5 Must Haves for Your Work Laptop
You either have it, know of it, or are still fighting the trauma flashbacks – that clunky, slow, larger than life work laptop. The muscle required to tow it to and from the office probably qualified you for the Olympic sport of weightlifting. Fortunately, technology has advanced, and now lighter, faster and leaner laptops are on the market. Since many models look the same and have similar features, laptop shopping can be overwhelming – especially when you’re buying them for your entire office staff.
Laptops see heavy daily use, now more than ever before. Business laptops are generally more expensive, but the extra cost ensures a higher-quality product. While it’s tempting for some businesses to focus solely on cost when choosing a laptop to buy in bulk, you could be signing yourself up for the same decision in another two years, not to mention other headaches along the way. It's important to also consider other factors that contribute to the quality and longevity of your devices.
- Durability and Portability
Don’t buy a run of the mill consumer laptop. Business-grade laptops are better designed for long periods of use compared to consumer models and are generally more portable. Laptops used for business are well traveled – they probably see every surface of your home. That’s why they’re usually made of a more durable material, such as magnesium or carbon alloy with a polycarbonate shell. Also, a worthy business laptop should be lightweight, ideally weighing less than 4 lbs. to suit the flexibility of today’s on-the-go professionals.
- Hard Drive and Speed
You get what you pay for plays a big part in this laptop qualification - most inexpensive laptops don’t have high storage capacities or top-of-the-line processors. The latest and greatest software programs demand an abundant system memory, so make sure your work laptop has at least 8GB of RAM with SSD storage. This enables fast access and transfer of data, a necessity when multitasking with several large files open at once. A business laptop should also be equipped with the latest Intel Core CPU generation processor for higher speeds. If part of your workforce is remote, a slow processor can make sorting through files and spreadsheets a time-consuming task. Memory and speed also play a part in a long-lasting battery charge.
- Updated Operating System and Firmware
The operating system (OS) manages memory and processes and is therefore the most important software that runs on your computer. An up-to-date OS is essential for smooth compatibility with the programs you use daily. Often, older or refurbished laptops run on older operating systems. Windows is known as the most popular operating system in the world, with Windows 10 being the most recent release. Devices that run Windows 7 and Windows 8 are either no longer supported or are nearing the end of their lifecycles. Just as important is the firmware executed to load the operating system – BIOS. Do your research to make sure that the laptop’s BIOS enhances tamper resistance, secures pre-boot communication and optimizes performance.
- Customization & Connection Options
Every business is different. Buying off-the-shelf laptops in bulk may mean that you’re paying for features that you don’t need or not getting the ones that you do. Look into laptops that allow you to pre-configure image loads, asset tagging and personalized BIOS settings. Also, as technology advances, some laptops have left behind many of the ports that you are used to. If your business requires HDMI, headphone jacks, SD cards, multiple USB ports or even a slot for a security lock, make sure that your investment includes those items.
- Appropriate Display Size and Graphics
Screen size, resolution, screen type and graphics processor have an impact on your satisfaction with the output of the device. Large displays (15” and higher) are essential to graphics editing and multitasking, while smaller “notebook” screens (around 13” or 14”) may be ideal for browsing, word processing or travel. Widescreen formatting allows for optimal screen viewing when working at a desk. Many laptops also have a multitouch display, a convenient feature when a mouse is out of reach. A graphics processor such as Intel HD Graphics can improve performance, especially when using more complex applications.
To help make the right decision for your business, consider a laptop's price-performance ratio, a measure of a product's ability to deliver performance relative to its price. This can be found by dividing the budgeted cost of work completed, or earned value, by the actual cost of the work performed. And remember to review the specifications of each laptop you're considering to ensure you'd receive peak performance for the extra money spent. A laptop worth investigating is the Dynabook Tecra A50 or the Dynabook Portege X40. To learn more or get a quote, contact us.