Guidelines For Purchasing Business Laptops
Laptops or notebook computers can empower any business or company. They can be a platform for a fully equipped workforce, one that is well organized and ready to meet all of today's vast technological challenges. A workforce that's cohesive, well connected and totally prepared for the modern work place.
Laptops are state-of-the-art communication machines. These sophisticated devices are ideal for many business applications such as record keeping, wireless networking, presentations, instant communication... can your company really compete in today's business world without this great techno advantage?
Laptops should be a vital element in your company's overall business strategy. They should be a priority on your company's acquisition list for they just may be the competitive edge your company needs to increase production and beat out the competition.
Purchasing any kind of high tech device can be a real challenge in itself. Laptops are no exceptions. Notebook technology is constantly changing, there's a new generation of notebook technology every two years or so. Keeping abreast of recent advances is not an easy job.
Notebooks are getting smaller, faster and are almost matching the performance level offered by their bigger cousin -- the desktop computer. And for the first time in history, they are outselling their desktop rivals.
Laptops are also becoming better connected, most high quality notebooks come with Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity) connections, many have a tri-mode 802.11a/b/g wireless system. Some recent models, like the Sony's New Ultra-Portable VAIO VGN-T350P, are raising the bar, it has the world's first 'Built-in Cellular Modem'. You can use your cell phone to connect to the Internet. This may be a great advantage since finding a 'Hot Spot' in some parts of the world can still be difficult.
One of the main features of a good business laptop is portability. A great business laptop must be very portable. You should be able to carry it around in your briefcase or under your arm with ease. Its weight should not cause you any discomfort even if you have to lug it around all day.
Most lightweight and small laptops can be found in the 'Thin and Light' and 'Ultra-portable' categories of notebooks. Notebooks in those classes are usually well under 5 pounds, around 10 by 14 inches in size and approximately an inch thick. Many are a lot smaller.
But don't let the small size fool you, these laptops are very powerful. They can do almost any business application you can throw at it. However, you must make sure your company's laptop is powerful enough to get the job done. It's usually agreed that you need at least 256MB RAM for Windows XP and Mac OS X. You will only need 128MB for other operating systems in Windows or Mac.
Storage space should not be a problem, most recent models come with 60 to 100 GIG hard drives which should be sufficient space for most companies. If your company deals in heavy graphics or visual work more space can be obtained with an extra external hard drive.
The main function of your laptops should be considered. For instance, if you have workers that require a lot of note-taking (floor managers/inspectors, real estate agents, medical personnel, etc.) a slate or tablet PC would be a more appropriate choice for your company. If your workers or employees do a lot of traveling then you want the lightest and most portable laptop or notebook you can find.
Battery life will also be very important for the traveling business person. Must recent laptops now supply 5 or more hours of power, if you want more you should considered buying an extra battery or two. Also, remember when choosing your laptop battery always pick the battery with the higher numbered cells. More cells will give you longer battery life.
Security is another consideration for your company's laptop. You must be careful to protect sensitive company records or documents -- some notebooks like those in the IBM/Sonoma ThinkPad series include an integrated fingerprint scanner for biometric authentication that uses an Embedded Security Subsystem and Password Manager. This offers extra security.
Along with security, your company will need a laptop that's sturdy and well built, especially if your workers do a lot of business traveling. Many laptops are ruggerized and can take a decent pounding or two. Some even offer some novel sturdiness features such as IBM's Active Protection System which is designed to protect the hard drive from falls and spills for those accident prone notebook users in your company.
Perhaps, the most important tip and buying factor is price. Outfitting your workforce with laptops doesn't come cheap. But you can save money if you practice that old adage: 'It pays to shop around and bargain'! Don't just buy your laptops off the rack -- always speak to the manager. Even when buying laptops online, contact the sales staff and try for a special price or bargain. Since you're buying in bulk or volume, many laptop companies and manufacturers will give you a special unit price. The more units you're ordering, the lower the price.
A little haggling will go a long way in lowering the overall cost of your company's laptop purchase; saving your company money. And if you're the person in charge of this purchase, making such a deal will reflect well on you, so try to go out of your way to get a good deal!
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But don't sacrifice quality for a special price, always make sure you're buying laptops that can get the job done. Use the laptop tips above to guide you on the right path. It should make your task just be a little bit easier.