It’ll cost you … A guide to laptop prices

 In Hardware and Software, News

Laptops are a great business tool, I love mine. More and more people now are opting for a laptop over a desktop; and choosing the right one is important since you will be stuck with it for at least 3 years.

One question I get asked a lot is how much you should spend on a laptop, since price is a major consideration when buying one.

You may not be aware that there are significant differences in quality and performance between consumer- and enterprise-grade hardware. It’s these differences you’ll find reflected in the price tag.

With laptops, as with most things, you really do get what you pay for; and it is definitely worth spending more to get an enterprise-grade machine. This rules out anything that comes from a retail ‘super store’ or department store because they don’t sell enterprise-grade hardware.

Based on my experience selling laptops to our clients over the past 10 years, you’ll need to spend at least $1000 on a laptop – but you can spend up to $2500, depending on what you’re looking for.

There’s a wide variety of options available in the market, so let me help you narrow down your choices.

Here’s what you need to think about

The price of your laptop is based on its brand, features and specifications. Here are the factors to consider on your next laptop purchase:

Brand

At Proactive IT Solutions, we sell HP enterprise-grade laptops because they are built well, have good specs, and come with a great warranty. Of course, there are other good brands out there. The important thing to remember is to buy something that is enterprise-grade and not consumer-grade, otherwise you’ll be purchasing a cheaply made computer that won’t last. It’ll have a poorer build quality, and may come with slower hard drives and less storage space.

Screen Size

The two most common laptop screen sizes we sell are 13” and 15.4”. People who want more portability, go for a 13” screen; whereas, if you’re looking for more screen real estate and portability is not a concern, then a 15.4” screen is more the go. A laptop with a smaller screen is generally more expensive, since there is less room inside the case for the motherboard, hard drive and other components.

Hard Drive

The single biggest performance boost these days, asides from a good processor, is a solid state drive (SSD). SSD drives use similar technology to your mobile phone storage. They are much quicker than standard rotational drives and use less battery power. The downside is that SSD drives have less storage space and are around seven times more expensive. If you don’t have to store a lot of data on your laptop, and you prioritise performance over space, then go for a SSD-based model. You won’t regret this decision.

Portability

Laptops are, by nature, portable. However, there is a range of portability. Very light and portable laptops are referred to as ultrabooks. Think of the MacBook Air – very thin and very light – which is generally less than 1kg. Ultrabooks are typically more expensive, ranging from $1500 plus. At the other end of the spectrum are heavier laptops with shorter battery life. These are more like desktop computer replacements, rather than for travel or mobile purposes, due to their weight and physical size. These types of laptops are less expensive when compared to ultrabooks.

The bottom line

Quality comes at a cost; but the user experience on an enterprise-grade laptop makes the extra spend worthwhile.

The table below gives you some indication of cost for different styles of HP enterprise-grade laptop.

13″ screen 15.4″ screen
Ultrabook Standard Ultrabook Standard
Solid state drive (SSD)* $2000 $1200 NA $1250
Standard hard drive* NA $1000 NA $1150

* Approximate ex. GST prices as at Aug 2016 for hardware and Windows operating system only. Prices do not include MS Office license or any installation and set-up costs.

Of course, there is one more perk to buying your next laptop from Proactive IT Solutions: We’ll supply the hardware and get it set up for optimal productivity by transferring all the data from your old device to the new one and ensure that software, network connections and other computer peripherals are working properly. You won’t get that level of service from a high street retailer!

Next time you’re in the market for a new laptop, give Proactive IT Solutions a call and we’ll take care of the whole thing for you.

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