Buying Guide - Business Laptops
What are business laptops?
Business laptops are designed for people who use their laptops for business and professional use. While consumer laptops focus more on style, business laptops focus on robustness and provide more usability options.
Business laptops provide the standard advantages offered by all laptops, including:
- Portability& mobility
- Lightweight as compared to desktop computers
- Better computing and processing power
- Ease of connecting to wireless networks
Why should you get a business laptop?
Durability: Business laptops are designed to last long and survive the occasional drop or liquid spills. For example, certain laptops of Lenovo’s ThinkPad series are equipped with a roll cage technology and spill-resistant keyboards.
Better viewing angles: Consumer laptops have glossy displays as most retail consumers prefer shininess and lively colors. However, the flipside of glossy displays is they compromise on viewing angles. On the other hand, most business laptops (except the ones with touch screens) come with a matte or anti-glare display. This not only provide better viewing angles but the anti-glare feature also supports starting at the screens for long.
Business-friendly keyboards: The key focus of business laptops is productivity. Business laptops have better keyboards which make typing easier. Large and curved keys of business laptops provide a much better feel and improve the typing experience.
Additional pointing options: Business laptops provide additional pointing options, whereas consumer laptops only provide the standard mousepad. For instance, Lenovo’s ThinkPad laptops have the proprietary TrackPoint feature which make it easier to access the mouse without moving away from the keyboard. TrackPoint also allows additional functions such as zooming.
Biometric security: Business laptops require a higher level of security. As such, most business laptops are equipped with biometric security in the form of fingerprint readers. Once you configure the laptops to use your fingerprint as a log-in credential, no one else can unlock your laptop.
Ease-of-servicing:All the components of business laptops, such as replacement batteries, are easily available in the market. Also, a lot of business laptops allow users to upgrade their RAM and storage. This increases the life of business laptops.
What are the different types of business laptops?
Office laptops: These laptops are suited for those who work a lot in the office, without travelling much. In such laptops, priority is given to performance over factors like battery life or weight. A good example of this category is the Lenovo ThinkPad T440P I7 laptop.
Travel-friendly laptops: These laptops are suited for professionals who travel a lot. These are compact and lightweight laptops with an excellent battery life. Ultrabooks (which is a trademark of Lenovo for lightweight laptops) fall under this category. Laptops of Lenovo’s X series are good examples of travel-friendly laptops.
Workstation laptops: These laptops are high-end models that can carry out functions performed by desktops. Examples of such functions include 3D rendering or code compilation. Given that these laptops are equipped with a lot of hardware, they tend to be heavy and are not the most portable. Workstation laptops for creative designers have good graphics processing capabilities.
Entry-level laptops: These are entry-level, affordable business laptops that have all the features required by small businesses. These laptops can be used at home too. Lenovo’s E series laptops are a good example of entry-level business laptops.
How do the different types of laptops serve the needs of different business users?
Office laptops: Anybody who works for 6 hours or more on a computer can use office laptops. Some examples of these professionals include:
- Chartered accountants
- KPO staff
- Home-based business owners
- Human resource professionals
- Content writers
- Executive assistants
- Sales professionals
- Travel industry professionals
- Event managers
- Financial auditors
- 3D Animators
- Graphic designers
- Game developers
- Creative directors
- BPO staff
- Small business owners
In conclusion, a wide variety of business laptops are available for different needs. Before you shortlist a business laptop, you should list down your computing requirements.
Some of the questions you need to ask is:
- What kind of applications will you be using?
- How many applications will you require open at a single time?
- Does your work involve a lot of graphics and visuals?
- How much storage capacity do you need?
- Does your work involve a lot of travel?
Based on the above, you can choose which category of business laptops you require.
Glossary of terms:
Processor is the component which processes the information needed to run a computer. The processor has an important role to play in the functioning of the computer. A powerful processor means the computer can handle a greater workload of applications. Example of a processor is Intel Core i5 or Intel Core i7.
RAM stands for Random Access Memory, or a type of memory which the computer can access randomly. RAM is the most fastest storage to read in a computer, therefore, a bigger RAM means faster computing performance. A memory of 4 GB is adequate for most business laptops.
DDR stands for double data rate, which facilitates transfer of data by the memory. The latest standard of DDR is DDR3, which is the fastest type of RAM.
DIMM or Dual Inline Memory Module is the physical part that holds the RAM in a computer. So when you see a 2 DIMM slot, it means you have 2 slots for adding additional RAM.
HDD stands for hard disk drive. HDD is the data storage equipment in the computer. The size of HDD depends on the need of storing data. Businesses that deal in bigger file sizes or have a longer need of storing data require a bigger HDD. Most business laptops offer 250 to 500 GB of HDD.
Graphics card helps in processing of graphics for displaying on a laptop’s monitor. If a business has to deal with a lot of graphics (images, videos, animations, games, 3D rendering), they require a powerful graphics card. For regular businesses, a graphics card of up to 2 GB is adequate.
Battery helps the laptop function even in the absence of a power cord.
Whr or Watt-hour is used to represent the capacity of laptop battery. For instance, a 48Whr battery can last up to 6 hours. A 56Whr battery will last longer.
HDMI Port is used for connecting high definition equipment such as video projectors. HDMI ports are useful for users, such as trainers or sales professionals, who are required to make a lot of presentations.
USB ports are used for connecting USB devices that help in transferring data to and from the computer. USB 3.0 is faster than USB 2.0. So when you see a laptop have 2 X USB 3.0 ports, it means the laptop has 2 ports of USB 3.0
LED Backlit LCDlaptops use LED backlighting, which makes it easier to see the monitor even in bright conditions. Also LED backlighting ensures lower consumption of power.
Camera in a laptop stands for a webcam. A 720p camera would mean the camera has a resolution of 720 pixels. And a 720p HD webcam would mean the webcam will display HD quality images to the other side.