- 1st November 2019
- Posted by: Mark Dodds
- Category: Technology
If you’re in the market for a new business laptop – be it your first or a replacement machine – you might be wondering where to turn.
There are almost too many to choose from these days, such is the level of competition between manufacturers.
With that in mind, here’s a super-simple guide to choosing the right laptop for your business.
Which laptop is the best for business use?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, because we all have different use cases for our business laptops.
However, you can quickly narrow down the best hardware for you by answering one simple question.
What’s the laptop going to be used for?
For instance, is it going to be primarily for email, web browsing and report writing? Or will you be undertaking high-end video editing, graphics work, or photo editing?
Always start with this question. It’ll help you set a realistic budget and find a laptop that will stand the test of time for your use case.
Which laptop is best for small businesses?
There’s a huge amount of competition in the laptop space at the moment, and this is great for consumers. With manufacturers all vying for your attention, there are some great bargains to be had.
Clearly, if you’re a small business, one of the principle requirements you’ll have is value for money, but what other qualities should you look for?
Here are some ideas:
- Longevity: You won’t want to purchase a new laptop every year, so a mix of price and performance that will give you enough headroom for the future is vital.
- Bundled software: Some manufacturers will include the key software you need with the laptop and that might result in a saving over buying it separately.
- Compatibility: Think about the software you rely on to run your business; your laptop will need to be 100% compatible with those apps and services.
- Peripherals: Do you have any devices which need to work with the laptop? Printers, Chip and Pin terminals (if you’re running an eCommerce business) and input devices are common examples.
- Portability: Not all laptops are super-portable, and if you perform a lot of work remotely in different locations, the size and weight of the device will be of primary concern.
Thankfully, all the big name brands offer great value laptops for small businesses. Focus your attention on Dell, HP, and Lenovo for the best options, but don’t discount Chromebooks or tablets, which can be perfect for those with relatively simple requirements.
If you’re buying a Windows laptop, just make sure you opt for Windows 10 Pro, rather than the Home version. The former includes enhanced encryption known as BitLocker, which will keep your vital business data as safe as possible.
What are the specifications of a good laptop?
The rise of cloud computing means laptop specifications are less of a concern these days, but there are some basics to keep in mind:
- Processor: This is the brain of the computer and will either be made by Intel or AMD. The i5 or i7 will stand you in good stead for the future, but opt for the latter if you’ll be undertaking intensive work such as video editing.
- RAM: Adding more memory is usually a better investment than small processor upgrades. These days, 16GB is standard and should future-proof your laptop for a good three years.
- Storage: If you rely on cloud storage, you won’t need a huge hard drive on which to place your files, but with 500GB being the standard base level spec for most laptops, that should cover most requirements. Just make sure you plump for an SSD (solid state disk), as this will be much faster and more reliable than a spinning drive.
Pay particular attention to battery specs, too; the last thing you want is to be caught short during a day out of the office.
Those worried about storage should also look to invest in an external hard drive. They’re generally cheaper than hard drive upgrades from laptop manufacturers and can be used as and when needed.
Where should I research the best laptop?
It’s definitely worth looking at online reviews from both users and industry magazines, but take everything you read with a pinch of salt. Nothing beats hands-on experience, therefore if you can try out your shortlisted laptop somewhere, that’ll provide a real insight into whether or not it’ll work for you.
We can help, too, so if you’ve got any questions about how to find the best laptop for your business, just get in touch with our friendly team.