When we see a laptop branded for work, it is only natural to assume that it will be capable of handling just that. In practice, however, buyer’s remorse is common among users who buy their laptops based on that branding alone. There is no universal definition of work that fits all professions so matching our work requirements with our purchase is necessary for that purchase to be fruitful. Read on to know how you can make an informed choice while buying a new laptop computer for work.
Categorisation of Work
Knowing the exact requirements would be ideal but that is not essential to choosing the right work PC. Instead, all you need to do is find out which category of work your profession belongs to. The following broad categorisations include a majority of the job fields:
- Creative: Digital art, graphic art, 3D modelling & design, etc.
- Media & Multimedia Production: Creating, editing, mixing, and rendering audio/video/image content.
- Business Management & Analytics: Visualisation of workflow, stock market watch, data collection, identification of bottlenecks, data analytics, predictive analytics, etc.
- Supply Chain: GIS, tracking and monitoring of cargo and commercial vehicles, route mapping, route optimisation, etc.
- Software: Development, testing, cybersecurity, etc.
Finding the Prime Requirements in Your Next Laptop
Now that you know which category of work your profession belongs to, or at least can be indirectly associated with, it will be much easier to match hardware with work requirements. For example, stock trading laptop PCs should have at least 16Gb – 32Gb of high speed RAM, multimonitor support, and a 8 – 10 Core AMD or Intel CPU. Similar workstation laptops are also idea for supply chain and business analytics, but the CPU should be even more powerful, preferably a processor from Intel/AMD with 12 – 18 cores, clocked at a higher speed.
Digital artists, graphic artists and other artistic professionals do not need as much RAM, so an 8GB or 16GB stick should be sufficient. However, the processor must be equipped with Intel Arc or AMD Radeon graphics. They will also benefit by choosing a laptop that has a high resolution, pressure sensitive touchscreen.
Creative professionals such as civil engineers, architects, and 3D modelling experts should also expect similar configurations from their laptops, but an iGPU won’t do. The laptop must also have a discreet, industrial GPU (Quadro, RTX, or RX GPU). Software developers and especially game developers and software testers do not need a touchscreen, but they can pretty much benefit from everything else mentioned so far.
What About Regular Office Work?
Regular office work involving MS office apps, G-Suite apps, multi-tab browsing, video conference calls, local/cloud synced business management systems & lightweight software tools can be handled by almost any decent laptop these days. You do not necessarily need to invest in a professional laptop for that. By “decent,” it is meant that the laptop should at least have:
- A 11th or 12th Gen Intel Core-i5 processor, or a 5th or 6th Gen AMD Ryzen 5 processor
- 8GB of DDR4 RAM
- 512GB SSD
- A 1080p display
- Good battery life
Do note that if you decide to buy a workstation or even a mid-range gaming PC, it is likely that you are overpaying in respect to your work’s requirements. Even then, it will allow you significant future proofing and a much smoother experience at every step. Overspending a bit more on PC configurations is not always a bad idea for such advantages, but don’t stretch your budget by too much just for that.