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.

Laptops with an 8th Gen Intel® Core™ i7 8565U processor in a power-optimized system configuration last up to 16 hours for 1080p local video playback.2

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 an 8th Gen Intel® Core™ i5 U series mobile processor can give you up to 1.8x better web performance3 4 and up to 2x better overall system performance than a five-year-old PC.3 5

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 solid state drive (SSD). HDDs cost less but contain mechanical parts that affect how fast your computer can access data. 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 a TLC SSD, Intel® Optane™ memory H10 with Solid State Storage can provide a boost in performance while multitasking—up to 2x faster when launching documents,6 up to 2x faster when launching workbooks,7 and up to 90 percent faster when opening large media files.8

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. For example, laptops with an 8th Gen Intel® Core™ i7 8565U processor in a power-optimized system configuration last up to 16 hours for 1080p local video playback.2 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.9 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.

Shop Intel® Processor-Based Laptops for Small Business See all products

Keep the workforce responsive and productive on the road with laptops in a range of smart, stylish designs.

ASUS ExpertBook P5440FA-BM0716 notebook

  • 8세대 인텔® 코어™ i7 프로세서
  • 256 기가바이트 용량
  • 8 기가바이트 메모리
  • 1.23 킬로그램 중량
  • N 운영 체제
지금 비교

DELL Latitude 3500

  • 8세대 인텔® 코어™ i5 프로세서
  • 1256 기가바이트 용량
  • 8 기가바이트 메모리
  • 2.15 킬로그램 중량
  • Windows 10 Home 운영 체제
지금 비교

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga

  • 8세대 인텔® 코어™ i7 프로세서
  • 256 기가바이트 용량
  • 8 기가바이트 메모리
  • 1.4 킬로그램 중량
  • Windows 10 Pro 운영 체제
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Lenovo Yoga C930

  • 8세대 인텔® 코어™ i7 프로세서
  • 256 기가바이트 용량
  • 8 기가바이트 메모리
  • 1.38 킬로그램 중량
  • Windows 10 Home 운영 체제
지금 비교

Lenovo ThinkPad X390

  • 8세대 인텔® 코어™ i7 프로세서
  • 256 기가바이트 용량
  • 8 기가바이트 메모리
  • Windows 10 Pro 운영 체제
지금 비교

Shop Intel® Processor-Based 2-in-1's for Small Business See all products

Combine the performance of a laptop with the ultra mobility of a sleek, razor-thin device.

8.7

HP Spectre x360 13-aw0214tu

  • Intel Core i7-10xxx 프로세서
  • 512 기가바이트 용량
  • 16 기가바이트 메모리
  • 1.3 킬로그램 중량
  • Windows 10 Home 운영 체제
지금 비교

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga

  • 8세대 인텔® 코어™ i7 프로세서
  • 256 기가바이트 용량
  • 8 기가바이트 메모리
  • 1.4 킬로그램 중량
  • Windows 10 Pro 운영 체제
지금 비교

Lenovo Yoga C930

  • 8세대 인텔® 코어™ i7 프로세서
  • 256 기가바이트 용량
  • 8 기가바이트 메모리
  • 1.38 킬로그램 중량
  • Windows 10 Home 운영 체제
지금 비교

HP ENVY x360 15-dr1010tx

  • Intel Core i7-10xxx 프로세서
  • 256 기가바이트 용량
  • 16 기가바이트 메모리
  • 2.05 킬로그램 중량
  • Windows 10 Home 운영 체제
지금 비교
8.5

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga

  • Intel Core i7-10xxx 프로세서
  • 256 기가바이트 용량
  • 16 기가바이트 메모리
  • Windows 10 Pro 운영 체제
지금 비교

제품 및 성능 정보

2Laptops with an 8th Gen Intel® Core™ i7 8565U , i5, or i3 (U series) processor in a power-optimized system configuration last up to 16 hours for 1080p local video playback: Performance results are based on testing as of August 10, 2018, and may not reflect all publicly available security updates. See configuration disclosure for details. No product or component can be absolutely secure. Software and workloads used in performance tests may have been optimized for performance only on Intel® microprocessors. Performance tests, such as SYSmark* and MobileMark*, are measured using specific computer systems, components, software, operations, and functions. Any change to any of those factors may cause the results to vary. You should consult other information and performance tests to assist you in fully evaluating your contemplated purchases, including the performance of that product when combined with other products. For more complete information about performance and benchmark results, visit intel.co.kr/benchmarks. As projected by 1080P Local Video Playback on Intel® Core™ i7 8565U processor, PL1 = 15W TDP, 4C8T; Turbo up to 4.6 GHz; Graphics: Intel® UHD Graphics 620; Memory: 2x8 GB DDR4-2400; Storage: Intel® 760p SSD; OS: Microsoft Windows* 10 RS4 Build 17134.112; BIOS: X150.B00.1807031951; MCU: 0x98; Battery: 52WHr; Screen: 1W Sharp 1080p panel. Workload is 200 nits screen brightness and audio in headphones. Some OEM systems are expected to exceed 16 hours.
3Software and workloads used in performance tests may have been optimized for performance only on Intel® microprocessors. Performance tests, such as SYSmark* and MobileMark*, are measured using specific computer systems, components, software, operations, and functions. Any change to any of those factors may cause the results to vary. You should consult other information and performance tests to assist you in fully evaluating your contemplated purchases, including the performance of that product when combined with other products. For more complete information, visit intel.co.kr/benchmarks. Performance results are based on testing as of dates shown in configurations and may not reflect all publicly available ​updates. See backup for configuration details. No product or component can be absolutely secure.
4Up to 1.8x better web performance with an 8th Gen Intel® Core™ i5-8265U processor vs. 5YO PC: Performance results are based on testing as of August 10, 2018, and may not reflect all publicly available security updates. See configuration disclosure for details. No product or component can be absolutely secure. For more complete information about performance and benchmark results, visit intel.co.kr/benchmarks. Software and workloads used in performance tests may have been optimized for performance only on Intel® microprocessors. Performance tests, such as SYSmark* and MobileMark*, are measured using specific computer systems, components, software, operations, and functions. Any change to any of those factors may cause the results to vary. You should consult other information and performance tests to assist you in fully evaluating your contemplated purchases, including the performance of that product when combined with other products. Only for 8th Gen Intel® Core™ i5 U series mobile processor. New disclaimer: As measured by WebXPRT* 3 on Intel® Core™ i5-8265U processor vs. Intel® Core™ i5-4200U processor.
5Up to 2x better overall system performance with an 8th Gen Intel® Core™ i5-8265U processor vs. 5YO PC: Performance results are based on testing as of August 10, 2018, and may not reflect all publicly available security updates. See configuration disclosure for details. No product or component can be absolutely secure. Software and workloads used in performance tests may have been optimized for performance only on Intel® microprocessors. Performance tests, such as SYSmark* and MobileMark*, are measured using specific computer systems, components, software, operations, and functions. Any change to any of those factors may cause the results to vary. You should consult other information and performance tests to assist you in fully evaluating your contemplated purchases, including the performance of that product when combined with other products. For more complete information, visit intel.co.kr/benchmarks. Only for 8th Gen Intel® Core™ i5 U series mobile processor. New disclaimer: As measured by SYSmark* 2014 SE Overall on Intel® Core™ i5-8265U processor vs. Intel® Core™ i5-4200U processor.
6Launch documents up to 2x faster while multitasking on an 8th Gen Intel® Core™ i7 mobile processor featuring 32 GB+512 GB Intel® Optane™ memory H10 with Solid State Storage vs. TLC SSD alone: Performance results are based on testing as of March 21, 2019, and may not reflect all publicly available security updates. See configuration disclosure for details. No product can be absolutely secure. Software and workloads used in performance tests may have been optimized for performance only on Intel® microprocessors. Performance tests, such as SYSmark* and MobileMark*, are measured using specific computer systems, components, software, operations, and functions. Any change to any of those factors may cause the results to vary. You should consult other information and performance tests to assist you in fully evaluating your contemplated purchases, including the performance of that product when combined with other products. For more complete information about performance and benchmark results, visit intel.co.kr/benchmarks. As measured by Document Launch with Background Activity (i.e., 18 GB Video File Copy), comparing 8th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-8565U processor (512 GB TLC SSD) vs. 8th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-8565U processor (32 GB + 512 GB Intel® Optane™ memory H10 with Solid State Storage).
7Launch workbooks up to 2x faster while multitasking on an 8th Gen Intel® Core™ i7 mobile processor featuring 32 GB + 512 GB Intel® Optane™ memory H10 with Solid State Storage vs. TLC SSD alone: Performance results are based on testing as of March 21, 2019, and may not reflect all publicly available security updates. See configuration disclosure for details. No product can be absolutely secure. Software and workloads used in performance tests may have been optimized for performance only on Intel® microprocessors. Performance tests, such as SYSmark* and MobileMark*, are measured using specific computer systems, components, software, operations, and functions. Any change to any of those factors may cause the results to vary. You should consult other information and performance tests to assist you in fully evaluating your contemplated purchases, including the performance of that product when combined with other products. For more complete information about performance and benchmark results, visit intel.co.kr/benchmarks.As measured by Workbook Launch with Background Activity (i.e., 18 GB Video File Copy), comparing 8th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-8565U processor (512 GB TLC SSD) vs. 8th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-8565U processor (32 GB + 512 GB Intel® Optane™ memory H10 with Solid State Storage).
8Open large media files up to 90 percent faster while multitasking on an 8th Gen Intel® Core™ i7 mobile processor featuring 32 GB + 512 GB Intel® Optane™ memory H10 with Solid State Storage vs. TLC SSD alone: Performance results are based on testing as of March 21, 2019 (Adobe Photoshop Project File Launch with Background Activity), and March 9, 2019 (Gimp Project File Launch with Background Activity), and may not reflect all publicly available security updates. See configuration disclosure for details. No product can be absolutely secure. Software and workloads used in performance tests may have been optimized for performance only on Intel® microprocessors. Performance tests, such as SYSmark* and MobileMark*, are measured using specific computer systems, components, software, operations, and functions. Any change to any of those factors may cause the results to vary. You should consult other information and performance tests to assist you in fully evaluating your contemplated purchases, including the performance of that product when combined with other products. For more complete information about performance and benchmark results, visit intel.co.kr/benchmarks. As measured by Adobe Photoshop Project File Launch with Background Activity (i.e., 18 GB Video File Copy), comparing 8th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-8565U processor (512 GB TLC SSD) vs. 8th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-8565U processor (32 GB + 512 GB Intel® Optane™ memory H10 with Solid State Storage).
9Verified by Intel: Verification process: Intel’s design verification process ensures that certain product specifications for user experience are included. Intel does not guarantee specific performance of any system. Actual performance will vary with use, system configurations, and settings. Intel contributes to the development of benchmarks by participating in, sponsoring, and/or contributing technical support to various benchmarking groups, including the BenchmarkXPRT Development Community administered by Principled Technologies. Results have been estimated or simulated. Intel® technologies may require enabled hardware, software, or service activation. Your costs and results may vary. Intel does not control or audit third-party data. You should consult other sources to evaluate accuracy. See backup for configuration details. For more complete information about performance and benchmark results, visit intel.co.kr/benchmarks.