How to Choose a Business Laptop | 2017
What makes a business laptop different from a consumer laptop? Isn’t any laptop used for work a business laptop?
In a BYOD context there’s truth in that—but for our intents and purposes, a business laptop (interchangeably called a business notebook) is one that a company buys and issues for work-specific tasks.
Every manufacturer has one or more “Pro” models designed to serve as a work-issued laptop. Certain models may have a discrete graphics card and high-power CPU (Intel Core i7 or Intel Xeon E3) which would classify them in the Mobile Workstation category.
Don’t worry too much about that right now. Comparing a business laptop vs. mobile workstation today is an exercise in semantics and categorization, and mostly inconsequential for choosing a business laptop that’s suitable for your company.
Signs that a laptop is meant for business use
- It has Windows 10 Pro pre-installed (if it’s not a Chomebook or a Mac)
- For Intel-based laptops, there is CPU support for vPro technology, which enables secure remote management features, wireless docking, and wireless screen casting.
- A hardware microcontroller that supports the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) cryptography standard.
- It supports two-factor logon functions (fingerprint, card reader)
Business laptops by brand
Click the links underneath, and you will find that each type of laptop has various configurations of components, screen size, resolution, and pricing.
- HP: HP Elite Book | HP ZBook | HP ProBook
- Lenovo: Lenovo ThinkPad T-series | Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
- Dell: Dell XPS | Dell Latitude | Dell Precision
- Asus: AsusPro P-series | Asus ZenBook 3
- Apple: MacBook Pro
- Acer: Acer TravelMate | Acer Chromebook for Work
How to appropriately pair laptop hardware with workload
The price each model of business laptop has a range connected to its specifications. More RAM, storage, CPU power, discrete graphics processing, and a high-definition display—each drives the cost.
To avoid overspending on features you won’t use, or purchasing an underpowered computer, know the basic hardware requirements for the tasks the laptop performs. Let business applications drive decisions about specifications for your laptops.
- If your professionals are using multi-threaded applications (design, architecture, database management) they will need a more powerful CPU—a current generation Intel Core i7 in many cases. The a Dell Latitude has the reputation as the best laptop for engineering.
- A laptop with more than 8 GB of memory helps a large application run in tandem with other applications.
- Large-capacity storage drives (1 TB or more) are preferred when working with large files—like video, 3D renderings, and programming with large datasets.
- Design applications (Autodesk, Solidworks, Premiere) require a workstation video card for pro performance. These are different from gaming graphics cards—NVIDIA Quadro and AMD FireEye instead of GeForce and Radeon.
Weighing display size, battery life, and portability
Each line of business laptop may have different options for display size and resolution. Displays range from 11.6 inches to 17 inches, measured corner to corner. Picture quality is measured by resolution, the number of pixels a screen has.
Most new laptops have 16:9 rectangular aspect ratio; a few exceptions exist and are 4:3
- Standard HD – 1280 x 720 pixels
- Full HD – 1920 x 1080 pixels
- Quad HD or 2K – 2560 x 1440 pixels
- 4K – 3840 x 2160 pixels
Larger displays tend to make the laptop heavier and consume battery faster. High resolution screens command a higher price. Only specialized photo and design work requires anything greater than HD resolution.
Most of the weight of a laptop is in the display, so the larger the screen the less portable it becomes. For a business traveler fielding e-mails and running basic office applications, a lightweight laptop with a smaller screen makes sense.
- Heavyweight – 5.0 lbs. +
- Middleweight – 3.5-5.0 lbs.
- Lightweight – 2.5-3.5 lbs.
Finding the best laptop deals on NeweggBusiness
Base your decision-making on the type of work you do, and how much portability you need. That’s the best way to shop for a business laptop, and the correct approach for discovering value and finding deals during the process.
The fastest way to shop online at NeweggBusiness is by category, using filtering tools.
Let’s start at Laptops / Notebooks.
Use the menu to start. Find the Laptops / Notebooks category and subcategory.
That’s a lot of products! Let’s narrow it down using the site filters on the left side of the page.
Step One: Filter by the preferred OS. Step Two: Filter by specifications that match the software used for the job. Step Three: Filter by your display needs and preferences for portability. Step Four: Choose your budget range
That narrows it down to six choices!
Filters make it simpler to find a suitable business laptop for your team, but if you’re still in doubt, or need help with organizational purchasing, reach out to an Account Executive.