When it comes to business, time is money. Employees are exceptionally costly. As an employer myself, I am fully aware of this. That is the point of view that I take when considering which laptops to recommend for business use. I think it is well worth paying an extra $200 for a laptop that an employee or business person is going to be using to do their job. I look at it like an auto mechanic and his tools. Most auto mechanics buy quality tools. They need to have the right tool for the job so that they can get their work done as quickly and efficiently as possible. Time is money.
These are the minimum specifications I recommend you look for when shopping for a business laptop:
1) Good brand name – That means stick to a laptop from either HP, Compaq, Dell, Lenovo, Toshiba or Sony
2) Must have an Intel Corei5 microprocessor or better. I would not buy an AMD based computer. Intel chips are incredibly reliable and take abuse. The Corei5 processor has the best ratio of horsepower for the money. If cost is not an issue, then spend more for the Corei7 processor. Make sure the processor is 2.2Ghz or faster. Do not buy one slower than that.
3) At least 4GB of Ram. Any less than that is unacceptable.
4) Hard drive must be 7200RPM or even solid state if you can afford it. For business use you should not need to worry about the size of the hard drive. The small drives are at least 250GB now. That would be plenty. You are probably going to find that the drive is even larger than that. The speed of the hard drive is critical though. Make sure it is a 7200RPM drive.
5) You should preferably get Windows 7 Business. This is especially true if you need to connect to a server at your workplace. If your company uses a network with a Domain, then you will want the business or Ultimate version to connect to it properly. Also, I recommend you go with the 64 bit version of Windows 7. However, if all of the other computers on your network are older ones running Windows XP, then you might want to stick with the 32bit version. I suspect that you might have some other old equipment on the network that does not have drivers for Windows 7 64 bit. In most cases you should be okay going with 64 bit though. If you are running a home based business where you don’t use a dedicated network server then you would be fine getting the Windows Home Premium 64 bit version.
Other considerations for a business:
• You might want to consider enhanced security features like the fingerprint authentication scanner that comes with some models.
• Screen size is entirely up to your personal preference. If the person is going to be using the computer primarily at a desk, then get a large 17 inch screen. If the person is going to be traveling a lot with the laptop then get a 15 inch or 14 inch screen.
• If there is going to be company data on this laptop, it is well worth investing in an offsite backup solution. The services that use the internet to do backups are a good idea here.
• Pretty much every laptop now comes standard with a DVD burner, an Ethernet RJ-45 network jack and a WIFI adaptor.
• Battery life is also an important consideration if this will be used for business travel a lot. Check to see if there is an extended life battery available for the model you are considering.
What To Watch Out For:
• Do not buy an off brand laptop for business use. You will regret it.
• Do not buy a laptop designed for home use and try to adapt it for business use just because it is cheaper. I see an awful lot of business people make this mistake. Do not shop for laptops on price alone. If you follow my advice on which laptop you need for your situation, you are very likely to be satisfied with your purchase. If you shop on price alone assuming a laptop is a laptop is a laptop, I can assure you that you will regret it.
• Do not buy a computer with the home edition of Windows on it if you are connecting to a Domain server at work.