Business Laptop Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best Laptop for Your Business

Author: Luke Adkins  Date Posted: 30 April 2024 

For small and medium-sized enterprises across Australia, finding the best laptop is one of the most important things you can do for your business. Not only does this decision affect productivity and efficiency, but it gives you the power to run your operation with the smoothness and professionalism you need if you want to be taken seriously.

But what exactly should you be looking for when comparing business laptops? That's what we're going to explore today, and in this complete guide, we'll help you discover what the best business laptop for your needs should have.

What is the Difference Between a Business Laptop VS a Consumer Laptop?

Before we get into the finer details, let's take a moment to explore what the difference is between a business laptop and a regular laptop.

Put simply, business laptops are designed to meet the demanding tasks carried out in a professional environment and often have productivity-based features and better security features, such as biometric authentication and encryption to safeguard sensitive customer and business data.

Compared to consumer laptops, business laptops also prioritise reliability and performance, which means you're offered faster multitasking capabilities, which is crucial for a range of business needs.

With a consumer laptop, the focus is more on personal use and they are designed to cater to a broader audience who want a laptop for casual computing, media consumption, and basic tasks. While a consumer laptop is often more affordable than a business laptop, they lack the performance and security features that so many companies need from a laptop.

What to Consider When Buying a Laptop for Work?

Now you know the basics between consumer models and business laptops, but what should you look for specifically when choosing the best business laptop for your needs?

We're going to break these down in some detail further down the page, but if you're in a rush and need to know the most important things, there are three main factors to focus on:


Potentially the most important factor, a business laptop needs to be able to handle your tasks efficiently without slowing down or glitching. Look for laptop models that are equipped with a powerful processor (such as Intel Core i5 or i7) and sufficient Random Access Memory (RAM) of at least 8GB.

Design and Durability

The design and durability of a business laptop are incredibly important things to consider, as this will determine how effectively it will be able to cope with the rigours of daily use. The strongest laptops are built using materials like aluminium or magnesium alloy, which often have a greater amount of durability compared to their plastic counterparts.

Likewise, a lighter laptop is going to be a better choice for carrying between meetings or from desk to desk, and is essential for on-the-go productivity.

Display and Graphics

A business laptop should also have a high-quality display, as this will make it much easier to read important documents and analyse spreadsheets and data. A resolution of at least 1080p or higher is ideal for this, and if you're using a business laptop for graphics-intensive work like image or video editing, you should make sure it has a dedicated graphics card for the very best performance.

Which Processor Should I Get in a Business Laptop?

Determining what kind of processing power you need from a business laptop is often confusing, especially if you find the jargon surrounding computer components difficult to understand. So, let's break things down into simpler terms.

For most small and medium enterprises, a mid-range processor like Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 should give you all the power you need for carrying out everyday tasks, such as web browsing, email communication, document editing, and running basic accounting software.

However, if your business relies on more demanding applications like graphic design, video editing, or data analysis, it would be better to choose a business laptop with a higher-end processor, such as Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 7. Both of these processors offer excellent performance for multitasking and will ensure you have a smooth operating system even when handling resource-intensive tasks.

What Kind of Graphics Card Should My Business Laptop Have?

Graphics cards can also be a confusing thing for many people to understand, so we'll make this simple for you, too, firstly focusing on the choice you have between integrated graphics and dedicated graphics.

Integrated graphics are basically a Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) that is built into the laptop's processor (CPU). This means that it shares system memory and is good for everyday tasks, including document editing and web browsing. However, the fact they share system memory with the CPU means that they often struggle to provide the best performance for graphics-intensive work.

With a dedicated graphics card, the GPU is separate from the CPU. As such, you're offered a significantly better performance when working on demanding graphics tasks, and they are definitely the best choice for a business that uses CAD software, video editing suites, or data visualisation tools. They also offer better performance when using multiple external monitors, which, in turn, can enhance productivity in certain tasks.

How Much Storage Should a Business Laptop Have?

There are three main things you need to think about when looking at how much storage space you need from a business laptop: speed, reliability, and cost. You'll also have a choice between a Solid State Drive (SSD) and a Hard Disk Drive (HDD), and each of these has its own benefits with those three main factors.

Solid State Drives (SSDs) use flash memory to store data, which results in faster read and write speeds, quicker boot times, and improved overall system responsiveness. The speed offered by an SSD is particularly beneficial for any business owner who frequently needs to access and manipulate large files or run multiple applications at the same time.

SSDs also have no moving parts, and this makes them more resistant to physical shock and less prone to mechanical failure compared to a Hard Disk Drive. In turn, you aren't only offered greater reliability but also a reduced risk of data loss, which is essential for safeguarding important business data and sensitive information.

There is a slight downside, though, and this plays into the cost-effectiveness consideration. SSDs are typically more expensive than HDDs, so for businesses with lower budgets or who have less demanding storage needs, an HDD may be the better option.

What Display Should a Business Laptop Have?

No matter what the nature of your business is, you're going to need to be able to clearly see what you're working on, and this is where your laptop's display comes into consideration. There are also two main things to keep in mind when doing this: size and resolution.

Let's look at size first. If you're planning to do a lot of your work on the go, it would be a good idea to choose a business laptop that has a smaller screen of around 13 or 14 inches. This will offer you increased portability as they are easier to carry and fit into a laptop bag, making it super easy to remain productive while you're on the move.

However, if your work involves extensive multitasking or dealing with complex data, a laptop with a larger screen of between 15 and 17 inches may be better. This will make it possible to have multiple windows open at the same time, which is often essential for spreadsheet analysis or detailed design work.

In terms of resolution, laptops with Full HD or 4K offer sharper image quality and enhanced visual clarity, which is hugely important for tasks that require detailed image or text rendering, such as photo editing or reviewing documents.

Business Laptop Build Quality and Design 

It's easy to get caught up in the aesthetics of a business laptop, and while you're obviously going to want a model that looks good and gives you that professional edge, there are some other considerations you need to think about that go beyond appearance.

Material and Durability

The materials that have been used to construct your chosen business laptop will significantly impact its durability and resilience to everyday wear and tear, so this is something that is incredibly important to consider.

Premium materials, such as aluminium or magnesium alloy, offer excellent durability and protection against accidental drops and bumps, making them ideal for anyone who frequently moves between locations or needs to attend meetings with their laptop.

Weight and Portability

Weight and portability are another thing to consider, especially if you're constantly on the go or travel frequently for work. Lightweight and compact designs are better for these instances as they'll fit nicely into a briefcase or laptop bag and won't add a huge amount of extra weight.

Average Battery Duration

If you're planning to be away from a power source for most of the day, it's also a good idea to choose a business laptop that has a long battery life. This will take away the need to stop and recharge it multiple times throughout the day or, even worse, losing power during a presentation.

Charging Options and Speed

As well as the battery life, you'll need to think about how you're going to charge the laptop and how long it will take to bring the battery back up to full power. USB C ports are fast becoming the standard for battery charging, and they offer a flexible and convenient way of connecting to a power source using a wide range of peripherals, including power banks and different charging cables.

Camera Quality

With the rise of remote work and video conferencing, the quality of your laptop's built-in camera is also another thing you'll need to keep in mind if you want to join or host professional video calls. High-definition cameras that have advanced features like autofocus and low-light performance are best for those who rely heavily on video calling and will make it possible to engage in meetings and presentations without the risk of seeming unprofessional or unprepared.

Sound Quality

Along with the camera, adequate sound quality is important for video calling as this will guarantee you'll be able to hear what people are saying during meetings and presentations. Likewise, a good sound system with high-quality speakers will deliver the clear, immersive sound needed for media consumption, and this is an incredibly important but often overlooked aspect of video editing.

Additional Key Features for Business Laptops

As well as all of the above considerations, there are a couple of business-specific features you need to look for when choosing the best laptop for your needs.


The first of these is connectivity. A good business laptop should offer a variety of connectivity options that ensure compatibility with a range of peripherals and networking devices. They should, at the very least, offer an HDMI port and USB C ports, and if you're able to find a laptop with ethernet ports, you'll be able to enhance your connectivity even further by connecting to external displays, wired networks, and storage devices.

It's also crucial that your business laptop has wireless connectivity and supports the latest wireless standards, such as WiFi 6 (802.11ax), as this will ensure you get the fast, reliable internet connection you need, even when you're working in a busy environment.

This wireless connectivity will also make it possible to pair your laptop with Bluetooth-enabled devices, such as headphones, mice, and keyboards, adding to your flexible working options and making it possible to enhance productivity with the newest technologies.


It's also very important to think about security when choosing your business laptop, as this will ensure you're able to confidently keep personal data secure and comply with certain regulatory requirements.

Look for features such as fingerprint readers, Trusted Platform Model (TPM) chips, and facial recognition technology. These will ensure only authorised people have access to certain information and reduce the risk of data breaches, and they are also much more effective and harder to hack than traditional password-based authentication.


You're likely going to be spending long hours working on your business laptop every day, so it's important to look at the ergonomic features you're being offered. Check that the keyboard feels comfortable, that the trackpad is responsive and easy to use, and that you're able to angle the screen to a comfortable level.

Software Compatibility

A good business laptop will also need to be compatible with a wide range of business software applications that are used across different industries, such as Microsoft Office. This doesn't only make working easier, but allows you to work collaboratively with colleagues and clients without the risk of non-compatible software blocking your progress.

How Much Do You Want to Spend on a Business Laptop?

So, now you know what kind of features you need from a business laptop. But how much should you be spending? This ultimately comes down to your individual and organisational needs, as well as any budget restraints that have been put in place. Essentially, you want to strike a perfect balance between affordability and performance to ensure you get everything you need without breaking the bank.

For most small to medium-sized enterprises or for individual professionals, a laptop that has a mid-range processor, ample RAM, and SSD storage would be a good option and, while they aren't as cheap as budget laptops, they can still be quite affordable.

However, if your business has more demanding requirements from a laptop, such as graphic design or detailed data analysis, you're going to need a business laptop with a super powerful processor, dedicated graphics card, and additional RAM. This comes at a higher price, but it does mean that you don't create a false economy by having to replace the laptop sooner, and you'll be able to meet the demands of specialised tasks and workflows.

General Business Laptop FAQ's

Which laptop brand is best for business?

There are several laptop brands that are renowned for creating reliable, high-performing laptops with business-specific features, but the standout brands are Dell, Lenovo, HP, and Microsoft.

What is the best laptop for small business?

This really depends on what you're planning to use your business laptop for, and there are a few models that are ideal for small businesses. For example, Dell's Latitude series offers a balance of performance, security, and durability, making it a popular choice for many small business owners. HP's EliteBook series, on the other hand, is known for its professional-looking design, robust security features, and high-quality display, making it a good choice if you're looking for premium business laptops.

Can you claim a laptop as a business expense?

In Australia, you may be able to claim a laptop as a business expense if it is used solely or predominately for business purposes, as the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) allows businesses and individuals alike to claim deductions for work-related expenses provided they are used to generate income. This includes laptops.

Do business laptops break easily?

This entirely depends on what materials your business laptop is made from, as some are much more durable than others. The strongest, and therefore less prone to breaking, are made from aluminium or magnesium alloy, and they'll also feature additional durability features, such as reinforced hinges.

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