Here’s a laptop buying guide to help you find the laptops that deliver optimal mobile productivity for every business and budget.
Laptops are a vital part of most companies. This is especially true at smaller businesses, who according to this report by Spiceworks, continue to focus their IT spending on laptops and desktop computers. This is compared to larger firms, who are now prioritizing cloud and other new technologies.
Choosing a laptop with the right specifications and configuration for each employee can be a major hassle for small and mid-sized businesses. They often lack a team member with the skills (or time) to really dig into the details and make a wise choice. That’s why we created this laptop buying guide, to help business users looking for help.
Is there a difference between business laptops and consumer laptops?
There are many laptops marketed toward business audiences. Is all that separates consumer and business-grade laptops marketing lingo? There are some important differences between the two. Here are three reasons why businesses should embrace business laptops, as opposed to consumer ones.
- Better Durability
Business users are on the go, and laptop manufacturers have produced their product to meet the demand for consistent usage on the road. This often includes resistance to water, dust, and physical shocks. It’s not uncommon to see business laptops with military-level durability certifications, which is rare in consumer products.
- Greater Performance
While consumers may not mind waiting a few extra seconds for the computer to start up or load an application, businesses understand that every wasted second equals lowered productivity. To maximize your work time, business laptops generally come with more powerful hardware and specifications than consumer models.
- More Configuration Options
Because the needs of each business are unique, business laptops have been designed to meet a wider variety of needs than consumer laptops. The expanded range of options might include different displays, additional security features, or more storage and memory.
The other advantages of avoiding consumer laptop models…
Business laptops offer other benefits as well. For example, many of these laptops come with warranties and servicing option, such as next day support for faulty hardware and onsite repairs. They may also provide documentation or specialized software that allows you to customize and service the device with greater speed and reliability.
Here are the Business Laptops We Love
Now that you know why business laptops are better for productivity than consumer ones, how do you find the right model for you? Start your search with these four models, each of which have earned the respect of Techmedics’ experts for their value, features, and dependability.
1. Dell XPS 15 (2019 Edition)
In 2019, Dell has chosen not to make any radical revisions to its flagship XPS business laptop. We understand why, as the XPS has been an extremely popular business laptop for several years that provides a well-rounded machine that’s light, powerful, and enjoyable to use.
Dell XPS 15 Key Specifications
CPU: Intel Core i7/i9
GPU: GeForce GTX 1650
Storage: 256GB / 512GB/ 1TB
Display: 15.6″, 1080p or 4K (OLED)
Size: 14.1 x 9.3 x 0.7 inches
Weight: 4.5 lbs.
Why we love the new Dell XPS 15
While the latest version of the Dell XPS 15 has the same keyboard, touchpad, and port options as in the past, it’s received some significant upgrades. New 9th generation Intel i9 processors help the XPS 15 compete with the latest generation of business laptops. Enhanced graphics and three display options — matte full HD non-touch, 4K glossy LCD, and 4K glossy OLED — make the laptop perfect for employees working with graphics and video.
2. Microsoft Surface 6
A “2-in-1” laptop is a style of computer that can be converted easily from a laptop to a tablet. Also known as a “convertible,” these computers have been growing in popularity in recent years, as more users are enticed by their novelty and flexibility.
While in theory you should be able to replace your laptop and tablet with a single 2-in-1 device, that’s not always the case. Most 2-in-1 devices function better as either a laptop or a tablet. But, that’s not true with the Microsoft Surface Pro 6, which provides close to ideal laptop and tablet functionality in one device, making it a true stand-out.
Microsoft Surface Pro 6 Key Specifications
CPU: Intel Core i5/i7
GPU: Intel UHD 620
RAM: 8GB / 16GB
Storage: 128GB / 256GB / 512GB / 1TB
Display: 12.3″, 2736 x 1824 pixels
Size: 11.5 x 7 x 0.3 inches
Weight: 1.7 lbs. (tablet), 2.5 lbs. (keyboard)
Why we love the Microsoft Surface Pro 6
Microsoft has provided a variety of interesting accessories to extend the capabilities of the Surface Pro 6. These include a backlit keyboard, trackpad, and the surface pen. The surface pen, combined with the ever-evolving hybrid functionality of Windows 10, makes the Surface Pro 6 an excellent choice for professionals who want to be able to take handwritten notes on the go.
3. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (6th Generation)
Perfect for executives that want a sophisticated corporate look, ultralight mobility, and robust computing power, the Lenovo X1 series of Ultrabook laptops has been a super-star of the business world for several years in a row.
Lenovo X1 Carbon Key Specifications
CPU: Intel Core i5/i7
GPU: Intel UHD 620
Storage: 256GB / 512GB/ 1TB SSD
Display: 14″, 1080p
Size: 12.7 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches
Weight: 2.49 lbs.
Why we love the Lenovo X1 Carbon
The X1 Carbon is considered an “Ultrabook,” because it offers a powerful processor and memory, a bright screen, and a long battery life in a very lightweight package. While these features make the X1 a bit more expensive than some competing laptops, it’s a superb option for traveling executives who need a lightweight but powerful mobile office.
Made from a composite magnesium and carbon fiber frame, the Lenovo X1 Carbon has placed well on durability tests. It also offers robust connectivity options, including:
• 2 USB Type-A ports
• Full-size HDMI connector
• 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports
• MicroSD card slot
A Keyboard That Stands Out from the Rest
One area of particular note is the X1’s keyboard, which is routinely considered one of the best laptop keyboards on the market today. Soft rubberized keys and satisfying, tactile key travel provides a luxurious typing experience that will appeal to anyone who frequently writes as part of their work.
4. Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1
Like the Microsoft Surface 6 Pro 2 listed above, the Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1 can switch easily between laptop and tablet modes. Unlike many other 2-in-1 models, which are designed for media consumption or web applications, the Latitude 7400 has been designed from the ground up with the business power- user in mind.
Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1 Key Specifications
CPU: Intel Core i7-8665U
GPU: Intel UHD 620
Display: 14″, 1080p
Size: 12.6 x 7.9 x 0.6 inches
Weight: 3 lbs.
Why we love the Latitude 7400 2-in-1
With a wide range of processor options, including both Intel i5 and i7 chips, the Latitude 7400 is a workhorse that provide strong computing performance in a very compact size. In fact. The slim, 9.3mm form-factor makes the Latitude 7400 2-in-1 one of the most portable of our picks. And, thanks to the Dell’s new “liquid crystal polymer” fan blades, the device stays nice and cool even during extended use, a rarity for a device this thin.
It’s worth noting that the Latitude 7400 has also passed 13 separate durability tests, earning a MIL-STD810G, military-grade certification. That makes it a great choice for presentations, trade shows, and other “on-the-go” use cases where drops are likely.
5. Dell Precision 5540
The Dell Precision 5540 is a seriously mobile business laptop. It is Dell’s thinnest and lightest mobile workstation and excels under demanding standards.
Dell Precision 5540 Key Specifications
CPU: Intel Core i9-9980HK
GPU: Nvidia Quadro T1000 w/ 4GB GDDR5
RAM: 32GB / 64GB
Storage: 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe Class 40 SSD
Display: 15.6″, 3840 x 2160
Size: 14.06 x 9.27 x 0.45 inches
Weight: 3.93 lbs.
What We Love About the Dell Precision 5540
The Precision 5540 provides a powerful graphics card, processing capability, and a high degree of configurability. The laptop’s raw power, combined with its huge number of connectivity and port options, will make it a great choice for engineers or creative professionals.
Dell seems to understand this target audience well, and has “ISV certified” the 5540, meaning that it’s tested it with a range of leading business applications, such as AutoCAD, SolidWorks, the Adobe Creative Suite, and others.
Techmedics Helps with Every Stage of the Laptop Buying Process
The number of different laptop models and configurations means that the buying process should start with a careful evaluation of each user’s needs and goals. Because most business laptops aren’t sold at stores like Best Buy or Office Depot, it’s crucial to have a partner like Techmedics to help guide you through the purchase decision.
Here’s how we help businesses make an informed laptop purchase
- Pre-sales Support
Though we’ve listed some of our favorite laptops above, there may be other models or configurations that better serve the specific needs of your business. We’ll interface with your team to determine their exact requirements, and then use our knowledge of the technology landscape to match them with the best laptops available.
- Implementation Support
Buying a laptop is a relatively simple affair. Making sure that it’s well-integrated into your network is another thing entirely, requiring the careful configuration of the operating system, line of business applications, and security tools to ensure that it provides a safe, optimized user experience, all of which the Techmedics team is happy to help you with.
Are you adequately tracking the hardware firmware versions, software versions, and warranty information of all your laptops? Those are vital aspects of a strong asset management system, which helps save you money and keeps your network functioning optimally. Techmedics takes the stress out of the asset management process by doing all those tedious tasks for you.
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