Best Laptops by Scenario

Best Laptops by Scenario

Looking for the best laptop of 2018? Well, you're at the right place. Over the years, I've compiled detailed records of laptops I would consider for my own use in the right situation and let TekAdvisor's algorithms rank and compare them. Everything on this site is sold on the Canadian market right now, and pricing and availability are updated daily. That way, I hope to save you the frustration of realizing the laptop your heart was set on is entirely out of reach.

Of course, there's no such thing as a perfect one-size-fits-all laptop, so I've broken this guide down into typical usage scenarios.

Best Value on a Budget

For those times when you need some mobility, but can't invest much in a laptop. This is a particularly practical strategy if you already have a reliable stationary computer on hand and just need to do a bit of computing away from your desk.

More Budget-Friendly Recommendations

Best Bang for your Bucks

This selection is all about getting the most out of your investment without investing in a specialized laptop.

Laptops to get the most out of your investment

Best Travel Companion

If you spend your day on the road or dashing from one meeting to the next, you need a laptop which is sturdy, light and compact with a great battery life because you can't count on having a power outlet handy.

  • Microsoft Surface Book - 128GB / Intel Core i5

    Microsoft Surface Book - 128GB / Intel Core i5 from $1540;
    ~$1630 with accessories

    Device Ratings

    by Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck2.5/5
    Versatility for the Price1.5/5
    Power2/5
    Storage1/5
    Portability3/5
    Autonomy5/5

    by Tablets standards

    Bang for the Buck3.5/5
    Versatility for the Price2/5
    Power3/5
    Storage3/5
    Portability1/5
    Autonomy5/5

    by All Smart Devices standards

    Bang for the Buck2.5/5
    Versatility for the Price1.5/5
    Power2.5/5
    Storage1.5/5
    Portability3/5
    Autonomy5/5

    by Portable Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck2/5
    Versatility for the Price1.5/5
    Power2/5
    Storage0.5/5
    Portability3.5/5
    Autonomy5/5

    by Large Tablets standards

    Bang for the Buck3.5/5
    Versatility for the Price2.5/5
    Power3/5
    Storage3/5
    Portability1.5/5
    Autonomy5/5
    Specs
    Processor: Intel Core i5-6300U
    Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520
    Memory: 8.00 GB
    Storage: 128.00 GB
    Screen Size: 13.5"
    Screen Resolution: 3000×2000
    Dimensions: 31.23 x 23.21 x 2.28 cm
    Weight: 1.52 kg

    Pricing Accuracy

    Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. ×
  • Apple MacBook Air (13

    Apple MacBook Air (13" 1.6GHz - 128GB) from $1450;
    ~$1540 with accessories

    Device Ratings

    by Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck2.5/5
    Versatility for the Price1.5/5
    Power2.5/5
    Storage1/5
    Portability4/5
    Autonomy5/5

    by Netbooks standards

    Bang for the Buck4.5/5
    Versatility for the Price1/5
    Power5/5
    Storage3.5/5
    Portability3/5
    Autonomy5/5

    by All Smart Devices standards

    Bang for the Buck2.5/5
    Versatility for the Price2/5
    Power2.5/5
    Storage1.5/5
    Portability3.5/5
    Autonomy4.5/5
    Specs
    Processor: Intel Core i5-5250U
    Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 6000
    Memory: 8.00 GB
    Storage: 128.00 GB
    Screen Size: 13.3"
    Screen Resolution: 1440×900
    Dimensions: 32.50 x 22.70 x 1.70 cm
    Weight: 1.35 kg

    Pricing Accuracy

    Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. ×
  • Asus Transformer Mini T102HA Signature Edition detachable 2-in-1

    Asus Transformer Mini T102HA Signature Edition detachable 2-in-1 from $45016% cheaper than usual
    ~$539 with accessories

    Device Ratings

    by Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck0.5/5
    Versatility for the Price4/5
    Power0.5/5
    Storage0.5/5
    Portability0/5
    Autonomy4.5/5

    by Tablets standards

    Bang for the Buck0.5/5
    Versatility for the Price4.5/5
    Power1/5
    Storage2/5
    Portability0/5
    Autonomy4/5

    by Netbooks standards

    Bang for the Buck2.5/5
    Versatility for the Price3.5/5
    Power3/5
    Storage3/5
    Portability0/5
    Autonomy4.5/5

    by All Smart Devices standards

    Bang for the Buck0.5/5
    Versatility for the Price4/5
    Power0.5/5
    Storage1/5
    Portability1/5
    Autonomy4.5/5

    by Large Tablets standards

    Bang for the Buck0.5/5
    Versatility for the Price4.5/5
    Power1/5
    Storage2/5
    Portability0/5
    Autonomy4/5
    Specs
    Processor: Intel Atom x5-Z8350
    Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 400
    Memory: 4.00 GB
    Storage: 64.00 GB
    Screen Size: 10.1"
    Screen Resolution: 1280×800
    Dimensions: 264.29 x 17.50 x 1.39 cm
    Weight: 0.81 kg

    Pricing Accuracy

    Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Canada Computers site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. ×

Laptops for specific types of Travelers

Best for Creativity away from the Desk

Not all work done on a computer involves text and numbers. If you draw, compose music, animate, edit photos or even videos, you will likely need a laptop with a bit more oomph.

Laptops for specific Creative Types

Best Laptops for Gamers away from Home

For intense interactive entertainment or other power-hungry applications. These are the luxury sports cars of laptops, but they tend to be heavier, thicker and have little battery autonomy compared to lesser portables. Some mobility is better than none, however; just make sure you know where the nearest power outlet is.

Laptops for specific types of Gamers

Best Laptops for Students

A student's needs can vary depending on academic level and field of study, but there's one constant: most spend their day on the run and most often than not, relying on the presence of a power outlet is a risky proposition.

Gaming on a Student Laptop...

You might be tempted to go for something with some gaming chops. I get that; but given your need for mobility, I would usually recommend keeping entertainment to your room where gaming is going to be much more comfortable anyway. My personal picks would either be a compact gaming computer (you could even hook it up to a television to save space) or a game console

Besides, having a 2nd computer for those times where your laptop is out of commission (a pretty common situation among students I've known) is a much better Plan B than relying on communal computers.

Laptops for specific types of Students and Mobile Workers

Other Usage Scenarios worth Mentioning

Didn't recognize yourself in the scenarios above? I've got more archetypes below:

Know someone who's shopping for a laptop?

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