Looking for a new laptop - moderate budget, specific needs


Mar 7, 2013
(Posting this on behalf of someone else)

Ok so I'm looking to get a new laptop, and I already told my parents that it would make a good Christmas gift. I want a compact laptop because my current one (15 inches or so) is too heavy to lug around on 20 minute walks. I want a good laptop, probably between 11-12 inches. Power is necessary, and possibly even decent graphics to play some games.

I live in Canada, and I don't really have a budget. I'd prefer to keep it around $1000 CAD if possible.

The person I'm posting this for isn't knowledgeable about computer hardware. Going by what the requirements here are, this is what I'd be looking for:

Budget: Nothing in particular, but ideally not exceeding $1400 CAD. Would prefer something around $1000 CAD.

Size: Small. 11-13 inches display, and not too heavy. Nothing specific.

Display Resolution: Could probably settle for 1366x768. 1080p preferred.

Desktop replacement
? No.

Battery life: Nothing particular.

Gaming capabilities: Ideally, but mainly a console gamer. Not required. If possible, somewhere around a 950M. Integrated is an option.

Use cases: General/gaming.

Storage: Probably best to get an HDD with a decent 500GB+ capacity. An SSD would be nice, but probably not possible.

Memory Size: 8GB is a must.

Brands: Don't care.

Country: Canada. If you can find somewhere that ships to Canada for a reasonable price, that could work too.


Small laptops between 11" - 13" generally do not have dedicated GPUs. Asus do sell a couple of 13.3" laptops with a nVidia 940m, they are generally around around $1,200 USD and given the US / Canadian exchange rate I would expect those to be out of your budget.

Perhaps something like the 12.5" Lenovo ThinkPad X250 with a base price of $927. It only comes with a Core i3-5005u so I recommend spending $100 to upgrade it to a Core i5-5200u. Actually, they may have some unadvertised discount going on because upgrading to the i5-5200u only increased the price to $1,007.... unless it is an error.


If you want you can upgrade the display to a 1080p IPS screen for only another $150, but when that option is selected the price only goes up to $1,127.

It only has 4GB of RAM but that can be upgrade to 8GB. However, it only has one RAM slot so you need to buy a 8GB stick of RAM for $50 and install it yourself which is cheaper than having the laptop configured with 8GB of RAM.


The ThinkPad X250 is pretty light at about 2.9lbs and has very long battery life.


For $1,300 you can buy the 13.3" Dell XPS 13 with the Infinity Screen which basically means it has a very thin bezel making this laptop pretty similar in size to a 11.6" laptop. It has a SSD, but it is only 128GB so is pretty limited storage. It can be swapped out with a higher capacity SSD at a later point in time though. Or you can attach an external hard drive.



Mar 7, 2013
Great suggestions. I'm really liking the Thinkpad in particular.

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