I'd expect nothing less, but any mobile platform should act as securely as possible when communicating with the home office. You never know who's listening. I don't want to malign Chinese practices, but if you're taking these laptops overseas and communicating confidential information in your emails, then it needs to be over a secure connection. Any email server you might be using can allow or just require ssl/tls connections. It's just a few changes in settings and a couple opened ports at the server firewall. (If you can look on the laptops, you'll see a checkmark in the email settings for using ssl or tls)
The only reason I'm harping on this is that the smtp port was 25 and that could be configured either way. I wish the standards body would assign a standard port for secure smtp, like 26 or 444 if they aren't in use.