If you are interested in knowing which laptop to buy for office work, we are going to give you a series of tips and guidelines so that you can choose it wisely.
We will talk about the hardware needs that you may have, what features it should have and other specific things you need, which will definitely assist you to know how to choose a laptop for office work.
How to Choose a Laptop Office Work
Any laptop on the market can be used for different purposes, including work (or telecommuting). But, let’s see what the minimum (or recommended) hardware requirements are to be able to work comfortably and quickly.
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We have more and more AMD Ryzen processor-based laptops on the market, which have become a great alternative to Intel Core-based laptops.
Without going into wars between the two processor manufacturers, let’s see what features these processors should have.
Ideally, the processor should have a configuration of at least 4 cores and 8 processing threads, with a configuration of 6 cores and 12 threads being optimal.
The frequency is also important, ideally the base frequency is at least 2.0GHz and has support for Boost technology.
If you don’t know what Boost technology is, quickly explained is that the processor increases its working frequency if there is a lot of loads.
We do not recommend Intel Pentium or Celeron Gold processors as they tend to have few cores, often lack Hyper-Threading, and tend to have low frequencies.
Those who are demanding and want to buy a system for a long time, can take into account other aspects. It may be interesting to know what type of data transfer interface these processors offer.
For example, since we are looking for laptop for office work, support for Thunderbolt 4 or USB 4 is very important to be able to connect monitors, hubs and practically everything we can imagine.
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Intel has included Intel Xe graphics in its 11th Gen of mobile processors, which offer a huge leap in performance over previous generations of the company’s integrated graphics.
For its part, AMD offers Vega architecture iGPUs in its laptop processors, which have given such good results.
Both graphics solutions are very powerful and allow us to save the additional cost of purchasing a laptop with dedicated graphics.
Both Intel integrated graphics and AMD integrated graphics work perfectly for any task that doesn’t require GPU acceleration, so you don’t have to worry about graphics when looking at which laptop to buy for work.
Where the GPU makes the most sense is in cases of video editing, only if we are going to give it a demanding use. If not, the iGPU may have good encoding capabilities.
Many publishers and developers (among others) often opt for laptops that include dedicated NVIDIA graphics. The reason is the great power they offer and how well they work for parallelizing tasks.
In addition, the latest NVIDIA GPUs have Tensor Cores, specially developed for Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning. Driver support is also better in the case of NVIDIA than in the case of AMD.
These are some of the reasons that lead many professionals to opt for systems with an Intel processor and NVIDIA graphics.
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The amount of RAM memory is already an important element to obtain good performance and fluidity in tasks, but when we talk about which laptop to buy for work, it matters more.
For everyday tasks, a minimum laptop with 8GB of RAM is recommended, but for more demanding uses, it is recommended that it have at least 16GB. Many photos editing, video, 3D creation and other software already ask for at least 32GB of RAM to work well.
You can also worry about seeing if the laptop’s RAM can be expanded, in case you need more in the future. But keep in mind that most ultrabooks, which are perfect for work, do not allow it.
There is currently no doubt about the storage unit that a laptop (or desktop) should carry. Moreover, it is increasingly difficult to find a laptop that includes a mechanical type hard drive.
Typically, laptops, whether professional or not, include SSD storage units. While SATA SSDs are great, even better if you have an M.2 NVMe drive.
A SATA SSD offers 6-8 times more read speed than an HDD and also greatly reduces data access latency. This translates into infinitely better fluidity that is essential when looking for which laptop to buy for work.
Storage capacity is another critical point in any system and even more so if we are going to work. With the rise of the cloud, we have fewer heavy programs installed and we can download things faster, so capacity is no longer as important.
We can live perfectly with 250GB of SSD. But if we intend to install many heavy programs or work with large files, we should go to 500GB, 1TB or even more.
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We might also check that the SSD is not directly soldered onto the motherboard, which will allow us to upgrade the drive, if necessary, in the future.
4K video files are very large and it is foreseeable that videos in 8K resolution will weigh even more, so the 1TB capacity may fall very short in the (not so distant) future
For the best performance and productivity, we need the latest physical and wireless connection interfaces. Physical connectivity is “reduced” to Thunderbolt 3 or Thunderbolt 4 ports.
These connection technologies offer a high bandwidth for data transfer and also allow the connection of different hubs.
We can find hub systems that expand connectivity with network ports, card reader, USB ports and other connection ports.
Regarding wireless connectivity, there is not much to tell here either, since currently most laptops offer WiFi 6 or the improved version WiFi 6E.
These two are the most modern technologies and the ones that offer the best benefits to the end user. It is usually paired with Bluetooth 5.0 or newer versions of this type of connection for peripherals.
In addition, more and more laptops add the ability to insert a SIM card to have a 5G connection and thus be connected everywhere with high bandwidth.
Resolution and Screen
Another of the critical points for many is the resolution of laptop we want to buy for work. Never buy something with a resolution lower than 1080p (1920 x 1080).
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If we are not going to dedicate ourselves to professional design, be it photography, video or 3D modeling, with a 1080p laptop we can save a lot of money and thus obtain a high refresh rate.
The problem with a 4K laptop is that they are quite expensive. The ideal, to work more comfortably and have more graphic quality, is to opt for a 4K panel monitor.
We must also pay attention to the type of panel, the refresh rate of the screen and the color coverage offered by the screen.
Autonomy and Weight
Two critical points of any laptop, whether to work, study or play, is the autonomy it offers us and the weight of the system.
If we want great mobility, we need to find a balance between the autonomy of the laptop and its weight.
We can make the following weight distinction:
- 1-1.25 kg: they are the lightest laptops that we can find, among them are the LG Gram or the latest MacBook Air. They’re still heavier than a tablet, but there’s nothing better in a portable laptop.
- 25-1.75 kg: here we have laptops that do not have such an optimized weight, but they are not excessively heavy either. Many high-performance ultrabooks can be placed here.
- 75-2.5 kg: heavy laptops, this is something we can accept if we have a very large performance in return.
- More than 2.5kg: very heavy laptop, we do not recommend it at all if you are going to transport it a lot.
Regarding autonomy, the larger the laptop, it does not necessarily have to offer us greater autonomy.
We must take into account the autonomy that usually marked by the manufacturer is in simple multimedia tasks, such as browsing and watching a video, in intense work it will be less.
This point is the most complicated to fit, since the laptop with great power, autonomy and light does not exist, at least for now.
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It does not mean that current laptops are not powerful, but that the moment we add a powerful graphics card or processor, the weight of the laptop increases and autonomy decreases.
When we see the laptop for office work, we must first inform ourselves a little about the requirements of the tools that we are going to use.
Working in an office is not the same as being a programmer, making 2D/3D designs or working with databases. Depending on the area in which we focus, we will need a laptop with some specifications or others.
About the hardware requirements that we could say minimum, more or less the standard and optimal for everyone is a 6-core and 12-thread processor with a frequency of 3.0GHz.
Then we should have an SSD of at least 512GB and if we are going to work with large files, 1TB, as well as an external drive with a Thunderbolt interface.
Regarding RAM memory, what is recommended for most cases is 16GB with a frequency of 3200MHz.
For office automation, a graphics card is not required or we can choose to look for a laptop with the one, we want to play some games later to work.
If we are going to operate with software such as AutoCAD, intended for 2D and 3D design, or ideally it is a professional graphics card, although we can opt for a gaming graphics card, since the laptop will be somewhat cheaper.
Indicating minimum requirements is relatively simple, but when we get into specific tools, things get complicated.
This is why it is worth spending time researching the recommendations of the software developer and the recommendations of other users.
Faizan Ali is a Master in Computer Sciences and has been writing content for computing, gaming and mobile technologies since 2016. He has written content for number of online magazines, websites and blogs and now writes for “the buyers trend”. Feel free to contact him for any sort of writing for your technology related blog, website or magazine.