Bring your own device policies are becoming prevalent in the workplace, with Spring Technology reporting that 40.8 percent of people support some form of BYOD policy. This type of policy has many advantages, but one disadvantage is something you probably haven’t considered. If you’re going to go with a BYOD policy, you need to be able to choose your own laptop for work. This is a blessing and a curse. You get to choose exactly what you want, but you may need to confirm that it’s on an approved device list prior to bringing it in to work. Before you go haring off to the store and picking up the first laptop you see, consider the type of laptop that works best for your workload, the hardware specs, your budget, and the software it’s going to run.
Not all laptops are created equal. You have desktop replacements, netbooks, and run of the mill notebooks. Knowing which one works best for your work situation puts you a step closer to picking up a laptop for business. Lenovo’s Ultrabook line, for example, revolves around powerful computer hardware that’s designed to be as light and energy efficient as possible. These laptops have long battery life alongside relatively powerful performance. Netbooks or tablet alternatives are great if you want the lightest system possible, although their performance is much lower than other options.
Desktop replacements are the top end of laptops, with hardware that is similar to or exceeds your desktop computer, says PC Mag. Some brands to look for with these laptops include Sager, MSI, and Alienware. The highest spec graphics cards, custom cooling systems, and more bells and whistles are packed into these laptops. The price tag reflects the hardware though, and you rarely get good battery life out of them.
Look into the software requirements for your employer before you drop the cash on a new laptop. If you need a specific operating system version or minimum system requirements for particular software and tasks, it’s best to establish that as quickly as possible. Look through the company’s BYOD policy to see what is needed and what is recommended.
You don’t want to put your entire life on your business laptop without making sure that it’s taken care of. Look into virtualization software, which creates a virtual desktop detached from your installed operating system. Any changes made to this operating system do not affect your original install, saving you from alterations due to work.
If you do nothing but browse the Internet and use web-based tools for your applications, a low end netbook or Chromebook does the trick. If you need to process large photo files or videos out in the field, the power of the desktop replacement is virtually required. Match up your laptop selection to your work needs, as opposed to trying to make a laptop do what it’s not designed to do after the fact. Personal preference also plays a factor, since this does get to be your personal machine when you’re outside of the workplace.