How much do you need to spend on a laptop for your business?

Startups investigates the key components of a quality laptop

Laptop PCs are generally more expensive than desktop PCs, but if you or your employees are often out of the office, it’s an essential piece of equipment. However, despite their higher costs, laptops have come down in price significantly over the last couple of years.

If you just need to access the internet and run word processing or spreadsheet software, a b udget laptop may be all you need. This will be useable in most business situations but there will inevitably be some compromise made on one or more of:

  • Quality – it might not take rough handling as well as a more expensive laptop
  • Performance – most noticeable when: starting the laptop up; when starting programs; and when running multiple programs simultaneously
  • Screen quality – the better the screen, the higher the price
  • Battery life – important if you want to be able to use the laptop on battery for more than an hour or so between charges
  • Weight – technology is trying to provide improvements in all the above while trying to keep weight down; inevitably, the best technology is used in the more expensive PCs.

We suggest a target price of £600-800.

A mid-sized laptop is likely have a longer useful life and will be more appropriate for people that have to use it for most of the day and on the move. We suggest a target price of £900-1,200.

Be careful though. Laptops are not easy to upgrade. That means:

  • You need to think through your needs before making a purchase. If you buy a laptop that does not meet your needs in, say, a year’s time you might be forced into replacing it early.
  • You should consider buying a laptop that is a higher specification than you need right now so you have more capability available if you need it.

Lack of expansion capability plus exposure to damage while travelling means that laptops have a shorter useful life than desktop PCs. Consider writing off your investment over, say, two years.

Source: Buying a PC

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