After spending 41% of my life as a tech journalist I can tell you these are STILL the best Black Friday gaming laptops under $1,000

Asus and Lenovo gaming laptops
(Image credit: Asus | Lenovo)

Money is tight, but maybe not so tight that you don't want to treat yourself to a new toy. Because, let's face it, that's what gaming laptops are: toys. You can pretend to yourself, your partner, or your accountant that you really need a discrete graphics card for your 'work', but let's be honest, you want a laptop that can play games.

But they are expensive things, which makes sales events, such as Black Friday, a great time to start shopping around. To me it's actually pretty surprising that these deals are still live, because on Black Fridays past they would all have gone in an instant. But these are differeng times. 

Still, if you don't have a particular brand in mind—and aren't expecting to bag a new Razer Blade—you will find some impressive sub-$1,000 Black Friday gaming laptop bargains still available long after the titular day has expired.

1. MSI Thin GF63 | GeForce RTX 4050 | Core i5 12450H | 8GB DDR4-4800 | 512GB SSD | 15.6-inch | 1080p | 144Hz | $899 $599 at B&H Photo (save $300)

1. MSI Thin GF63 | GeForce RTX 4050 | Core i5 12450H | 8GB DDR4-4800 | 512GB SSD | 15.6-inch | 1080p | 144Hz | $899 $599 at B&H Photo (save $300)
This is every inch a budget gaming laptop and that means compromise. If you're after a pure mobile gaming experience we'd probably suggest the Steam Deck OLED or ROG Ally as a more compelling ~$600 purchase, but if you want an actually affordable laptop with some gaming chops the MSI GF63 has something about it. We've not tested a 45W version of the RTX 4050, but that's still got a chance to deliver some decent gaming frame rates at the native 1080p resolution of the screen. So long as you stick to medium settings, I would say. The CPU, with its four P-cores and four E-cores still ends up with 12 threads, so is still a relatively capable chip, but it's that 8GB single channel memory that will hold this machine back. But a <$30 16GB upgrade kit will sort that out.

Price check: Amazon $799.99 (16GB version)

2. Asus TUF A16 | Radeon RX 7600S | AMD Ryzen 7 7735HS | 16GB DDR5 | 512GB SSD | 16-inch | 1200p | 165Hz | $1,099.99 $749.99 at Best Buy (save $350)

2. Asus TUF A16 | Radeon RX 7600S | AMD Ryzen 7 7735HS | 16GB DDR5 | 512GB SSD | 16-inch | 1200p | 165Hz | $1,099.99 $749.99 at Best Buy (save $350)
For a gaming laptop with close to RTX 4060-level gaming performance the TUF A16 feels like a genuine bargain. That 512GB SSD is a bit miserly, but everything else seems like excellent value for money. That RX 7600S GPU is a rare AMD mobile GPU, and sits above the RTX 4050 and a bit below the RTX 4060 in terms of performance. For a $750 gaming laptop, that's a good place to be.

Price check: Amazon $1,139.99 | Newegg $1,029.99

3. Gigabyte G5 | Core i7 12650H | RTX 4060 | 16GB DDR5-4800 | 512GB SSD | 15.6-inch | 1080p | 144Hz | $1,099.99$799.99 at Best Buy (save $300)

3. Gigabyte G5 | Core i7 12650H | RTX 4060 | 16GB DDR5-4800 | 512GB SSD | 15.6-inch | 1080p | 144Hz | $1,099.99 $799.99 at Best Buy (save $300)
This is a lot of laptop for not very much money. To start with, you're getting a 10-core, 16-thread CPU that will easily cope with pretty much any game you throw at it. There's an RTX 4060 Mobile graphics chip too, that supports DLSS upscaling and frame generation. The storage is a bit disappointing, and you'll probably want to upgrade it at some point with a large SSD. For portable gaming and school work, though, this Gigabyte G5 laptop will keep you and your wallet happy.

Price check: Newegg (8GB version) $749.99 | Amazon $1,149

4. Lenovo Legion 5 | RTX 4060 | AMD Ryzen 7 7735H | 16GB DDR5 | 512GB SSD | 15-inch | 2160 x 1350 | 165Hz | $999.99 $869.99 at Walmart (save $130)

4. Lenovo Legion 5 | RTX 4060 | AMD Ryzen 7 7735H | 16GB DDR5 | 512GB SSD | 15-inch | 2160 x 1350 | 165Hz | $999.99 $869.99 at Walmart (save $130)
We've become big fans of Lenovo laptops here at PC Gamer this generation, and this particular budget machine is ticking a lot of boxes. For an RTX 4060 laptop it has to be under $1,000, and you also get a better than average screen, though I'm a little confused over Walmart's listing of it as 2160 x 1350 when Lenovo itself claims a 1440p panel. That 512GB SSD, however, is disappointing, even in a budget laptop, but is a cheap and easy issue to fix if it becomes annoying down the line.

Price check: Amazon $1,224.99 | Newegg $969.99

5. Lenovo Legion Slim 5 | RTX 4060 | AMD Ryzen 5 7640HS | 16-inch | 144Hz | 1200p | 16GB DDR5 | 512GB SSD | $1,349.99 $899.99 at Best Buy (save $450)

5. Lenovo Legion Slim 5 | RTX 4060 | AMD Ryzen 5 7640HS | 16-inch | 144Hz | 1200p | 16GB DDR5 | 512GB SSD | $1,349.99 $899.99 at Best Buy (save $450)
Lenovo has been doing great things with laptops lately. Our pick as the best gaming laptop is a Lenovo, in fact. This isn't that laptop, but it's a slim version with a cut-down spec that will appeal to anyone actually looking to carry this around day-to-day. The only downside here is the slim SSD storage, but otherwise the spec looks great. 

Price check: $1,224.99 at Amazon

6. Asus TUF F15 | RTX 4070 | Intel Core i7 12700H | 15-inch | 144Hz | 1080p | 16GB DDR4-3200 | 1TB SSD | $1,399.99 $999.99 at Best Buy (save $400)

6. Asus TUF F15 | RTX 4070 | Intel Core i7 12700H | 15-inch | 144Hz | 1080p | 16GB DDR4-3200 | 1TB SSD | $1,399.99 $999.99 at Best Buy (save $400)
The sub $1,000 RTX 4070 laptop is back! The TUF range of laptops from Asus is its more value-oriented range, but they're still solid machines and when they're this price, with this level of spec, they're hard to ignore. This is the cheapest I've seen an RTX 4070 laptop on sale for, and your only real compromise is the last-gen CPU and memory combo... which isn't much of a compromise for a gaming laptop.

Price check: Amazon $1,248

At the top of that budget is arguably one of the best Black Friday deals full-stop. The $999.99 Asus TUF F15 with an RTX 4070 is an absolutely outstanding machine for the money. That GPU is faster than anything else you'll find at this price, and it's a proper RTX 4070, too, with a 140W power limit. That's the maximum allowed, btw.

You're getting a full 1TB SSD, a 12th Gen Core i7 CPU, and a high refresh rate 1080p panel. This thing may not have the most appealing, ultra-sleek chassis, but it's got it where it counts, and she'll make point five past lightspeed, too. Maybe.

Then there are a bunch of AMD and Nvidia-powered gaming laptops around the $750 and $800 mark that will offer excellent gaming performance at 1080p settings, and sometimes even higher. I'm a big fan of Lenovo's recent laptop game, and there are two excellent Legion machines for under $1,000 right now.

At the other end of the budget is the MSI Thin GF63 for $599. With a 45W RTX 4050 inside it, it is very much a cheap gaming laptop, compromising both on storage and system RAM. But it will perform better in gaming terms than almost anything else around that price range.

But what else is in that price range for mobile PC gamers?

Steam Deck (original) | 64GB SSD | $349 at Steam
Wildcard

Steam Deck (original) | 64GB SSD | $349 at Steam
Okay, it's not a laptop, and the Steam Deck may have had an OLED refresh but the original version is still pretty much the archetype of what a mobile PC gaming device should be. It's just as powerful as the most recent model so all those Steam Deck compatible games should run well, and while the 64GB storage is rather small, SSD upgrades like the Sabrent 2230 512GB are at a great price for a straightforward upgrade. It's the OG PC gaming handheld, and it demands respect.

Yeah, it's at this price point that the Steam Deck actually becomes a bit more of a tempting proposition. In fact you can pick up the 64GB version for almost half the price of the cheapest of these gaming laptopds, jam a 512GB SSD in because you've got a screwdriver and some change left over, and be happily gaming as you roam.

If all you're after is some gaming on the go, then the Steam Deck, or even the $620 ROG Ally, might well suit you better than a compromised cheap gaming laptop. 

Something to consider, anyways...

Dave James
Managing Editor, Hardware

Dave has been gaming since the days of Zaxxon and Lady Bug on the Colecovision, and code books for the Commodore Vic 20 (Death Race 2000!). He built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 16, and finally finished bug-fixing the Cyrix-based system around a year later. When he dropped it out of the window. He first started writing for Official PlayStation Magazine and Xbox World many decades ago, then moved onto PC Format full-time, then PC Gamer, TechRadar, and T3 among others. Now he's back, writing about the nightmarish graphics card market, CPUs with more cores than sense, gaming laptops hotter than the sun, and SSDs more capacious than a Cybertruck.