Running a business is tough. It’s all on you, and there are so many things to remember that it can be easy to forget about the little details. One of those details is what type of laptop computer will work best for your needs as a new entrepreneur — but don’t worry!
Here’s a quick guide with eight essentials to help you find the perfect laptop for business.
- Operating System
The operating system or OS on your laptop is the first and the most crucial consideration. Apple’s Mac OS and Microsoft’s Windows have dominated this field in the past. However, today there are popular alternatives such as Chrome OS.
These platforms have numerous comparable features, but some differences stand out. Let’s look at each one of them to get a better understanding:
Windows is the most common OS. Tons of manufacturers make devices with Windows OS, creating a wide range of options for consumers. The build quality and the pricing vary greatly depending on the brand you choose.
Prices for Windows PCs range from as low as $150 to several thousand dollars. They also come with features such as touchscreens and fingerprint readers. Windows 11 is the latest flagship OS from Microsoft and was launched in October 2021.
Some of the improvements that came with Windows 11 include:
- New taskbar to eliminate clutter
- Improved Snap Group and Snap Layout features to manage window sizes
- Game friendly features
- Better organized app store
These are some of the many new features that Windows 11 brought to the table.
Now let’s switch over to macOS and see what Apple has to offer us that Windows doesn’t:
Apple computers have an excellent track record that precedes them. Many people love their sleek design, build quality, and ease of use. The operating system is intuitive and reliable.
macOS also runs smoothly and is virus-free with most computers. Although, it’s less flexible than Windows OS, which can be a drawback for some users.
The latest version of macOS is the Monterey and was launched in 2021. Let’s go over some of the main features:
- Improved FaceTime
- More intelligent Safari
- Ability to take notes on any app or website
- Ability to share content from iPhone straight to Mac
- A more detailed Maps app
- Ability to tell what apps are accessing your mic
With the new macOS Monterey, users can enjoy a slew of new features that make everyday usage easier. You’ll connect, create, and share content faster than ever before.
If you’re into web-based applications and cloud storage, Chrome OS is best for you. It’s built around Google’s Chrome browser and its services such as Gmail, Docs, and Drive.
Naturally, the performance of Chrome OS devices tends to be weaker than that of other systems. They lack hardware features like removable storage or an optical drive.
They mostly rely on Wi-Fi connectivity and are perfect for web-based tasks like checking emails or creating content.
Chrome OS is found in Chromebooks or Chromeboxes. Chromebooks are laptops with Chrome OS preinstalled, while Chromeboxes are small desktop computers with the same OS.
Although Google Chrome OS is acknowledged for its speed and simplicity, there are some limitations that you might experience:
- A small offline capabilities
- No access to traditional desktop applications such as Photoshop, Premiere Pro, and the like
- Limited support for hardware upgrades
These devices are common among students or people who use Google’s suite of apps daily.
- Battery Life
If you want to use your laptop for your business daily, you should consider battery life. This often takes a backseat in most people’s purchasing decisions, but it’s one of the essential features of your business laptop.
Why? Well, let’s explain.
You need a laptop that can last an entire workday without needing a recharge. When you’re working with clients and networking with new contacts, your computer needs to be reliable and up and running all the time.
Aside from the obvious hassle of having your laptop battery die in the middle of an important project, you’re also losing money. Your time is valuable, and should you should treat it as such. The last thing you want to do is lose out on work because you weren’t mindful enough to buy a reliable machine.
A good work laptop should last at least 8 hours on a single charge. If it can’t, you’ll need to recharge often, which is not ideal for most freelancers or entrepreneurs on the go.
- Display Size and Resolution
In our opinion, this is one of the most critical elements of any laptop that you buy. It’s all about size and resolution – which refer to how big your screen is and how clear images look on it.
In layman terms, you want a bigger display for easier navigation and viewing content without squinting too much.
Nowadays, you’ll find laptops with 14-inch displays to be the norm. That’s more than enough for mobile professionals who need to fit their computer in a bag or backpack at all times.
A 15-inch display, on the other hand, is ideal if you want slightly better mobility and screen real estate without sacrificing portability so much. These sizes are perfect for cost-effective business laptops.
If your laptop stays on your desk throughout, you might consider getting a 17 to 18-inch display for better viewing angles and more on your screen.
This display is ideal if you’re working with huge spreadsheets or multi-media presentations. This way, you won’t feel like you need to squint at your work while editing photos or watching videos.
- Storage Capacity
You should get the biggest possible capacity for your money when it comes to storage. This translates to a minimum of 256GB in their laptop’s drive for most people.
Yes, you can add external storage with USB drives and SD cards (if available). However, there are risks involved when you’ve got all your work on an external device that isn’t accessible while offline or when your computer is off.
What if the drive dies in the middle of a project? What if you can’t find a replacement and need back-ups in hand at all times? There are no guarantees in life; it’s best to be prepared for anything by having ample storage capacity straight out of the box.
The more storage space your laptop offers, the better.
While at it, consider the type of storage drive that comes with the laptop. This is where you’ll store all your files and applications, so it’s best to get an SSD over HDD.
These drives are more expensive than traditional hard disk drives (HDDs), but they’re also faster and much, much more reliable in the long run. They use non-volatile memory chips which don’t require constant power to retain data.
- Processor Speed and Type
Since we’re talking about business laptops, you need powerful machines that don’t compromise on speed and performance. After all, you’re here to get work done and achieve your goals as soon as possible — and having a reliable machine with the right specs is essential for this goal.
As far as processors go, Intel’s Corei5 and i7 series have been the standard for years now – and they’re still going strong. CPUs like these deliver superb power and performance while consuming very little power. They also support hyperthreading which enables your laptop to process more than one task at a time.
If you’re buying an i5 processor, look for the number that comes after it (i5-6200U or i5-8250U). If you see an “HQ,” that’s an indicator of a high-performance chip.
On top of all this, AMD has some decent options out there if you’d like to go budget when shopping around for laptops with solid specs. Just make sure they have enough cores and frequency to work well in multitasking scenarios.
If you want a work laptop with the best performance chip in the market, consider choosing an Intel Evo laptop.
You should get more than 8GB of RAM for your laptop to enhance multitasking and reduce lags when running multiple applications at once. 16GB is ideal if you can afford it; otherwise, 12GB will suffice even for serious multitaskers.
On top of all this, make sure you get dual-channel memory which delivers better speed and performance than single-channel configurations. To check which memory configuration comes with your new laptop, do a quick Google search on the model number along with “dual channel” in quotes.
- Touchscreen and Weight
Touchscreens aren’t a must-have, but they make using your laptop more convenient for on-the-go use. It makes more sense when you’re a mobile entrepreneur and out and about often.
As far as weight goes, aim for a laptop that weighs around 4 pounds at the most. A heavier laptop is less mobile and more difficult to carry around. One that weighs under three pounds means it will be too fragile to take anywhere you go.
- Keyboard and Touchpad
The last thing to consider is the keyboard and touchpad of your laptop. You don’t want to go for a machine with uncomfortable or poorly laid out keys. You might be spending all day typing up reports, working on spreadsheets, etc.
Good ergonomics are also important to prevent RSI injuries. This is why typing surfaces should have 15-20° angles to reduce wrist strain.
For touchpads, comfort and convenience are key. You don’t want a machine that has an awkward or difficult-to-use pad.
Get the Best Laptop for Business
These are the eight essentials to look for when you’re in the market for a new laptop for business. If you have the budget, go with laptops that offer the best specs. If not, get a solid one with an i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a decent hard drive should do the trick.
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