Laptops provide business users with a good balance of portability and performance. Powerful models provide a good all-round computing experience and can act as a convenient and suitable replacement for bulky desktop computers.
If you’re looking for a desktop replacement you may want to consider good internal storage for your digital data. Most modern laptops have built-in WiFi, a CD or DVD optical drive and plenty of connectivity options for linking up to your PC peripherals like memory sticks and projectors.
- Are smaller, lighter and faster than regular laptops, making them perfect for the travelling business-user who needs an extremely portable, high powered machine. Due to their size these laptops may lack USB ports and other types of connection points for linking to your computer peripherals. They also don’t contain built-in CD or DVD drives like most regular laptops do.
- Are advanced notebooks with superfast processors, incredible graphics and stunning lightweight designs, but these cutting-edge features all come with a price.
- Are small basic laptops that are most suitable for web-browsing and emailing. They are not suitable for heavy-duty workloads or demanding applications.
The processor determines the speed and performance of the laptop. 2GHz should be sufficient for general business use. However, if your laptop will be your primary computer, it’s worth considering a more powerful processor. Superfast processors (2.6GHz and over) ensure a speedy performance for seamless multitasking, downloading and demanding workloads.
Memory / RAM
Random Access Memory (RAM) affects the speed at which your programs run and how many tasks you can work on simultaneously. 1-3GB of working memory is suitable for general business use. 4GB or more is better for heavy-duty multitasking or powering demanding programs and multimedia without any glitches.
The built-in storage space of a laptop can be extended with external storage devices like USB memory sticks or portable hard drives. However, if you’re always on the move, a laptop with more built-in memory would ensure you don’t have to carry too many accessories around.
Powerful processors can negatively affect the battery life of a laptop. However, depending on what programs you are using, a general business laptop should last 7-8 hours without needing to be charged.
Other things to consider:
You may have to compromise on portability if you want a desktop-replacement laptop with lots of storage for instance. Ultra-mobile laptops are designed for the on-the-go professional who needs both high-performance and portability, but may cost more than regular laptops. For general business use, consider a screen size that will be comfortable for you to work on every day.
The operating system determines how you go about navigating and using your laptop. Microsoft Windows is the most popular – Windows Home Premium is generally sufficient for most small businesses. Apple laptops have MacOS.
Integrated graphics are common in more affordable models and are generally fine for basic graphics. But if you want to work with high res imagery or visual multimedia on your laptop, then you’ll need a dedicated graphics card for optimal performance. The more dedicated memory (1.5GB or more), the faster your graphics programs will run.
Most laptops have several USB ports and an Ethernet socket to connect to a wired network. If you need to connect your laptop to a projector for presentations, make sure it has a VGA output
CD or DVD drive to transfer data to and from discs. Netbooks don’t have optical drives
Useful for video-conferencing
Most modern laptops have built-in WiFi, otherwise you may need to use a dongle to access the internet
via mobile broadband