Choose the Best Laptop for Small Business

Get real work done, on the go.

When mobility is an integral part of your business, your employees must be able to work on the go. Learn how to choose the right small business laptop, what specs will have the greatest impact on performance, and what other features to consider.

Laptops Vs. Desktops

There's no one-size-fits-all solution for small business computing. The best devices for employees depend on the tasks they do. But one key choice is laptop vs. desktop—balancing mobility versus performance, cost, and flexibility.

A desktop may give you more performance and responsiveness than a laptop at the same price point and more flexibility to add components. But laptops provide the mobility employees need to respond to business and sales opportunities in real time. They can work on a plane or train, in a coffee shop, or at a customer's location.

Additionally, the monitor, keyboard, mouse, and Wi-Fi connectivity all come integrated into a laptop. With a desktop, these peripherals sometimes cost extra. This can make the price of a laptop more competitive.

The decision to buy a laptop ultimately comes down to how critical mobile work is for your employees. If that's integral to your business model, you'll want to weigh all the factors to select the ideal laptop for your small business.

The Right Small Business Laptop

When the small business workforce can get real work done on the go, productivity and efficiency soar. Selecting the best laptop for small business owners should start with four primary considerations: budget, form factor, performance, and long-term needs.

  • Set a budget. Laptop prices run from hundreds to thousands ofdollars—and that's before you're tempted to add components. Set a budget to use as a guideline, so you don't purchase performance you can't afford or sacrifice performance for a low price.
    Start by learning how your employees use their computers. Then, determine the performance specs and features each employee requires. After that, you can price out computers that fit your budget.
  • Select the right form factor and features. Think about how your employees will use their laptops, and then match those use cases with form factors and features. A thin and light laptop with a long battery life is great for the employee who travels. Meanwhile, a 2-in-1 that can flip into tablet mode and comes with a stylus lets a sales representative easily share content with a customer in the field.
  • Focus on performance. A fast processor (CPU) helps ensure employees can quickly complete everyday tasks, even when running many programs at once. RAM temporarily stores data in the laptop's memory, but the amount needed depends on program complexity. Storage is used to launch and operate programs and the operating system. Storage also holds all your files, so you'll want ample room.
    A smart choice for your business might be to invest in a powerful processor now. You can add RAM and storage later as your business requires.
  • Prepare for current and future needs. With new developments in cloud computing and AI, expect fast changes in the applications your employees need to do their jobs. A software vendor's recommended system requirements generally state only the minimum necessary.
    To continue to perform efficiently, your laptop hardware should exceed those requirements by at least 50 percent.1 Investing in laptops that can handle more programs and data could prevent a frustrated workforce in just a few years.

Laptop Performance Specifications

It can be helpful to read up on the basics of PC technology before purchasing your devices. The laptop components most critical to performance are the processor (CPU), RAM, and storage. However, long battery life is crucial for workers to get through the day. And note that Microsoft has ended support and security updates for Windows* 7. Pairing a laptop upgrade with migration to Windows* 10 could be a cost saver.

Processor (CPU)
The CPU gives a laptop its brain power. A more powerful processor enables your laptop to handle computations and tasks faster. Many PC manufacturers offer laptops equipped with the latest Intel® Core™ processor. This can mean the difference between a responsive computer and a lagging one. A good processor also helps optimize the memory (RAM) in your laptop to further improve performance.

Mobile devices such as 2-in-1s, laptops, and thin and lights that feature a 10th Gen Intel® Core™ i7 U series mobile processor can give you up to 2x better productivity on Office 3652 3 and up to 2x better overall performance than a five-year-old PC.2 4

Memory (RAM)
Random Access Memory (RAM) plays a major role in PC performance. As the PC's working memory, having more RAM means your PC can support more programs running at the same time.

Storage
Your laptop should provide as much storage as possible. As an alternative, you can add an external hard drive. But storage speed matters as much as storage size.

Storage comes as either an HDD or Intel® Solid State Drive or Intel® SSD. HDDs cost less but contain mechanical parts that affect how fast your computer can access data. Intel® SSDs are smaller, lighter, faster, and more expensive.

Intel® Optane™ memory H10 with Solid State Storage is a new approach to memory and storage that provides both responsiveness and performance. Compared to a system with an Intel® SSD 760p, Intel® Optane™ memory H10 with Solid State Storage can provide a boost in performance while multitasking—launch Microsoft Office applications up to 43%x faster while multitasking.2 5

Operating System
If you haven't updated your laptop operating system yet, you may want to skip installing Windows* 10 until you upgrade your computer. Running the new operating system on an older PC may not give you the full productivity and security benefits.

With a new laptop, employees can open and use Windows apps fast, save time with voice-activated help, and enjoy built-in protections and automatic updates that alleviate security concerns.

Battery Life
Some laptop batteries take the freedom out of mobility by making you hyperaware of every electrical outlet. Others will work all day—and even do overtime—on one charge. Various factors impact battery life, from screen size and brightness to number of programs open to amount of media consumed. In particular, your choice of processor and operating system will determine how long your laptop battery will last.

Other Features to Consider

Other factors that may help you determine the right laptop for your business include configurations, screen size, weight, graphics, and connectivity.

Multiple Configurations with 2-in-1s
A 2-in-1 PC delivers powerful processing in a razor-thin device that switches among laptop, tablet, and tent modes. Employees can transform the device to fit the task, from accessing browser windows to presenting a 4K video creation. New models offer features like voice control and facial recognition, along with exceptional performance for life and work on the go.

Screen Size
Laptop screen size varies from 11 to 18 inches. If you expect employees to transport a laptop daily, you may want to look at a smaller screen. However, if the laptop may as well be a desktop, then a larger screen can be comparable to a workstation display. Screen size directly influences weight and price, so you need to balance employee desires with convenience and cost.

Weight
The weight and thickness of a laptop can be critical if employees frequently carry it from location to location. In some cases, every ounce counts. Intel® Core™ processor-based laptops are lightweight and extremely portable for use wherever employees go.

Graphics
Laptops typically use graphics processors integrated with the CPU. With enhancements in integrated graphics, you're able to handle tasks that were previously relegated to discrete graphics. But for editing videos or creating high-end graphics, a discrete graphics processor can be essential.

Connectivity
Most laptops include USB ports to connect to everything from a mouse to an external drive, plus Bluetooth for wireless peripherals, and an audio jack. You'll also want wireless connectivity for 802.11ac Wi-Fi and an ethernet port (RJ45) for business environments.

Going a step further, a Thunderbolt™ 3 port provides a superset of capabilities, including USB 3.1 plus 40 GBPS Thunderbolt™ and DisplayPort 1.2 from a single USB-C port. You can also find laptops with a microSD slot, Gigabit Ethernet, and other connectivity features.

Be Future Forward with Intel

Most small business owners keep a watchful eye on their budgets. But current technology trends, especially within the realm of AI, call for powerful PCs. Before long, you may want to take advantage of these features to accelerate creativity or productivity workloads.

If you think you'll take advantage of new AI capabilities, you'll want to consider a new class of laptops that can carry you into the future. These ultralight devices are coengineered with Intel for exceptional mobile performance.6 They feature 10th Gen Intel® Core™ processors, battery life that's optimized to last, and features like instant wake and voice assistant. And by meeting the latest standards for connectivity with Intel® Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+) and Thunderbolt™ 3, your employees can get fast connections that keep them productive.

產品與效能資訊

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效能因使用情形、配置和其他因素而異。請造訪 www.Intel.com.tw/PerformanceIndex 進一步瞭解。

3

在第 11 代 Intel® Core™ i7-1185G7 處理器執行 Microsoft Office 365 工作流程所測得。效能結果係依據截至 2020 年 8 月 20 日的測試,可能無法反映所有公開提供的更新。請查看組態公開資料以獲得詳細資訊。沒有產品能提供絕對的安全性。在搭載下列元件的平台上進行量測:

處理器:Intel® Core™ i7-1185G7 處理器 (TGL-U) PL1=15W,啟用 Intel® Dynamic Tuning Technology (Intel® DTT),4 核 8 緒,記憶體:LPDDR4-4267MHz,16GB (2x8GB),雙通道與雙秩,儲存裝置:Intel® 660p M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD,顯示器解析度:1920x1080,Lifestyle 工作負載 (4K) 除外,作業系統:Microsoft Windows* 10 20H1-19041.326 所有效能標竿評測的電源原則均設為 AC/平衡模式(SYSmark 25 量測效能時使用的是 AC/BAPCo 模式,因此不在此列)。電源原則設為 DC/平衡電源模式,UX Slider 設為 Better Battery(較佳電池)。所有效能標竿評測均在管理員模式中執行,顯示晶片:Intel® Xe 顯示晶片,顯示晶片驅動程式:27.20.100.8431,BIOS 版本:TGLSFWI1.R00.3284.A00.2007091654,在 Intel 評估板所測得。温度:針對所有 IA 效能測量,Tc=60c。針對所有顯示晶片效能測量,Tc=85c。Intel® DTT 的效能將根據機殼設計選擇、機殼溫度閾值、散熱解決方案、外型規格(xyz 尺寸)、氣流與環境空氣溫度而變化。處理器:Intel® Core™ i7-8550U 處理器 (KBLR-U) PL1=15W,4 核 8 緒,記憶體:LPDDR4-1866,2x4GB,雙秩,儲存裝置:Samsung PM961 NVMe 256GB,顯示器解析度:1920x1080,作業系統:Microsoft Windows* 10 10.0.19041.421,顯示晶片:Intel® UHD 顯示晶片,顯示晶片驅動程式:26.20.100.7986,BIOS 版本:1.12.1,在 Dell XPS 所測得。

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經 SYSmark 25 整體分數測量。效能結果係依據截至 2020 年 8 月 20 日的測試,可能無法反映所有公開提供的更新。請查看組態公開資料以獲得詳細資訊。沒有產品能提供絕對的安全性。量測平台規格:處理器:Intel® Core™ i7-1185G7 處理器 (TGL-U) PL1=15W,啟用 Intel® Dynamic Tuning Technology (Intel® DTT),4 核 8 緒,記憶體: LPDDR4-4267MHz,16GB (2x8GB),雙通道與雙秩,儲存裝置:Intel® 660p M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD,顯示器解析度:1920x1080,Lifestyle 工作負載 (4K) 除外,作業系統:Microsoft Windows* 10 20H1-19041.326 所有效能標竿評測的電源原則均設為 AC/平衡模式(SYSmark 25 量測效能時使用的是 AC/BAPCo 模式,因此不在此列)。電源原則設為 DC/平衡電源模式,UX Slider 設為 Better Battery(較佳電池)。所有效能標竿評測均在管理員模式中執行,顯示晶片:Intel® Xe 顯示晶片,顯示晶片驅動程式:27.20.100.8431,BIOS 版本:TGLSFWI1.R00.3284.A00.2007091654,在 Intel 評估板所測得。温度:針對所有 IA 效能測量,Tc=60c。針對所有顯示晶片效能測量,Tc=85c。Intel® DTT 的效能將根據機殼設計選擇、機殼溫度閾值、散熱解決方案、外型規格(xyz 尺寸)、氣流與環境空氣溫度而變化。處理器:Intel® Core™ i7-8550U 處理器 (KBLR-U) PL1=15W,4 核 8 緒,記憶體:LPDDR4-1866,2x4GB,雙秩,儲存裝置:Samsung PM961 NVMe 256GB,顯示器解析度:1920x1080,作業系統:Microsoft Windows* 10 10.0.19041.421,顯示晶片:Intel® UHD 顯示晶片,顯示晶片驅動程式:26.20.100.7986,BIOS 版本:1.12.1,在 Dell XPS 所測得。

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經本機檔案複製工作負載啟動 Microsoft Word 365,以搭載 512GB Intel® Optane™ memory H10 與固態儲存裝置 vs. 512GB Toshiba XG6 (PCIe 3.0 TLC NAND SSD) 之第 11 代 Intel® Core™ i7-1185G7 處理器所測得。 效能結果係依據截至 2020 年 8 月 26 日的測試,可能無法反映所有公開提供的更新。請查看組態公開資料以獲得詳細資訊。沒有產品能提供絕對的安全性。量測平台規格:處理器:Intel® Core™ i7-1165G7 處理器 (TGL-U) 15W PL1,4 核 8 緒,記憶體:LPDDR4-4267MHz,16GB (2x8GB),儲存裝置:512GB Intel® Optane™ memory H10 與固態儲存裝置,顯示器解析度:1920x1080,作業系統:Microsoft Windows* 10 20H1-19041.326,顯示晶片:Intel® Xe 顯示晶片,顯示晶片驅動程式:27.20.100.8431,Bios 版本:TGLSFWI1.R00.3284.A00.2007091654,在 Intel 參考板所測得。處理器:Intel® Core™ i7-1165G7 處理器 (TGL-U) 15W PL1,4 核 8 緒,記憶體:LPDDR4-4267MHz,16GB (2x8GB),儲存裝置:512GB Toshiba XG6,顯示器解析度:1920x1080,作業系統:Microsoft Windows* 10 20H1-19041.326,顯示晶片:Intel® Xe 顯示晶片,顯示晶片驅動程式:27.20.100.8431,Bios 版本:TGLSFWI1.R00.3284.A00.2007091654,在 Intel 參考板所測得。

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Intel 認證:認證流程:Intel 的設計認證流程,可確保產品針對使用者體驗採用特定規格。Intel 不為任何系統保證特定效能。實際效能會因使用情況、系統組態及設定而有所不同。Intel 藉由參與、贊助及/或為各種效能評定小組(包括由 Principled Technologies 管理的 BenchmarkXPRT 開發社群)提供技術支援,致力於效能評定的發展。已估計或模擬出結果。Intel® 技術可能需要搭配支援的硬體、軟體或啟動相關服務。您的成本和成果可能有所落差。Intel 並不控制或審核第三方的資料。您應該參考其他來源以評估準確性。請參閱設定檔配置的詳細資訊支援。如需更完整的效能與效能標竿評測結果資訊,請造訪 intel.com.tw/benchmarks