How to choose a Best Laptop (2014) in Canada: Laptop Buying Guide


Best Laptops

How to choose a Best Laptop (2014) in Canada?

Laptop Buying Guide

We are living in an era where we cannot imagine life without Laptops. Even though tablets are fast catching up, laptops are still the most preferred computing devices for most people. The reason is, they are more powerful, they have a physical keyboard and a trackpad, they allow multi-tasking in the true sense, a big screen, they have proper expansion ports, an optical disk drive and so on. They also offer power backup that gives them an edge over desktops. Thus, laptops offer a very balanced solution for portable computing. This buying guide will familiarize you with the general features of a laptop, categorize them as per industry norms as well as targeted end-users, thus helping you to choose the right laptop to meet your requirements.

General features of Laptop to Evaluate

Laptop Types

  • Budget Laptop: These days, laptop manufacturers are inventing new ways to outsell each other, including aggressive price cutting. You can find Core i3 in many budget and midrange laptops, this dual-core CPU is fine for everyday computing. Look for at least a 320GB hard drive, even in a budget system. To find the best budget-friendly laptop for you, try sorting the results based on the feature that you believe is most important.
  • Laptops for home Users: Most midsize/Home user laptops have dual-core or quad-core CPUs, most commonly from Intel’s Core i-series line, along with 4GB or 8GB of RAM, and large hard drives with at least 320GB of storage space. These laptops tend to stay anchored to one location, or only move around within a single home or office.
  • Laptops for students: The best laptops for college students need to last them for the long haul, four years of undergrad and maybe a year of grad work. You should first check with your college or university for specific system requirements. Some schools require their students to have a Windows-based laptop, to avoid software incompatibility issues as much as possible.
  • Desktop replacement laptop: These massive 17-inch and larger laptops are meant to literally replace your old desktop, monitor, and keyboard combination with a single device that can also be easily transported in a pinch. Quad-core CPUs are common, as are discrete graphics cards from Nvidia or AMD. We’d ask for a full 1080p screen, which is 1,920×1,080 resolution, and perfect for playing back Blu-ray or high-def digital content.
  • Laptops for frequent travelers: Frequent commutes suggest a lightweight 13-inch ultrabook. Making a surprising comeback are ultraportable laptops with 11.6-inch screens, including several recent 11-inch hybrids and Windows tablets, where you may only have to take the screen with you and leave the keyboard base at home or the office.
  • Ultraportable laptop: Ultrabooks are ideal for the user who wants a sleek, efficient laptop at any cost. Ultraportable systems with 11- and 12-inch screens are making a comeback. These typically have low-voltage Intel Atom CPUs, or sometimes AMD E-series chips.
  • Multimedia laptop: You want to edit video, audio, or photos with processor-intensive applications then look for a laptop with at least 2GB RAM, an Intel Core 2 Duo or Turion 64 X2 or faster processor, at least 80GB hard drive space, and a 15-inch or larger monitor. FireWire or USB 2.0 ports are handy to transfer data from devices such as your camcorder, digital camera, and MP3 player. If you want to burn DVD movies, buy a DVD+R/RW drive.
  • Laptops for gamers: Gaming Laptops are best for users who plan to use their laptop to play computationally demanding video games. These laptops offer processor speeds between 1 to 3GHz, with display sizes from 12 to18 inches. Gaming laptops are equipped with 250 to 1500GB of internal storage and 2 to 4GB of RAM preinstalled.

Processor: A notebook processor is a CPU optimized for notebook computers.Currently, the fastest notebook processor is the 4th Generation Intel core i7 4930MX), a 3 GHz Quad-core processor. The new core i7 line has the “Intel Turbo Boost” mode that can boost its clockspeed over the factory default.
Hard Drive : Your new laptop is going to have either a traditional spinning platter hard drive (HDD), or a solid-state hard drive (SSD), which is flash memory, similar to what you’d find in an iPhone or SD card. Look for at least a 320GB hard drive, even in a budget system.
Memory (RAM): Programs, including operating systems, need a certain amount of memory (RAM) to run, with more RAM providing better performance. Today, Random-Access Memory takes the form of integrated circuits. Strictly speaking, modern types of DRAM are not random access, as data is read in bursts, although the name DRAM / RAM has stuck. Look for atleast 2 GB RAM, even in a budget laptop.
Ports: Make sure you have the ability to connect all the peripherals and gadgets you want.
Battery Life: The battery life is the length of time (in hours) that the laptop can function after a full battery charge.
Display Size: The display size is the laptop’s screen size, measured diagonally in inches.
Networking and Wi-Fi: If you want to connect to the Internet from more than one location in your home or office, find out if the laptop has built-in Ethernet support, a PCMCIA network interface card, or Wi-Fi (802.11b or 802.11g) support.
Operating System: Windows users appreciate the flexibility of that operating system, allowing for extreme tweaking and personalization. It’s available on a nearly limitless variety of hardware, and with Windows 8, Microsoft has created a much more touch- and tablet-friendly OS, with a slick, modern look that’s a big break from the past. Apple’s operating system, on the other hand, is only available on a handful of desktops and laptops.
Mousing options: Laptops don’t have a traditional mouse. Find out if the laptop includes a touchpad, nub, or both.
Bluetooth: If you have a Bluetooth-enabled PDA or cell phone, you may want a laptop that can talk and exchange data wirelessly with your other electronics.

Popular Laptop Brands in Canada

  • Acer
  • Apple
  • ASUS
  • Dell
  • Fujitsu
  • Hewlett-Packard
  • Lenovo
  • MDG Computers
  • Samsung Electronics
  • Sony
  • Toshiba

Click here to check Best Sellers based on sales


Best Laptops (2014) in Canada


1. Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display

  • A groundbreaking Retina display. All-flash architecture. The fastest mobile processors. Remarkably thin and light 13‑inch and 15‑inch designs. Together, these features take the notebook to a place it’s never been. And they’ll do the same for everything you create with it.
  • Retina display: 13.3-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit display with IPS technology
  • 2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.1GHz) with 3MB shared L3 cache
  • 8GB of 1600MHz DDR3L onboard memorApple MacBook Pro with Retina Display
  • Storage: 256GB
  • Height: 1.9 cm (0.75 inches)
  • Width: 31.4 cm (12.35 inches)
  • Depth: 21.9 cm (8.62 inches)
  • Weight: 1.62 kg (3.57 pounds)
  • Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • Camera: 720p FaceTime HD camera
  • Wi-Fi: 802.11n Wi-Fi wireless networking; IEEE 802.11a/b/g compatible
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology
  • Multi-Touch trackpad for precise cursor control; supports inertial scrolling, pinch, rotate, swipe, three-finger swipe, four-finger swipe, tap, double-tap and drag capabilities
  • Battery:
    • Up to 7 hours wireless web
    • Up to 30 days standby time
    • Built-in 74-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery

Price: Click here to check Current Price

Customer Reviews (Recommended Votes: 67 out of 81):

Positive Reviews:
  • Amazing screen, phenomenal build quality and extremely portable
  • The retina display is absolutely jaw dropping. No magnifying glasses, no tiny icons, just pixel-tastic glory perfect for photos and video.
  • The design comes in at about 3.5 pounds and happily spends the day in a backpack, or an evening on the sofa.
  • Trackpad: Think iPhone quality response and that’s exactly what you have. Extremely sensitive and versatile.
Negative Reviews:
  • Optical Drive and ethernet port: I can’t say this is bad. But someone may miss the optical drive.
  • Although the macbook is charged faster than the previous model. But the connector is also easier to fall off.

Click here to read more Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display Reviews from Amazon

2. Apple MacBook Air

  • MacBook Air now features all-day battery life, fourth-generation Intel Core processors with faster graphics, faster flash storage and new 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
  • It’s just 1.7cm thin and weighs as little as 1.08kg. But a sturdy aluminium unibody design makes MacBook Air tough and durable too.
  • It’s loaded with great built-in apps. And you’ll find thousands more at the Mac App Store.
  • Whatever the task, fourth-generation Intel Core processors with Intel HD Graphics 5000 are up to it. From editing photos to perfecting a presentation to just browsing the web, everything moves ultra-fast. These new processors also help give MacBook Air its extended battery life, thanks to a new architecture that’s designed to use less power.
  • 13.3-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit glossy widescreen display with support for millions of colours
  • 256GB flash storage
  • 1.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 (Turbo Boost up to 2.6GHz) with 3MB shared L3 cache
  • 4GB of 1600MHz LPDDR3 onboard memory
  • Height: 0.3-1.7 cm (0.11-0.68 inches)
  • Width: 32.5 cm (12.8 inches)Apple MacBook Air
  • Depth: 22.7 cm (8.94 inches)
  • Weight: 1.35 kg (2.96 pounds)
  • Intel HD Graphics 5000
  • 720p FaceTime HD camera
  • Two USB 3 ports (up to 5 Gbps)
  • Thunderbolt port (up to 10 Gbps)
  • MagSafe 2 power port
  • SDXC card slot
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi networking; IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n compatible
  • Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology
  • Multi-Touch trackpad for precise cursor control; supports inertial scrolling, pinch, rotate, swipe, three-finger swipe, four-finger swipe, tap, double-tap and drag capabilities
  • Up to 12 hours wireless web
  • Up to 30 days standby time
  • Built-in, 54-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery

Price: Click here to check Current Price

Customer Reviews (Recommended Votes: 69 out of 82):

Positive Reviews:
  • if you want one of the most reliable brands out there, and you like ultrabooks, the Macbook Air in my opinion is your best bet.
  • The trackpad is a marvel. After only a few days I am amazed I ever used a Windows laptop without proper OS trackpad integration.
Negative Reviews:
  • Maybe HDD space? All my music is stored with Google, photos and documents on Dropbox and Skydrive.
  • Expensive for what you get.
  • Arrows are small and awkward for game use

Click here to read more Apple MacBook Air Reviews from Amazon

3. Lenovo IdeaPad Y500

  • The power-packed Y500 gaming laptop will take your extreme gaming, and other graphics, audio and processor intensive applications to a new performance dimension.
  • Standard with up to NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M 2GB graphics.
  • Dial up your laptop’s performance with this interchangeable bay that can be instantly swapped out for dual graphics capability, increased storage space or an additional fan for cooling. Availability of ultrabay options will vary.
  • Increased audio clarity and maximized volume output without distortion — enjoy a crisp, clear immersive surround sound experience over built-in JBL designed stereo speakers or your own headphones.
  • To enjoy your favorite movies on the road choose a model with the latest Blu-ray Disc player and writer.
  • Optimized for the new Windows 8 interface the intelligent touchpad enables easy scroll, zoom and rotate functions for comfortable control of your IdeaPad Y500 laptop.
  • The AccuType keyboard boasts a modern look and feel with flatter, slightly curved keys that improve your comfort while increasing typing accuracy. Standard backlit keyboard makes typing easy in low-light conditions.
  • Crystal clear video & audio and face tracking will help you chat with friends and family like you’re really there.
  • 3rd generation Intel Core i7-3630QM (2.40GHz 1600MHz 6MB)
  • Memory: 8GB, 16GB (DDR3)Lenovo IdeaPad Y500
  • Dimensions: 15.2 x 10.2 x 0.6 – 1.4″
  • Camera: High-Sense 720p HD webcam
  • Display: 15.6″ HD display (16:9 widescreen) (1366×768) (220 NIT)
  • Weight: 5.95 lbs. with 6-cell battery
  • Battery Life: 3 hours (6-cell battery)
  • Storage: 1TB (5,400 rpm)
  • SSD: 16GB

Price: Click here to check Current Price

Customer Reviews (Recommended Votes: 24 out of 32):

Positive Reviews:
  • I am absolutely thrilled with this purchase. If you’re looking for an extreme gaming laptop for a moderate budget, I really don’t think you can beat this laptop.
  • Dolby V4, once tweaked, provides clear surround sound- Clarity is outstanding on my Bass
  • This is really a five star machine, it performs flawlessly.
Negative Reviews:
  • The trackpad isn’t the best I’ve ever used, but it’s not as bad as many other laptaps
  • No optical drive.
  • I have the Synaptics touchpad which solves the jittery sensitivity on older production models. However, the touchpad is still awful in quality.
  • Feels very cheap because when clicking, the surface depresses very far into the chassis.
  • Hard drive is a mess from the factory. If you aren’t an OCD individual like myself it may not even bother you.


Click here to read more Lenovo IdeaPad Y500 Reviews from Amazon

4. Sony Vaio Pro 11

  • Extremely lightweight business-oriented mobile PC delivers easy portability. Uni-direction carbon fibre material and a Hexa-shell design are combined for a durable shell. The well-designed gap-less palm rest becomes flush with the desktop for comfortable typing during long work sessions.
  • Intel Core i5 ProcessorSony Vaio Pro 11
  • Windows 8 Single Language
  • Display : 11.6 (29.5 cms); Full HD 1920 x 1080
  • Memory : 4 GB
  • SSD : 128 GB
  • Up to 15.5 hours of battery life with optional sheet battery

Price: Click here to check Current Price

Customer Reviews (Recommended Votes: 7 out of 14):

Positive Reviews:
  • Roomy and comfortable keyboard.
  • Super thin AND great battery life!
Negative Reviews:
  • Lack of Gb Ethernet. Really wished it had this but a lot of ultrabooks are forgoing this option these days.
  • Fan noise is terrible
  • Some amount of flex in the body makes it feel weak

Click here to read more Sony Vaio Pro 11 Reviews from Amazon

5. Samsung Chromebook

  • For Everyone. The Samsung Chromebook is a new computer that helps you get everyday things done faster and easier. It starts in seconds, has virus protection built-in, and runs your favorite Google apps plus thousands more. The Chromebook comes with leading Google products, like Search, Gmail, YouTube and Hangouts, so you can work, play, and do whatever you want, right out of the box.
  • The Samsung Chromebook’s dual core processor delivers exceptional performance and battery life in an ultra-slim package. And unlike traditional computers, it has no fan or moving parts, which means it stays cooler on your lap and runs silent
  • Operating System: Google ChromeSamsung Chromebook
  • CPU / Processor: Samsung Exynos 5 Dual
  • Speed (GHz): 1.7GHz
  • Screen Size: 11.6″
  • System Memory: 2GB
  • Memory Type: DDR3L
  • Hard Drive: 16GB
  • Storage Technology: eMMC
  • Speaker: 3W Stereo Speaker (1.5W x 2)
  • Internal Mic: Yes
  • Web Camera: 0.3 MP
  • WirelessLAN: 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • Battery Life: 6.3 hours
  • Weight: 2.43 lb

Price: Click here to check Current Price

Customer Reviews (Recommended Votes: 2082 out of 2777):

Positive Reviews:
  • This laptop is excellent. The build quality is amazing for the price.
  • I will admit, this little computer will replace your daily use computer you lug around currently.
  • An incredible device at a ridiculously low price
  • Pros: Built-in speakers, Bright display, Inexpensive, Durable, Realistic color, Lightweight, insane battery life
  • Works great with googles suit of online apps.
Negative Reviews:
  • Cheap Feeling, Looks nice but feels cheap. I predict port covers failing.
  • Nice Computer, Poor Hardware
  • I love the concept of the Chromebook but the quality of the manufacturing is questionable.


Click here to read more Samsung Chromebook Reviews from Amazon

6. Dell Inspiron 15 i15RV-6190BLK

  • Enjoy brilliant visuals on this Dell Inspiron I15RV-6190BLK laptop’s 15.6″ HD display. An Intel® Pentium® processor elevates multitasking capabilities, boosts productivity and enhances your entertainment and Internet browsing experiences.
  • Processor Name: Intel Pentium 2117U
  • Processor Speed: 1.8 GHz
  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8
  • RAM: 4 GBDell Inspiron 15 i15RV-6190BLK
  • Weight: 5.1 lbs
  • Screen Size: 15.6 inches
  • Screen Type: Widescreen
  • Native Resolution: 1366 x 768
  • Touchscreen: No
  • Graphics Card: Intel HD Graphics
  • Storage Capacity (as Tested): 500 GB
  • Storage Type: HDD

Price: Click here to check Current Price

Customer Reviews (Recommended Votes: 2082 out of 2777):

Positive Reviews:
  • Very affordable. Good battery life. Slim profile.
  • It is a relatively thin 15-inch laptop offering Intel Pentium processing power and good battery life
Negative Reviews:
  • Cheap Feeling, Looks nice but feels cheap. I predict port covers failing.
  • Nice Computer, Poor Hardware
  • I love the concept of the Chromebook but the quality of the manufacturing is questionable.


Click here to read more Dell Inspiron 15 i15RV-6190BLK Reviews from Amazon