4 Budget Laptops for Small Business 2015

Need to balance finances with computing power? There are many excellent options on the market to meet your needs at a price point below $500.

“Higher-priced systems featuring more capable processors have more power to handle additional multi-tasking and computer-intensive tasks,” explains Jason Kennedy, Intel’s director of business marketing and product management. Most budget displays are adequate, but not eye popping.

But if you’re more focused on function than flash, budget models generally run basic business productivity software as well as their pricier counterparts do. And if you do your homework and skillfully use rebates, trade-ins and weekly technology deals, you can get similar features at a lower price.

Let’s take a look at four terrific budget laptops (in alphabetical order):

Asus® Transformer Book T100

Display size: 10.1 inches

Weight: 2.4 pounds

Memory: 2GB, 64GB eMMC

This tiny convertible easily stands in for your mid-sized tablet, and when you add the keyboard it provides a traditional laptop experience in a smaller form factor. Its small size makes it ideal for business owners who travel a lot and don’t want to be weighed down.

Dell® Venue 11 Pro

Display size: 10.8 inches

Weight: 1.5 pounds, depending on configuration

Memory: 2GB, 64GB SSD

Laptop Magazine named this model its Best Budget 2-in-1. It’s versatile, with docking options that allow you to use it as a tablet, laptop or even desktop. It’s sturdy and powerful, packing a quad-core processor and a battery life of up to 8 hours. And the full-HD screen resolution is adequate for most business uses.

Lenovo® N20p Chromebook

Display size: 11.6 inches

Weight: 2.1–3 pounds

Memory: 2GB, 16GB SSD

The price tag is in budget, but the look of this touch-screen machine is higher end. It’s paper thin (less than 1 inch) so it fits easily in even the most stylish messenger bag or tote. Battery life is up to 8 hours, giving you plenty of off-the-grid time.

Toshiba® CB2

Display size: 13.3 inches

Weight: 2.95 pounds

Memory: 4GB, 16GB SSD

CNET’s pick for Best Chromebook, the Toshiba CB2 boasts a high-quality 1920x1080 IPS display, and is upgradable to 4GB of RAM for additional computing power. A textured exterior makes it easy to hold onto.

Ultimately, selecting the best budget laptop depends on how you’ll be using it, according to computer expert Guy Baroan of Baroan Technologies in Elmwood Park, NJ. “Minimum processors, if a Windows® system is picked, would be the Intel® Core™ i3 processor with at least 4GB of RAM.” You might be able to work with less if you select a Chromebook, but, again, it depends on the tasks you need to complete and how quickly you need to complete them.

So there you have it. Four laptops, each starting at under $500. At that price, you might want to get more than one.

Can’t find exactly what you want at this price point? It pays — literally and figuratively — to shop around for deals, price-match guarantees and closeouts that can make more fully featured machines more financially feasible.

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