You’re in business to make money. You don’t really care about all the cool whiz-bang stuff that some of these computers can do nowadays. But, really, most laptops and even desktops come loaded with a variety of non-essential programs – non-essential from a business perspective.
It’s almost like companies are trying to be all things to all people. What you need is for your computer to be efficacious.
The MacBook Pro (15″)
It’s hard to imagine Apple coming up with anything that wasn’t made for artists or hippies, or both. But, Apple has quietly been building powerhouse computer systems for years. Most businessmen are just waking up to the fact that the Mac is the Mac-daddy when it comes to productivity.
Entry-level MacBooks cost a pretty penny, but they also have a fit and finish that’s far superior to most other computers. Go for the 15-inch MacBook Pro. That’s all you’ll need, and then some. Even stock, it has a 2.4GHz Intel Core i5 processor and 4GB of RAM. That’s enough to handle any normal business activity in addition to processing heavy graphics and even video for your website (you do do video on your company’s site, don’t you?). The only drawback – for some business owners – is it’s high price tag: $1,800US (£1,119).
Dell Vostro V13
Not everyone takes their Dell to musicMagpie.co.uk for a trade-in. Some people actually like theirs – and the Dell Vostro is an example of a “keeper” that’s also a sleeper. You don’t expect much from such a pedestrian company, but Dell gets it right on this model. This machine has 2GB of RAM, a 13-inch screen, a really well-designed form factor weighing just 4 pounds, and a heck of a nice design. The metal hinges remove the cheap feel from a laptop that costs just $560US (£347.35).
For just over $1,000US (£620), you can buy a Sony-powered laptop sold largely through Best Buy. It’s magnesium case, and backlit keys, along with it’s crystal-clear 13-inch screen gives Apple a run for its money. It’s got good performance, with it’s only problem being battery life – a measly 5 hours.
HP Mini 311
If you don’t want a full-sized computer, HP makes an 11.6-inch screen with a nearly full-sized keyboard. For a cost of just $400US (£248), it’s not going to break the bank. Keep in mind that this is a netbook, and so it doesn’t have an optical drive. Everything you do will have to be cloud-based (i.e. downloadable) in terms of software. If you’re OK with that, then this is a slamming deal.
What does $1,480US (£920) buy you? A GetAc, that’s what. If you need additional security that’s typically not found on a laptop, this is your computer. The computer can be accessed via a fingerprint reader, a smartcard reader, and a Trusted Platform Chip – all of which will keep prying eyes out of your business.
Panasonic comes to the table with a serious notebook. Dubbed a “toughbook,” it looks more like a suitcase than a computer. Priced at $3,800US (£2,362), it comes with just about anything you could possibly need if you’re a contractor or you do a lot of work outdoors. It’s 13.1-inch touch screen is married to a full-sized keyboard. The unit is also waterproof and dust-sealed. The only thing that can really harm this computer is standing water.
The most impressive thing about this computer is that you can actually drop it from 6 feet in the air and it will keep functioning. It even has a heated hard drive if you’re working in freezing temperatures. The drawback? It’s heavy – 11lbs and it’s far from being comfortable if you have to work on it for hours on end. But, at the end of the day, this computer is built for abuse. If your business is a rough one, this is the computer for you.
Mason Williamson loves technology. He often writes about how to effectively use tech in business.