What’s important when buying a business laptop?

business-laptop

Purchasing business laptops is different than picking out a laptop for personal use. You’ll want to make sure your device has the capability to stand up to nine-to-five usage day after day. An office laptop needs to have enough storage space, processing power, and the right features to make it the modern day work powerhouse you need yours to be.

Here’s a look at the most important considerations you should keep in mind when buying a business laptop.

Size and weight options

Plan on bringing your business laptop to your favorite coworking space to get some work done? Do you travel a lot for work?

For mobile workers, whether you jet around the globe for business presentations or you work remotely, finding a lightweight, slim laptop may suit your needs well. Today, ultraportable business laptops like the MacBook Air and Dell XPS 15 offer great portability while still supplying decent speed and performance.

Midweight laptops have plenty of power for normal business use while being the most cost-effective. You can also still easily move from the office to the coffee shop with one of these 15.6-inch models.

If you need optimal processing power from your office laptop, usually the 16 to 18.4-inch models are a good choice. The downside is they aren’t as portable and they will have shorter battery life.

What to look for with screen quality

When looking for laptops for your business, avoid touchscreen monitors. This can be a fun feature for personal use but a touchscreen isn’t always practical for business use. Laptops with touchscreens are notorious for adding glossiness to the display.

Because you’ll be spending a lot of time staring at your screen, it’s a good idea to look for a higher resolution and an in-plane switching (IPS) screen. You’ll get better image quality and a screen that’s easier on the eyes.

Don’t skimp on the CPU for business laptops

The processors in a business laptop dictate how fast and agile your device will be. If you plan on downloading a lot of software or will require a device that can handle multiple programs at once (which is almost a given for business use), opt for high-performance processors like the Intel Core i5 and the Intel Core i7.

Keyboard quality and comfort

Keyboard quality is a big one with office laptops. It’s a good idea to test the feel of the keys before making a purchase. You want to look for the right amount of depression – which can be hard to find with lightweight laptops. Also, check that the key placement is suitable for your typing style. Do you need a number pad? Are important keys like Shift, Enter, and the space bar in comfortable positions?

If you ever work in places where the light quality isn’t optimal, consider getting a laptop with a backlit keyboard. It’s much easier to type in low light situations when you have the backlight feature. You may also want to look for spill-resistant keyboards. This feature can be a lifesaver if you work on your computer with a cup of coffee sitting next to you.

Does it have enough ports?

Check that the laptop you’re considering has all the ports you’ll need. Your business laptop should have USB 3.0 ports at the minimum. A USB 3.1 is better, offering transfer speeds of up to 10 gigabits per second. If you do a lot of file transferring, you may want something with even faster speeds like a Thunderbolt 3 port.

To use a headset, whether it’s a basic pair of headphones or a headset with a microphone, your laptop should have a 3.5mm audio jack. Most laptops are equipped with this jack. You’ll also want to look for an HDMI port (HDMI stands for High-Definition Multimedia Interface) so you can connect your computer to larger screens like a TV or projector. DVI and VGA ports can also work for your visual connections.

Ample battery life

The actual battery life of your laptop depends on factors like how much processing power you’re using, if you’re transferring large files, and even how bright your computer screen is set to. So, even though the manufacturer may claim you’ll get 8 hours of battery life per charge, for heavy business use, that 8 hours may turn out to be more like 4 or 5 in practice.

Instead of comparing the stated battery life hours, look at the Watt-hours or milliamp-hours – either Wh or mAh. The higher these numbers are, the more juice you’ll get out of your battery for every charge.

Memory for office laptops

You’ll need enough space on your laptop to handle all your programs and files. For business use, a minimum of 4GB or 8GB is recommended. Otherwise, you’ll notice that your computer slows down a lot.

When looking at memory, you’ll need an adequate operating system in order to get the most out of your memory. For example, for 4GB RAM, with a 32-bit system, you won’t even be able to access all of your memory. You’re better off with a 64-bit operating system when you have a lot of memory.

Storage space

When it comes to storage for office laptops, it’s always a good idea to opt for a solid state drive (SSD). With an SSD, you’ll experience faster speed than a hard drive when accessing data and loading programs. As a bonus, a solid state drive isn’t noisy like the typical hard drive. If that humming hard drive sound drives you crazy when you’re trying to work, you’ll love your SSD.

Security features

Today, businesses of all sizes have to make sure their devices are ultra-safe to help prevent data breaches. One thing you can do to up your laptop’s security is to look for a model with a fingerprint reader. Use password protection and your fingerprint reader before someone can log on and your business laptop will be as secure as Fort Knox, at least from the outside.
 
A lot of the laptops available today offer all of the features you want out of a business laptop without forcing you to break your budget. Compare models, focus on your priorities, and you’ll find the best laptop for business use for you.

 

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