With new and improved laptops being released almost every day, and the lines between different categories of laptops thinning. Choosing a laptop for your small business has never been more tricky than it is now.
Say you want to purchase multiple laptops for your small staff, or just a personal laptop for your daily needs to manage your business. Today we’ll be going over the perfect buying guide that will help you choose the perfect laptop for your small business.
In this buying guide, we’re going to be discussing a step by procedure to help you in your decision process. These steps include.
- What is the Laptop primarily going to be used for?
- Deciding on a fixed budget
- Choosing an Operating System
- Choosing a Laptop style and design.
- Decent Internal Specifications.
- Battery Life & Portability.
1. What Is The Laptop Primarily Going To Be Used For?
Before you even begin looking at laptops, you need to decide what exactly you, or your employees are going to be using it for. Start asking yourself questions like.
- Are there any specific software that you need to run?
- Are the laptops going to be exposed to less than ideal conditions?
- Is good battery life or a great keyboard essential?
- How often are you going to be away from your desk?
Once you figure out exactly what the next laptop for your small business is going to be used for. You can narrow your search down to laptops that meet all or at least most of these requirements.
2. Deciding On A Fixed Budget
Setting a fixed budget early on within the search process will make your buying decision a lot easier. Depending on the size, and financial footing of your small business. You need to make a decision about what budget is right for you because remember buying a more expensive laptop than you can afford won’t magically make your business more profitable.
As far as a budget of $500 or below is considered. Your primarily going to looking at Chromebooks, underpowered Windows laptops, or Windows laptops with last generation specifications. Unless your business can manage most of its daily activities through cloud services such as Google docs, we wouldn’t recommend laptops from this price range.
Also Read: Top 8 Best Laptops Under $500 (New 2019) Guide & Review
$500 to $1000
Within this price range, most people will easily be able to meet their business needs. If you keep your budget near the upper half. You will easily be able to find a laptop with decent specifications, above average battery life, comfortable keyboard, and a more than adequate screen. Though don’t go expecting to find a laptop with a unibody aluminum construction, remember this is still very much a “budget” category.
Once you step into the premium $1000+ category. You can be rest assured that you’ll find a laptop that will be more than sufficient for your small business’s needs. Windows laptops like the Dell XPS 13, or LG Gram feature excellent displays, great battery life, and decently powerful internals. This is also the only category in which you can buy a Macbook.
If you keep your budget below $1500, and choose to go with a Macbook. Expect no more than 8GB of ram, and a 256GB ssd. Now that might be more than enough for some. But if you need it for more computationally intensive tasks such as video editing, or graphic design. Spending more for upgraded internals just might be worth it in the long run.
3. Choosing An Operating System
Of all the steps within this buying guide. This is probably the easiest decision for most people. Unless your business requires you run a software that is exclusive to MacOS or Windows. You should go with whatever you and/or your employees are most comfortable using. The range of popular laptop operating systems include.
- Chrome OS
4. Choosing A Laptop Style And Design
Laptops aren’t just laptops anymore. Now they can become makeshift tablets, or even entire desktop replacements. So the question you need to ask yourself is if the traditional clamshell style laptop will suit you needs just fine. Or are you willing to pay extra for a convertible or 2-in-1 laptop.
Laptops of this nature’s feature detachable screens, or hinges that can rotate a full 180 degrees. If your business requires has you moving around quite a bit, then these laptops make a lot of sense. You can easily walk around with the laptop detached, or folded away. And when you need to sit down and get work done, you can easily bring up the keyboard and start typing away.
5. Comparing Specifications
The specifications of a laptop are crucial. You don’t want to get stuck with a laptop that is going to struggle running more than 4 chrome tabs. It won’t do you, or your business any favours. This step again comes down to the question of what your going to be doing with the laptop.
As we mentioned before, if your business relies mostly on cloud/online-based services, then you can get away with a cheap laptop, but if your applications are heavily resource intensive a laptop with even 8GB of ram might not suffice.
One of the ways to find out what sort of specifications you might need in your laptop is to contact your software manufacturers website, and see what specifications they recommend to run their software. Your often going to want to have internals slightly more powerful than what they list for a smooth experience.
While everyone’s needs are going to be slightly different, here’s a general list of requirements your going to want to satisfy if you intend to use this laptop to run your small business for a good few years.
- RAM: 8GB or above
- CPU: QuadCore CPU.
- Storage: 256GB or above, SSD recommended.
- Display: 720p resolution, 1080p recommended
- Battery Life: 5 hours or above
6. Battery Life & Portability
If your business is going to require you moving around quite often. Then it’s always a good idea to choose a laptop with great battery life and/or portability. Ultrabooks are your best bet if battery life is key. They often feature 8+ hours of battery life, so given the situation, you might be able to leave the charger at home. Laptops like the Macbook Air, or LG Gram all feature battery life in excess of 10 hours.
Portability is another thing you’re going to want to look at. Carrying around a 6 to 7 pound to meetings is not something your going to want to do often. So given your needs, and how often your going to be carrying your laptop around. Making the tradeoff for more portability, instead of more powerful internal specifications just might be worth it.
If you followed all of the steps listed above, then by now you should have narrowed down your choices to just a few laptops. Given the fact that laptops have been getting better year by year, we’re pretty confident when we say that any of your remaining choices will serve you well in running your small business.
What laptop did you decide to end up buying after following this buying guide ? Tell us by leaving a comment down below!