Buy the Best Laptop for Your Type of Small Business

Just as one size really doesn’t fit all, there’s no one laptop that’s perfect for every type of business. The key is choosing the best one for the functions you want to complete and the environment in which you work.

Here’s a list of laptop criteria for different types of small businesses:

Construction/engineering/architecture 

Physical factors: Rugged exterior, shock protection, dust/direct resistance, good battery life

Computing factors: Maximum power to drive processor-intensive design programs, high-res screen for maximum and exacting image display, ample storage for huge files

Possible options: Dell® Latitude 14 Rugged Extreme (Laptop Magazine’s 2015 Best Rugged Laptop for Business); Dell® Precision M3800 (4K display); HP Elitebook Folio 1040 G1 (touch-screen Ultrabook)

Tip: Take a look at models’ Mil-Spec or Mil-Std ratings, which indicate how the device performs against U.S. military standards for interoperability, durability and total cost of ownership.

 

Creative

Physical factors: Good looks, large hi-def display, optimized for external monitors

Computing factors: Maximum power to drive processor-intensive design and editing programs, high-res screen for maximum and exacting image display, tons of storage for huge files

Possible options: Apple Retina MacBook Pro (high performance and exceptional screen resolution); Lenovo® Z70 (17.3-inch full-HD display)

 

Healthcare & medical

Physical factors: Durable and water-resistant exterior; card-reader capable; good battery life; face, voice or fingerprint login capability for security

Computing factors: Compatibility with EMR platforms, fast processing speed to complete transactions, sufficient processing power to handle large amounts of data and processor-intensive tasks, Advanced Encryption Standard to protect data

Possible options: Apple MacBook Air (light and compatible); Lenovo T420 (card reader and drainage keyboard)

Tip: Many major manufacturers offer special features for devices used in healthcare settings, so inquire about the options.

 

Retail

Physical factors: Face, voice or fingerprint login capability for security; lightweight; multi-user profiles

Computing factors: Compatibility with inventory, marketing and POS/mPOS software platforms, fast processing speed to complete transactions and update stock, Advanced Encryption Standard to protect data

Possible options: Lenovo ThinkPad W540 (A PC Magazine Editor’s Choice for performance), Apple MacBook Pro (ease of use)

 

Sales

Physical factors: Durable exterior, lightweight, shock protection, touch screen, good battery life

Computing factors: Compatibility with company sales and business software, lots of RAM for running multiple software concurrently, fast processing to complete transactions and demos quickly

Possible options: Microsoft Surface Pro 3 (Laptop Magazine’s 2015 Best 2-in-1 for Business); Asus® Transformer Book Chi T300 (12.5-inch quad- or full-HD touch screen)

 

Sole proprietor

Physical factors: Big display, low weight, durable exterior, good battery life, login security

Computing factors: Compatibility with business productivity software, fast processing speed to maximize productivity, plenty of RAM and storage for critical business data

Possible options: Toshiba® Tecra (budget friendly); Apple MacBook Air (big display, lightweight)

Before making a final decision, solicit recommendations from other users in your industry, and from trade associations and other experts. Then research trade-in and rebate opportunities, and look for deals and other programs to ensure you get the most laptop for your money.

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