Laptops are one of the most important technology purchases a business can make. Like their desktop counterparts, they can perform a range of functions needed for the daily operation of the business, including product creation, marketing, communication, accounting, and administration.
As a business owner, you want to make sure you get value for your money when you shop for new laptops. It’s easy to pick a device on the basis of screen size, hard disk space, and battery life alone. But, there is more to a laptop than what it looks like or how fast it performs. You also need to consider its connectivity options. If a laptop doesn’t have the necessary ports and wireless capabilities, it may not work the way you want it to work.
In this post, we’re going to break down what features you should pay attention to when buying new laptops.
Wireless internet is one of the main things we associate with laptops. In fact, you won’t find a laptop that doesn’t have the ability to connect to a router. However, having Wi-Fi connectivity is simply not the same as good Wi-Fi connectivity. In selecting a new laptop, the supported Wi-Fi standard is a major decision point. The latest standard is 802.11ac, which is three times faster than the previous version, 802.11n. Even if your router is not 802.11ac compliant, it’s best to not choose a laptop with outdated Wi-Fi compatibility. This way you won’t have to upgrade your laptop when you upgrade your Wi-Fi.
With a laptop’s Wi-Fi capabilities, an ethernet port matters less than it used to. But, it’s still a nice-to-have. Many large companies nowadays have a combination of wireless internet and an ethernet connection. If ever you ever find the Wi-Fi to be slow because too many people are connected to it, you can plug in an ethernet cable into your laptop and enjoy a consistent, stable speed.
Employees rely on USB ports for connecting wired keyboards, mice, external hard drives, printers, and mobile phones. When considering USB, there are two aspects you should look out for: the number of ports and the USB version. Ideally, you would want the laptop to have at least two ports. The more, the better, so you don’t have to constantly unplug something.
The USB version determines what transfer speeds you’ll get. You will most likely find version 3.0 and 3.1 and above on a modern laptop, which gives you faster data transfer speeds than the older USB 2.0 ports. Version 3.0 is part of the family of rectangular shaped connectors we are familiar with.
USB Type C is becoming the industry-standard. Capable of delivering speeds of up to 10 Gbps, it can be identified by the small and flat connector (about the size of a micro USB connector), which is reversible, meaning it can be inserted either way into the port.
Most new laptops have three to four USB ports, which is a combination of USB 3.0 and Type C.
If employees are going to wirelessly connect their keyboard, mice, headphones, and speakers, they need a laptop that’s fitted with Bluetooth. Fortunately, this is a standard feature in most modern laptops, but it’s still worthwhile to check that the laptop has the latest Bluetooth version available. For the best signal quality and range, look for Bluetooth 4.0, 4.1, or 4.2 support. Of course, each of these versions has better data transfer rates than the one before. The most up-to-date version of Bluetooth is 5.0, which is better suited for smart IoT devices but not yet widely available.
Choosing the right laptop features might vary from one person to another, but connectivity is something that can’t be overlooked. If you are looking to buy new laptops, make sure you consider these connectivity options.