Shut up and take my money: sub-$1,000 RTX 3060 gaming laptops for Black Friday

Two great gaming laptops for under $1,000 on a blue black friday deal background.
(Image credit: Future)

Imagine bagging a 30-series… that's it. Seriously, though, last year an Nvidia GeForce RTX 30-series GPU was pretty hard to get hold of without needing to remortgage. That's been slowly changing, and now that many of us have finally afforded to take the plunge on desktop, we're in desperate need of a few dollars saved on a gaming laptop to match.

Thankfully there are actually some great Black Friday gaming laptop deals (opens in new tab) for under $1,000 popping up this year, and they're not looking half bad.

We made a point to draw up a crib sheet so you don't overpay on a Black Friday gaming laptop deal (opens in new tab), and we've been using it ourselves to spot good deals. The soft cap we've put on an RTX 3060 gaming laptop is around $1,000. With it, we expect a CPU no more than two generations old and a bare minimum of 512GB of storage. All the laptops below hit that mark for the price and even exceed expectations in some respects. Each one comes with a high refresh rate panel; many with sweet processors; we've even spotted one that's packing DDR5 memory for that price. 

Lordy, things are looking up for the holiday season.

Acer Nitro 5 | Nvidia RTX 3060 | AMD Ryzen 5 5600H | 15.6-inch | 1080p | 144Hz | 8GB RAM | 512GB SSD | $798 (opens in new tab)

Acer Nitro 5 | Nvidia RTX 3060 | AMD Ryzen 5 5600H | 15.6-inch | 1080p | 144Hz | 8GB RAM | 512GB SSD | $798 $649 at Walmart (save $149) (opens in new tab)
Think this might just be the cheapest RTX 3060-based gaming laptop we've found this Black Friday. For this much cash you're usually looking at a GTX 1650 Ti based machine, at best. But here, you get a genuine 1080p gaming GPU, and a quality AMD Ryzen CPU, too. The 8GB of RAM is a bit weak for productivity, but the 144Hz screen and 512GB SSD go some way to make up for that slight shortfall.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (opens in new tab)

Asus ROG Zephyrus 14 | Nvidia RTX 3060 | AMD Ryzen 7 5800HS | 14-inch | 1080p | 144Hz | 16GB RAM | 512GB SSD | $1,399.99 $899.99 at Best Buy (save $500) (opens in new tab)
If you don't want a hulking gaming laptop, let me introduce the Zephyrus 14: a 14-incher that can game without busting your bank balance or your shoulder when lugging it around. No-nonsense specs in a delightful package. That $500 saving doesn't hurt either.

Acer Predator Helios 300 | Nvidia RTX 3060 | Intel Core i7 12700H | 15.6-inch | 1080p | 165Hz | 16GB DDR5 | 512GB SSD | $1,499.99 (opens in new tab)

Acer Predator Helios 300 | Nvidia RTX 3060 | Intel Core i7 12700H | 15.6-inch | 1080p | 165Hz | 16GB DDR5 | 512GB SSD | $1,499.99 $999.99 at Best Buy (save $500) (opens in new tab)
There are plenty of RTX 3060 gaming laptops for $999, but what sets the Helios 300 apart is that traditional gaming chassis ensures you've got plenty of airflow to keep the 130W RTX 3060 running harder for longer. The rest of the spec is tasty at this price tag too.

I'm a ROG fangirl personally, and seeing an RTX 3060-powered Asus ROG Zephyrus 14 for $899.99 (opens in new tab) is giving me little tingles. With an eight-core, 16-thread AMD Ryzen 7 5800HS packed in there, too? Not bad at all.

I have to say I'm especially impressed with the Acer Predator Helios 300 at $999.99 (opens in new tab), though. That one comes with Intel Core i7 12700H—a super relevant, hyperthreaded, six P-core, eight E-core, 20-thread processor that really packs a punch when it comes to both productivity and gaming. That, along with its DDR5 memory and 165Hz panel, point to why this one is a little more expensive than the others, but it still sits just below that $1,000 bar we set. 

The Helios 300 sure gives the MSI Crosshair (opens in new tab) a run for its money. While it's packing the same CPU/GPU combo, the Crosshair skimps on the RAM with DDR4-3200 instead, as well as a slightly lower 144Hz refresh rate screen. Alright, that's still a great config for the price, and pretty perfect for fans of Rainbow Six Extraction (or cyber yellow in general). Either way it's still a fantastic little machine.

Katie Wickens
Hardware Writer

Screw sports, Katie would rather watch Intel, AMD and Nvidia go at it. Having been obsessed with computers and graphics for three long decades, she took Game Art and Design up to Masters level at uni, and has been demystifying tech and science—rather sarcastically—for two years since. She can be found admiring AI advancements, scrambling for scintillating Raspberry Pi projects, preaching cybersecurity awareness, sighing over semiconductors, and gawping at the latest GPU upgrades. She's been heading the PCG Steam Deck content hike, while waiting patiently for her chance to upload her consciousness into the cloud.