Best Business Laptop
. Most notably, stability and reliability are of higher importance since breakage and data loss are the last things that you want to worry about. Additionally, things like battery life, weight, operating system, pricing, and so on are all significant factors as to whether the money you spend is ultimately worth it.
All of the most well-known laptop manufacturers produce some kind of product series that focuses on productivity, whether it’s Dell, Lenovo, HP, Toshiba, and so on. Each of them offers a slightly different approach to business computing, but in the end they still run some form of Windows where you can install anything that you desire. The main difference comes in how it performs in real-world tasks as well as how the actual hardware feels as you type on it and take it with you.
Performance and Battery
Something that you don’t want to skimp on when it comes to business computing is a strong processor. The most intense business tasks will likely demand a fair bit of multitasking, which is an area in which modern multi-core processors excel. The bare minimum would be a dual-core processor; this is considered the current baseline of processing power, and offers some decent multitasking. Many of AMD’s processors as well as the Core i3 and i5 from Intel offer at least dual cores. It’s even better if you can afford a laptop with a quad-core processor, which you can often find in higher-end AMD processors as well as Intel’s Core i7.
Beyond processing power, battery life can be paramount especially if you’re away from an electrical outlet for extended periods of time. This is where Intel processors tend to shine starting with their 4th generation Core series (codenamed Haswell). They’ve gone through a lot of engineering effort making their processors more power efficient, and it shows in the form of 5 hour battery life and higher. You’ll find these processors in the newest laptop models, from the latter part of 2013 and beyond. Look for a four-digit number in the processor model that starts with a 4 (e.g. Intel Core i5-4xxx). You’ll really appreciate it when you can last almost the whole day without charging.
Weight and Build Quality
Another important part of finding the best business laptop is getting something that won’t break your arms or back as you carry it around. More and more, work tasks are becoming mobile, allowing employees to work from home or any place that isn’t the office. This is why it’s incredibly important to have a laptop that you can move around at your leisure without feeling like you’re trying to lift weights. That said, if you’re looking for things like a bigger screen and more power, some additional weight may be unavoidable, but generally you want to look for laptops that are around 5 pounds or less. You won’t have to look that far, either, with more and more modern laptops conforming to the Ultrabook specification, making them incredibly thin and light while still having some significant power. The downside of an Ultrabook is the more expensive price due to the smaller electronics and solid state storage.
Still, whether you go for a regular notebook or an Ultrabook, build quality tends to be quite important as well. It may not seem like a big deal, but having a machine that doesn’t feel flimsy or prone to breaking can do wonders for your peace of mind as well as your productivity. Protection from drops are welcome as well; ideally you’d want to avoid dropping a laptop at all costs, but accidents do happen. Poor build quality, however, does not need to happen.
The vast majority of laptops sold today have some form of Windows 8, Microsoft’s newest operating system with a focus on touch interfaces. This may be fine for a lot of people, but there may be businesses and workplaces with specialized software that only work on Windows 7, making a Windows 8 machine practically useless. And even if not for compatibility, many people still prefer the user interface in Windows 7.
Thankfully, a lot of the notebook manufacturers out there offer the option of preinstalling Windows 7 on some of their business-oriented product lines. You can usually select this option when you make the purchase. If not, the company may offer a way to downgrade from Windows 8 without any additional cost. In the end, though, it’s up to you and your personal preferences as well as your work requirements.
Since you want to pay for a little bit of processing muscle in a business laptop, it can end up costing $500 and more for something decent. The best business laptop may even cost upwards of $1,000 or so. Obviously price isn’t the sole factor for making a purchasing decision, but as a general guideline you do indeed get what you pay for. If you’re on a budget, it can be a little difficult finding a good business-oriented laptop for less than $500, unless you look on places like eBay or craigslist for used machines.
Business laptops can also offer a few extra features that consumer laptops normally don’t have. For instance, Lenovo offers a premium, high-end ThinkPad that includes a drawing surface with stylus right alongside the standard touchpad, making it ideal for CAD and design work. There are also other laptops that offer things like fingerprint scanners and other advanced features. It’s up to you and/or your business as to whether you actually need these kinds of features, although if you do, it will be a bit more difficult finding a good price since these are pretty specialized features. In such a case it may be worth the time looking for such a laptop on places like eBay. Just as long as you keep in mind everything else mentioned in this article, you should be able to make an informed purchasing decision.