MSI Katana GF66 | Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti | Intel Core i7 12650H | 16GB RAM | 1TB SSD | 1080p | 144Hz |
$1,699 $1,199 at Best Buy (save $500) (opens in new tab)
All the really important stuff is beefed up with this gaming laptop. It packs the RTX 3070 Ti and Core i7 12650H, two up-to-date and impressive components that will match the 1080p 144Hz screen for performance. There are a few things that are a little more budget on this laptop than others, but at this price it's very easy to persuade myself they don't matter all that much.
There must be heaps of RTX 3070 Ti-powered gaming laptops in warehouses waiting for a forever home because we can't seem to move for Cyber Monday gaming laptop deals (opens in new tab) with 1440p screens. While this MSI Katana laptop isn't one of these sweet-spot 1440p gaming laptop deals (opens in new tab) we've been drumming on about, it is a pretty sweet deal for the $1,199 (opens in new tab) it asks for.
Not too long ago you'd be looking at a lot less GPU in a laptop around this price point, but you can feel it, right? The next-gen RTX 40-series laptop GPUs are rumoured to be on the way sometime in January, and if that's the case then it's probably our last Cyber Monday to snag a deal on one of these RTX 30-series machines.
- We're curating all the best Cyber Monday PC gaming deals (opens in new tab) right here.
So this MSI machine: it comes with a fairly standard chassis for this sort of spec—we'd love a sleeker machine but those could cost double as much, as evidenced by this Razer Blade 14 deal (opens in new tab). At this budget it's more normal to see something chunkier like we have here, and it's by no means a shoddy chassis, either. One thing we like about it is the ability to unscrew the back and access a spare M.2 slot. That makes things easy should you wish to expand your storage beyond the included 1TB SSD. Though that's a better capacity drive than some laptops we've seen this Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
The flagship feature of this laptop is the RTX 3070 Ti GPU powering its gaming experience. That's a speedier chip from Nvidia and a later addition to its mobile GPU lineup than most. The key thing here is that the RTX 3070 Ti has the capacity to match the resolution and refresh rate of the attached screen. Thankfully, it absolutely has the performance to run the 1080p, 144Hz screen on this machine.
I'd prefer a 1440p screen here, but at least it's an IPS-grade panel to offer that all-important vibrancy. It's sadly not the quickest screen around, but it's hardly sluggish.
If you're looking to do a little extra work on this laptop, you'll be pleased to know the CPU is no slouch. In fact, it's an up-to-date Intel Alder Lake 12th Gen chip, the Core i7 12650H. With six Performance-cores, the gaming focused ones, and four Efficient-cores, for all the other stuff, this has a lot of power to throw at all sorts of problems. Be those rendering video, playing games, or just maintaining too many Google Chrome tabs in the background.
Speaking of which, this laptop includes 16GB of memory. That's pretty standard by today's standards, but at least this laptop doesn't have any obvious weak points.
So closing thoughts? A well-rounded if a little budget in places gaming laptop with the all-important specs all accounted for. At this price, we're definitely keen on this one, though you want to be sure you're down with the spec before hitting purchase. You are sort of stuck with it when it comes to gaming laptops—the best Cyber Monday gaming PC deals (opens in new tab) are more forgiving in that sense.