Choosing the best laptop for work seems simple enough on the surface. You just want a machine that helps you get the job done, right? Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as it sounds!
Different businesses and industries (and all the various types of software and applications they run) make very different demands on company laptops. In response, manufacturers are constantly coming out with new models to meet those demands.
For example, some good work laptops are designed to deliver flawless video conferencing. Others have extra RAM so you can run multiple programs at once, or special ergonomic keyboards for users who do a lot of typing or coding.
In addition, business laptops – like so many devices – are subject to rapid change. That’s why carefully considering the specs which are most important to your unique needs is so important. In the end, the best business laptop is one you can keep using for months or even years to come.
We’ll show you how to find that laptop right here!
What to consider when selecting a work laptop
The best place to start is by answering some of the following questions. These will help you align the functions you need your work laptop to perform with the hardware that’s best suited for the job.
What size screen do you need?
While bigger might sound better, remember that the larger your business laptop is, the less portable it becomes. If you travel a lot, a smaller screen which allows you to check emails on the plane may actually be more convenient. Of course, if you work mainly from home doing intricate graphic design work, a large screen with high resolution is a must.
Having an excellent battery is nice, but it comes at a price! At Hire Intelligence, we recommend a laptop with around 9 hours of battery power for general business use. This means you can take your laptop from home to the boardroom or off to a client without worrying about needing a charge.
Mobility – is a laptop even the right choice?
If you’re the kind of person who’s not afraid to play with new capabilities like voice typing, or you tend to spend a lot of time on the move (such as in the warehouse or at conferences) then a tablet or iPad may actually be more convenient than a laptop. There are heaps of options to choose from, and you can easily add ‘laptop-like’ functionality with a detachable keyboard and drawing stylus.
Which OS (Operating System) do you need to run?
Most of the best laptops for work run on either the MacOS (MacBooks) or Windows 10. We find most users already have a preference for one or the other. If you don’t, it’s simpler just to purchase or rent a business laptop that runs on the same OS as your colleagues for easy compatibility.
There’s also a third option – ChromeOS, which is found on Chromebooks. While these machines are highly affordable, they don’t function well without an internet connection.
Processor / CPU:
The processor is the ‘brains’ behind your laptop. The larger and more powerful it is, the more applications you’ll be able to run. Choosing the right CPU is a balancing act between the performance you need, and what you’re willing to pay!
The most suitable processors for business laptops fall in the i3 to i9 level. i5’s have enough power to support most programmes, and tend to be the best value for money. If you intend to use your work laptop for gaming or video editing however, we suggest going for an i7 (or even i9) for peak performance.
RAM, or random-access memory, is where your work laptop will store temporary data while you’re doing things like browsing the web or running applications. The more RAM you have, the more programs or tabs you can run simultaneously.
While you can get away with 4GB for basic work, the best laptops for small business come with at least 8GB of RAM. Power users should consider 16GB or even 32GB, so you never run into those dreaded freezes.
Finally, have an idea of how much long-term storage space you’ll need on the hard drive. If you run most of your programs through the cloud, then you can probably get away with a minimum of 256 gigabytes. Because SSDs (solid state drives) have become a lot cheaper, you’ll likely find most good work laptops already come with 512GB, 1TB, or more.
While virtually every laptop comes with a webcam of some description, the way we work has changed. If your business is one of the many now relying more on apps like Zoom, you’ll probably need to do a bit better. The best laptop for presentations and video conferencing comes with a 1080p camera or higher. (Most entry-level laptops have a 720p webcam.)
If your business depends on specific software, it’s a good idea to check the provider’s website for their recommended specs. Let’s take MS Teams, Salesforce, and Zoom as an example:
Googling ‘system requirements for MS teams’ leads us here. You’ll see Microsoft gives the minimum hardware specs you’ll need to use Teams successfully. For instance, you’ll need at least 4GB of RAM whether you’re using a Windows or Mac laptop.
Now we check out the Salesforce help forum. They recommend at least 8GB of RAM.
Zoom recommends 4GB of RAM, as well as a quad-core processor for optimum screen-sharing performance on laptops.
You really don’t want to find out after you’ve ordered your laptop that it isn’t highly compatible with a program you rely on for work often. Always make sure the recommended system requirements match up against (or ideally exceed) the hardware specs of the laptops you’re interested in.
Not sure? Get in touch for help!
Rent a work laptop from Hire Intelligence
To show you this process in action, let’s take a look at two of our best business laptops available for hire, one MacOS and one Windows, which meet or exceed the specs we sourced above.
Small, portable, powerful – the Apple Touchbar MacBook Pro 13
Versatile and flexible, this notebook offers top-of-the-line performance capabilities in an easily portable package!
Why this is one of the best business laptops
- Intel Core i5 3.1Ghz Quad Core – this meets the recommended spec for Zoom
- 8GB RAM – meets the recommended spec for Salesforce and exceeds the required RAM for MS Teams
- 10-hour battery life
Like the MacBook Pro, this laptop meets our specs, but comes with Windows and a larger screen.
Why this is one of the best business laptops
- Intel Core i5-10210U 1.6GHz Quad Core – meets the recommended spec for Zoom
- 8GB RAM – meets the recommended spec for Salesforce and exceeds the required RAM for MS Teams. Can also be upgraded to a max of 32GB.
- Windows 10 OS makes it ideal for businesses that use MS Office products.
Why choose Hire Intelligence?
One of the sad truths about business laptops is that even if you get the very latest, top-of-the-line model now, it won’t stay that way for long. This is one of the reasons renting a work laptop makes a lot more sense, especially if you’re interested in high-performance units.
When you hire a work laptop through Hire Intelligence, you get all these additional benefits too:
- Flexible, affordable contracts
- The latest tech at your fingertips
- Wide range of models and expert advice available
- Ongoing technical support
Don’t lay out a fortune for a business laptop that will be obsolete in a year’s time. Get in touch with Hire Intelligence, and let us match you with the perfect business laptop for your needs today!