Running a small business isn't easy. Day to day, a different stressor comes along. The use of technology is usually one of the top stress points. Hopefully, you'll be able to use this to find the best laptop for small businesses and take one extra item off of your plate.
When shopping for a laptop for your small business, data security should be of paramount concern. The tools that come with your PC and the software that you use to run your business should be a close second. With daily pressure to succeed living on the margins, a smart business person should be able to use modern technology to produce fruitful results.
The Top 5 Best Laptops for Small Businesses
CPU: Intel Core i7-8550U, Memory: 8 GB DDR4, Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Screen: 17.3 inches, Storage: 256 GB SSD + 1TB HDD, Battery Life: Not advertised
The VivoBook Pro 17 is a multi-use machine that will make small business owners happy. The solid-state drive and SATA drive combination give users the combination of speed and storage that will impress everyone. This laptop also offers the user a best-in-the-market Intel i7 processor. The NVIDIA processor is a fantastic perk as well. The only thing that may hold users back is the unadvertised battery life, although this is something that most people will be able to get over.
- Utilizes both a SATA and solid-state drive
- 17.3-inch screen size
- i7 Processor
- Unadvertised battery life
- Higher price point
CPU: 1.3 GHz Core i5, Memory: 8 GB LPDDR3, Graphics: Integrated, Screen: 12.3 inches, Storage: 128 GB SSD, Battery Life: 10 Hours
The Microsoft Surface Pro is Microsoft’s flagship laptop product. The i5 processor, 8 GBs of RAM and solid-state hard drive should make this laptop a fast machine. This is a 2-in-1 product that works great as a tablet and is very portable. The 10-hour battery life keeps the surface performing all day long. The smaller screen size may be difficult for some users, and only having 128 GB of storage space may prove difficult for business owners that need to run productivity or money management software from this device.
- Battery life
- 2-in-1 laptop and tablet capability
- Light and portable
- Smaller screen size
- Lower storage space
- Only 1 USB port
CPU: 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5, Memory: 16 GB DDR4, Graphics: Integrated, Screen: 15.6 inches, Storage: 512 GB SSD, Battery Life: 12.23 Hours
There’s not much to not like about the ThinkPad E580. 16 GB of DDR4 RAM and a 2.5 Intel Core i5 processor should make this laptop soar. There’s a ton of fast solid-state storage and a battery that will last all day that is sure to please small business owners everywhere. There are a ton on smaller perks as well, such as a 720p HD web camera and an embedded Bluetooth card as well. The lack of a dedicated graphics card and the heavyweight of this laptop are the only sacrifices to make this awesome price point of $629.
- Over 12 hours of battery life
- A lot of SSD storage
- Bluetooth card
- Integrated graphics card
- Heavy at almost 5 pounds
CPU: 1.6 GHz Intel Core i5, Memory: 24 GB DDR4, Graphics: Integrated, Screen: 17.3 inches, Storage: 2 TB HDD, Battery Life: 9 Hours and 15 Minutes
The HP HD+ SVA laptop should meet the needs of many small business owners. This laptop comes with 24 GB of RAM, which is three times more than most other laptops in its class. The 2 TB of storage space should be enough for all business functions, and the large screen should make for an easy workspace. The lack of a solid-state drive may bottleneck speeds a little bit, but shouldn't make much of a difference.
- An insanely high amount of RAM
- Lots of storage space
- Large screen
- No solid-state drive
- Integrated graphics card
- Average battery life
CPU: Intel Core i7 1.8 GHz Processor, Memory: 16 GB LPDDR3, Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce MX150, Screen: 13.9-inch display, Storage: 512 GB SSD , Battery Life: 12 Hours
While the price point of the Huawei Matebook X Pro is high, this is a small business owner's dream laptop. The fingerprint-enabled power button allows for a quick and secure power-up and logs in, and the discreet camera is perfect for web conferencing. The i7 processor and 16 GBs of RAM, as well as the solid-state drive with 512 GB of storage, will allow the fastest speed possible for a laptop. It's hard to complain about the small screen size and lack of multiple USB ports.
- Fast with an i7 processor and a lot of RAM
- Fingerprint-enabled power button
- Lots of solid-state storage
- Discreet web camera
- Small screen size
- High price point
- Only one USB port
4 Attributes To Look for When Choosing a Laptop for Small Business
Every business owner needs to keep steps to keep its data secure without sacrificing productivity. A fingerprint reader is an awesome tool to be able to use for logging into your PC quickly and securely. Too often users will abandon using a password in the interest of logging in quickly - using a fingerprint reader should be even faster, and much safer.
Another important concept is the antivirus and antimalware protection that is used. Whichever software you choose to use, it should be kept up to date, and the virus and malware definitions should be kept current as well. It's a good idea to occasionally research what network experts agree are the best and worst antivirus and anti-malware products on the market, as these rankings change often.
Business Management Software
Every business needs the right software to manage all business functions. The first piece of software that every business must use is a productivity suite. The Microsoft Office Suite, including Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint, is the most popular option.
Microsoft now has a cloud-based tool as well as Office 365 - which offers the same products ran from a web browser. Google also offers it's own free cloud-based productivity suite, G Suite, as well. Google's products have become increasingly popular in recent years.
Businesses must use other software as well. Money management tools, such as QuickBooks are important for tracking finances. Each company has industry-specific software packages as well. Your business laptop must be so to having handle running all of this software flawlessly.
Scanning documents is something that business people need to do every day. Everything signed should be copied and scanned for record-keeping, and it's a good way to have copies of other important documents as well. All receipts, as well, should be scanned for money management purposes.
The options for handling scanning tasks have increased with improvements in technology. Traditionally, a physical scanner was needed and is still popular today. The easiest way to do this would be to purchase a multifunction printer - one with the capability to print, copy, scan, and fax - everything a business needs.
There are other ways to accomplish scanning as well. Business owners can purchase handheld scanners that are even portable for on-the-go scanning. To use this functionality, it helps to have a laptop with a Bluetooth card. Another way to scan would be with a smartphone and a scanning app. Using this function, scanned documents and receipts can be transferred over the internet.
Digital Communication Equipment
Although it probably gets overlooked when purchasing a laptop, having a good web camera is important as well. Today's business world is always shrinking. While is not uncommon to have to meet with people around the world, it's hard and expensive to have to travel for meetings. Luckily for business owners everywhere, technology has made it possible to have face to face meetings with international contacts is simple and can be done from the comfort of your home office with a good internet connection and a web camera.
Many laptops now come with an integrated web camera. This should meet the basic functions of video communications. When trying to decide between two laptops, it is a good idea to compare the specifications on the camera specifications. If a higher quality camera is required for producing recordings or presentations, it may also be a good idea to shop around for a third party USB or network camera.
If you plan on doing a lot of conferencing or recording, it’s also important to have a good microphone as well. Most embedded laptop microphones will meet the needs of an occasional user, but someone spends a lot of time with will probably want to invest in something a little better.
Every business person needs a good laptop to perform at their best. It's important to have a fast laptop that will perform when needed. It's also good to have a few good features to benefit from, such as a fingerprint reader, a Bluetooth card, or a high-quality video card.
For a small business, the purchase of a good laptop isn't an expense, it's an investment. Luckily enough, laptops like the ThinkPad E580 are priced low enough that any investment shouldn't cost the business owner too much. Hopefully, of all the stresses of owning a business, finding the right laptop doesn't have to be one of them.