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How to buy your next business laptop with confidence

Is your current business laptop old, slow and making you want to throw it across the room every time you have to do any work on it?

It’s time that you replace it with something new!

Here’s the skinny on why you need to keep your computer updated and what to look for when buying your next machine.

Note that this isn’t a guide on specific models to purchase. If you want help deciding between specific models then sign up to our platform and ask a question to get advice that is tailored to you!

So Why Do I Need A Decent computer to run my business?

I understand with more and more things being run on your phone you are probably using your computer less and less. As fantastic as these mobile friendly apps and websites are there will always be things that need you to use a full fledged computer.

A few things I can think of are:

  • Many banking sites only offer certain features on their desktop versions.
  • Most of the Social Media advertising platforms require a desktop to setup properly
  • Bookkeeping and accounting is way easier.

Besides it’s much better for your eyes looking at a big screen rather than your tiny phone all the time!

My current business laptop is working fine

So hopefully you now agree that you need to use a computer. And I can hear some of you already saying that your old clunky machine from 2010 (I hope this is an exaggeration) is still working fine for you?

Well there’s 2 main things you need to consider:

Reliability

AND

Speed

A newer computer will be more reliable than an old one. Typically after 3 years the chances of your computer starting to have component fail increases significantly. Laptop batteries lose their capacity. The chance of a har drive failing increases. Want to check out the stats? Laptop mag has a great breakdown here.

Which brings us to speed. A newer machine is always going to run faster than a similar priced older machine. Sure if you spent thousands on your last machine it may still be quick compared to entry level machines but that’s comparing apples with oranges.

A clock representing the time you can save with a new business laptop.

If you computer is slow then it will take you more time to get anything done. And if there’s one thing that most business owners I know don’t have enough of – it’s time!

So get yourself a new machine and gain back some of that precious, precious sweet time.

Our guide to choosing your next business laptop

Note that I refer to purchasing a laptop here rather than a desktop computer. These days unless you are into gaming and need a huge desktop machine then you will have a bigger choice when purchasing a laptop.

Set your budget

A piggy bank to remind you to set a budget when buying your business computer

The first thing you will want to do is set your budget. If you just need a machine that is going to be used for the basics of online systems and occasional office duties then you don’t need to spend thousands. A modest budget of less than $1,000 should get you a decent brand machine that will last you 3 years.

Note that if you spend a little bit more you might be able to go a bit longer before replacing the machine as a quicker machine now will still be quick enough in a couple of years.

Remember that older machines are less reliable so I always recommend budgeting to replace any laptops every 3 years.

The beauty of having a budget is that you can look at the specials on sale at your local JB or Harvey Norman and you can often pick up a bargain!

The 2 laptop specifications that you should care about

So when you look at laptops there are a big list of specifications or specs for short. When it comes to choosing your next machine there are 2 specs that I think you really should care about.

Solid State Hard Disk

Windows 10 these days is quite slow if you do not have a solid state drive (SSD). I always recommend that you find a machine with an SSD. Look for something with at least 256 Gigabytes (GB) of storage.

If you need more storage space than many machines also come with a second hard drive that is not SSD but stores more data. You can store your documents and photos, etc on this drive. This is a great way to save money but still be able to store everything you need!

Memory

The more memory you have the faster your machine will feel. Opening apps will also be much quicker. Look for a system with at least 8 Gigabytes (GB) of memory to make sure you aren’t waiting around for your apps to load.

Everything else

A woman ticking check boxes.

After finding a machine with a solid state drive (SSD) and at least 8GB of RAM then you can decide the rest of the specifications that you care about. Typically the more you spend the better the rest of the specs will be.

  • Screen resolution or size
  • Touchscreen
  • Keyboard type

These things can come down to personal preference so feel free to get what you like that is within your budget.

What about the CPU or processor?

I’ll admit that having a faster CPU is always going to make everything run quicker. However the speed of your disk and how much memory have a bigger impact on how fast your machine is. So if you get these right then the CPU you get will mostly depend on your budget.

Interested in getting a mac?

If you want a mac then I say “go for it!”. Buy whatever machine is in your budget. All macs these days have great quality and specs. They are a great option if you want your next business laptop to last you 3 years, if not even more.

Keep in mind that if you opt for a non Mac you are more likely to get a machine with better specs for similar money.

Want personal advice?

So this article covers my generic advice to all business owners who need to buy a new business laptop. If you want specific advice that is tailored to you then sign up for a free account here and go to the “Ask an IT question” section and we will be happy to help you select your next business laptop.

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