Whether you Are a small business owner buying laptops for your team or an in-house technician expert who’s responsible for outfitting a startup, the job of picking laptops for everybody is a significant one.
While many smaller businesses are embracing a policy named BYOD (bring your own devices) when it comes to hardware, in most industries it is still standard practice to provide workers with primary devices.
What makes purchasing laptops more challenging for small business owners, instead of owners of large companies and enterprises is generally a lack of in-house understanding. Without a group of dedicated tech experts to lean on during the buying process, many owners feel as though they’re flying blind when they purchase hardware.
– This step-by-step guide will fill in the gaps on your notebook, buying knowledge and help you discover the best business laptops for your whole team.
-Step 1: Establish your budget
based on employee tiers .
When entrepreneurs do not set a budget before Shopping, particularly for technology, they frequently wind up overspending. Not every
company needs a fleet of top notch machines, and it is a waste of time to contemplate high-cost options if they do not match your bottom line.
Needless to say, you don’t need to go so cheap, your workforce becomes ineffective either.
One popular approach to tech budgeting is to adopt various tiers of devices based on consumer requirements. By way of example, it could be worthwhile to spring for luxury Dell machines to your C-suite execs and dev-team, mid-range Dell laptops to your professional staff and entry-level Dells for support staff. It’s a good idea to stick to one or two producers to simplify maintenance and mobile device management (MDM) later on.
The Simplest management strategy is to have just one OEM, but should
You’ve got creative experts on board, you will probably wind up adopting two kinds of
machines (because creatives often need pricey Macs, which aren’t typically
necessary for other workers ). [Read related article: What’s Mobile Device
If you are not sure how to strike a balance
Between quality and cost, check out our breakdown of notebook budget ranges and
determine your scope dependent on the kinds of employees you have:
- $250 and Under: In the $300 and reduced range, you will discover low-end Chromebooks and Windows machines exclusively. We do not advocate laptops at this price point for company users, as they generally have a cheap build quality, restricted storage and slow performance. Even for light businessuse, you can do better.
- $300 to $599: within this budget, you’ll discover mediocre Windows laptops and decent business Chromebooks. The reason Chromebooksare far better than Windows machines in this range is because they have far lessstorage (which can be expensive), so that they could remain low priced without sacrificing on construct and display. In any event, you should only buy a work notebook in this price range for employees that adheres to fundamental tasks like using MicrosoftOffice, posting on social networking and browsing the net. For support staff with limited needs, this price range might be adequate.
- $600 to $950: Most professional business users’ needs can be met in the $600 to $999 price range. Users should have no trouble getting the storage and memory they need in addition to a chip that is strong enough for company multitasking at this level. Work laptops in this class often feature business-class security attributes, such as fingerprint scanners, and they generally have great battery life, comfortable keyboards and fine screens.
- $1,000 and up: For $1,000 or more, you can find a laptop that’s a whole lot more powerful or more mobile than those in the more affordable price brackets. Premium ultraportable models, such as Dell’s XPS 13, for example offer fast performance in a very slick package. Bulky, powerful workstations also fall into this category and may vary from $1,500 to $3,000 or more. This is the best price range for the power users, like your dev team, design team and C-level execs who wish to project a specific image.
Now that your budget is set, filter your prospective
Searches based on price. Even looking at notebook models which are outside of your
budget is a recipe for budgetary disaster, so steer clear.
– Step 2: Choose an operating system Unless you are able to invest at least $1,300
Per laptop, you will be choosing between a Chrome OS and a Windows OS however there
are three main operating systems, and you need to be aware of the difference.
XLaptops that run Apple’s OS X take hefty
Price tags, but a lot of diehard Apple lovers are willing to pay a premium to get a
gorgeous machine with a well-designed interface. Historically, creative
professionals preferred Apple laptops due to their high display quality,
function keys and capability to run high-octane programs like Avid, Maya and
Many creative pros still buy laptops fromApple, but it is no longer considered the compulsory go-to manufacturer, particularly since recent MacBook Pros have featured less RAM than previous versions and appear more focused on appealing to a mass audience as opposed to a niche.
Whether you opt for a machine running Apple OSX or not is mainly up to personal taste and how much you are comfortable spending. The only true exception to this rule is if your business happens to use a software product which may only run on Mac. Although this situation is becoming increasingly less common, you should always ask IT about potential operating system/software compatibility problems before buying laptops.
enerally Speaking, Windows is the norm for work laptop operating systems. If you go for a Windows OS, you will have more notebooks to choose from than if you go for Chrome OS or Apple OS X. There are Windows machines out there in each configuration and price range potential, so you can be quite picky (in your budget of course).
Windows 10, the latest version of this Operating system, includes a couple of new features that could boost your productivity. Cortana, Microsoft’s virtual helper app, can carry out all kinds of tasks, from scheduling appointments to assessing the weather. Then there is Task View, which allows you to install multiple virtual desktops for simpler multitasking.
Google’s Chrome OS is the new kid on the block If it comes to operating systems, so if you are unsure what to expect from a Chromebook, you are not alone. When Chromebooks first hit the marketplace, they were primarily made with pupils in mind, since they have a super low starting price point.
The offering of Chromebooks is more diverse, and there are business-focused laptops running Chrome OS. Chrome is a A great choice if you are an entrepreneur who’s comfortable living in the cloud (you can not download programs on a Chromebook) and that does not need to be worried about updates.
Chromebooks are constructed to automatically
Download and deploy upgrades for you, which is a excellent time-saver for busy
entrepreneurs. As a result of an increase in cloud-based programs, like the Adobe
Creative Cloud, Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint Chromebooks are somewhat more functional for a wider selection of business owners.
-Step 3: Pick a design
The key to choosing the right laptop layout is contemplating the way you (and your staff ) work. Here are some questions to ask you (or your employees) before you go shopping.
- Do I need a hybrid notebook or a conventional laptop?
You are already familiar with traditional Laptops which open on a hinge, but now there’s a new breed of hybrid laptops to take into account. Hybrid laptops, also called convertible laptops or 2-in-1s, are notebooks that double as standalone tablets.
Some hybrid laptops feature displays that Detach completely from the keyboard, while others have hinges using a 180-degree assortment of motion so that you can fold the notebook inside out and use it like a tablet. Employees who travel a lot or now switch back and forth between notebooks (for typing) and a tablet (for stylus/touchscreen usage ) might be a great match for a hybrid layout.
- Is a comfortable computer keyboard a high priority?
When you are busy looking at notebook designs it Can be easy to forget about the fundamentals, but keyboard comfort is an important characteristic for many users. Bear in mind that the smaller the notebook, the smaller the keyboard and typing on a tiny keyboard for hours at a time could be tiresome.
If possible, test keyboards out to get a feel For what you enjoy, but in case you can not do that, at the very least, be certain to observe the size of this keyboard on any notebook you consider. If you select a notebook with a less-than-ideal computer keyboard, you can invest in an external keyboard for extended typing sessions, however, of -course, this isn’t ideal.
- Can I be traveling with my laptop or mainly working in one place?
Portability is a major concern for some Company owners and a nonissue for others. If you travel a lot or work in various places on a regular basis, it could be worth sacrificing screen size and keyboard size for a milder computer. You could always check the measurements and weight of a notebook under the technical specifications on the internet.
Remember that laptop displays, like Television displays, are measured diagonally (corner to corner) and that, generally speaking, any system that weighs less than 3 pounds is portable enough forbusiness travel. Before you choose an ultraportable, however, be sure that the device has the ports you need and a battery life you can live with.
- Do I want a touch screen or stylus support? Touch screens are a nice feature if (and only if) you use them a lot. Computers which have touch screens and/or stylus support are almost always more expensive than similar models without touch screens.
Computers with touch screens also use a lot More battery power than those without, even if the touch screen feature is not actively used, and to top it off, touch screens are heavier than regular screens. If you will need a touch screen or stylus support, you should absolutely try to find that feature in a notebook, but do not spring for it just because you think it feels like a cool add-on.
-Step 4: Compare these 3 specs
By now you have probably found a few laptops That match your budget have the operating system you need and meet your design requirements. Choosing between them comes down to the specs. Studying specs can be overwhelming when you’re not familiar with the technology talk, so we’re breaking it down in easy real-world conditions.
CPUUnder the technical specs you will see the Laptop’s CPU (central processing unit, also just referred to as the chip ) listed. The CPU is the first thing you need to look at when comparing notebook choices.
If your notebook was a car, the CPU will be the engine. As you can imagine, the quality of your notebook’s processor has a massive impact on usability. Having said that, lots of men and women overspend for top-of-the-line chips when they do not need them (an equivalent would be someone who buys a Porsche but not pushes over 40 mph).
As you compare CPUs on the notebooks you are
looking at, keep these general guidelines in mind:
- Low-end CPUs:
Low-end CPUs contain the Intel Atom, AMD E Series, Intel Pentium and Intel Celeron. These CPUs are best suited to very light use. If all you plan on doing is typing and internet browsing, a low-end CPU may be OK, but, generally speaking, we do not recommend these for company use.
- Midrange CPUs :
Midrange CPUs include Intel Core m3, Intel Core m5 and Intel Core m7. You will probably only find these CPUs in lightweight laptops and hybrid notebook designs. These CPUs are okay for fundamental work tasks. If the laptop you are purchasing is a secondary machine for traveling, or something you will only use sometimes to take notes and send emails, this assortment of CPUs should fit your requirements. If your company requires you to conduct powerful programs on a regular basis, spring to get more power.
- CPUs that are beneficial for many business use:
Intel Core i3 and Intel Core i5 chips are acceptable for most businesses, they are like the dependable four-door sedans of the notebook world. If you regularly multitask on your machine and do things, such as run QuickBooks while handling gigantic spreadsheets in Excel if your browser had 15 tabs open, a Core i5 is a much better option for you than the Core i3. If you’re a normal small business user who uses Outlook, types files, streams media, stores photos and articles to social media, a Core i3 will fit your needs just fine.
- High-end CPUs: When they first came to market,
Intel’s sixth and seventh generation Core i7 chips were found only in high-end laptops. As with most technology, the cost has decreased somewhat, and now you can find notebooks for less than $1,000 which have i7 chips.
While there is nothing wrong with buying a notebook with a Core i7 chip, you probably don’t need .
Many people think a strong processor equals Better performance and everybody wants the best performance possible, but thatnotion is both false and true. Here is an analogy: Imagine loading a bag ofgroceries in the back of your four-door sedan (your Core i3 or Core i5). It is easy to drive that bag of groceries home, right? Now imagine putting that exact same bag of groceries in the back of a luxury pickup truck with way more horsepower. Was it easier to push the bag of groceries home in the more expensive truck? No, it did not make a difference, since the task you were doing was so lightweight that you did not even tap into the advantage of the pickup truck’s additional horsepower (the capability to haul gigantic heaps, attach a snow plow, use four-wheel driveway, etc.).
The exact same is true for high-end chips. If You are not going to perform video editing or 3D modeling, you do not need a high-end processor and having one won’t enhance your laptop experience. If these demanding tasks are a part of your everyday business, a Core i7 will be well worth the cost.
- Luxurious CPUs:
in the event that you gave yourself an unlimited budget for company laptops, you might encounter a few that feature the Intel Xeon. The Intel Xeon is just necessary for professionals who regularly conduct hardcore business analytics, vector-based processing, and other highly intensive information science and analytics jobs. If all those terms seem like Greek to you, you do not want an Intel Xeon. When an i7 is a fancy pickup truck, an Intel Xeon is a luxury sports car, such as an Aston Martin or a Porsche. There’s a really small people for whom buying a sports car is a financially sound decision and the same is true for a luxury laptop with an Intel Xeon.
- Storage and memory The next most important factor to assess
When comparing work laptops is storage and memory. There are two primary types ofstorage and memory your notebook will have. You may consider them such as long-term storage and short-term memory. For short-term memory, there is random access memory (RAM) and for long term storage, there is your hard disk drive (HDD; it may also just be referred to as a hard disk ). Some computers have a bootable driveway (SSD) along with a HDD (for long-term storage), while some just have an SSD for long term storage.
SSDs are newer than HDDs, but they’re Becoming increasingly popular for storage because they are quicker than HDDs(meaning that they make your laptop run faster too). SSDs do not have any moving parts, so they are also more compact and durable than standard hard drives.
– Here is how to figure out if the laptop you are Looking at has sufficient memory and storage for business use:
Jump any notebooks which have 2GB RAM as they will be bothersome to work on. Aim instead for laptops which have 4GB (great ) or 8GB (even better). Some laptops have 16GB, but that is not essential for most users.
- HDD and SDD:
Unless you are planning on doing a great deal of video editing (and therefore storing a great deal of footage onto your own machine), you should be OK with a minimum combined storage capacity of approximately 256GB. Bear in mind that in case you decide on a Chromebook, you’ll have far less hard disk space. (And if you are okay with living in the cloud and running mobile programs, that is ok.) The storage tip here is primarily for business users buying Windows or Apple machines.
Battery life The last Important spec you should consider before making your final decision is battery life. Battery life is a nonissue for some business owners and a enormous deal breaker for others and you know how many times you’re going to use your notebook without access to electricity.
Regardless, it is a good idea to glance at the battery life of Any machine you buy. Remember that laptop manufacturers use various metrics to measure battery life so don’t take their reported number as an absolute facts but more as a quote. If you want the specific battery life of a notebook, it is ideal to have a look at third party testers.
Some notebook manufacturers make add-on Batteries for an additional price. Though these extended-life batteries can hugely improve the battery life of a work notebook, they also add substantial weight to the machine, so ensure to consider the combined weight if you go for an additional battery pack.
Step 5: Buy your work notebooks with confidence
Now that you have successfully narrowed down your choice of work laptops based on what you need, you can confidently make your purchase. If You are still feeling unsure about your choice, you can always have a look at our Continuously updated best picks, such as Best Business Laptops and Greatest Work Chromebooks.
Credit to: Mona Bushnell