Here's how to make sure you don't overpay on a Black Friday gaming laptop deal this year

The Razer Blade 15 playing Metro Exodus.
(Image credit: Razer)

Finding a good Black Friday gaming laptop deal isn't as clear cut and straightforward as it should be. The portable gaming market constantly changes in prices and specs, and retailers have a tendency to artificially inflate the price of something they want to get rid of every now and then. So it's difficult to know how much is too much for a gaming laptop. Well, fear not, as here's the perfect crib sheet for you to use, with rough prices that I think you should expect to pay for a gaming laptop over the deals season.

Black Friday kicks off on November 24 this year, with discounts running throughout November and over the big weekend itself, then into the following week through Cyber Monday and Cyber Week.

While we should see some solid discounts on the latest and greatest gaming laptops over that period, you can also bet there will be retailers trying to get you to pay over the odds for older, far less relevant gear. Fortunately, there are a few ways to determine whether a deal is a genuine bargain or if it's genuine garbage.

The main thing to remember when tracking down a gaming laptop deal for Black Friday is that just because a discount is large, that doesn't mean it's any good. Some prices might seem really low because they're shown compared to an older price, one that was artificially raised before the sales.

I use camelcamelcamel as a browser extension to check Amazon's prices and the tool will show you graphs of how they've changed over time. One simple click will easily highlight anything nefarious going on.

When it comes to actually choosing a new gaming laptop, the best approach to take is a holistic one. That means looking at the broader picture of what you're getting for your money, rather than focusing entirely on one aspect. The configuration of various subsystems is actually pretty narrow and the options for component selection and upgrading are much more limited than they are with desktops.

Market expectations also mean that some things will be very common across all the deals you'll find. For example, at the $1200 mark, screens will be 16 or 17 inches in size, use IPS (in-plane switching) panels with a resolution of 1080p, and have refresh rates around 144Hz. Paying more for something that offers a higher resolution is worth considering but check out the rest of the laptop's specs before adding it to your shopping cart.

One component that plays a big role in the price of a gaming laptop is the discrete graphics chip. For low-end gaming, I expect to see laptops with RTX 4050 graphics chips for under $1,000, as they're often sold at that price now. You won't find anything with an RTX 4090 or RTX 4080 for that price, but you might find something with a last-gen RTX 3070.

Razer Blade 14 gaming laptop

(Image credit: Future)

Laptops powered by higher-end RTX 30-series cards are absolutely still worth grabbing for the right price, although they don't support Nvidia's Frame Generation feature in DLSS 3

I don't recommend going for anything older than an RTX 30-series GPU, regardless of the price. You could get lucky and spot an ultra cheap laptop with an RTX 2080 Max-Q, but given that these came out four years ago, just think about how long it's sat around in warehouses. If that doesn't bother you and the price is under $700, then it could be a good deal, but I'd still say a cautious no.

As for laptops using AMD graphics cards, a Radeon RX 6700M is the minimum you should aim for, though they are surprisingly harder to find than their Nvidia equivalents. The newer RX 7000M series isn't massively faster than the previous generation, so avoid paying too much for anything with one of those even more scarce GPUs.

And speaking of older components, make sure you're getting an up-to-date CPU as well. I suggest you avoid choosing anything older than an AMD Ryzen 4000-series or a 10th Gen Intel CPU. Ideally, aim for Ryzen 5000-series or 12th Gen Intel processors as a minimum, as these will offer plenty of gaming performance for the money. There are newer versions but they're likely to be in the more expensive deals.

Framework Laptop 12th Gen upgrade

(Image credit: Future)

Next up, you need to check how much memory (RAM) the laptop has. Unless you're on a really tight budget, go with 16GB or more. Make sure it has two sticks of RAM and not just a single SODIMM. CPUs perform much better when both slots are filled but at least this is one aspect of a laptop that you can upgrade yourself.

It is worth checking the model you're looking at first because not all systems make it easy to get at the inside of your laptop. However, if you do spot a great deal but it only has a single 8GB stick of RAM, then check the upgrade potential of that model, as you should be able to add another for relatively little money.

When it comes to storage, you want at least a 500GB NVMe SSD or larger, but with games ballooning in size, a 1TB drive would be a better long-term purchase. Top-end laptops might have 2TB drives but I would be a little wary about how fast they are. Some laptops let you easily upgrade the SSD but then you've got the hassle of reinstalling or cloning the operating system. Some laptops even have the drives soldered into the motherboard and for those models, you've got no chance of upgrading unless there's a second NVMe slot on the board.


How much should I pay for a Black Friday gaming laptop?

To give you an idea of how much to spend, here's a rough guide to what I expect will be an acceptable price for a given graphics chip in a 1080p gaming laptop. The prices also assume that the rest of the recommendations above are already included.

RTX 4050 ~$700
RTX 4060 ~$1,000
RTX 4070 ~$1,300
RTX 4080 ~$1,700
RX 6700M ~$700
RX7600S ~$1,000
RX6800M ~$1,300

As for the CPU, even cheap gaming laptops will use a 12th Gen Intel or AMD Ryzen 5000-series processor, but they will be versions that have the lowest clock speed or the fewest number of cores in the lineup. Once you break the $1,000 mark, though, I would expect to see Intel i7 or Ryzen 5/7 CPUs in all the good deals.

There will be exceptions to these recommendations, simply because there are other parts of a laptop spec that can alter the price, but still be a good deal. The above prices are for models sporting 15- or 16-inch 1080p screens, so something with a 17-inch 4K panel will obviously cost more. For portable gaming, I wouldn't go for anything more than 1440p and focus more on how much RAM and storage I'm getting.

Where to go

Where are the best Black Friday gaming laptop deals?

 Whatever you're looking for, there are certainly going to be some good deals out there on gaming laptops. And as we get nearer to Black Friday, I expect some choice offers to appear to kick start the shopping season. Just have a clear mind about how much you should pay for what's on offer and you won't end up having buyer's remorse throughout the holidays. 

Nick Evanson
Hardware Writer

Nick, gaming, and computers all first met in 1981, with the love affair starting on a Sinclair ZX81 in kit form and a book on ZX Basic. He ended up becoming a physics and IT teacher, but by the late 1990s decided it was time to cut his teeth writing for a long defunct UK tech site. He went on to do the same at Madonion, helping to write the help files for 3DMark and PCMark. After a short stint working at, Nick joined Futuremark (MadOnion rebranded) full-time, as editor-in-chief for its gaming and hardware section, YouGamers. After the site shutdown, he became an engineering and computing lecturer for many years, but missed the writing bug. Cue four years at and over 100 long articles on anything and everything. He freely admits to being far too obsessed with GPUs and open world grindy RPGs, but who isn't these days?