The Best Laptops in Canada
Choosing a laptop can be an overwhelming task. As the years go on and technology keeps advancing, it’s almost a necessity to own a computer for day-to-day life.
If you don’t want to compare laptops yourself, you’re in luck. We’ve compiled the best ones for you down below. Whether it’s for working from home, school, university, business, gaming sessions or everything in-between for everyday use – our list has got you covered.
Read on for a full guide of the top laptops available in Canada.
Our top picks
How to choose a laptop
Whatever is most important to you, there’s a laptop tailored for your needs. The main components that everyone should strive to look for are:
- Battery life – No one wants to be halfway through work, classes, or a gaming match just to have their laptop die when they need it most. If you’re out more often, consider a laptop with longer battery life. If you’re mainly at home, think about purchasing one that has more power at the expense of less battery.
- Performance – A good processor (and memory) means that your computer will load apps faster, run multiple programs at once, and most importantly – won’t lag or slow down while doing so.
- Weight/ Size – Do you want to be able to throw it into a backpack and go? Prefer a bigger screen for movies and games? Consider what size and build of laptop you want and weigh (no pun intended) the pros and cons for what you need most from your new portable computer.
- Design – While maybe not a top query for everyone, if you’ll be using your laptop every day (for years) – You may as well choose a computer that you enjoy looking at and showing off.
Best overall laptop
Dell XPS 13
It is easy to understand why the Dell XPS 13 is our top-rated laptop pick.
Dell’s XPS line has always been consistently good in both terms of price and quality, guaranteeing the best portable computer that will last for years. The XPS 13 is the best all-rounder for whatever your needs might be – one of the only caveats being to avoid the entry-level models as the higher-spec versions represent better overall value all around.
Boasting an impressive InfinityEdge display, the XPS 13 is virtually borderless on every side showcasing the bright and vivid display. The new screen has a 16:10 ratio, making it 6.8% larger than its previous model, is touch-enabled, and still manages to include a webcam in the top bezel.
The XPS 13’s edge-to-edge keyboard has 9% larger keycaps than before and despite the bigger size, they’re well-spaced and none of the keys have been minimized to make room. The backlighting on the keys is white and bright, not too dim or hard on the eyes in a dark room.
The glass Precision trackpad is 17% larger than before and gliding across is effortless, while the bottom corners deliver proper feedback while clicking. The notebook performs well in various reviews and is a powerhouse for being such a lightweight laptop.
- Fast performance.
- High specs.
- Great display.
- Port selection limited.
- Average battery life for a 4K model.
Best budget laptop
Acer Aspire 5
The Acer Aspire 5 is also our Best Basic Laptop pick.
The 15.6-inch Aspire 5 is an impossibly good find for the combination of price point, size, and performance.
The base model has 8GB of memory and storage size of 256GB – If you’re able to spend a little more, you can get it with a new 10th-gen Core i5, entry-level Nvidia MX250 graphics, and a 512Gb PCIe NVMe SSD. That’s a lot of performance for everything day-to-day including video editing and even some gaming, in a low or medium setting.
An impressive point worth mentioning about the Acer Aspire 5 is that you can pop off the bottom and increase storage or add memory on your own, which most laptops don’t allow users to do, let alone easily.
The durability of the Acer is fine for the price but don’t expect a premium laptop build. There’s no SD card slot, but there are plenty of other connection options – Two USB 3.0 ports, and one USB 2.0 port, HDMI output, and a combination headphone-mic jack.
- Great battery life.
- Easy to upgrade.
- The build isn’t the sturdiest.
Best laptop for work
Microsoft Surface Book 2
Microsoft has crafted one of their most powerful workhorse laptops yet with the Surface Book 2. The 13.5-inch model comes with 128GB of storage accompanying a dual-core i5 CPU and 8GB of RAM that can all be upgraded to even higher specs with an added cost, while still staying affordable.
Even with the base components, this portable computer/tablet can handle most day-to-day tasks, including some light gaming or video editing, which is impressive from a basic workhorse laptop.
According to Microsoft and reviews from sites such as TechRadar, there was considerable effort dedicated to improving the touch response with the latest PixelSense display, and it shows in reviews. With indiscernible latency between drawing on the display, this is well worth purchasing. Especially if you like to take notes directly on your screen or use touch screens in your day to day work.
The battery lasts all day, and the underside stays cool even while having a dozen tabs upon a CPU-draining intensive browser like Chrome. This is great news if you’re someone that has a lot of work on the go and may not be tethered to the charger all day in an office.
- Excellent battery life.
- No surface pen included.
Best 2-in-1 laptop
Samsung Galaxy Book Flex 15
Equipped with 12GB of memory, a 512GB SSD, and Intel’s i7 Ice Lake Core, the beautiful Royal Blue Samsung Galaxy Book Flex 15 is terrific for the price point and the build quality is unmatched for a 2-in-1 design.
Weighing in at 0.6 inches thick and only 3.4 pounds, the Galaxy Book Flex is lighter than most other laptops in the same range, such as the Dell XPS 15 that clocks in at 4.5 pounds. Making the Book Flex easy enough to take anywhere you need to go.
The convertible 2-in-1 can be rotated 360 degrees to be used as a tablet or propped up as a display or tented mode, and comes with an integrated S-Pen in the top right of the keyboard that doubles as a remote control. The charger is integrated into the holder and in that regard, you won’t have to ever worry about replacing any batteries or losing it.
The built-in stereo speakers are tuned by AKG, a German professional studio firm owned by Samsung. Sometimes this can be a hit or miss, but the Book Flex offers a rich, dimensional sound that never sounds tinny or hollow which tends to happen quite often with most notebooks.
- Built-in S-Pen.
- Long battery life.
- Stylish ‘Royal Blue’ colour.
- Uncomfortable keyboard.
- Hinge could be stronger.
Best laptop for school
Acer Chromebook 715
Best choice for teens or younger children doing schooling remotely from home. It isn’t too big, it is durable, and works flawlessly for online classes.
It comes with a durable touchscreen, which is great for teens and kids who are used to that with other devices. The Acer Chromebook 715 also stays cool regardless of multiple tabs and apps being open at once, and has a MIL-SPEC-810G certification meaning that the system can withstand drops, shock, vibration, and debris like dust or sand – which may be a piece of mind to parents.
If added security is important there is an option to add a fingerprint reader, or if you want to boost it from the basic specs to use as more of a workhorse, adding a beefier processor and memory you can do so. The options available make the Acer Chromebook a tough contender for the best worthwhile and affordable school laptop.
- Long battery life.
- Poor audio.
- Dull display.
Best laptop for university
Dell Latitude 7490
Notebooks such as the Dell Latitude 7490 put productivity first and foremost. Aimed mostly for business, they’re also top-rated laptops for university students looking for a computer that offers speed, a comfortable keyboard designed for hours of typing, and an impressive battery that lasts 9 hours.
The left side of the Latitude 7490 houses two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI out, and a Thunderbolt 3 port. Right side has a Noble-branded security lock slot, a third USB 3.0 port, Ethernet, SD and SIM readers, and a headphone jack. Everything that should be needed for most tasks.
A 14-inch matte touch-screen display offers solid and crisp colours, though it could be brighter according to several reviews from LaptopMag and TechSpot.
If security is something that concerns you, the Latitude comes prepared with additional log-in measures such a smart-card reader, fingerprint sensor, and IR webcam for Windows Hello logins, Intel’s vPro technology also allows for remote tech support should you ever need it.
A bonus is that it passed 15 MIL-SPEC810G tests, which the military uses to test durability, which is a roundabout way of stating that it can handle high temperatures up to 60-degrees Celsius / 140-degrees Fahrenheit, survive extreme humidity, and endure shocks, vibrations, and particles like dust settling in.
- Reasonable battery life.
- The underside can get warm.
Best Ryzen Laptop
Acer Swift 3
Available in 13, 14, and 15-inch screen sizes the Acer Swift 3 has options for everyone that’s looking for a more-affordable portable laptop. Measuring in at 12.6-inches x 8.5-inches x 0.6-inches and weighing only 2.7 pounds the device is incredibly portable without feeling flimsy or cheap.
Worth noting is the Swift 3 has a 2:3 display ratio, as opposed to the usual 16:9 most wider screen laptops have, making it squarer shaped. Acer states that it gives you 18% more vertical height for text and web scrolling.
With measurable improvements to performance over last year’s model, there’s little to complain about. Powered by the Ryzen 4000 series mobile processors, which means that they’re faster than competing CPUs that are on top of the market – and cost less. Meaning that the Swift 3 stays affordable but can rival pricier devices.
Reviews from TechRadar and CNet agree that the star of the Acer Swift is the processor, as you get more performance for the cost. You’re getting good battery life and speed within a 2.7-pound aluminum body all within a decent price.
When it comes to everyday tasks with video and heavy browser usage, the Swift handles it impeccably. Running two dozen tabs open in Chrome without any discernable issue. It can also handle light gaming for a moderate time before the fans kick in and you get a drop in responsiveness.
- Bright/colourful display.
- Great battery life.
- Memory can’t be upgraded.
- No SD/microSD card slots.
Best small laptop
ASUS VivoBook S15 Mini-Laptop
The ASUS Vivobook is an affordable small laptop that packs a punch and includes some fun extras like the 5.6-inch touchscreen touchpad. You can control Spotify, do some math with the calculator, check the weather, or even do measurement conversions. It comes pre-installed with 15 different apps, with a handful more – All of which easily glides over to your main screen if need be.
Three of the pre-installed apps include Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, essentially allowing you access to some quick shortcuts and the like, saving you a lot of time in comparison to usual shortcut keys. To make most of the features, using a mouse makes everything additionally faster. There’s also a Quick Key app as well that allows you to make your own hotkeys.
If you like the design of the ScreenPad but don’t think your day-to-day work would benefit from it, you can get the VivoBook equipped with the regular touchpad in its place, which is a nice option to have if you prefer just to have the basics.
The battery life of the VivoBook is top-notch, lasting all day. This whole system is configured and designed for everyday productivity and entertainment so that you can do spreadsheets and word processing during the day, and relax with movies and light games in the evening without having to switch to a different machine.
The only downside is perhaps the dim VGA webcam and slightly dull audio, but if that doesn’t bother you or isn’t an important factor while you’re considering a new portable computer, then the VivoBook might be the one for you. A bonus is that if you aren’t fully set in a USB-C world yet there are still USB-A type ports, making it a welcome sight if you like your options.
- All-day battery.
- Weighs two pounds.
- Dark VGA webcam.
Best Laptop for Video Editing
Razer Blade 15 – Studio Edition
Most well known for their gaming computers and peripherals, Razer laptops and desktops also do double duty as good choices for video editing with their powerful CPU’s ability to handle almost any video or image intensive workload you can throw at them.
The Razer Blade 15 is a minimalist all-aluminum chassis design, built like a tank, and sporting a brilliant 4K OLED 15.6-inch screen. Making most colours pop vividly while the blacks and darker tones are rich and deep. The 4K resolution has a pixel density of 282 ppi making it perfect to edit all the video content you can throw at it without having to worry if the colours are matching.
With three USB-A ports, one USB-C, a Thunderbolt 3 port, one HDMI 2.0b port, and a headphone jack – it’s versatile and inclusive regardless of what you use to transfer media over to your usual workspaces. Worth noting is that the base version comes with an Ethernet port for fast, wired internet while the advanced models trade that in for an SD card reader instead.
The Razer Blade comes with 256 or 512GB of storage, while the advanced model can reach a 1TB SSD. Which would be more than enough for most users whether you’re editing 4K videos or editing large RAW photo files.
Last but not least and worth a mention is that Razer went out of their way to develop a battery brick that is not only stylish but sports a durable braided cord so you don’t have to worry about breaking cables or plastic wearing out.
- Long battery life.
- Extremely powerful.
- Premium design.
- Standard warranty is only for one year.
Best 4K laptop
Dell XPS 15
Highly rated as one of the best in Dell’s XPS lineup, the XPS 15 has been updated for 2020. There are some set base models, but with Dell’s configuration options you can essentially change up and customize whatever you want within the laptop’s wheelhouse – including Core i9 processors if you need a higher power.
The size and nearly bezel-less screen aren’t the only physical changes made to the 2020 XPS 15 lineup – The new model features up-facing speakers as opposed to the down-facing speakers of previous models, ensuring that your audio is crisp, direct, and carries sound farther without having to crank the volume way up.
Following in the footsteps of other laptops in its range, the XPS 15 has a gigantic keyboard, making it much easier than before to scroll and pan when needed. The white backlit keys are comfortable to type on for hours with a decent level of feedback/travel.
Dell has included USB-C-to-USB-A and USB-C-to-HDMI adapters within the box to make up for the lack of USB-A and HDMI ports, which may be a bit annoying for some that don’t want to carry around anything extra while travelling or being out-and-out, but the fact they are added in with the laptop itself at no added cost is definitely good for your wallet.
For anyone looking for a laptop in the 15 or 16-inch screen range for a relatively low starting price that will keep money in your pocket, the Dell XPS 15 is hard to beat.
- Brightest 4K screen.
- Good battery life.
- Loud fan at times.
- Poor thermal design.
Best gaming laptop
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
Asus offers a wide array of dependable gaming laptops, but the new Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is a surprisingly powerful machine given the sleek profile, size, and battery life making it a dream combination for gamers on the go.
One of the biggest draws is the AMD Renoir chip that Asus has gone with this time around, making a perfect combination of a thin laptop but still just as powerful as larger machines.
The Zephyrus G14 has boost and base speeds of 3GHz and 4.3GHz, reduced from the conventional 3.3 and 4.4, respectively – Which is a fancy way of saying that with these slightly slower speeds, it will improve thermal and battery performance, making your laptop not only last longer in the end but allow for better gaming experiences overall. Base model specs start with a Ryzen 9-4900HS CPU and Nvidia’s GTX 1650 GPU with the RAM and storage capacity being 8GB and 512GB SSD, respectively.
At the top of configurations it has the same powerful Ryzen 9-4900HS CPU, but RTX’s 2060 Max-Q GPU, as well as the same storage allotment, boasting a 1440p, 60Hz display panel – including the AniMe Matrix display on the top of the lid.
Bezels are small and thin on the screen, the rear has subtle vents for heat dissipation, while the slimline dimensions make it surprisingly easy to bring on a commute without having to worry about durability as the magnesium-aluminum alloy is strong.
An especially fun added feature that sets the Zephyrus G14 apart from any other laptop is that there is a special edition version that houses a programmable LED matrix of 1,215 LEDs across half of the top lid that might pique the interest of those who enjoy having a unique and fully customized set-up. You can display the date and time, or you can even host things like fully animated GIFs.
The Zephyrus G14 is a powerhouse small wonder as far as the best gaming laptops go. Having more gaming specs into a small package than any comparable Ultrabook or gaming laptop from the past few years.
- Great battery for a gaming PC.
- Reasonable price.
- Stays cool.
- No webcam.
- Can be noisy.
Best Apple laptop
Apple Macbook Pro 13-Inch (2020)
Right out of the gate the newest Macbook Pro offers double the RAM and storage of the previous models, with no added cost. 10th-generation processors make the graphics performance about 80% faster and 16GB of memory is standard on select configurations.
The only caveat being that the base model comes with the same 1.4GHz quad-core 8th generation Intel Core i5 processor that has remained the same for the last two years – Which is a bit of a letdown for a professional-grade laptop.
Apple’s senior director of Mac and iPad Product Marketing, Tom Boger, has confirmed the entire notebook line-up (2020) features the new Magic keyboard which comes with new scissor–switch keys and a physical Escape key. Meaning that there won’t be any more issues with keys getting stuck, breaking, or collecting dust/debris underneath that gums up the smooth typing experience.
Entry-level configurations give you a quad-core 8th generation Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage, up from the previous models 128GB. The most recommended configuration that we’ve seen reviewed from Tom’s Guide and PCMag is grabbing the more powerful and updated 10th generation Core i5 processor, along with faster 16GB RAM, and 512GB of storage.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the higher end builds include four Thunderbolt 3 ports, while the lower tiers include two.
If you’ve been looking for an Apple laptop that’s more powerful than the MacBook Air and almost as portable while still being relatively affordable – The MacBook 13-inch updated for 2020 is a top-rated laptop to decide on.
- All-day battery life.
- Magic keyboard.
- Display not 4K.
- No USB-A ports.
Best Laptop Under $500
Lenovo IdeaPad 3
The Lenovo IdeaPad 3 is a low-cost laptop that is best suited for home or simple work where you don’t need a lot of power and still need a good working system on a budget. Perfect for the basics. Since it is a budget laptop it sports a plastic shell case rather than aluminum, making it light enough that you can easily carry it in one hand or throw it into a backpack for work on the go.
As far as battery life goes, according to user reviews on Amazon, it will last you around 6 hours – not enough for a full day of work, but if you only need it for a few hours a day, or for an afternoon in a café then the IdeaPad 3 has you covered.
With an AMD RYZEN 5 3500u processor, Vega 8 graphics and a 256GB SSD there isn’t too much to complain about for the cost and build. Lenovo has always been good for designing comfortable keyboards for their computers and the IdeaPad isn’t exempt from that. With well-sized, click-feedback chiclet-style keys, the keyboard is surprisingly deep and comfortable, allowing you to type and work for hours without any discomfort.
The only discernable design feature is the Abyss Blue colour choice that’s available alongside the normal Platinum Grey silver case, otherwise making the IdeaPad look like most Chromebooks which is no trouble for most. If you’re looking for a unique design or colour though, then this might not be the best fit for you.
- Low noise.
- Good performance for the price.
- Mediocre battery life.
Best Laptop Under $1000
Asus ZenBook 13
Right off the bat, the Asus ZenBook 13 stands out with a unique blue and gold colour palette like the top-tier original ZenBook that released in 2017. For those who want a less bold statement, there’s a Slate Grey colourway available as well.
Comparable to the top-rated Dell XPS 13, just with a smaller price tag, the ZenBook 13 is worth checking out. It has thin bezels compared to its predecessors, weighs only 2.7 pounds, and includes multiple port types that are good for those who like having options. The touchpad is huge, also doubling as a ScreenPad that allows you to use it as a calculator, handwriting input, etc.
Two USB-A ports, one USB-C, HDMI, and a combination headphone/microphone jack. Wireless support includes Bluetooth 5.0 and 802.11ac. The base model comes with a 2.8GHz Intel Core i7 processor with 8GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD.
There are higher versions available, bumping up the cost a bit, depending on what you want to upgrade. Unfortunately, there are no 4K options available, but considering that it’s a smaller screen the need for 4K here is unnecessary to get any benefit.
The only reservation someone might have is that the keyboard is a bit cramped, with the power button having a strange position on the back end of the keys which may make you accidentally put it to sleep while typing or reaching for other keys.
- Premium quality.
- Picks up fingerprints easily.
Best Laptop Under $1500
Lenovo Yoga C940
Being pioneers of the 2-1 laptops, Lenovo’s premium with the Yoga C940 is understandably good. With a sturdy and stylish design, long battery life, and decent feature set it’s no surprise that this is our pick for a top-tier spot.
Coming with a 1080p display, Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD as the base. A recommended configuration for the cost is upgrading to a Core i7 CPU, 12GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. You can also upgrade further to a 4K model, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD.
Lenovo tends to tweak and change the design of the Yoga over the years, but the C940 feels more like an improved refinement of the last model. The Yoga’s hinge doubles as a soundbar with some of the best audio quality a laptop can offer, and a noticeable change is a small lip added to the top bezel that houses a 720p webcam.
One drawback of the C940 is that all the ports are stationed on the left side of the laptop. There are two Thunderbolt 3 ports, and a USB-A port next to the charging cable port, and a headphone/mic jack. So, if you need more ports for work, or prefer not to carry around adapters for any peripherals just take note.
The keyboard is solid, and the trackpad is smooth. Adding in a large, thin-bezel screen, long battery life, and with both display options being solid picks, it’s easy to recommend.
- Integrated stylus.
- Webcam privacy shutter.
- Excellent audio quality.
- Ports on one side only.
Best 13-inch laptop
HP Spectre X360
Updated with Intel’s 10th Gen processors and a modernized chassis, the HP Spectre X360 takes everything from its predecessors and ramps them up into a slick 2020 laptop design. With thinner bezels, a smaller footprint, vivid display, and astounding 13-hour battery life, the HP Spectre is a contender.
The base model starts with a 1080p display, a Core i5 GPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. FUpdated trackpad. Digital pen included. Battery life is excellent. or only a small increase in price, you can get a Core i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD. The mid-to-top tier configuration comes with a 4K OLED screen, Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD, more for those who prefer display quality over battery life. There’s also a 1TB option available if you need the space.
Aesthetically the Spectre X360 is eye-catching. With unique chamfered edges and faceted corners, it appears crafted almost like a jewel. The 13-inch Spectre comes in Silver, Dark Ash Silver, or Poseidon Blue, which are refreshing options to choose from. The darker silver has copper luxe accents, while the blue accompanies pale brass.
If you generally pick up your laptop from the sides while it’s in tablet mode, the power button and USB-C port are both stationed in the rear corners of the computer. No more accidentally turning off the device or getting the cord snagged on the side. With Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0, you might not want additional ports, especially if you do most of your work online or save to clouds.
If you do require more, there is a second Thunderbolt 3 on the right edge, and a microSD card reader. On the left is a USB-A port included.
- Updated trackpad.
- Digital pen included.
- Excellent battery life.
- Bloatware HP software pre-installed.
Best 15-inch laptop
Microsoft Surface Pro 3
If you want a jack-of-all-trades type of traditional laptop, 2-in-1, and detachable tablet while still being in the list of top-rated laptops that are in the 15-inch screen range, then the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 might be the best relief for your wallet.
Compared to Microsoft’s Surface Go 2 and the Surface Pro, the Surface 3 errs towards the more powerful side as far as portable computers go with many configuration options, making it a wonderful laptop to choose and upgrade as you see fit.
A lot like its predecessor, the design is largely unchanged. Microsoft has said that the awkward-seeming hinge makes it possible to put the battery and processor within the screen without the whole device falling over, which can make it rather top-heavy.
The 15-inch model features a quad-core Intel Core i7 CPU, 32Gb of memory, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GPU for graphics output, and 512GB of storage which should be more than enough for anyone working on the go. Other options include the Nvidia Quadro RTX 3000 GPU and a 1TB or 2TB SSD drive if you need the extra storage. The Core i5 and Core i7 are the only options available for the Surface Pro 3, which may hinder some buyers if you require the ability to configure to a six or eight-core i7 or i9.
Microsoft’s entire Surface line is second to none once again as far as keyboards go, and the trackpad only rivalling the smoothness of Apple’s line of MacBook’s. The 13.5-inch screen is another key highlight of the Surface Pro 3, as it’s wonderfully sharp and crisp, with excellent colour rendering no matter what task you’re doing.
- Great keyboard.
- Good battery life.
- Top-end configurations.
- No Surface pen included.
- No stand for the detached tablet.
Best 17-inch laptop
LG Gram 17
If you’re finding that a 13, 14, or even 15-inch laptop has been straining your eyes while working from home, but still want a mobile and lap-friendly portable computer then moving up a size into the realm of 17-inch laptops might be in your interests.
The LG Gram might do the trick if you’re in the market for a larger-screened computer that isn’t too heavy, clunky, or unflattering in design like the majority of 17-inch displays are – usually, since most are designed to be gaming laptops or the like. It’s just under three pounds in weight and built from a magnesium alloy.
One caveat is that there are no other colour options available besides the dark grey, and only one configuration for specs. A 10th-gen Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of memory, a 1TB solid-state drive – that is oddly split between two separate 511GB SSDs instead of just one 1TB storage system.
The 16:10 ratio display gives you more vertical headway compared to the more typical 16:9, which is always a welcome design, allowing everything to not feel cramped or busy within the singular screen. Processor performance has been stepped up with the addition of a 10th-gen Intel Core i7 CPU and is accompanied by more powerful Iris Plus integrated graphics, allowing extra speed for photo and video editing, and casual games.
The Gram 17 can be charged either through it’s included pin-type connector or the Thunderbolt 3 USB-C port which is a nice option to have whichever your charging preference is.
- Vivid display.
- No touchscreen.
Best Xiaomi laptop
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro 15
While Xiaomi may not be as popular or even a well-known brand by many, it’s worth mentioning as an option. Known for their ability to hold up well for years against almost any manner of wear and tear, Xiaomi has been a choice for those looking for a workhorse, especially when it comes to programming or coding.
Geared towards anyone that needs a laptop for work or school that doesn’t cost much and travels well, the Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro 15 is a decent fighter. Xiaomi entered the laptop market back in 2016 with their initial Mi Notebook Air line, and hasn’t been shy in comparing themselves to Apple’s MacBook Pro.
The base version has an i5 Intel Core, 8GB RAM, and 512GB storage, while the upgraded version comes with an i7 Core, 16GB of RAM, and 1TB of storage for only a few dollars more. According to reviews and user experiences, it would be advised to get the upgraded tier.
Protected by Gorilla Glass 3, the 1080p display is relatively bright and colourful. Below that it has a full-sized keyboard, decent travel, and is backlit, with a fingerprint reader added in for extra security should you need it.
In terms of ports, the Notebook Pro 15 stands out from other comparable notebooks. It has nearly everything you’d need. Two USB-C ports, two 3.1 USB-A ports, an HDMI out port, SD card slot, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Wireless connections include Wi-Fi 5, and Bluetooth 5.0
The only issue you may have with a Xiaomi laptop is that sourcing one may be difficult outside of certain retailers like Xiaomi’s own Canadian website, or Best Buy. The keyboard is standard English, but the Windows installed version is only available in single language Chinese, so you would need to install a fresh English (or whichever language you need) version of Windows once you receive your computer.
- Can be upgraded.
- Multiple ports.
- Warranty might not be available.
Best Chromebook laptop
Google Pixelbook Go
Google’s flagship Chromebooks have a lot going for them, and the Pixelbook Go is no exception, especially for its price.
Most expert reviews have Google’s Pixelbook Go as the top Chromebook you can buy without breaking the bank. It’s super-slim, only weighs two-pounds, and has an easy-to-grip design on the bottom that not only looks neat but makes it so that if you’re in a hurry you don’t have to worry about dropping it or having it slip off of a precarious surface when set down.
If you spend most of your time online and saving to the cloud, this is a very attractive alternative to full Windows laptops. Boasting an impressive 12 to 15-hour battery life, this will last you all day and then some whether you’re just browsing the web or working.
It sports a bright 13.3-inch display, comfortable keyboard, and good trackpad. Small enough to toss into a backpack or work bag, but not so small that it makes viewing videos and text uncomfortable like some smaller laptops, unfortunately, can do. The magnesium alloy Chromebook comes in at 12 x 8 x 0.5-inches in size and weighing 2.3-pounds, just under other comparable portable devices.
The Google Pixelbook Go isn’t anything extraordinary as far as moderately priced portable computers go. If you intend to watch a lot of videos or listen to a lot of audio without headphones, you might be disappointed with the lacklustre speakers. Making up for that though is the Go’s best achievement – the keyboard. Touted as being one of the absolute best laptop keyboards, eclipsing even the Macbook.
Blending silence and feedback into a seamless and wonderfully comfortable experience, every review has said that if there’s anyone thing to buy this Chromebook for – it’s this.
- Amazing keyboard.
- Excellent trackpad.
- Great battery life.
- Lacklustre speakers.
Best business laptop
HP Elite Dragonfly
If you’re a travelling professional this laptop is an indispensable dream come true. The lightweight design, always-connected LTE coverage, speedy internal specs, nine MIL-STD test passes, beautiful cerulean blue magnesium body with a fingerprint-resistant finish is a powerhouse for the boardroom.
The specs of the Dragonfly are robust with an 8th-gen quad-core Intel Core i7 with vPro, an integrated Intel UHD620 GPU, 16GB RAM, 512GB of storage, and HP offers three screen options: A 4K UHD OLED screen, a Sure View Gen 3 FHS screen that allows you to switch on a privacy mode so that anyone looking on from your right or left can’t read the screen, or another FHD screen that is gorgeous but at the cost of battery life.
You won’t have to worry about your co-worker or boss borrowing another dongle with the Dragonfly featuring two Thunderbolt 3.0 ports, an analog combo jack, one USB-A port, and a wedge-style port lock. The base model has a CAT 9 modem which is Intel’s older (and slower) 4G chip. HP offers an upgrade to a CAT 16 modem.
As a corporate laptop, the security is integrated into the hardware down to protecting against BIOS attacks. Including Bromium’s security tech feature with Sure Click, that essentially turns PDF files into micro-virtual machines so that if any risky links or files are opened, you won’t get hit by a virus.
The Elite Dragonfly runs just like any other corporate or business laptop, which puts security and reliability over speed and power, so don’t expect to be doing much gaming or high-quality movie marathons. Something to note for those that are environmentally conscientious, HP has been phasing in recycled materials over the past year. It was announced at CES 2020 that the HP Elite Dragonfly has 80% of its mechanical parts and 90% of the aluminum chassis are now made of recycled materials.
- Beautiful design.
- Super long battery life.
Best high-end laptop
Dell Alienware Area-51m
Well known for their roots in high-end gaming rigs, Dell’s Alienware line is top-notch with little to no introduction needed.
With Dell’s Area-51m there is no comparison as far as high-end portable laptops go. Portable being the keyword, as this machine weighs in at 8.5 pounds and is more or less a desktop replacement. The base model has a reasonable price point and nets you a 3.6GHz Intel Core i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, Intel UHD Graphics 630 GPU, and a 1920×1080 60Hz display.
If you really want to go all out with your high-end specs and get an upgraded model from the get-go, you can grab an overclockable 3.6GHz Intel Core i9 chip, 64GB of RAM, two 1TB SSDs, with a 1TB + 8GB SSHD Hybrid Drive, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 GPU (which has only ever really been in desktops until now), 8GB of RAM, and a 1920×1080 60Hz display.
All of that is a fancy way of saying that no matter what you throw at it, it can handle it and then some. The Area-51m is the closest to having a portable desktop – Not only can you upgrade the RAM and storage, but you can swap out the CPU and GPU to your liking. Virtually everything is upgradable. Which is practically unheard of in a laptop.
You don’t need to be a gamer to appreciate or use this beast of a machine. Whether you have to edit high-quality 4K videos, photos, research with dozens of tabs open, or simply watch high-def movies with zero latency you can do everything. For the price of the Area-51m, you won’t find a custom desktop build or laptop anywhere close to the same specs.
With as many options as there is for the top of the line computers, if you have the funds to spend on a top-tier system that rivals the highest desktop builds and outshines every laptop in its class, the Area-51m is right in your wheelhouse.
- Fully upgradeable.
- Works as a desktop replacement.
- Stays cool.
- Very expensive.
- Large and weighted.
How we picked the best laptops
For this buying guide, we did extensive research for each type of laptop for what individual needs may be from basic use to school, to gaming, across every price point. We also prioritized 5.0-star Amazon user reviews, and reviews from trusted websites specializing in computers such as PCMag, TechRadar, and Tom’s Guide to make sure that each pick is the right one.
Why trust us
With an abundance of options to choose from, deciding on the best laptop that fits your budget and will work well for years can be overwhelming and take up a lot of time – So we’ve done the hard work for you.
Our team spent over 20 hours reviewing and selecting the best portable computers in Canada that suit all different needs. Whether you’re working from home, a student, in business, or looking for a gaming rig. We made our top choices using trusted comparison reviews online from websites such as Consumer Reports, and online user reviews.
Frequent laptop questions
How long does a laptop last?
Between 3 and 5 years. A laptop can last longer than that, but the utility will be limited as it struggles to run more advanced/updated programs. A higher-range laptop should last 4-5 years, maybe even a year or two longer depending on how much it’s used and what it’s utilized for.
Chromebook vs laptop: What’s the difference?
If everything you need to do can be done with Android apps or a web browser and you don’t have a need for anything more, a Chromebook might be for you. Chromebooks rarely can be modified or upgraded, and generally don’t have high specs as they run Chrome OS as opposed to a full Windows OS. They’re a simple web-based workhorse. Laptops are a portable computer. Most can be modified or upgraded, have higher specs to run games, apps, and whatever else you install onto them.
Should I buy a laptop or a desktop?
A laptop is the way to go if you require portability. If you’re looking for power, flexibility for future upgrades, and generally don’t travel with your computer – consider getting yourself a desktop. Another factor is cost, you can have a custom desktop built for the same price (or even cheaper) than most laptops depending on what you need.
How do you make a laptop battery last longer?
A few tricks to make a laptop battery last is to run it on battery saver mode whenever possible. Unplug any peripherals you’re not using (external webcam, headphones, etc.) Plug it in before it dies, but don’t keep it constantly charging if it doesn’t need it. Keep your laptop out of hot and cold places – batteries die faster in colder temperatures. (Hello, Canada!)
What are the best laptop brands?
Apple, Dell, Lenovo, Asus, HP, Acer, MSI, and Microsoft are considered some of the main/best laptop brands around.
Where are the best places to buy a laptop in Canada?
Best Buy, The Source, Walmart, Memory Express, Microsoft Store, Apple Store, and Amazon Canada are usually the go-to places to buy a laptop in Canada.
What is RAM on a laptop?
RAM is how fast your laptop will feel, along with the CPU and storage capacity. Essentially it determines how much you can multitask before your computer starts to get slow and sluggish. The higher your RAM, the quicker your laptop will be and the more programs it can run simultaneously, including more advanced processes like high-quality games or video editing software.
How to choose the ideal wallpapers for laptops?
Websites such as Pexels and Unsplash are good for free images, including wallpapers, depending on your screen size. They have options for every category, whether you’re a student wanting a whimsical/funny background during school or you have a business laptop that benefits from a more neutral tone for meetings.
Here are some more laptops that didn’t quite make it onto the list, but you may still be interested in learning about:
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