If you’re an entrepreneur looking for a laptop, budget is probably at the top of your mind right now. You might be tempted to get the cheapest laptop possible as long as it gets the basics done, but this could end up biting you in the end. The truth is that most budget laptops have fatal flaws that could make working hard almost impossible in some cases. So, you have to be ready to spend a little to have a good machine that will still run great in a few years from now. So, how much money should you spend on a business laptop?
What Types of Tasks Do You Routinely Perform?
To get an idea of what kind of machine you need, and how much you can expect to pay, check the type of task you usually perform on a day-to-day basis. Some business owners will spend most of their time answering emails, working on documents, and watching videos for research. In this case, an entry-level laptop in the $500 to $700 range could actually work as long as you’re willing to deal with a few shortcomings.
If you’re in a field where you have to do a lot of video editing, or run graphic design applications, you have to start looking at higher-end CPUs. You’ll have a hard time finding a laptop with a processor over the 2.5ghz mark for under $800, so be prepared for that. But, contrary to popular belief you don’t need a super-powerful dedicated graphics card to run applications like Photoshop or Adobe Premiere. Dedicated GPUs are only really useful for gaming or for running powerful 3D rendering and modeling applications, so unless you want to do any of those things, you don’t have to worry about the GPU.
How Much Can You Actually Afford?
We will say right now that you won’t see much of a difference at first glance between an $800-ish laptop and a $1600 one, but the $1600 is sure to offer a better experience. If you run heavy applications, then you might see slight improvements in speed, multitasking, and fluidity.
Where you’ll see the biggest difference is in the quality of the materials being used, the quality of the display, and the quality of the keyboard. These machines will also be more durable and will often have features that will allow you to go beyond doing business only. So, if you like to do things like gaming in your free time or have hobbies that are CPU or GPU intensive, a more expensive machine might be a better option.
What If I Can’t Afford a Good Enough Machine?
If you’re really limited and the laptops you see in your price range don’t work, then you have many options. One of them is going for a Chromebook. These tend to be cheaper because they usually use cheaper components and have some limitations, but you can still find a very capable Chromebook for under $800.
Another option would be to go with a manufacturer that is known for offering great machines at a low price. Lenovo is one of these manufacturers. They have laptops for virtually all budgets and their lower-end laptops tend to be slightly better than most, so if you haven’t checked them already, you should check them right away at Lenovo.com.
As you can see, you don’t need to break the bank to get a laptop for business. Start by assessing your needs and getting informed on the main components that make these machines so you can choose more wisely.