Having a killer home office is wonderful. But the real freedom for freelancers and solo entrepreneurs means working from anywhere at any time.
And that's when your trusty laptop becomes your best friend. So it makes sense to choose carefully.
Whether you clicked on this article because your old PC is on its last legs or because you’ve decided it’s time to invest in a shiny new machine to grow your business, you’ve come to the right place.
Buying a laptop is no quick decision, especially if you aren’t sure where to start. We’ve found a few of the best laptops on the market for you to contemplate, but first…
What should I consider when shopping for a laptop?
These days, there’s just about a laptop for every need and budget, but the question is: what model is right for you and your business?
Keep the following questions in mind when shopping for a new laptop:
- What is the primary use for this laptop?
- How often are you planning on using it?
- What is your price range?
Are you a designer that’s going to be running large programs like Photoshop or InDesign regularly? Or are you a writer who primarily works in Google Docs?
Also, it’s essential to consider if this new laptop will be your primary computer or if you’ll be using it mostly for travel and work outside of your home office.
Understanding what you’re going to use the laptop for will help narrow down your price point, the amount of storage you’ll need, what type of processor it should have, etc.
Should I just skip the desktop?
This will vary depending on what you plan on using the laptop for, and what your personal preference is when it comes to computers. Some may prefer to use a desktop in their home office. However, others may opt for a laptop with an additional monitor as their work station.
So why opt for a laptop instead of a desktop?
- Laptops are (obviously) portable and easy to travel with
- They can be more cost-effective than buying a desktop depending on the model
- If you have a small home office, they are great space savers
Again, it all boils down to personal preference whether you ditch the desktop. But for maximum mobility and freedom, you'll want to take a look at our roundup of the best laptops on the market today.
The Top Laptops of 2019
Great for: Business owners of all kinds, especially those who are looking for a lightweight laptop with a fast processor, plenty of storage, and all the bells and whistles that one can expect from an Apple product. The MacBook Air can seamlessly run heavy-duty programs like Photoshop and Lightroom but also come equipped with the features to seamlessly toggle between Word documents and other file types that historically required additional software purchases.
Price: $1099 – $1399
- Display: 13.3-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit display with IPS technology; 2560-by-1600 native resolution at 227 pixels per inch with support for millions of colors
- Processor: 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz, with 4MB L3 cache
- Memory: 8GB of 2133MHz LPDDR3 onboard memory; Configurable to 16GB of memory
- Power: Built-in 50.3‑watt‑hour lithium‑polymer battery
Great for: Business owners who don’t need a ton of storage space on their actual laptop and are okay with using Google Drive or an external hard drive to keep most of their documents. This Chromebook has the bare essentials, but if you’re a solopreneur who doesn’t need to run any software (and can exclusively work in Google Suite), this is a great, cost-effective option.
- Chrome OS + standard Google Apps
- Built-in storage for offline access to files and an additional 100GB of Google Drive space to ensure automatic file backup
- Processor: Intel Celeron N3160 Quad-Core Processor
- Display: 14″ (1920 x 1080) Full HD IPS Display
- Memory: 4GB memory, 16GB eMMC
- Power: Up to 12-hour battery life
Great for: Business owners and freelancers who are looking for a device that gives them the creative freedom they need. The Microsoft Surface Book 2’s touchscreen and flexible screen make it easy to create digital sketches and designs all from the same device.
Price: Starting at $2520
- Display: 13.5” or 15” PixelSense™ Display with up to 3240 x 2160 resolution, 3:2 aspect ratio, and 10 point multi-touch
- Storage: 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB PCle solid-state drive (SSD)
- Power: Up to 17 hours of local video playback
- Processor: Varies with laptop size
4. HP Envy x360
Great for: This laptop is equipped with everything you’d expect from a PC. From the Windows 10 operating system to a wide-angle display and touchscreen, this laptop is nothing short of high-performing and reliable.
- Processor: 8th Generation Quad-Core Intel Core i7-8550U Processor 1.8GHz (Up to 4.0GHz with Turbo Boost) with 8 MB Cache
- Display: 15.6″ diagonal Full HD IPS WLED-Backlit Multitouch-Enabled display (1920 x 1080) Display, Intel UHD Graphics 620
- Hard drive: 1 TB
- Windows 10 operating system
Great for: Solopreneurs that love Chrome OS but want something that can go the distance will be pleasantly surprised with this laptop. It’s a souped-up laptop complete with a reverse-folding touchscreen, Google Assistant, and all the other apps you love from Google. Plus, it’s super lightweight, making it great for traveling.
Price: Starting at $999
- Processor: 7th Gen Intel® Core™ processor
- RAM: 8GB or 16GB
- Power: Up to 10 hours
- Solid state drive (128GB, 256GB, or 512GB NVMe)
There’s a laptop for every business owner and budget. Make sure you take time to research and demo each contender before you buy. No one has time for buyers remorse.
Tune into the latest episode of the Unemployable podcast for more freelance advice.