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Home » 6 Best Budget Gaming Laptops under $1000 CAD in 2022

6 Best Budget Gaming Laptops under $1000 CAD in 2022

    Gaming laptops are a whole other breed when compared to regular notebooks. From eye-catching designs to premium performance, these models require more power to deliver the best experience no matter if you’re playing League of Legends or GTA. But let’s be real – when it comes to the best laptops to buy in Canada, not everyone is ready to fork out a heap of cash.

    That’s why we’ve been on the hunt for the best gaming laptops under $1000 in Canada. After a heap of research and testing, we’ve chosen the best models within this price range, so you can make your own choice on which one best suits your gaming needs. While Acer takes up quite a few spots in our list, you’ll also discover top picks from the likes of Lenovo, HP, and more.

    For those looking for something that isn’t gaming-specific (or if you’d simply like to explore more options in this price range) don’t forget to take a look at our picks for the best laptops under $1000 in Canada.

    What are the best budget gaming laptops in Canada?

    The HP Pavilion 15 takes out top spot in our list with its seamless blend of power, stamina, and overall appealing design. It never overheated during use (no matter how long we played for) and delivers a solid 5 to 6 hours of power on one charge. At 1.91kgs it’s also a fairly portable option – something we don’t typically have high hopes for with gaming notebooks.

    Second on our list is the Dell G5 15 SE and is easily one of the best you can find on the Canadian market right now. CPU performance is outstanding, graphics are comparable to high-end models, and the keyboard is ultra comfortable.

    Keep reading for the rest of our choices.

     

    The Best Budget Gaming Laptops To Buy in Canada

    1. HP Pavilion 15-ec1073dx

    HP Pavilion 15-ec1073dx

    Specs:

    • Display – 15.6” 1,920 x 1,080 FHD
    • Processer – AMD Ryzen 5 4600H
    • Memory – 8GB
    • Battery – 6 hour runtime
    • Storage – 256GB SSD

    This mainstream laptop comes in on top with a punchy AMD Ryzen 5 processer, responsive SSD, and high-quality display. Up to 6 hours of battery life is very impressive, especially considering the sheer amount of power this model delivers.

    The design is one of our favourites for a budget-friendly laptop with sharp edges and a vibrant green backlight within the keyboard and rear HP logo. At 15.6” it’s more lightweight than the likes of the Dell G5 15 SE for example, making it a decent option for those who want something portable. Connectivity is a standout with a HDMI port, Ethernet port, USB-A 3.1 and USB-C 3.1 slots, and an SD card slot on the left. On the right you’ll find another two USB-A 3.1 ports as well as a headphone jack and AC adapter.

    The display is FHD with micro-edge finishes and an anti-glare matte coating – two features we found certainly improved the overall experience. Brightness is at 220 nits, which isn’t the highest we’ve seen, but we didn’t find it to be a problem thanks to the anti-glare add-on.

    Key Features:

    • Speedy Connectivity with WiFi 6 Wireless Option
    • Colour Rich Display with Matte Finish to Eliminate Glare
    • Widespread Connectivity with 9 Options

     

    2. Dell G3 15

    Dell G3 15

    Specs:

    • Display – 15.6” 1,920 x 1,080 FHD
    • Processer – 10th generation Intel Core i5
    • Memory – 8GB 
    • Battery – 6 hour runtime
    • Storage – 256GB SSD

    It’s hard to miss the Dell G3 15 when we’re talking about gaming on a budget. This popular gaming model is like the younger sibling to the G5 15 SE, which is slightly more expensive but still another great budget option nonetheless. While the G5 15 SE is marketed as a step up, the G3 15 also offers excellent battery life at 6 hours (up to 7 in some cases), a more lightweight design, and blistering performance.

    Weighing in at 2.5kgs with a 3.85” x 14.4” x 10” chassis, this model is a great portable option and would easily fit into an average backpack without feeling like you’re carrying a brick. The backlit keyboard is comfortable and smooth, and overall the rest of the design is quite elegant when you compare it to some other garish gaming models out there. A slightly curved hood, sleek black colour, polished hinges, and striking blue accents.

    The FHD display has a 120Hz refresh rate, which is a solid blend for entry-level gaming. We found that in more fast-moving games like COD or Fortnite you’ll notice elevated frame rates.

    Key Features:

    • Well-Rounded Connectivity with 8 Ports Including 4 USB, Ethernet & Audio Jacks, HDMI
    • Excellent FHD 120Hz Display with Above-Average 272 nit Brightness Rating
    • Robust & Solid Plastic Chassis with Portable 2.5kg Design

     

    3. MSI GF63 8RB

    MSI GF63 8RB

    Specs:

    • Display – 15.6” 1,920 x 1,080 IPS
    • Processer – 10th generation Intel Core i7
    • Memory – 16GB 
    • Battery – 4 hour runtime
    • Storage – 512GB SSD

    Portability is definitely the first word that comes into mind when thinking about the MSI GF63 8RB. At just 1.88kgs this model is extremely portable for a budget option, making it an ideal choice for those who want that freedom to travel with their gaming notebook. A brushed-aluminum, all-black design with blood-red accents and backlighting finish off the sleek look.

    As well as being lightweight overall, the 4.9mm bezels and 0.85” x 14.1” x 10” dimensions mean this model is certainly leaner than the likes of the Lenovo Legion 5 and Dell G3 15. In terms of the display quality, details are clear and colours are rich –its sRGB colour gamut rests at 73% which is less than Lenovo Legion 5’s 100%, but more than HP Pavilion’s 62%.

    The keyboard is shallow but comfortable to type and play with. Red is the only colour available for the backlighting, but for casual gamers that shouldn’t be a dealbreaker. Dual speakers at the base are good for softer audio, so it’s best to plug in your own headset if you’re wanting some deep bass notes.

    Key Features:

    • Lightweight & Portable 1.88kgs with Thin 4.9mm Bezels for Max Screen Space
    • High-End CPU Delivers Rapid Performance
    • USB-A 3.1 Port, 2 USB 3.1, 1 USB-C, Ethernet Port for Stable Internet, Mic & Headphone Jacks

     

    4. Acer Predator Helios 300

    Acer Predator Helios 300

    Specs:

    • Display – 15.6” 1,920 x 1,080 LED Backlit IPS
    • Processer – 10th generation Intel Core i7
    • Memory – 16GB
    • Battery –  4-5 hour runtime
    • Storage – 512GB SSD

    The Acer Predator Helios 300 gives us high-end-on-a-budget with its highly sturdy metal aluminum build and overall clean, luxe look. This is one of the main reasons for its slightly steeper price tag, but we think it makes all the difference when it comes to both look and feel. It’s not as light as the slim MSI GF63 8RB, but rests at a fair 2.5kgs like the Dell G3 15.

    With a 144Hz refresh rate and 1,920 x 1,080 resolution we couldn’t be more impressed by this model. Combined with the FHD frames and AI-enhanced graphics, we think you’re getting incredible value for money here. Also, since it’s integrated the Killer E2600 Ethernet Controller feature with WiFi 6, we didn’t experience any lagging thanks to the speedy connection.

    The keyboard is definitely one of our favourites so far with its 4-zone RGB backlighting, and you can change the colours which isn’t something you can always find in budget models. Something else we noticed was how easily this model kept its cool and didn’t get unbearably loud, which is helped by the 4th Gen AeroBlade 3D Fan Technology.

    Key Features:

    • Beautiful LED Display with Anti-Glare Finish & AI-Enhanced Graphics
    • Speedy 144Hz Refresh Rate & 3ms Response Time Deliver Excellent Gameplay
    • Backlit 4-Zone Keyboard & AeroBlade 3D Fan Technology for Rapid Cooling

     

    5. Acer Nitro 5

    Acer Nitro 5

    Specs:

    • Display – 15.6” 1,920 x 1,080 Widescreen LED Backlit IPS
    • Processer – 9th generation Intel Core i5
    • Memory – 8GB
    • Battery – 8-10 hour runtime
    • Storage – 256GB SSD

    As far as battery life goes, the Acer Nitro 5 takes the cake. Starting at around $870, this affordable laptop boasts an outstanding 8-10 hours of battery life – that’s higher than any others on our list. With that comes a 144Hz refresh rate and 1,920 x 1,080 resolution (like the Acer Predator Helios 300), making this model a high-value low-cost steal.

    Graphics are also where this model shines with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650, which is a solid combination with the Intel Core i5 processer. Visuals are clean and sharp on the widescreen display, which offers a high 80% screen-to-body ratio. It even manages to top the MSI GF65 8RB with 62% of the sRGB colour gamut compared to the GF65’s 55.8%.

    An RGB backlight illuminates the keyboard and we like that you can adjust the brightness up to four times. The keys are pretty quiet with a travel distance around 1.6mm, and commands consist of a dedicated NitroSense Key. Audio is a highlight here with the blend of Acer TrueHarmony and MaxxAudio for rich base sounds.

    Key Features:

    • Exceptional Battery Life with Powerful Performance & 144Hz Refresh Rate
    • Improved 80% Screen-to-Body Ratio with Slim 0.28” Bezels
    • Plenty of Connectivity with 6 USB Ports, 1 HDMI 2.0 Output & Combined Mic/Headphone Jack

     

    6. Lenovo Legion 5i

    Lenovo Legion 5i

    Specs:

    • Display – 15.6” 1,920 x 1,080 FHD IPS
    • Processer – 10th generation Intel Core i7
    • Memory – 8GB
    • Battery – 5-6 hour runtime
    • Storage – 256GB SSD

    The Lenovo Legion 5i is a popular option with budget-conscious gamers who love their VR. One of the other reasons we love it so much is also because of how understated the design is – it could easily pass for a business laptop that’s a little on the thicker side. Lenovo describes the design as “refined” and we can’t think of a better word to illustrate how sleek it looks.

    Let’s start off with the ports, which are plentiful in this model. You’ll find a USB-A 3.1 on both the left and right, with a headphone jack also on the left. At the back there are dual USB 3.1 ports, and Ethernet connection, HDMI port, and a USB-C as well. Graphics were a standout with NVIDIA GeForce RTX Graphics, and when combined with the FHD IPS display, movements and details were intense.

    For such a powerhouse of a laptop (and a model in the budget range) we were expecting some noise and heat, but were pleasantly surprised by how it kept its cool thanks to the Coldfront 2.0 system. This system has a double-channel thermal mechanism which helped eliminate hot air significantly. The keyboard is an honourable mention with its 4-zone RGB backlight and spacious arrow keys.

    Key Features:

    • Sleek & Minimalist All-Black Design with Anti-Smudge Polymer & 3-Sided Mylar Bezels
    • Powerful Audio with 2W Harman Kardon Speaker System with Dolby Atmos Headphone Support
    • 60Mz Refresh Rate with NVIDIA GeForce RTX Graphics & WiFi 6 Connectivity

     

    How to Choose the Right Gaming Laptop for You

    From the high level of power all the way down to the exterior design, laptops for gaming clearly have more demanding needs than regular models. It’s important to recognise that just because your budget is lower, doesn’t mean you need to forgo your wants and needs. And with all of the options on our list, you can easily find the perfect one to suit you. Here’s what to look out for before making your decision:

    Screen Size

    Stick to this general rule of thumb: more power = heavier. You’re getting into heavy-duty territory when talking about gaming models, so expect things to get heavy the more powerful they are.

    Tips:

    • A 15.6” model is probably your safest bet in the $1000 price range, as it’s going to give you mid-range portability that isn’t ultralightweight, nor overly heavy. (The one exception in our list is the MSI GF63 8RB, which is definitely the most lightweight model we find in this price range at 1.88kgs.)
    • The heavier it gets, the less likely you’ll be able to rest it on your lap, and the more likely you’ll have to leave it at home on the desk.
    • A lighter gaming model will typically not have as much power when it comes to GPUs or CPUs since there isn’t as much weight to push out the heat being generated during use.

    Screen Quality

    In this section we’ll cover the features within the display and graphics the you can look out for when choosing your own. After all, no matter if your budget is low or high, you still want something that isn’t going to butcher the effects and details of your favourite games.

    Tips:

    • Full High Definition (FHD) means a level of resolution of 1,920 x 1,080p and is the standard for the majority of laptops in the $1000 bracket.
    • IPS means “In-Plane Switching” and uses Panel Technology. LED panels, on the other hand, are using Backlight Technology. There is no better or worse as both types use different technologies, but we suggest going for IPS for gaming models since this technology delivers especially sharp images and consistent bright colours. We personally find it a little more satisfying than LED alone.
    • Touchscreens aren’t always necessary for gaming PCs. In fact, we don’t think they are necessary at all – it’s best to stick to touchscreens for regular laptops like 2-in-1 models.
    • NVIDIA graphics are very common and more than enough for casual gamers. Some examples include the GTX 1060 and the GTX 1050 Ti.

    Other Specs

    Solid State Drive (SSD) is the way to go when we’re looking at storage. SSDs have tons of benefits when compared to a Hard Drive (HDD) including:

    • Greater longevity
    • Speediness
    • Efficient use of power
    • Ability to absorb stacks of G-Force

    The CPU is in your laptop to take care of everything that isn’t related to the graphics, which is handled by the GPU. At the same time, the RAM holds memory storage temporarily. So, the CPU is taking care of the speediness of the operation, and the RAM manages the amount of programs that can be run at one time.

    Tips:

    • We don’t recommend going for anything below Intel Core i5, and a Core i7 is even better. Anything below that can cause some serious lag.
    • When looking at RAM, we also don’t suggest going lower than 8GB. Of course 16GB or higher is a step up too, but not always available in the $1000 price range.
    • None of the models on our list go below a 9th-generation Intel Core, and there’s a reason for that. Avoid anything below at least 7th-gen.

    Keyboard Comfort

    The keys can easily be forgotten when you’re so invested in choosing the right CPUs and GPUs and everything else inside the laptop. Don’t forget, you’ll be hitting those keys every time you power up and play your favourites.

    Tips:

    • Comfort is key (no pun intended). There should be a springy level of feedback, but they shouldn’t be uncomfortable or too heavy to press on. Key travel around 2mm is best, but 1.5mm is also great to work with.
    • Backlighting isn’t always a must-have for everyone, but we suggest having a hard think about whether that’s important to you. Not all gaming models have customisable backlighting, so you might be stuck with one colour.
    • Is Anti-Ghosting a feature you need in your keyboard? A laptop without Anti-Ghosting doesn’t allow you to press a certain number of keys all at once without an error occurring. Anti-ghosting can be useful for some games.

     

    Verdict

    When we started our research looking for the best gaming laptops under $1000 in Canada, we wanted to make sure we covered a vast range of brands and features to give everyone a wide choice. Not every gamer has the same needs, no matter what budget they have.

    The HP Pavilion 15-ec1073dx came out on top, but we’re still really impressed with models like the Lenovo Legion 5i that offers a clean alternative to traditionally flashy models, and the Acer Nitro 5 with its exceptional battery life. Remember to read the specs carefully before making your choice, and don’t forget about the keyboard.

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    Mike Brian

    Mike is our in-house editor and pro product tester. He is a skilled researcher and has been blogging for over 5 years now. Mike has been reviewing and testing products with us here for over 2-3 years, specializing in health, tech and home appliances. With his passion for tech and all things modern, you can trust he will easily find the best options for you, and only suggest what he himself would use.

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