Choosing a Business Laptop
More than ever, today’s workforce is a mobile one. Be it on the sales floor, in the field, on the road, or at home telecommuting, the workplace has grown beyond the traditional office or cubicle.
But not all business laptops are created equal. Are your employees’ remote work demands best served by a standard laptop, a 2-in-1, an ultraportable laptop, a mobile workstation, or a Chromebook? Answering that question will make all the difference for your workforce and their mobile experience.
As you evaluate the different options, consider the following features and how well they align with your employees’ needs.
A processor, or central processing unit (CPU), is the chip that executes instructions and moves data in every business laptop. It is commonly called the brains of the system. The latest generation Intel® Core™ vPro® processors give you the performance you need for the business demands of today, including multitasking, videoconferencing, and security.
Memory and Storage
Your system’s main memory is provided by its random access memory (RAM). The data stored in RAM can be reached almost instantly by calling on the CPU. RAM works as short-term memory; data is cleared when the computer is turned off.
Storage is your system’s nonvolatile long-term memory. This data remains even when the computer is turned off. It’s where your applications, operating system, and other important files are stored. Storage can be a hard disk drive (HDD) or a solid state drive (SSD). Intel® Solid State Drives provide high performance while keeping up with ever-increasing infrastructure demands.
Battery life is critical in a business laptop. Once the province of smaller, less powerful options, extended battery life is increasingly a feature of all kinds of laptops. The latest laptops, such as those built on the Intel vPro® platform, provide long battery life for a productive workday.1
Typically, the higher performing the system, the more power it will demand, accelerating the drawdown of the battery. But how you use the device also matters. For example, opt for your system’s 4K display with 500 nits of brightness and you will see power availability drop. The number of applications you are using simultaneously is another variable.
Size and Weight
What is the optimal size and weight for a business laptop? The answer must be driven by how your employees use their devices. Each choice comes with a tradeoff. Choose smaller and you sacrifice screen size. Opt for higher performance and you likely increase the weight.
Systems with 13 to 14 inch screens commonly offer the best balance between usability and portability, usually coming in under four pounds. Screens of 15 to 16 inches are the most popular, but typically weigh closer to five pounds or more. Finding that right mix of mobility, screen size, and performance starts with your employees.
A business laptop’s portability only matters if it comes with reliable connectivity. Wi-Fi connects your workforce to customers and customer information, corporate networks and resources, and ready internet availability—all fundamental requirements for remote work.
Integrated Wi-Fi 6 standards are built to ensure quality connectivity in locations with hundreds or thousands of connected devices working with time-sensitive, high-bandwidth applications. Intel vPro® platform-based laptops with integrated Wi-Fi 6-enabled PCs provide nearly 3x faster speeds2 3 and responsive performance. They also support next generation WPA3 Wi-Fi security features4 and up to 4x greater capability for more stable connections, especially in dense environments.
Today’s business laptops come equipped with a variety of other connectivity options as well. These can include USB, HDMI, Ethernet, and Thunderbolt™ 3 ports.
What to Consider When Telecommuting
Telecommuting is an ever more common working scenario across a range of industries. The needs of the modern telecommuter share much in common with other remote workers when it comes to their mobile device. As noted earlier, features like screen size, weight, and battery life are key considerations, especially for those people whose telecommuting life demands portability.
Being mostly or completely remote, telecommuting workers need a device that remains accessible to IT support and repair, even if their OS or VPN crashes. That means looking for systems that offer remote management capabilities such as Intel® Active Management Technology (Intel® AMT), included as part of the Intel vPro® platform.
Bandwidth represents another potential challenge when telecommuting. With demands such as videoconferencing and the growing number of in-home devices, users must expect their systems to reliably perform with little latency and fast upload and download speeds. Intel® Wi-Fi 6-enabled PCs, such as those built on the Intel vPro® platform, offer higher capacity,2 5 faster downloads,2 3 and lower latency.2 6 Meanwhile, the latest Intel® Core™ vPro® processors provide integrated graphics and capabilities for an improved audio experience.
Working from home also requires a certain level of multitasking. Telecommuters will want to know their business laptop brings the requisite performance muscle to support the use of many applications at once, including bandwidth-hungry video and streaming.
Finally, security should be top of mind when telecommuting. A critical concern for any device, it is especially important for business laptops relied on for remote work, as use of public or guest networks comes with greater risks to system and data safety.
Intel vPro® Platform
Laptops based on the Intel vPro® platform are built for business and an excellent fit for remote work and telecommuting. These systems deliver the business-class performance to power busy workloads, maximize employee productivity, simplify connectivity, and get the most out of battery life no matter where an employee is working.
The platform is also designed with hardware-based security features. It includes Intel® Hardware Shield, which provides enhanced protections against attacks below the OS and advanced threat detection capabilities to protect against damaging firmware-level attacks. The robust security is vital for remote workers who require portability and on-the-go connectivity.
But business laptops are only as useful as they are reliable. The Intel vPro® platform provides crucial remote manageability capabilities via Intel® Active Management Technology. The result is better system management and repair—even when the device is powered off or the OS is unresponsive. With laptops on the Intel vPro® platform, businesses can save on deskside support, reduce truck rolls, improve user experiences, and reduce downtime—all with the confidence of exceptional support for telecommuting employees.
By bringing together the latest technologies in one integrated, validated platform, the Intel vPro® platform gives you the peace of mind that you have a built-for-business solution. From processor and memory to storage, battery life, and security, you know you have the latest technologies, all validated to work together in the most optimized way for business.
Project Athena Innovation Program
Intel is taking user experiences a step further with Project Athena, our laptop innovation program. We’re combining our deep understanding of PC users with our broad technology partnerships to bring to market a new class of laptops. These PCs are designed for mobile performance and available on the built-for-business Intel vPro® platform. Designed to deliver on what people say they need most—long battery life, continuous connectivity, immediate action, and fast charging—these laptops will help people flow seamlessly between projects throughout the day no matter where they are. By bringing together the best of Intel and the PC industry, the Project Athena innovation program sets the vision for a new generation of advanced PCs.
Laptops based on the Intel vPro® platform are built for business and an excellent fit for telecommuting, offering high performance and remote management capabilities.