Differences between laptop computers sold in USA vs Canada

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michael517
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02 Mar 2015, 6:50 pm

So I am cruising the internet looking for laptop computers (again) instead of doing work.

I was all over the internet, looking at Asus Zenbooks, Lenovo Yogas, HP Pavilions, 15.6 vs 17" (again).

Then I found this on Amazon.com....

http://www.amazon.com/HP-Pavilion-15-p0 ... l_huc_item

HP 15.6" touch screen, 6 GB, Refurbished, $330.

I have bought a refurb before, HP/Compaq SFF desktop from Tigerdirect. Nothing wrong with it other than the HD was just too small.

To me, the refurb fits within my mode of risk/reward. Not happy with the AMD, but this is going to be word processing, Google Drive, sort of thing, not a gaming machine.

But ... I never heard of this 'ca' thing at the end. So I google the product's model number. And up comes all these Canadian websites, including walmart.ca (didn't know Walmart had a separate website for Canadians, learn something new everyday). After a bit a digging, and based on my prior experiences with googling hp laptops, my best guess is this is a laptop made by hp to be sold in Canadian Walmart stores.

But just to make sure, I googled 'differences between computers for usa and canada' and that is coming up dry. Just a bunch of hate sites, your basic 'USA just takes us for granted' stuff. Which of course is true, but does not solve my problem.

Anything? I know it can't be the AC power, I know that is the same.

Keyboard needs to have French on it too?

Different WiFi frequencies? That could be a show stopper.

Different safety standards for the lithium batteries?

Just a way to squeeze more money out of Canadians?



RhodyStruggle
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02 Mar 2015, 10:38 pm

Most likely the only difference is that pre-installed software might have Canadian regional settings set instead of U.S. So spell-check might spell things differently, programs might use SI units (meters and liters) instead of U.S. units (feet and pints), stuff like that. But you should be able to change this.

I sincerely doubt there will be any hardware differences. Canada's electrical systems are the same as US, and networking standards are the same the world over.

(CompTIA A+ Certified, 10 years tech support experience.)



michael517
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03 Mar 2015, 1:30 pm

Thanks, man!

Might have to wash off a few hockey puck particles and moose crap.



mr_bigmouth_502
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03 Mar 2015, 9:15 pm

Aside from regional software settings, the other differences I can think of between American and Canadian laptops would be that Canadian laptops would have bilingual packaging, and additional safety certifications alongside the FCC certification. It's not a problem for individual Canadians to import electronics from the US, but in order for a business here to sell imported products, they must pass Canadian safety certifications and have bilingual packaging.

Other than those minor differences however, electronics here are almost exactly the same as they are south of the border. We even use the same power outlets and voltages.



michael517
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06 Mar 2015, 10:21 am

First off, mister_bigmouth_502, I need to thank you for your opinion on Linux and Steam. Can't find that post right now.

Second thing, after some research, I have found that the above laptop is indeed an HP laptop sold exclusively at Walmart. Turns out there is an American counterpart that ends in nr or something like that. If one looks hard enough around the internet, one can find the USA version of that laptop, refurbished. It appears that HP alters the processor, memory, HDD size, to make it impossible to price compare, just like what is done with mattresses to prevent you from comparison shopping.

The above laptop has the slowest of AMD processors; the family line goes A4, A6, A8, A10 or something like that. So do not consider the above as a recommendation. It might suck. I can't figure it out.

I do know that the crappy off-lease small-form-factor AMD-based computer I have in our kitchen is slowing down, and as far as I can tell, the biggest problem is that it only has 2G with Windows 7. In my opinion, a computer really needs to have at least 4G for W7 and future. I have not totally figured it out what is causing the slow down, I think it is the combo of many programs that have to run.

I have full tower computers with mother boards from like 7 years ago running W7 with 4G with Intel processors and nVidia 650 graphics that seem to be doing fine. Updating the mobos, processor, and memory is the next the next computer project, but taxes beckon my free time at the moment.



mr_bigmouth_502
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06 Mar 2015, 4:20 pm

No problem. :) I have a fair amount of experience when it comes to running Steam on Linux, and while it's nice in theory, in practice I think they could improve a few things.

Also, I have to agree, AMD-based laptops, as a rule of thumb, are crap. The only laptops I've ever seen with AMD CPUs are low-end, cost-cutting models. AMD's higher-end CPUs are too inefficient and generate too much heat to be of any use in a laptop formfactor. They make good GPUs though, despite what Nvidia fanboys like to say. I've only ever had one AMD GPU die on me, and that's because it used to belong to my dad, and it was in his old Alienware laptop which he handed down to me since he didn't take proper care of it. After some cleaning I got it running nice and fast again, but the damage was already done as far as the GPU went. Nvidia GPUs on the other hand, I find tend to burn out a lot more quickly.

Ironically, I have a laptop with an AMD CPU and only 2GB of ram running Windows 7, but that's because I managed to get it for free from an e-recycling pile. I traded another AMD laptop I had, one based on the godawful E350 chip, for the RAM, hard drive (which has since been replaced), and power cord. It actually runs OK, but I had to do a fair amount of tweaking, and even then, it still swaps to the hard drive like crazy. I'm hoping to upgrade the RAM to 4GB some time soon, I just have to wait for my shipment to come in. Part of the reason why I use it as my main laptop is because it's the only one I have that's in any decent shape; my old Pentium M Acer is simply too slow to handle the modern web, and my Alienware's video card has bit the dust, not to mention it's a big, heavy clunker of a machine.



Fogman
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24 Mar 2015, 12:52 am

Probably the only real significant differance that you will encounter will be keyboad layout. Because Canada is an officially bilingual country as others have stated, you might wind up getting one with an English language keyboard, which will be much the same as you would encounter in the US, or you may wind up getting one with a French keyboard layout which will have some differances.


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