7 Must-have Laptops for Small Business Owners in 2021
Updated: Dec 24, 2020
Welcome to Trusty Home Guide!
If you are a freelancer, business owner, or business student looking for a laptop to meet your business needs, from accounting to spreadsheets to entertainment to battery life, this list was made for you.
Life is on the go today more than ever, and for those of you working from home, an office, and even on the road across the country, a good reliable laptop is a must. In this article, we review our top 7 business laptop picks for 2020.
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Every top computer brand has multiple, even dozens of laptop models to choose from, so how do you pick the best one? Trusty Home Guide has you covered with our top 7 laptops for business, and of course for pleasure, taking into account the following categories:
Build - How sturdy is the frame of the laptop to sustain the wear and tear of an active life?
Weight - Is the laptop light enough to easily carry it around in a purse or backpack all day?
Speed - Does the processor have the capacity to meet your needs, despite how much they change, such as blogging, spreadsheets, gaming, and photography?
Style - Your laptop must look sleek, it must be thin and modern, and that is a trend with each of our top picks.
Failing to consider any of these can be a costly mistake! With this in mind, take a look at our top 7 picks from different makes. Let's get started!
Best of the Best - Apple MacBook Pro 16 in.
Pros: From the leading laptop brand by photographers, video editors, and graphic designers, this pick does not disappoint. With a retina display, the signature touch-bar, and a 9th Gen 6-core i7 processor (which means very very fast), this is the best for the money for any business need. On top of it all, we love the 11-hour battery life and excellent sound for watching movies and playing games after work!
Cons: It is a little pricey, and if you are used to a Windows computer, you may have a hard time getting used to it and taking advantage of everything this laptop has to offer.
Top Windows Picks - Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
Pros: This business ultrabook has one of the faster processors around, excellent graphics, and very durable. Outside of the MacBook Pro, this is the top laptop you will find. The feature we like the most, which helps it stand out, is its durability. This is a rugged business laptop. As the company claims, the computer resists spills, dust, drops, and even arctic temperatures!
Cons: The graphics definitely fall short of the MacBook Pro's graphics, but if your business is not built around graphics, videos, or photos, you will likely not even notice.
Best Hybrid Tablet Option - Microsoft Surface Pro 7
Pros: The Surface has been a market staple for a few years now, making others jealous for its design, but its performance has not been up to par with top laptops in the industry. However, that is all behind with the Surface Pro 7. This is an extremely powerful device with up to 10+ hours of battery life and processing power that allows you to take full advantage of its functionalities. For business owners, this is a great pick, especially when you need flexibility and a tablet fits your preferences, but you also need the speed of a laptop. Here are its main features:
USB-C and USB-A ports
Intel Core i5 for high performance
2 colors and many accessories available
In other words, this is a highly customizable piece.
Cons: If you are looking for processing power above all, if you also like gaming or you are into professional video editing, you will likely need more processing power than what this tablet offers.
Best High-Power Option - Dell XPS 15 7590
Pros: Basically, if money is not an issue and you simply need one of the best computing devices out there to be fast enough for anything you may or may not need, from gaming to design to video editing to anything that required a lightning-fast processor, here is your choice. Here you have a laptop with a large screen, and one of our favorite features, a 4K anti-reflective screen. Here are the key features to consider:
9th gen. Intel Core i7
6-cell 97 Whr integrated
256GB Solid-state drive
Cinema sound with deep bass
If you are a creator, a businessman, a gamer, or all of the above, this is your choice.
Cons: Obviously, the price is steep for most, and most will not see an obvious difference between other options here and this one simply because most of us don't use computers to their full capacity. However, for the few that do, this is a great option.
Best for On-the-Go - ASUS ExpertBook B9450
Pros: As stated in the subtitle, this is our pick for the on-the-go businessman, the traveler, the one jumping from trains to airplanes and accomplishing the most in coffee shops, airport terminals, and hotel lobbies. With up to 24 hours of battery life, something almost unprecedented, and weighing only 2.2 lbs., this has to be one of your picks. We love that this Asus is sturdy and durable, passing vibrations tests and drop tests with flying colors. Lastly, it is secure, with locking slots, webcam shield, fingerprint sensor, among others. Here are its best features:
Intel Core i7 processing
Cons: Some users have seen issues with the screen, but we have not experienced this and they seem to be isolated problems. However, ASUS prides itself on its customer service and is quick to make it right if you see any defects after purchasing.
Top Style pick - HP Elite Dragonfly
Pros: This HP takes our top style pick while delivering in all performance areas for business life on the go, mainly because of its sleek aluminum body. At only 2.2 lbs, this is one of the lightest laptops you will find, as well as the best designed. Why not look the part while you get things done! On top of it all, it boasts 13 hours of battery life.
Cons: The main complaint with this laptop is that its sound quality lags behind the top picks above. However, again, unless you are an audio expert, we doubt you will tell a difference.
Best under $750 - Lenovo IdeaPad 14"
Pros: Get as close to our top Windows pick above as you can get, without paying over $750! As long as all you are doing is watching movies, streaming, playing music, working on documents, and meetings, this is all you need! On top of it all, it has an excellent, stylish build.
Cons: The graphics are not as clear as most modern laptops and the battery life is usually at around 10 hours.
Also, in case you were wondering...
What are the top three accounting mistakes that sunk small businesses in 2020?
Every large company has a great accounting team that handles all of its expenses, receipts, invoices, taxes, and ensures that books are balanced, but not everyone can hire a small accounting army!
Small business accounting, corporate bookkeeping, they are daunting and often scare but need to be done. So what can freelancers and small-business owners, those with home offices and self-employed, do to solve their accounting needs? Well, if you are taking care of your accounting and bookkeeping yourself, you need to avoid these three accounting issues that can sink your business:
Miscalculations and manual errors
Failure to be up-to-date with regulations
Thousands of companies are hit every year by hefty IRS fines due to accounting-related issues that showed in their taxes, and we believe many of them are accidental, made by small businesses or freelancers who cannot afford a private accounting team. So what can you do? Avoid these three mistakes...
1. Miscalculations and manual errors
When you try to do your own accounting and are not a professional or even someone who practices accounting regularly, you are bound to make a costly mistake sooner or later. While you may save a few dollars in not hiring someone, you make face much costlier IRS fines and risk hurting your business because your financial reports are not accurate. Don't risk it.
A 2015 study argued that human error is the LEADING CAUSE of tax and accounting mistakes. That is unbelievable, simply because it is avoidable! Whether you are a freelancer, small-business owner, or even a large business owner, take the steps needed to avoid manual errors.
2. Failure to be up-to-date with regulations
Tax and accounting regulations change often. If you are doing your own accounting, make sure you spend the time and resources needed to be up-to-date with the latest regulations and changes in your industry, because failing to adhere to them can cost you your business. However, let us warn you, this is difficult unless you do this for a living! To give it a try, take a look at the IRS regulations that apply to you here.
In addition, if your business provides services or products internationally, you need to make sure that you also abide by the tax laws in those countries, which often means registering in those countries, which can be costly. When doing your bookkeeping, you need to make sure that your expenses, taxes, depreciation, and interest are allocated correctly so that you don't think you have more money than you actually do. Again, in order to scale and grow as a business owner, you need to have your small business accounting done right, or else, it will be the monster in the closet that will rear its ugly head when you least expect it, often with a hefty IRS fine.
3. Time wasted!
You are managing a company, you are busy running your business and either getting it off the ground or helping it stay profitable for the long term! Time is money. You surely have heard that before, but as a business owner, you surely understand the phrase better than most. Your time is too valuable in other areas to spend it doing your own accounting. But what if you cannot afford a professional accountant? Well, luckily, it is 2020 and there is a solution. We recommend using a SaaS (Software as a Service) tool. We strongly advise that you consider outsourcing your small business accounting, your corporate bookkeeping, to an online software provider, most of which do it for a low monthly cost. You are welcome to shop around and see what best meets your needs, starting with a free trial.
To view our recommended Best 2020 Accounting Tool, read below!
At Trusty Home Guide, we personally recommend the tool we have trusted for a long time, FreshBooks. We love their affordable pricing, starting at under $10/month! This tool is great for:
Small-businesses with contracts or employees
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