This article focuses primarily on laptop purchases. If you’re looking for the desktop version, check out our desktop buying guide.
We know that your company’s laptops are your most valued companions when it comes to conducting business, especially when you’re on the road. So when your laptops are unreliable (i.e. load slow, crash programs) it’s going to feel like the world’s ending.
But no need to fret – we asked our expert team at OSG to put together solutions for making your next laptop purchase a worthwhile investment.
Here are the factors you’ll want to consider during your search:
1) The Obvious
Operating System: At the end of the day, you’re going to want to stick with the OS that you and your employees are accustomed to using. Most importantly, whichever one you choose, make sure it’s one that can efficiently perform and run all the programs your company needs.
Brand: This decision probably has a lot more to do with aesthetics than performance. Choosing a brand is also something that can be determined by the operating system you choose. (For example: Mac OS = Apple computers, always.) Just like our suggestion with operating systems, if one brand can offer better solutions for your business’ needs than another, then choose that one. Simple as that.
2) From Laptop to Tablet
One of the most versatile laptops on the market is a convertible computer (also known as a “2-in-1”.)
With a laptop that can also serve as a tablet, you’ll no longer need to worry about portability. These laptops typically come with either a detachable keyboard or hinges that can rotate the screen a full 360°. To top it off, they also come with a full touchscreen for a real tablet experience.
3) Battery Life
This factor is extremely important when it comes to employees who spend a great deal of their time on the road. Laptops with the longest battery life include the Lenovo ThinkPad X260 with over 17 hours of battery life and the Macbook Air with 14 hours. For stationary use, 8+ hours is ideal.
4) Size & Weight
Size can also be an important factor for traveling employees. If you’re looking for a laptop that doesn’t sacrifice performance for portability, you’ll want a 13”-14” screen while remaining under four pounds. For the best processing power, you should look in the 17”-18” range.
5) Keyboard and Touchpad
Probably one of the most glazed-over laptop features is the keyboard and touchpad. Nothing’s worse than attempting to navigate a device with an unnatural feel. Be sure to test out the keyboard for tactile feedback, vertical travel, and enough space between the keys. Test out the trackpad for responsiveness (no jumpy cursors).
For easier navigation, multitouch gestures (like pinch-to-zoom and a pointing stick within the keyboard) are nice features to consider as well.
6) Internal Specs
Though these are the most complicated parts of a computer, these specs have everything to do with how well the laptop will perform. The ideal processor for price and performance is a Core i5, though that’s not all you should consider.
It’s ideal to invest in a storage/hard drive so you can store as much business information as possible, though this can depend on what you’ll use your machine for. Higher-end laptops now include SSDs (solid state drives) which have great storage capabilities on top of speedy performance. And when it comes to RAM, you’ll want at least 4GB of storage.
Like any other investment, spending wisely is key.
To clarify, this doesn’t mean that spending cheaply is always the best option. For a business laptop that gives a solid performance and portability, you’ll need to look in the $600+ price range. These will include higher resolutions and SSDs. In the $900+ price range, you’ll start seeing the best features for business use, such as a faster processor, more RAM, and more storage space. To top it off, you’ll get some nice aesthetics as well.