAM, so you won’t have much to work with for your other programs, and games often require a good amount of RAM to run smoothly.
If you’re looking for high-end devices, make sure you don’t pay extra for “premium” hardware from two or three generations ago. If you see a $2,000 gaming laptop with a ninth-gen Intel Core i7, you can get new hardware for about the same price elsewhere, and you definitely should.
Another thing you can see a lot right now is a “gaming” Chromebook. Look, don’t get us wrong, we love Chromebooks, but Chromebooks typically don’t have the specs needed for locally installed games (and couldn’t run almost any of them even if they did), and cloud gaming is viable but still dubious on a Chromebook. Come back to us next year as soon as we’ve had a chance to really push the new lineup of gaming Chromebooks to see what they’re capable of before making that kind of leap.
Finally, there’s the issue of MacBooks. MacBooks aren’t usually seen as gaming machines in any serious way and that hasn’t changed even with Apple’s latest silicon.
There are plenty of games you can play on a Mac, mind you, and some of us are actually quite optimistic about the potential for Mac gaming in the years to come. Capcom has just released Resident Evil Village on Mac and other developers will likely start to follow suit in the next few years, but we’re not quite there yet and the future of Mac gaming is yet to be seen. If you want to play all the latest PC games right nowyou’ll still need a Windows laptop.
Gaming laptop spec cheat sheet
One of the most impressive things about buying a gaming laptop on Black Friday is trying to understand the completely mind-boggling specs that manufacturers tend to throw at customers. If you’ve never bought a gaming laptop before, or you’re buying one for someone else and you’re not a gamer, it might feel like you’re reading a foreign language.
Fortunately, we’ve tested so many gaming laptops that we’ve learned what’s worth buying and what’s best to avoid. We’ve broken down the types of specs you’ll want to target for premium devices, our suggested specs for the best balance of performance and price, and the minimum specs you should target if you’re looking for a bigger budget option but still want the laptop to deliver an experience. solid game.
|CPU||Intel Core i9-12XXX or AMD Ryzen 9 6XXX||Intel Core i7-12XXX or AMD Ryzen 7 6XXX||Intel Core i5-11XXX or AMD Ryzen 5 5XXX|
|GPU||Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti or better||Nvidia RTX 3060 or RTX 2070||Nvidia GTX 1650|
|HIT||32 GB or more||16 GB||8GB with a free DIMM slot|
|Store||more than 1TB||1TB||256 GB|
|Monitor Resolution||2160p (4K)||1440p||1080p|
|Monitor refresh rate||240Hz or higher||165Hz||144Hz (60Hz if 4K resolution)|
Today’s best gaming laptop deals
If you don’t want to wait for Black Friday, check out some of the best gaming laptop deals available right now.