We are often asked for recommendations for new laptop purchases. Here are a few things we consider before making the final purchasing decision.
Laptop purchases are often more complicated than desktop purchases.
Many of our clients have requested recommendations on purchasing laptops over the years. When recommending a desk top solution, the decisions are relatively clear. You simply consider what applications the user will be performing. Are they primarily working on web-based applications, accounting, graphic design, CAD, etc? Then we determine any space requirements. Is the desk space limited or do they have plenty of room for large monitors and computer space? Once those questions are answered, its fairly simple to make a recommendation with most options coming in within $100 of one another.
When it comes to laptops, this is certainly not the case. Laptops have a wide range of features and corresponding price points. I typically break down laptops into 3 primary categories – Chromebooks, Business Class, Specialty Laptops.
Chromebooks are great for students or users that are working primarily with web-based applications. They are generally low-end in terms of hardware which allows them to be the least expensive of the 3 categories. Chromebooks are often available in the $350 or less range.
- Business Class Laptops.
Business Class laptops offer more processing power and hard disk space than Chromebooks. They can work with both web-based applications and software installed locally. This can be a huge advantage when you want to work but may not have an Internet connection (such as while riding in a car or on a train to an upcoming meeting). We typically see Business Class laptops priced in the $350 – $700 range.
- Specialty Class Laptops.
Specialty Laptops fall into the most expensive price range. These laptops provide high end processing, graphics cards and large disk space. These laptops would be used for CAD or Gaming purposes that require those high performance features. Pricing for these laptops can range from $750 – $2000.
So what do I buy?
When deciding on a new laptop, it ultimately comes down to functionality, personal preference and price. With so many options on the market, “one size fits all” does not exist.
10 questions to ask yourself before purchasing your next laptop.
Once you’ve determined the class of laptop you need, here are a few things to consider when looking for your next laptop.
- What is your price range?
- Are your applications web-based and will you have reliable internet access?
- Are there any specific applications that may require minimum hardware features (OS, RAM, Hard Disk space, etc.)
- How long do you plan to keep the laptop?
Laptops take a lot of beating – batteries fail and need to be replaced – software demands keep increasing which may make your laptop slow or out of date.
- Do you want a Windows or Mac-based laptop?
- What size monitor do you need?
- Do you like the keyboard layout?
- How heavy are you willing to go?
If you are traveling a lot or having to move the laptop a lot, a heavier laptop may be an issue after a long day.
- Is there a docking station option?
This allows you to essentially convert your laptop into a full fledged desktop by connecting a mouse, external keyboard, network connection and full sized monitor to you system by simply connecting the docking station to your laptop.
- What special features do you need (or would like)?
Touch screen, faster loading (think Solid State Drive), numeric keyboard, number and type of ports available (HDMI, Displayport, USB, Sound, etc.), graphics card requirements and more are things you should consider.
BMA Enterprises provides cost-effective managed services to businesses in the Fredericksburg and Northern Virginia areas. If your business is looking for a reliable IT provider that is dedicated to improving system uptime, and delivering on quick and knowledgeable response when needed, please contact us or schedule a 5 minute call.
For more information about BMA Enterprises, Inc. and our managed IT services programs, contact us at:
BMA Enterprises, Inc.
1120 International Parkway
Fredericksburg, VA 22406