Getting a great laptop without breaking the bank might feel impossible but it can be done. With a little research and planning, you can find the perfect laptop that performs well and has all the features you need. In this buying guide, we will talk about what you need to consider when looking for the best laptops in Canada.
Our number one pick for the best laptop in Canada is the Asus ZenBook Flip 14 Ultra-Slim Laptop. We love how versatile, powerful, and beautifully designed it is. The 360-degree hinge allows you to flip this screen all the way back to the other side so that you can use it as a tablet or tv screen. With a quad-core processor, you can do anything you need to do with no fear of lag or freezing up. The 512GB solid-state hard drive also adds to the overall performance of this machine and provides plenty of space for your games, projects, and whatever else you want to keep on your laptop.
Best Laptops In Canada 2020 –
- Best Overall – Asus ZenBook Flip 14 Ultra-Slim Laptop
- Best Value – Acer Aspire 5 Laptop
- Best Performance – HP 15 Touchscreen Laptop
- Best Extra Features – Asus ZenBook 14 Ultra-Thin Laptop
- Best Budget – Asus VivoBook 14 Laptop
- Best for Work – Acer Swift 3 Laptop
- Best for Study – Asus VivoBook 15 Laptop
- Best for Gaming – Lenovo IdeaPad L340 Gaming Laptop
- Best for Travel – Asus Chromebook Flip 2-in-1 Laptop
|Name||Screen Size||RAM||Internal Storage||Processor|
|1. Asus ZenBook Flip 14 Ultra-Slim Laptop||14 inches||8GB DDR4||512GB SSD||AMD Quad Core R5-3500U
|2. Asus ZenBook 14 Ultra-Thin Laptop||14 inches||8GB LPDDR3||512GB SSD||Intel Core i5-10210U|
|3. HP 15 Touchscreen Laptop||15.6 inches||12GB DDR4||256GB SSD||AMD Quad Core R7-3700U|
|4. Lenovo IdeaPad L340 Gaming Laptop||15.6 inches||8GB DDR4||512GB SSD||Intel Core i5-9300H|
|5. Acer Swift 3 Laptop||14 inches||8GB DDR4||512GB SSD||AMD Quad Core R7-4700U|
|6. Asus Chromebook Flip 2-in-1 Laptop||12.5 inches||8GB LPDDR3||64GB eMMC||Intel Core M7|
|7. Asus VivoBook 15 Laptop||15.6 inches||8GB DDR4||128GB SSD||Intel Core i3-1005G1|
|8. Asus VivoBook 14 Laptop||14 inches||4GB DDR4||128GB SSD||AMD Dual Core R3-3200U|
|9. Acer Aspire 5 Laptop||15.6 inches||8GB DDR4||512GB SSD||Intel Core i5-8265U|
How To Extend The Life Of Your Laptop
Proper care and maintenance are the key to making sure your laptop lasts as long as possible. If you are investing in a higher-performing laptop, you want to make sure you take great care of it so that it can last for years and give you your full money’s worth of performance and reliability.
Here are a few tips to make sure you are keeping your laptop in perfect running condition:
- Keep food and beverages away from the laptop. When binge-watching TV or gaming, it is easy to get lax with this rule and keep snacks or drinks near the laptop. However, even if you are careful not to spill, crumbs and splatter can end up in the keyboard. Over time these small bits of residue will accumulate and cause problems in your keyboard and laptop in general.
- Invest in a computer case. Just like you can get cases for your phone, you can get cases for your laptop. This protects them from damage if they accidentally drop or get hit. If you plan to carry your laptop around a lot or take it on the road with you, a laptop case is a must-have accessory.
- Keep your laptop unplugged as long as possible. Keeping your laptop on the charger when it is full leads to swelling and shortened battery life. Keep it unplugged until it drops to around 10% or gives you a low battery warning. Then, unplug it as soon as it has charged up to 90% to 95%. This will greatly extend battery life.
- Dust it regularly. Wipe down the screen, keyboard, and ventilation port with a soft, slightly damp cloth at least once a week to prevent dust from accumulating inside the machine.
- Keep it well ventilated. The fan and ventilation can only work if it is on a surface that allows it to breathe properly. Using your laptop in bed or setting it on the couch will block the ventilation and cause it to overheat faster. If you want to use it in bed, consider getting a small laptop table to rest it on so the ventilation is not blocked.
- Do not leave your laptop in the car. Whether summer or winter, cars experience dramatic temperature fluctuations throughout the day and these dramatic fluctuations will damage the laptop.
- Shut it down regularly. If you keep it at home, plugged in, and on for extended periods, the computer might start to get sluggish. Try to keep it shut down whenever you are not using it. Not only will this save on energy use, but it will also give the hardware time to rest. If you have left it on for days in a row and notice that it is sluggish, turn it off and leave it off for at least 15 minutes. Then turn it back on.
- Shut it down while carrying. Do not carry a laptop that is still on. The shaking and movement of transport can harm the components if they are on. So, turn it off before leaving the house with it.
Best Laptops Canada 2020 Reviewed
This lightweight convertible laptop from Asus is one of the best laptops money can buy. It is one of the top-performing, most versatile, and best-designed laptops out there. At just 3.5 pounds, you can carry this with you anywhere so if you work remotely or travel a lot, this is a great choice.
With the quad-core processor and the 8GB of RAM, this laptop is ready to do whatever you need to do with precision and zero lag. If you are a multitasker who likes to keep multiple applications open that are all very demanding on the processor, you definitely need maximum performance features like this.
You will also appreciate the extra features included like the backlit keyboard, the wide range of connections including HDMI, USB Type C, and a micro SD card reader.
The 14-inch screen provides a crisp, crystal clear image and full HD display so if you work in a visual field, you can get all your work done on here without a problem. Then, when work is done, flip it over and prop it up to act as a TV screen for binging your favourite shows!
The ZenBook 14 from Asus has really taken portability and features to a new level. At 3 pounds, this super slim laptop can easily be thrown in your purse or put into your backpack, making it great for students, professionals, and anyone who is on the go a lot.
We also love that they include a mouse and carrying sleeve in the package, so you have what you need to start working the moment this laptop arrives. But it is more than just compact and easy to carry. This slim design packs a powerful i5 core processor, 8GB of RAM and large 512GB solid-state hard drive.
If that slim design and high performance were not enough to convince you, check out the speakers. The Harman Kardon certified quad speakers provide incredible surround sound audio without needing to buy extra speakers.
Overall, this is one of the best choices for anyone looking for a feature-rich design that can be used for just about everything. For gamers, go for the optional Core i7 upgraded version for even more processing power and features.
This touchscreen laptop from HP is a reliable and well-built design that prioritizes functionality and versatility above all else. It is a beautiful design with an incredibly powerful processor and an impressive 12GB of RAM.
With that much RAM, you can multitask as much as you want without worrying about hitting the limits on this machine. Gamers will also appreciate the Radeon RX Vega 10 graphics and the 256GB solid-state drive.
This is not just for gamers, though. That kind of performance is great for anyone who relies on their laptop for work. This is especially true if you work in a field that demands a lot of your computer. You need something reliable, fast, and powerful. This laptop hits all three of those marks and does it for a more affordable price than you usually see for this kind of quality.
The IdeaPad L340 is Lenovo’s answer to what gamers ask for in a gaming laptop. From appearance down to function, this is what you need for gaming on the go. The backlit keyboard features a full number pad on the side for all your spellcasting, shooting, and reloading needs!
The Intel Core i5 processor will allow you to fully immerse yourself in the expansive universes of your game without lagging or freezing. The NVIDIA GeForce Graphics will render those universes in rich, vivid detail while also helping to provide perfectly smooth gameplay.
To add to that immersion effect, Lenovo has added Dolby audio technology for crystal clear audio to pair with those immersive visuals!
They have even included Eye Care Mode, a feature that allows you to filter out blue light so that you can game for hours without experiencing eye strain or fatigue.
With 8GB RAM and an AMD Ryzen 7 processor and Radion graphics, this laptop from Acer is a great pic for gamers, video editors, or graphic designers. You will love the 1080 HD display, the 512GB SSD and the totally smooth frame rate.
For gamers or video editors on the go, you will appreciate the durable metal chassis, the extra-long battery life. Plus, at just 2.65 pounds, this laptop is so easy to carry with you anywhere your day takes you!
With Acer, you never have to sacrifice power for portability. You get the performance you need with the lightweight, durable build that matches your on-the-go lifestyle!
For the student or remote worker looking for something compact but reliable to use while working on the go, this Chromebook Flip from Asus is the one to get. At 12.5 inches, it is small but packs an impressive punch.
You can do everything you need to get work done or study for finals, even if you prefer to work from coffee shops, libraries, or breathtaking tropical islands. With up to 10 hours of battery life, you can get through your full workday without worrying about finding an outlet.
We also love that the all metal body ensures that you can take this anywhere without worrying about cracks or damage. So, it is not just lightweight and easy to take anywhere, it is also strong enough to withstand the wear and tear of life on the move.
For the professional, student, or casual user, the ASUS VivoBook 15 is a great balance of features that will appeal to everyone. A sleek, slate gray design and a backlit keyboard make this as nice to look at as it is to use.
We really appreciate the full-size keyboard that comes with a number pad. This is a feature gamers will also enjoy. The large 15.6-inch display also allows for the most immersive gaming experience a laptop can offer.
With extra features like the fingerprint reader, the full slate of connections, and the 10th generation Intel Core i3, this is just an all-around great laptop for all varieties of users.
This VivoBook 14 from Asus is another perfect example of that unique balance of high quality and affordability that this brand has come to be known for. This is one of the best options for the budget-conscious buyer who still wants a laptop they can rely on for years to come.
With 4GB RAM and 128GB SSD hard drive, this is just enough performance to handle the studying or work demands of students and professionals alike. Plus, with a battery that lasts up to 8 hours on a single charge, you can get through your whole school day or workday without having to run to an outlet.
It is reliable, lightweight, and ready to handle all of your daily needs!
Acer has built a powerful all-purpose machine in this Aspire 5. Professionals will be drawn to the 8GB RAM and the large, 512GB SSD hard drive. Gamers will love the NVIDIA GeForce MX250 graphics for crisp, smooth gameplay.
Students will appreciate the 9 ½ hours of battery life and the under 4 pounds carrying weight. With so many great features, there is something for every type of user. So, if you want one laptop that can do everything, this should definitely be on your list.
It is fast, reliable, and because the RAM is not soldered to the motherboard, you actually have the option to upgrade this to higher RAM if you want. So even advanced gamers can save money on an expensive gaming laptop by getting this affordable Acer and just upgrading the RAM to what they need.
The Most Important Parts Of A Laptop
For those who are not too tech-savvy, trying to figure out what all the different specs you are seeing actually mean in terms of quality and performance can be tough. In this section, we will break down the most important components of a laptop and how they affect what the laptop can do.
When it comes to the hard drive, you are looking at two things: the size and the type. The size determines how much storage space you have available on the machine itself. If you rely a lot on cloud storage, this will not matter as much although more storage does somewhat influence performance. Hard drives that are nearly full tend to run a little slower than hard drives that are empty or only half full. So, the larger it is, the more you can store without filling it up.
Beyond size, you also want to look at the type of hard drive. You will be mostly seeing either solid-state drives (SSD) or the embedded multimedia card (eMMC). The latter is mostly found in smaller laptops and devices. It is a form of flash memory that is just soldered right onto the motherboard.
While it is reliable, it tends to slow the performance a bit because it just cannot transfer data at the same volume that a solid-state drive can. You also tend to see smaller capacities, capping out at around 256GB as a very upper limit.
Meanwhile, SSD is a newer technology that allows for larger volumes both in terms of storage space and in data transfer. That means you get more room and faster speeds. They are also quieter and use less power. They are just better overall which is why you will see SSD much more often than eMMC.
However, if you only plan to use your laptop for school or for light word processing and browsing, you can save money by opting for a more compact laptop with an eMMC hard drive.
RAM is sort of like a computer’s short-term memory. It is what allows it to juggle multiple tasks at a time so that you can browse the internet, type notes in a document, read a PDF, and edit a photo in photoshop all at the same time. However, the level of multitasking that a computer can handle depends on the amount of RAM it has.
The more demanding the applications you are using, the more RAM you need. Heavy gamers who also want to video chat with their friends will need a lot of RAM in order for the computer to handle both of those tasks without lagging or freezing.
Here is a brief explanation of how much RAM you need for different purposes:
- 4GB: Basic tasks like browsing the internet and text applications. This will be suitable for school or as a secondary laptop for work or travel. But if you like to have dozens of tabs open in your browser at a time, it may start to lag.
- 8GB: Moderate tasks and multitasking. You can browse the internet, write your essay, and stream video at the same time without any lag. More demanding applications can also run on this but not while multitasking. You probably would not be able to play a large game and video chat at the same time, for example.
- 12GB: This is an ideal minimum to have for heavy gamers or gamers who like to multitask while gaming. It is also great for creatives who work in graphic design, sound mixing, or other fields that rely on demanding computer applications.
- 16+GB: Once you get into this range, you are looking at top of the line performance that really is not necessary unless you are playing AAA games, keeping dozens of tabs open in your browser, and using graphic design software all at the same time. You will pretty much never have to worry about overloading the RAM on laptops in this range. But they are also a lot more expensive so, unless you know you need it, you probably do not want to go beyond 12GB.
The computer processing unit (CPU) is what actually determines the performance of your laptop. The RAM determines how much it can handle at one time, but the processor determines how well it will run any given program.
The leaders in the CPU game are Intel and AMD. If you see either of these names in the specs, you can be confident you are getting a high-performance machine.
The more advanced the software or games you are planning to run on the laptop, the better your processor needs to be. But great CPUs do drive up the price of a laptop so if you are trying to stick to your budget, you should not get more processor than you need. If you are on a tight budget feel free to take a look at our article on the best budget laptops in Canada.
You also need to consider the cooling system of a laptop when you look at builds with more powerful processors. High-performance CPUs tend to run hotter, so a good fan, ventilation, or other cooling system are going to be essential to prevent the laptop from overheating.
Battery life is an important factor for people who travel a lot or use their laptop outdoors. If you work at coffeeshops often, for example, you know the tables near the outlets are precious real estate that you will not always be able to get. When you cannot get to an outlet, you need to be able to rely on long battery life so that you can continue working without interruption.
If you are not using this laptop away from home a lot, the battery life will not be as big of an issue for you. Since you will always be able to plug it in, it is not as important that it can run on battery for a long time. It is nice to have but it should not be a deciding factor for you.
The graphics card is one of the most important features a gamer will need to consider when choosing a gaming laptop. The graphics processing unit (GPU) will determine not only how high resolution the image is but also how smoothly the game or video will transition from frame to frame.
This is important for both gamers and video editors alike. You want to really max out the resolution and frame rates so that you can fully immerse yourself in the game or edit high-quality video without lag, pixelation, or freezing.
The higher the resolution of the games or videos you plan to play or edit on the laptop, the better your graphics card needs to be.
It is also a good idea to get a graphics card that is a little more powerful than what you would need for your current games or videos. This way, you can get an extra few years out of the laptop since it will be able to handle advancements in gaming and video technology.
Weight is important for laptops no matter what you are using it for. A heavy, bulky laptop will be uncomfortable to use any place else other than a desk. So, even if you are primarily using it as your home computer, you will not have as much flexibility to use it on the couch, in bed, at the dining table, or anywhere else in the home. If it is too heavy, it will be clunky to move around and uncomfortable to keep it on your lap for extended periods of time.
Fortunately, laptop technology has advanced quite a bit and many laptops are able to pack high performance into surprisingly thin and compact designs.
If you plan to travel a lot or take your laptop with you to work or school, look for super light designs of around 3 pounds. If you mostly plan to use it at home, lighter is still better although you can save money without sacrificing performance if you go for a heavier model since they can use larger components to pack high performance into it the machine.
The most important thing when shopping for a laptop in Canada is knowing what technical specs you need based on what you plan to use it for. A gamer really needs to pay attention to the graphics card, for example. While a freelance professional will be more concerned about the hard drive. All of these features play an important role in making a great laptop but the top priorities will differ depending on how you plan to use it. So, take some time to think about where your priorities are and what you need. Then narrow down your options to the ones that meet at least your basic requirements and compare them based on what extra features they offer.