Buying a laptop, which of these two would you recommend, or other options?


Dec 30, 2015
I'll fill out the stickied form just to show what I'm after, and at the bottom are two laptops that from what I can tell are the best bang for my buck.

1. What is your budget?
Maximum $1,200 CAD before taxes

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
Between 13.5" and 15.5"

3. What screen resolution do you want?
1080p is fine for me!

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
Not sure about this question. I'm using it for 95% programming if that helps

5. How much battery life do you need?
Doesn't matter much to me, the ones I've listed are about 6 hours according to reviews, which is fine for me.

6. Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)?
Meh. I may play Overwatch every once and a while, low settings are fine. I prefer not to have a graphics card because of the heat and fan noise.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
Programming (web dev, Unity, Illustrator, a little bit of Blender)

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
256gb is fine

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
NA, just as long as they're Canadian. I've mostly been looking at,, and

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
Probably 4 years then replace.

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?

12. Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons.
Asus preferably (haven't had any problems yet!), also Lenovo or Dell. Normally I'd say no to Acer and HP, however, I hear they're getting better. Toshiba is off the table for quality reasons.

13. What country do you live in?

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
I'll be dual booting Linux. I won't be doing anything intense with the laptop. Just programming and a little graphic design.

Here are the two I've found that so far that seems to be the best bang for my buck:

The only problem is that some people reported the ZenBook having coil whine and the fan being wacky, but I think the fan can be fixed with software easily.


Dec 15, 2017
Either of those will be great laptops. I owned an Asus Q303 and it worked really well for what it was (6th gen i5, integrated Intel 520 graphics, 8 GB RAM, and I swapped the 1 TB mechanical for a 500GB SSD). Asus makes some quality laptops. I've since upgraded to an Acer Predator Helios 300 gaming laptop, not because the Asus was a bad laptop, but because I wanted something that could game.

You might check out Dell's or HP's offerings. Dell has some fairly price competitive machines with pretty good specs. Their XPS line is pretty reasonable quality as well. HP's EliteBooks are pretty nice. I have one as a work laptop, and if I didn't want to game I'd really consider getting one of my own.

The hardware configuration you want is actually pretty standard. You'll find notebooks from all the major manufacturers with similar specs. If you are looking for a real "work" grade system you could check out Lenovo and their ThinkPad line. Oh, also check out Microsoft. Their Surface line is actually pretty nice.

My general rule of thumb is that if you are thinking about a laptop that you should get hands on it if you can. You can usually find something at least similar if you visit a retailer like Best Buy, Memory Express, ... or... ok I have no idea what other retailers are in Canada. Getting hands on it will give you the best idea of how the screen is, how the keyboard feels, how heavy it is, how warm it runs, etc.

Hope that helps.
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