Canadian businesses and individuals looking for documentation about technology products are most likely to be downloading materials about Hewlett-Packard Co. and Lenovo Group Ltd., according to an online catalogue firm.

Product information publisher Icecat tracks offerings from about 6,000 brands in 80 countries. Icecat’s data sheets provide product specifications and scheduled release dates for electronic goods in 35 languages.

Icecat’s report indicated that in Q1 of 2013, it received about 191,200 requests for data sheet downloads on notebooks within Canada. That was followed by warranty and support extensions at 63,700 download requests, 51,600 laser toner and cartridges, 45,100 ink cartridges, and trailing at about 43,000 PCs.

The statistics have a two-fold meaning for the leading brands. For one, it shows their products are selling and the buyers are engaged and using them. But it also shows that buyers need to look to an external source for help when it comes on using the product, or understanding the licence and warranty information associated with it.

Icecat documentation downloads

The jump in requests for data on notebooks marked a huge shift from last year. At the same period in 2012, data sheets for warranty and support extensions were the most requested item at 265,700 requests, with notebooks weighing in at only 33,200 requests.

Among top electronics brands, requests for data sheet downloads on HP products outstripped other brands by a wide margin. In Canada, Icecat received 244,000 requests for downloads on HP products in Q1 of 2013. Second on that list was Lenovo at 117,300, followed by Canon at 63,300, StarTech.com at 52,000 and Philips at 43,600.

Yet although HP data sheet downloads were still the most sought-after in Q1 of 2013, the number of requests was less than half of what it was in the same period in 2012. In Q1 of 2012, requests for HP product data sheets were at 537,700. Microsoft, Tripp-Lite and APC were also among the top five requested brands, but none of those appeared in the top five in Q1 of 2013.

Icecat noted that while HP might be the No. 1 name worldwide, the fastest growing brands sell office supplies with a focus on IT. The brand that saw the most growth was Chinese company Bitspower, which supplies cooling and racks accessories for those looking to build their own data centres.

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