The right laptop can be the ultimate companion—dare we say friend—for everyday life. It can help you work and play, connect to friends and family and so much more. But with so many models to choose from, it’s hard to know which one will suit your needs and budget best.
Whether you need a reliable laptop with just the essentials for the student in your home, a slim and cool ultrabook that fits in your equally-stylish bag, or a souped-up device with the power to handle gaming or binge-watching every Schitt’s Creek season, we’ve dug into the features to help find your ideal laptop.
Best Laptop Overall
The Asus VivoBook S15 is our best overall laptop pick because it’s one of the most stylish, affordable and versatile laptops on the market today. With tons of power and Windows 10 Home running the show, it will handle everything from spreadsheets and Zoom meetings to marathon Fortnite gaming sessions and homework with the kids. It’s available in several storage options to hold the thousands of family photos and videos you have.
- If you’re a multitasker who likes working in several windows at a time, you’ll love the VivoBook S15’s large and colourful 15.6-inch screen, which is also perfect for Netflix movie nights with the kids or to entertain them while on the road.
- It’s super light and portable, just 1.8 kilograms and 1.6 centimetres thin, so it’ll take up very little space in your backpack or bag wherever you go.
- You can easily connect your speakers, monitors, printers and more, with the VivoBook’s ample ports.
Best Laptop for Students
Compared to other laptops on our list, the HP Envy stands out because of its smart convertible laptop design, which allows it to flip to four positions—such as the ‘tent’ for when you want to prop it up on your dorm-room table and watch The Mandalorian, or the comfortable ‘tablet’ for taking notes in class on its touchscreen. A bright 15-inch display is also perfect for live-streaming your professor’s next lesson.
- The Envy’s advanced Windows 10 Home operating system will allow you to install just about any software you’ll need for higher learning—such as Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop.
- With distance learning and virtual meetings becoming more common, the built-in HP Wide Vision HD Camera will make sure your video calls and meetings sound clear and look great.
- At school, your laptop often doubles as your entertainment centre. The Envy’s three-way speaker system sounds amazing for music, movies and more.
Best Gaming Laptop
Whether your kids (or you) are blasting bad guys in Call of Duty: Warzone or building elaborate worlds in Minecraft, the highly-rated Acer Nitro 5 gaming laptop has the processing power you need. From intense-action shooter games to fast-and-furious sports games, the Acer Nitro 5 is speedy and smooth on its big 15.6-inch screen with no jitter or delay to disrupt all the action. Along with all that power comes bulk: at 5.51 pounds, it’s one of the heaviest laptops on our list, so it might not be ideal for on-the-go use.
- The Acer Nitro 5 is all about portability and power. It’s slim and lightweight as far as gaming laptops go, so it’s a great candidate for students who might want to bring it to school.
- The Nitro 5 can grow with the gamer, allowing them to add more memory for faster speed and extra storage to make the laptop last for years of gaming to come.
- The Nitro 5 gaming laptop has four USB connection ports (more than most other laptops on our list) to plug-in accessories like gaming monitors, gaming headphones, microphones and more.
More and more Canadians are choosing Chromebooks over laptops because they’re affordable, easy to set up and they start faster than traditional laptops so you can get working or watching in seconds. The Google Pixelbook Go is perfect for lighter tasks, such as web browsing, streaming videos, working on cloud-based documents or light gaming. Keep in mind, however, that its lower specs mean it’s not well suited for memory-intensive tasks like video editing or high-end gaming. On the plus side, it’s thin and super-light for maximum portability, and is ultra-sleek, too. You’ll want to show it off to your kids and colleagues.
- The Pixelbook Go has a whopping 12-hour battery, so it will last as long as you do in or out of the house. A quick-charge feature also gives you two hours of life from a short 20-minute plug-in time.
- Whether you’re tucking into a few episodes of The Baby-Sitters Club with the kids or editing pics from the camping trip, you’ll do it all on its crisp and vivid 13.3-inch touchscreen.
- Tons of apps are available for the Pixelbook Go, including Google Docs for word processing, photo editing with Adobe Photoshop Express, as well as amazing games like Red Dead Redemption 2, Assassin’s Creed and more.
Best Laptop for Video and Photo Editing
The Asus ZenBook with AMD Ryzen 7 processor is the best laptop for making your videos and images shine, whether they’re of your kids and the family dog or a client’s big campaign. The star of the show here is its four-sided NanoEdge display, which gives you the most screen area in the least physical space and makes visuals pop with less distraction for your eyes. And wow is it powerful, easily capable of running all the editing software you need—and perhaps an epic game of Fortnite Battle Royale.
- The ZenBook’s full HD main display is a beautiful and bright 14 inches, which goes nearly to the edge for immersive editing and viewing.
- It has fast storage and memory with 16GB RAM, plus a 512 GB solid-state drive (SSD).
- Not only is it thin and lightweight so you can take it on the go, but it’s also incredibly durable and can withstand dropping, high and low temperatures and humidity—perfect if you need your laptop for editing while travelling.
Best 2-in-1 Laptop
If you’re on the fence over whether to buy a tablet or a laptop, the new 14-inch Asus Chromebook Flip is the best of both worlds. Its hinge design allows it to convert easily from laptop to touchscreen tablet for a work presentation, or to ‘tent’ or ‘stand’ modes for Zoom calls or watching Paw Patrol with the kids. The downer is it’s noticeably less powerful than the other convertible on our list, the HP Envy, and it only has 64 GB of storage (versus the Envy’s 512 GB).
- Its brushed metal finish is beautiful and durable, and at just over three pounds, this 2-in-1 will fold up and go with you anywhere.
- Its 10-hour battery gives you enough juice to get you through your workday and have enough power left for movie night with the kids.
- With its great-sounding dual stereo speakers blasting, you won’t believe the quality is coming from a laptop.
Best Budget Laptop
With so many people working and learning from home lately, reliable and inexpensive laptops are in demand. The best budget laptop we’ve found so far is the Acer Aspire 1. It delivers all-day battery life, which makes it perfect for a full day’s work and then streaming your favourite shows at night. It’s also great as an entry-level laptop for students. Plus, its big, bright 15.6-inch display is rare for a laptop under $500. However, its power and speed is lower compared to the other laptops on our list, making it best suited for light activities like word processing and web browsing.
- The Aspire’s Windows 10 operating system allows you to use all the software you may need, including Microsoft Office and the Adobe Creative Suite.
- A wide range of connection ports ensures your printers, speakers, monitors, headphones and more will hook up easily.
- With Zoom and Skype calls being commonplace for meetings and remote learning, the Aspire’s webcam is more than up for the task.
If you’re busy and constantly on the go, the Asus ZenBook 14 offers unrivalled power and portability. It’s an Ultrabook, which is a newer laptop type that combines the latest Intel processor technology (i3, i5 or i7) in an impressively thin and lightweight body. At less than an inch thick and just 2.8 lbs, this Ultrabook is perfect for popping in a bag or backpack for work or school. Asus has managed to pack it with enough power for everything from Facebooking to Photoshopping, and ample hard drive space to keep your important work files and family vacation videos safely stored. In place of the mousepad is a super cool–looking “ScreenPad” touchscreen that can be customized to streamline common tasks, create shortcuts and more.
- Snuggle up in bed with a glass of vino and a steamy episode of Bridgerton on Netflix, all on the ZenBook’s gorgeous high definition 14-inch display.
- The ZenBook helps keep your data safe and secure from potential snoops by using facial recognition tech to unlock the device.
- It’s ultra-thin and light with plenty of raw power thanks to the Intel Core i7 processor—but those features come at a price. It’s the most expensive laptop on our list.
More laptop essentials
Frequently asked questions
How do I choose a laptop?
The most important consideration when buying a new laptop is what you primarily plan to do with it—such as work, school or gaming. Knowing that, you can then determine the best size, screen resolution, processing power (CPU) and memory (RAM) needed.
What is the best laptop to buy?
The right laptop is the one that best suits your needs and budget. For most users, we believe that the Asus VivoBook S15 S533FA is the best overall laptop. It’s one of the most stylish, affordable and versatile laptops we’ve seen, capable of running everything from Word Processing software, to internet browsers with multiple tabs, to popular games like Fortnite and Minecraft.
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How much should I spend on a laptop?
If you’re not on a budget, you’ll find the laptops with the best value—with features and power where they’re needed most—in the $1,000 to $1,200 price range. That said, you can find great, everyday use laptops for less than $500.
What’s the difference between a laptop and a Chromebook?
Laptops traditionally run Windows or Mac operating systems, allowing you to install key software such as Adobe products or Mac and Windows-specific software. Chromebooks have their own operating system, Chrome OS, which runs its own applications. Chromebooks have tended to be cheaper and geared for students and entry-level users, but that’s been changing as more powerful Chromebooks have become available.
What is a 2-in-1 laptop?
Simply put, a 2-in-1 laptop is a convertible computer that has the features of a tablet and laptop. With touchscreen interfaces, the laptop can be converted (usually flipped back) and used as a touchscreen tablet with your fingers or a stylus.
What’s better, Windows, MacOS or Chrome OS?
The best operating system (OS) is the one that works for you and your specific needs. Windows and MacOS are the more traditional operating systems found on most laptops of all ranges, allowing you to install a common gamut of software used around the world. But Chrome OS is fast becoming a popular alternative system because it starts up in seconds, has a growing application list and is typically sold at cheaper price points.
What are the specifications of a good laptop?
For most users, a good balance of screen size, processing power and memory choice is key. We’d recommend a screen size in the 12.5- to 14-inch range, and at a minimum resolution of 1920 x 1080 (full HD) for the best viewing of websites, videos and games. For performance and price, buy a laptop with a minimum Intel Core i5 CPU (the brains of the computer) and at least 8GB of RAM (the place where the computer accesses the information it needs immediately) or 16GB if you can afford a bit more. Solid-state hard drives (SSD) are also preferable, as they are quieter and faster and have no moving parts, so they’re more durable. For most people, a hard drive with 512GB of storage is more than sufficient.
What is the best screen size for a laptop?
For general use, striking the perfect balance between size and portability is key—12.5 to 14 inches is generally a sweet spot. For gamers and video/photo enthusiasts, a 15.6-inch screen size is probably better, while still offering portability.
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How much storage do I need on my laptop?
For most general, non-gamers and non-professional users, 512GB should be sufficient to store your photos, documents and video files. For gamers and creative professionals, select 1TB of storage at least.
Where can I get a good deal on a laptop?
How we choose products: Simply put, we don’t recommend any products we wouldn’t buy ourselves. Our writers leverage a number of sources as a starting point, including reputable third-party reviews, Walmart.ca user reviews, and Walmart Canada’s category specialists. theHUB editorial staff has final say for all products included in this guide.
Any product claims noted are provided by the manufacturer, unless otherwise stated.
Prices shown are subject to change. Please check Walmart.ca for the latest pricing.
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.