The selection process for choosing a laptop for your small business differs a lot from choosing one for your personal use. When choosing a laptop for personal use people tend to give importance to entertainment aspects of the machine. Such as, how good is the graphics card to play fast action games, how big is the screen size to watch HD movies etc.
But, when you are hunting for a laptop for your small business, you should give importance to the following aspects that are crucial to your business success:
The portability of a laptop is a very important criteria that you need to look at when buying a laptop for business use. As a small business owner you are always on the go. This means you need to have a machine that is light and easy to carry around. Laptops that are sized from 13 – 14 inches are great for portability. For example, look at the brand new Dell Vostro V130.
Business users need plenty of processing power to run applications and multitask. For example, you might be crunching numbers on an Excel Spreadsheet, speaking to a colleague via Skype and creating a presentation on PowerPoint. As of February 2011, you should consider getting an Intel i3 or i5 processor. Look for at least 4GB of memory so that you can run Widows 7 without any performance hitches.
Most laptop manufactures have different range of models. For example, one range might be targeted at the Student Market and another range for the Entertainment Market and another Range for the Professional Market. For example, Lenovo IdeaPad is for the Entertainment Market while the Lenovo ThinkPad is for the Professional Market. The models meant for the Processional Market are more robust and constructed with better quality materials. This means they are more expensive than the laptops meant for the Consumer Market. But, it is worth paying the extra dollars because the professional range laptop gives you a better user experience and is more reliable. Some popular laptop ranges for Small Business include Fujitsu LifeBook, HP ProBook, Dell Vostro, Lenovo Think Pad etc.
A laptop is pretty useless if you are unable to operate it for an extended period on battery power. You should consider getting a 6 cell battery and ensure that your laptop could be used for at least 4 – 6 hours on battery power. Smaller laptops tend to perform better than larger laptops when it comes to conserving power.
Service and Support
Finally, service and support are very important for business users. Go for a model that comes with at least 2 years of warranty. Many manufactures also provide value added services such Online Data Backup and Recovery, Onsite Support etc.