Steps for Choosing the Right Laptop for your Small Business
Laptops are becoming increasingly more popular for business use. Not only do they provide all the power, speed and storage that is detrimental to the success of your company, but they allow you and your team to get work done from anywhere.
With laptops becoming so popular, there are more to choose from than ever before. The process can be a little overwhelming, especially if you’re not super techy, so we’ve provided some useful steps to help your buying experience be less daunting.
The first step before purchasing a laptop or multiple laptops for your business is to set a clear budget before shopping. When entrepreneurs don’t set a budget before shopping for their business, especially technology, they often end up either overspending or underspending. While people don’t necessarily think underspending is a bad thing, it can end up costing you more in the long run because of its low-cost quality and performance. Making a fair investment in the tools your employees need on a day-to-day basis will only benefit you and your company in the long run.
There are many different design features to keep in mind when shopping for your business’ new laptop(s). Here are some basic features you should think about before deciding on a model.
Traditional or Hybrid
Traditional laptops are the laptops we’re all familiar with, they open on a hinge. Hybrid laptops, also called convertible laptops or 2-in-1s, are laptops that double as a stand-alone tablet. Some hybrids have screens that have hinges attached to the computer allowing a 180-degree range-of-motion, while others have screens that disconnect completely. Many employees that travel frequently like to switch back and forth between a laptop and a tablet. In this case, a hybrid design is the best option.
It’s easy to see past comfort and functionality when you’re looking at a sleek design and high-resolution screens, but for business users, a comfortable keyboard is very important. Keep in mind that when you’re shopping and come across a small laptop, the keyboard is, too, small. This can get tiring typing like this all the time. If possible, try to test the keyboard before purchasing it. In the case that you’re shopping online, look at the measurements and make sure it is the right size for you and your employees.
If you travel or work in different locations regularly, you should consider making the sacrifice of screen and keyboard size for a lighter-weight laptop. A general rule of thumb is that a device that weighs less than three pounds is portable enough for travel. Before finalizing the decision of your new portable laptop, always make sure it has the required ports and battery life.
If you are a person or business who uses touchscreen frequently, investing in a laptop with this feature is a smart move. Keep in mind that they are usually more expensive, slightly heavier and drain the battery faster than one without touchscreen capability.
While some business owners consider it a nonissue, others consider battery life as a huge deal-breaker when searching for the right laptop. In any case, it’s always a good idea to look at the battery life of any device you buy.
Memory and Storage
The storage and memory of a laptop is a very important spec to look at before making your purchase. There are two basic types of memory and storage your laptop will have: random access memory, or RAM (short-term memory) and hard disk drive, or HDD, more commonly known as a hard drive (long-term storage.) Some computers will have a solid-state drive, or SSD, in addition to HDD, while others just have SSD for long-term storage.
SSDs are newer than HDDs but are an increasingly popular storage option because they’re faster than HDDs. SSDs are more durable and compact than standard HDDs because they don’t have any moving parts. Here’s how to see if the laptop you’re interested in has enough memory and storage for your business use:
RAM – Forget about laptops with 2GB RAM. Look for laptops that have 4GB or 8GB. In this case, the higher the better. Some will even have 16GB but it’s usually unnecessary for most business users.
HDD and SSD – A minimum combined storage capacity of around 256GB should be fine unless you are planning on doing a lot of video editing. If you’re interested in a Chromebook, you will have a lot less hard drive space (which is okay if you’re a cloud person.) The suggestion here is mainly for business users interested in Windows or Apple devices.
Last, but certainly NOT least, CPU (central processing unit.) This is one of the most important things to look for when choosing a laptop. The CPU is basically the engine if your laptop were a car. It has a huge impact on your device’s usability. It’s easy to overspend on processors when you don’t actually need that quality. Would you buy a Ferrari and never drive more than 35 mph? Absolutely not!
Check out this extensive guide from VSbytes to see which CPU you should go with.
Laptops need to be serviced and kept secure, especially when being used in a business setting. Does your IT expert know the ins and outs of your new laptop model? Can they keep up with the maintenance and security it needs to function properly? Contact us today to eliminate your stress and worries when it comes to your IT. We look forward to working with you and bettering your business! For more information about working with us, click here.