What Small Businesses Should Look for in a Laptop?

What Small Businesses Should Look for in a Laptop?

by January 7, 2022 0 comments

Small businesses form a majority of businesses worldwide and are important contributors to employment and global economic development. They’re extremely cost conscious and prudent on all their spending because every penny saved adds to their bottomline. Computing is a must for every business, and small businesses are no different. However, the difference here is that a small business has to be extra careful while spending on computing devices like laptops, as they don’t have big budgets. Let’s understand a few factors that should be considered.

Set your Budget

As SMBs have limited budgets, it’s important to set a limit so that they don’t end up exceeding it by a wide margin. Next, find out who really needs a laptop to work in the organization. Then determine what do they really need it for to determine how much budget to allocate for their laptops. Not everyone needs an expensive laptop, so if you bifurcate the budgets according to role, you’ll get the best possible options to keep everyone happy.

Different Devices for Different Roles

A CEO or top executive of the company would probably be a heavy user and would need to be able to use a laptop for pretty much everything—content creation and consumption. A convertible device would probably make more sense for this role, so that the executive could switch to tablet mode while consuming content and use it in laptop mode while preparing proposals or doing email.

Similarly, for the finance person, a laptop with a full keyboard and a separate numeric keypad would make more sense, as that’s what they’ll use the most. A sales person would probably need a laptop with a smaller screen so that the device doesn’t weigh too much. As sales would have to lug around the device to various meetings, less weight on their shoulder would really help. For the content creators in the organization, like developers or designers, you should consider a powerful device. Higher weight can be managed for this role as they don’t need to lug it around with them everywhere. A device with discrete graphics and a large screen would make sense for them.

How to Determine the Hardware Specs?

Finding out the hardware specs is not as difficult as it may sound, if you just consider the basics like CPU, RAM, storage, battery and graphics. Things get a little complex as you move beyond that, so let’s first concentrate on the base specs. When it comes to CPU, either Intel or AMD are fine, but go for the latest generation ones. When you invest in a laptop, you intend to use it for several years. An older generate CPU won’t last as long, so you’ll end up having to buy a new laptop sooner than expected. So don’t skimp on the cost of CPU because it impacts the laptop’s overall lifecycle. When it comes to RAM, even 4 GB is good enough for basic work, though 8 GB is recommended. Consider higher RAM only for specialized roles like the content creators I just mentioned.

When it comes to storage, as much as possible, consider going for a SSD and not HDD, and that too at least 512 GB. SSDs really impact the laptop’s performance and should be preferred over HDDs. If you need storage capacity, then consider opting for a secondary HDD, but the primary storage device should always be an SSD.

Battery life is important in laptops, especially for people who spend a lot of time on the road. Some business laptops like those from HP can give 8-10 hours of battery backup. The higher end ones can give much more than that as well, so look at the specs carefully before deciding.

Lastly, when it comes to graphics, consider discrete graphics like those from Nvidia for specialized roles. For everyone else, onboard graphics are just fine.

Choice of OS

The most common option here is Windows 10 Home, which is fine for most requirements. However, if you need a business laptop, then going with Windows 10 Professional makes more sense. Some laptops come only with DOS, which means you can load an OS of your choice on it, like Linux. This makes sense if you have some spare licenses of Windows or you have developers who’re comfortable working on Linux. There’s Chrome OS also, but that comes on highly specialized laptops called Chromebooks. These devices don’t have much local storage and depend mostly on the Internet and online apps.


This is a critical aspect to consider and should not be taken lightly. Most people usually like to keep most of their sensitive data on local storage, because SMBs don’t really have very stringent compliance policies. For them, it becomes critical to ensure that the data remains safe, not only from prying eyes and malware, but also from system crashes. Look for the security features available with a laptop. Many business laptops these days come with a host of security options. The HP EliteBook 840 for instance has HP Wolf Security for Business, which creates a hardware-enforced, always-on, resilient defense. From the BIOS to the browser, above, in, and below the OS, these constantly evolving solutions help protect the laptop even from new threats.

Other aspects to Consider

There are many other aspects that could be considered by SMBs, like laptop’s design, screen to body ratio of the screen, brightness of the screen (in case you need to use it outdoors under direct sunlight), backlit and/or spill resistant keyboard, fingerprint scanner, webcam with/without shutter, types of speakers, noise cancellation mic, connectivity options like WiFi 6, latest Bluetooth, latest USB, and LAN port. You may or may not require all these options, so find out if you really need them because these options can also vary the device’s price.

These are a few things that SMBs should consider. As the segment is very price sensitive, list out the features you really need and tick the ones that are essential for each role. This will help you determine the right device and the right price.

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