Gazillion number of laptops are available in the market for different purposes. You’ll find laptops meant for business users, consumers, gamers, and graphics/animation. Each variety has been manufactured for their intended audience and should therefore not be mixed up as it will lead to frustration.
You shouldn’t for instance, buy a gaming laptop if you’re a business user, just because the laptop has the latest and greatest specs for running the latest games. Similarly, you should avoid a graphics workstation class laptop if you just need to work on routine office work. Talking about every variety of laptop out there would not be possible in this article, so we’ll instead focus on business laptops and what are the key points to consider while choosing one.
A business laptop has been built keeping specific needs of business users in mind. It has been built for the modern workforce, which is increasingly becoming mobile. This workforce looks for a laptop that is portable, powerful, and secure. All major laptop vendors have a category called business laptops, so how do you choose the perfect one for you? Here are some factors to consider in your search.
A business professional can’t risk low performance from his/her device, as it would impact productivity. They need a speedy device that boots quickly and runs without any interruption. There are three factors to consider when it comes to performance:
Processor (CPU) – Surely, you will look at the specs, and CPU (central processing unit or processor) is one of the most important aspects to look at. It’s both the brain and engine of your laptop. Many people spend money to buy top-of-the-line processors even when they don’t really need them. Processor manufacturers like Intel release different series of processors, each of which is intended for a specific purpose. It’s latest Core “i” series is now in its 10th generation, and has three main processors—the Core i3, i5, and i7. The i3, being the lowest in the series, is also meant for routine productivity work and is therefore found in entry-level or budget laptops. The i5 is for mid-range laptops, and can handle more compute intensive tasks with more multi-tasking. The i7 is the highest end CPU meant for highly compute intensive tasks. Mobile workstation class laptops or even laptops for highly demanding business users, as well as programmers will find i7 to be a suitable option.
There’s also the Intel Xeon range of processors, which is meant for professional who regularly do hardcore vector-based processing, business analytics and other highly intensive data science and analytics tasks.
Memory – You can’t compromise on memory, else even if you have a laptop with the latest CPU, you won’t get satisfactory performance. Nowadays, most business laptops come with 8 GB RAM, which is highly recommended. 4 GB will also work, but then you should ensure that other specs like storage (covered later), is better. For hardcore processing, programming, or graphics intensive work, it’s better to go with 16 GB RAM at least.
Storage – Today, business laptops come with either SSDs, HDDs, or a combo of both. SSDs are more expensive, and therefore you’ll find them in lesser capacity, like 256 GB or 512 GB. HDD, which is slower and therefore cheaper, is available in higher capacity. 1 TB HDDs are common in laptops these days. As compared to HDDs, the SSDs allow faster booting time and overall performance, because they don’t have any mechanical or moving parts. They also consume lesser power, which translates into better battery life. They’re also more shock-resistant. If your work doesn’t require a lot of storage, then going with a laptop with an SSD is good enough. Otherwise, it’s better to go with HDD for higher storage. If you need both high storage and zippy performance, then you’ll also find hybrid laptops. These have both SSD and HDD. The OS and applications are loaded onto the SSD for smooth performance, while you can save your data on the HDD.
Battery life – What can you really do if you don’t have power? This is a very crucial aspect of picking up a laptop. Nowadays, the trend is toward internal Lithium Polymer batteries, as they provide longer battery life. In fact, you’ll find laptops that can give you more than 24 hours of backup, something that was unheard of till now. Battery capacity is also calculated on the basis of Watt-Hours, or Wh, instead of the number of cells. Higher Wh translates into longer backup. Another thing to look for is rapid charging support. This feature is not only available in smartphones, but it’s also there in laptops. So, do look for rapid charging support when buying a laptop.
Many professional and business users are constantly on the move, so a durable laptop should be your preferred choice. Laptop manufacturers have begun producing laptops with some MIL grads specs, making them more rugged. So you’ll find that many business laptops these days come with metal bodies instead of plastic ones. These make the device more rugged and durable.
No one wants to have a laptop that weighs 2 Kgs or higher, especially if you do a lot of traveling. In the thin and light category, you’ll now find laptops that weigh less than 1 kg, and yet give you all the specs you really need in your device. One thing to keep in mind is that the weight largely depends on screen and battery size. Larger screen size would come with a large battery, which will increase the overall body size and weight of the machine. An ideal choice would be 9 to 14 inch of screen size and weighing around 900 grams to 1.5 kg.
Security and Recovery
Your data is very precious to you and a small malware attack can completely devastate your notebook. So, look for laptops that offer essential security features to protect your data from malware attacks, protect the BIOS, webcam, and even the overall OS.
Some really good business laptops to consider are from HP. The Elitebook series for instance, have unibody construction with backlit and spill-resistant keyboard. They weigh as low as 1.27 Kg and provide upto 18 hours of battery life. They’re available in Intel Core i5 and i7 variants, and have 512 GB to 1 TB SSDs.
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