A productivity-focused laptop is one of the most valuable tools available to small business owners. These days, laptops are so well-made that they rival the capabilities of desktop PCs, all while remaining razor-thin and as light as air, making them an excellent choice whether you’re working from a desk or out and about. With that being said, business owners are going to want to make sure that their corporate laptops have the right specs and features before making a purchase. Here’s a look at the most important features to consider.
A strong, reliable processor
Because it’s essentially the brain of any computer, the processor is the important spec to look at when buying a business laptop. Whether you’re editing documents, navigating the web, calculating spreadsheets or rendering videos, having an excellent processor allows you to work faster and better.
Right now, the best type of processor you can get in a business laptop is one of Intel’s new 11th Gen chips. These processors outperform Intel’s 10th Gen offerings by a wide margin, and they also pull ahead of processors from competitors such as AMD’s offerings.
Plenty of RAM and storage
The next thing you should focus on is how much RAM and storage the device you’re looking at has. Having lots of RAM and storage helps you load and store files and programs essential to your workflow.
If your workflow is mostly paperwork-focused, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage will work fine. However, 16GB of RAM is ideal to ensure that memory bottlenecks will never happen, and having 512GB or more of storage is crucial if you work with media files that take up a lot of space.
All-day battery life
It’s hard to get work done if you’re constantly forced to stay tethered to a plug on the wall. Therefore, your next priority should be to make sure the laptop you’re eyeing has a good battery life. Six to eight hours is the minimum acceptable battery life, while 10 or more hours is ideal. It’s a bonus if you can find a device that supports quick charging of some sort, so you can add extra juice in a hurry, even when you’ve just got an hour between flight connections.
A bright, anti-reflective display
Next on the priority list is making sure that the device you’re looking at has a quality display. You’re likely going to be using the laptop in a variety of different environments, so to cover your bases, you should shoot for a panel that offers at least 250 nits of brightness. This brightness guarantees that you’ll be able to see what’s on the screen regardless of how bright your surroundings are.
Additionally, displays that have anti-reflective properties are a great choice as they effectively prevent the sun’s glare from ruining your viewing angles. Things like touch support and 4K resolution are nice to have, too, but they’re not as important. You may want to make 4K a priority if you plan on creating or editing images and videos, though.
Quality peripheral ports
You’re also going to want a selection of high-quality ports for peripheral devices and various types of accessories such as external hard drives or docking stations. The bare minimum you should expect are USB-A ports, but USB-C is better since it’s faster and can be used for a wider variety of things.
Thunderbolt 3 and 4 are the best, as they’re special variants of USB-C that can reach up to 40 gigabits/second in data transfer speed and can support up 100W of charging power. Thunderbolt 4 in particular also supports hooking up two 4K displays to your laptop, which can be very useful to many users.
Look for Wi-Fi 6 compatibility
Finally, keep an eye out to see if the laptop you’re considering has support for Wi-Fi 6, which is the latest Wi-Fi standard. Compared to the previous generation of Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi 6 networks are faster, are more stable, have a greater range, and can handle multiple connected devices better. Keep in mind that you’ll need a Wi-Fi 6 router to enjoy the benefits.
Some excellent options to consider
While there are many awesome business laptops out there, it doesn’t get any better than HP Intel Evo (opens in new tab) devices such as the HP ENVY x360 and HP Spectre x360. These laptops feature superb 11th Gen Intel processors, as much memory and storage as you need, excellent battery life, stellar bright displays with lots of configuration options, and Wi-Fi 6 compatibility across the board.
If you’re looking for a mainstream-style device that’s both affordable and very capable, the HP Envy x360 is your best bet. The specs aren’t as powerful as the Spectre’s, but the upside is that the laptop is available for a lower price. Also, the specs of the Envy are still more than good enough to crush basic productivity tasks, so it’s far from being underpowered in any way.
The HP Spectre x360, meanwhile, is perfect for people who want a top-of-the-line premium device. It has top-notch specs that can handle basic productivity tasks and take on more intensive workloads with ease, and it also comes with options for 4K and touch support. These options will benefit people who work with a lot of high-res photos or videos.