How to Choose the Right Laptop for Your Business
Business| By Stephen Fenech | May 29, 2020
Mac or PC? Thin and light or power and performance? This guide will help you navigate all the options when buying a new laptop.
The right laptop can change your working life but how do you know which model is “right”? There are numerous considerations when you’re in laptop-buying mode: long battery life, the screen size, the amount of ports... And how a business will use the laptop will also determine the level of performance. You need to think about whether you need a touchscreen or convertible, and if you should choose Mac or Windows. There are a lot of decisions (and price points!) but rest assured, there is a laptop that’s perfect for your business.
Think about how you will be using your laptop in your business and how much room you’ll need on the screen. A larger screen, 15-inch or 16-inch, is ideal for showing off large spreadsheets, image editing or impressing potential clients with presentations. If the laptop is mainly for email, web browsing and the odd document, you can get away with a smaller 13-inch display.
Think of a laptop’s core processor like a car’s engine – it’s what drives the computer. If your business involves running high-end applications then you should allow more in your budget for a more powerful processor. Customers should be willing to pay more to do more and achieve more.
Many users want a device that doesn’t compromise the work they need to do on the move, whether working on the video editing of a 4K video, creating a 3D design or powering through a complex document that requires significant storage space. Combining performance with portability is the holy grail of business laptop users.
Power is life – that is the case for business laptops which are designed to be used out and about and on the road. Long battery life is paramount in determining how much work you can get done. Today’s laptops offer about 8-10 hours of battery on average.
That’s OK to get you through the day but if you’re travelling, holding virtual meetings and working on complex applications, then you should aim for a larger battery for a longer battery life. Depending on what applications you are using, some laptops can even run for up to 19 hours on a single charge before you need to find a power point.
A laptop’s connections will determine how useful it can be to your business so numerous ports and port options will be a huge plus.
USB ports can be used for data, power and connecting external monitors and cameras (note: there are different kinds for different devices) while an HDMI port will allow you to connect to a TV, if you want to make presentations on a grander scale, and an Ethernet port means you can connect to your office internet with a cable instead of using WiFi. Also look for memory card slots to transfer your images from your camera and to shift other data.
A 2-in-1 laptop is a device that can be used as a laptop one minute and as a tablet the next, thanks to the onboard touchscreen and a versatile hinge that is responsible for the transformation. This should be a consideration if your workflow requires you to write and draw on the screen.
A lot of Windows laptops already include a touchscreen but a convertible gives you versatility of a tablet and the power of a regular laptop in one.
Staying connected makes it easier to run your business when you’re on the move, which is why the new range of laptops with 4G/LTE built-in are so attractive. Like a smartphone, these laptops take a data SIM card, so there’s no need to hunt for WiFi or hotspot your phone. They are always connected so users can just get on with whatever they need to do.
Mac v. Windows
The choice of brand and operating systems comes down to what you’re already using and the other laptops in your business fleet. Many businesses use proprietary software that will only run on Windows, while the operating systems of Macs are known to be favoured by creatives for editing, graphic design and content production.
Another advantage in using a Mac is the ease in which they can be used with other Apple products like iPhones, iPad and desktop iMacs in an intuitive ecosystem.