If you’re looking for a sub-$1,000 gaming laptop, 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 can be at this price point.
The deal is for an Asus TUF Dash, which normally sells for $1,500. However, thanks to a $500 discount, this powerful gaming laptop now lands just under $1,000. That’s incredible value considering it has an RTX 3070 in it. And that GPU really makes all the difference in gaming performance.
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 setup should get you about 10% higher frame rates, although of course it depends on the game. That’s not as much of a leap as you might assume based on the names of the cards alone, but keep in mind they use the same actual GPU.
If you really want a significant performance boost, you should 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 point, though.
The Asus TUF Dash has a fast enough refresh rate to support whatever the RTX 3070 can deliver. The 144Hz on offer here isn’t over the top, especially as this uses a 1080p panel. The quality of this screen isn’t what I’d call top-notch, capping at just 250 nits and a fairly narrow color gamut. But for the price and performance, that’s to be expected.
The configuration also comes with 16 GB of DDR5 RAM and a 512 GB SSD, both of which are self-upgradable. It also has an Intel Core i7-12650H and just about every port you can think of.
The only reason I’d wait to pick this one up? Well, you can also consider another Cyber Monday deal on gaming laptops, especially the excellent deal on the ROG Zephyrus G14 which is also available today. This one is also an absolute bargain. The G14 is also $500 off, but it’s $100 cheaper than the TUF Dash.
It’s a smaller, thinner laptop, but it has a higher quality screen and better battery life. If you plan to use your laptop for school or work in addition to gaming, then the ROG Zephyrus G14 is a better choice. It’s just not that powerful.
But if you don’t mind the extra bulk and just want better performance, this Asus TUF Dash deal is pretty spectacular.