If you’re shopping for a gaming laptop under $1,000, you know what to expect. An RTX 3050 or 3050 Ti in a very thick chassis. Well, that’s where this Cyber Monday deal from Best Buy exceeds my expectations for what gaming laptops at this price can be.
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The deal is for an Asus TUF Dash, which normally sells for $1,500. Thanks to a discount of $500, though, this powerful gaming laptop now lands just under $1,000. That’s an incredible value, considering it packs an RTX 3070 inside. And that GPU really does make all the difference in game performance.
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The RTX 3050 Ti is a newer graphics card than the RTX 3070 (and technically uses the same GPU), but it’s not as powerful. This RTX 3070 configuration should net you around 10% higher frame rates, though it depends on the game, of course. That’s not quite as big of a leap ahead as you might assume from the names of the cards alone — but remember, they use the same actual GPU.
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If you really want to get a significant uplift in performance, you’ll have to jump to the RTX 3070 Ti, which uses the new Ampere architecture. It’ll be a long time before you see one of the best gaming laptops with that graphics card around this price, though.
The Asus TUF Dash has a fast enough refresh rate to support what the RTX 3070 can deliver, too. The 144Hz offered here isn’t overkill — especially since this uses a 1080p panel. The quality of this display isn’t what I’d call top-tier, maxing out at just 250 nits and a pretty narrow color gamut. But for the price and performance, that’s to be expected.
The configuration also comes with 16GB of DDR5 RAM and a 512GB SSD, both of which can be upgraded yourself. It also has an Intel Core i7-12650H and just about every port you can imagine.
The only reason I might hold off picking this one up? Well, you might also consider another Cyber Monday gaming laptop deal, most notably, the excellent deal on the ROG Zephyrus G14 that’s also available today. This one’s an absolute steal, too. The G14 is also $500 off, but it comes in at $100 cheaper than the TUF Dash.
It’s a smaller, thinner laptop, but it’ll have a higher-quality screen and better battery life. If you intend to use your laptop for school or work in addition to gaming, the ROG Zephyrus G14 is the better choice. It’s just not quite as powerful.
But if you don’t mind the extra bulk and just want better performance, this Asus TUF Dash deal is pretty spectacular.