When it comes to business, working from home, and working on the go, a good laptop can make or break your workday. While you tend to get what you pay for when it comes to your laptop, that doesn’t mean that you should only look toward big-ticket computers (we see you, MacBook Pro). Here’s what you need: A machine that offers enough battery to get you through conference sessions and long meetings, a CPU that’ll deliver great performance even with a (couple) dozen tabs open, and something light enough to easily stash in a carry-on or tote. Everything else? That’s kinda up to your own personal preference. Here are a few things to keep in mind when looking for a new laptop:
Consider the battery life
You don’t want a laptop that’ll give out halfway through a long flight while you’re finishing a report, delivering a presentation, or in the middle of a Zoom call. You need a reliable battery that’ll deliver. While there are still some laptops with a short battery life of around six hours or so, a little more money can sometimes get you up to 10 or more. Think about how and where you work, and find a machine with a battery life that aligns with your ideal needs.
Opt for something lightweight
While you might be sitting at your desk with this laptop most of the time, it doesn’t mean that’s where you’ll stay. Look for a machine that isn’t packing too many pounds — you want to be able to throw it in a backpack, tote, or carry-on without it making your bag dig into your shoulders.
Don’t get overwhelmed by sticker shock
It’s one thing if your employer is springing for the tab, but if you’re self-funding this laptop, price can be an important consideration. (Remember to ask your accountant if you can write it off!) While top-of-the-line machines might run above $1,000, you can get great laptops under a grand too — and we’ve included a range of prices below. Now, read on for our 2021 business laptop picks.