What you need to know
When you started your small business, chances are you bought a few consumer laptops or notebooks. After all, you were accustomed to using them in your personal life, and they seemed just fine. Right?
But as your venture grew, you wondered whether your computers were fast, efficient and powerful enough for the job. Could they still handle the volume of work your employees were trying to do on them? Were they helping or hurting productivity? More importantly, was the money you saved by purchasing them really worth it considering what you gave up in features and functionality?
It’s pretty tough to know when it’s time to upgrade to a business computer, but if you’ve been thinking about it, you can figure it out by asking yourself a few basic questions:
What are you trying to accomplish?
Your small business probably didn’t have much on its computer plate at first. Day-to-day activities likely involved simple things such as emailing customers, conducting online research, updating social or web platforms and keeping the financials in order. Pretty basic stuff, which means consumer laptops and notebooks were probably more than fine.
But as your business grew, so did the types of activities your employees performed. Suddenly, they were creating and working with graphics-intensive applications, holding videoconference calls, sharing large documents online and using customer relationships management (CRM) systems to build, track and grow pipeline. Before you knew it, your power-user employees needed business laptops and notebooks.
Business-grade notebooks can power through those professional jobs faster than consumer notebooks or laptops. They have the processors, graphics and speed you need, along with configuration options that allow you to adjust your RAM and storage space accordingly. They don’t come with unnecessary pre-installed programs, thus clearing up even more speed and power so you can multitask with complex business apps. They have additional connectivity for peripherals like webcams and other external devices.
Where are you going?
Beyond power and capability considerations, you might also want to think about where employees will be using their portable computers. Will they be sitting at a desk all day? Or will they be among the nearly 75 percent of U.S. workers expected to be doing their job on-the-go by next year?
Consumer laptops aren’t flimsy, but business devices are typically built for durability and longevity. They can take a little wear and tear, whether it be bouncing around the backseat of your car en route to a client meeting or shifting under or over your business-class airline seat. Some are even dust- or water-resistant. They’re built to last through years and years of brutal business use and abuse.
Security is also crucial. Many consumer laptops and notebooks don’t have added biometric security features like fingerprint readers or iris scanners; however, more business devices now offer them as standard or reasonably priced options along with HP security features. These will give you additional peace of mind the next time you hear the cringe-inducing phrase “Help, I lost my notebook.”
In addition, with your employees frequently working in airports, coffee shops, lounges and other public places, their laptops are often out-in-the-open and creating potential cybersecurity risks for your network. Many business laptops and notebooks now come with features embedded in the hardware to detect and prevent malware attacks from taking down your network. Some laptops even have integrated privacy filters that make it difficult for prying eyes to see the often private and sensitive information on employee computer screens.
What’s your end game?
If you’re going to invest in notebooks or laptops for your small business, it’s crucial to consider the future while also keeping your budget in mind. We’ve already covered the topics of possibly expanding your services and fostering more mobility in your workplace. And we’ve emphasized the importance of considering a design that’s as durable as you are. A final key is to perform a quick checkup of the longevity of your functionality. Do you have the proper tools and necessary support to protect your data and ensure your work can survive the test of time?
Business-grade notebooks or laptops have some perks in this area that consumer versions don’t. They often offer longer extended warranties, along with onsite warranties that send techs with fresh parts to your business as soon as you need them.
If you’re wondering whether it’s time to upgrade your small business notebooks or laptops from a consumer model to a business model, here’s the short answer: Consumer notebooks and laptops aren’t built for constant abuse, but their business counterparts are – from a hardware, durability and longevity perspective. The new HP ProBook 455R G6 Notebook is a prime example. It offers powerful processing for deadline-driven days, long battery life for mobile work, multiple measures of security authentication, and a stylish but durable chassis to take your notebook wherever it needs to go.