One of the few positives to have arisen from the pandemic of the last couple of years is the confirmation that working from home actually works. Of course, those who had been doing it long before the global crisis struck already knew this!
Lots of people will have ‘returned to the office’ in some way by now. But whether you are working in a well-balanced ‘hybrid’ mode and splitting your time between there and home or even actually still WFH full-time, it’s clear that a ‘new’ way of working is a step in the right direction for many. This ‘hybrid’ route is a great opportunity to make sure that you (or, if you’re reading this and you’re the employer, your workforce) is equipped with the right tech.
As we have discussed in previous blogs, the technology available these days means that location is no longer that much of an issue at all for a large number of workers – certainly nothing for businesses to worry about. The sharp rise in the use of communication tools such as Zoom and collaboration platforms such as Microsoft Teams has meant that being physically apart rather than in the office together need not be a barrier to effective and productive working.
But what about the tech required to actually run the apps and programs which allow us to work remotely, and in hybrid fashion? We’re talking, of course, about laptops.
HP ZBook Fury G8 Mobile Workstation
With an i7 processor and a 15.6″ screen, the ZBook Fury is power packed into an incredibly sleek, slim design. Perfect for creatives, you can create, render, edit, and simulate with ease. With HP Sure View Reflect6 your screen is guarded from prying eyes, and DNN noise reduction and anti-howling software blocks unwanted background noise.
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What’s so good about laptops?
Portability, for a start! From the moment they first arrived on the scene, laptops transformed the way many of us interacted with computers and went about both our social and, particularly, our working lives. Being able to move around your environment and take your device with you – from home office to living room to bedroom – and being able to take your work projects with you no matter where you’re working has been one of the major benefits of having a laptop.
If you’re on the hunt for a new laptop for work purposes, it can be a bit daunting. There are so many specifications to consider and, as ever, making the right choice partially depends on exactly what you need it for! So we’ve come up with some guidance which should help you find the best one for you, and we’ve scattered a few of our favourites throughout…
Lenovo ThinkBook 13s
Lightweight and compact, the Lenovo ThinkBook 13s is perfect for on-the-go workdays. Fitted with AMD Ryzen™ 5000 Series Mobile Processors with Radeon™ Graphics for serious performance, plus advanced security features and an enhanced audiovisual experience.
What sort of laptop should I choose?
Having an idea of what you will use a new laptop for the most is a very good place to start. For instance, if your work won’t always be on the laptop, and it will be used only occasionally (for, say, an hour a day for things like ordering or answering emails) then you are not necessarily going to get much benefit from buying something absolutely top of the line.
Perhaps a Chromebook would be an adequate choice, here? So, let’s briefly talk about Chromebooks…
Chromebooks are a sort of laptop which runs on internet-based apps. They have limited memory and storage capacities but they are often cheaper to buy. Chromebooks are light, easy to use and are perfect for internet-based tasks. Chromebooks boot up and operate a lot faster than ‘normal’ laptops because they use SSDs (read more about those here) and the Google Chrome operating system. There is very little storage built in to the device itself (everything is saved to the cloud) so the device doesn’t slow down and can remain dedicated to the most important tasks in hand.
In a work environment Chromebooks would be useful for people who are often on the go, as it were, and require a device for those moments of being away from HQ and needing to check in, or work on some written documents. In non-work terms a Chromebook is great for when you want to go on the internet, check your socials, and stream films or TV shows or online content.
HP Chromebook 14 G5 AMD A4 4GB 32GB eMMC 14″
This Chromebook has been specifically designed for the enterprise and educators sector – so, teachers and business people. With a durable design this Chromebook is driven by the latest AMD processors and has future-ready universal USB-C compatibility.
It follows, of course, that if you are a task-intensive worker (perhaps in the visual arts – video production or photography or the like) then you will really not get fulfilling use from a budget model with day-to-day specs. A Chromebook is almost certainly not the right choice for you.
Quite often designers, photographers and others who work with imagery, video or high-resolution documentation of some kind (such as those in the construction or architecture industries) are often likely to be drawn towards an Apple laptop. Apple laptops run on the iconic brand’s own operating system, and they are a solid choice for workers in those creative fields.
Apple MacBook Pro M1 Chip 8GB 512GB SSD 13.3″ – Space Grey
From video-editing to gaming, the Apple M1 chip in this MacBook Pro laptop lets you take on the biggest tasks and creative projects without draining battery. Plus, with speedy SSD storage, you’ll be able to save files, load programs and access huge video and image files in a moment.
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What specs and other things do I need to consider?
Stay within your budget
Keeping a good grip of the purse strings is important in any business, just as it is in the domestic environment. Sticking to the budget is important – though you shouldn’t be misled into thinking that cheap means rubbish. But if you are in a position where your budget can stretch, it’s worth considering buying a laptop with at least an i5 processor. It’s not the state of the art chip, but if the laptop is powered in this way it should easily be able to handle the work you throw at it, and it won’t let you down on speed and reliability.
If your budget is a bit higher and you need something with a bit more ‘horse power’ then try to go for a laptop with an SSD rather than a standard hard drive. This way it will work much faster at retrieving files and documents.
If you’re looking for a decent screen size but in a laptop which is still fairly compact, then a 15” (or thereabouts) is the ideal choice. This is a workable size and provides a good viewing area. If it is possible to combine this with an HD display then you’re going to see your work in a good resolution which will be much easier on the eye, even if you are typing away all day!
Something which is sometimes overlooked when people are deciding which laptop to buy is its weight. If you are hybrid working and are using public transport, or walking or cycling, to work on the days you are in the office, then this really is something worth thinking about. There’s no fun in carrying a heavy laptop home after a hard day at the office! Don’t forget to buy a bag to transport your laptop in!
To be honest, you’re likely to be running your laptop at home with the power cable plugged in. But if you are not then you should check what the battery life of any potential new laptop is. These days most laptops offer a charge of around 8 to 10 hours (which equates to a full working day before you need to plug in to an electricity socket again). A decent laptop will also have a good amount of memory and plenty of ports (USB etc) so that you can connect other storage options (memory sticks, external hard drives etc).
Browse Ebuyer’s range of laptops, here
No matter what type of laptop you’re looking for, at Ebuyer, we’ve got a great selection for every type of work. Check out our range today.