Finding a personal laptop is pretty easy. Read some reviews, hit the stores or the online stores and pay for whichever fits your budget and serve its purpose the best. But a work laptop for your business trips? That is a tough nut to crack. Most companies provide you with a work laptop but if you can request for one, or if you have to get your own, there are many factors you will need to take into consideration.

Considering a few occupations and work requirements, we dissect the key factors you need to consider when getting a work laptop and which will be the best for you.

Image Credit: Indie Traveller

Budget aside, the size, weight, specifications and durability are key considerations of a work laptop. Sure, most laptops can run your basic Office and Chrome perfectly, but work laptops will need to withstand the long journeys, stay juiced throughout the plane ride, maybe even run Adobe software, while exposed to the possible coffee/tea spillage.

The vast amount of options available in the market does not help either. A quick Google search for “work-travel laptops” can return with a hundred different recommendations. So why not let me do my job and give you the best recommendations so you can do your job.

How We Choose The Best (and leave out the rest)

Technically speaking, it would be easy for me to choose the newest laptop, with fab features and sports the best hardware etc. But I know that’s not what everybody needs. Some of you may require a simple and compact device to send some emails and run Microsoft apps, while others may need a power-packed laptop that can run heavy presentations and videos 爱你的comes with USB-C and HDMI support.

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Hence I’ve chosen to focus on the niche the laptop works best for and break down why they are the best for that category or particular job scope. Hopefully, this guide will be more succinct and relevant than to simply throw a bunch of technical jargon at you!

For the All-in-One: DELL XPS13

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We have covered this laptop previously on our most recommended laptops to purchase in 2019, and once again, it has graced our list. The Dell XPS13 looks, feels and delivers professionalism. Long haul flights are not a reason to look shabby in front of your partners or clients and the Dell XPS13 helps you with that. 

With a sleek metal shell, the laptop feels sturdy and comfortable in any situation. Slim bezels also allow the display to look larger than statistically stated. The 2019 version also comes with an optional 4K Ultra HD resolution, making it optimum if you have a presentation to show to your client.

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The Dell XPS is not just a pretty looking husk either. I like to call it a compact workhorse. All 2019 versions of XPS13 start off with either Windows 10 Home or Pro. It is also equipped with the latest 8th Gen i5 or i7 Intel CPU, which allows you to run more taxing software like 3D renderers. The SSD, although considered as standard for laptops now, ranges from 256GB to 1TB which is great to store all the files and information that you need.

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Additional ports include: 

  • MicroSD Card Reader
  • USB-C 3.1
  • Headphone jack
  • Thunderbolt 3 with display port
  • Side speakers

At S$1,841 on Amazon, we think the 2019 XPS13 is a rather worthy investment.

For the Designers and Tech Chaps: Apple MacBook Pro 16 Inch 512GB SSD

No laptop recommendation will ever be complete with an Apple MacBook. The design remains with the add-on of a sleek touch bar and the Space Grey colourway. The Touch Bar, though initially snuffed at, should definitely not be undermined. It actually allows the user to operate many commands, functions and shortcuts without exiting any of your windows or toggling between the many desktops opened.

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Before we talk about the design and tech aspects, it is worth highlighting that the butterfly keyboard has been reverted to an improved version of the scissor-switch keyboard which was a crowd-favourite. The touch bar also allows you to select specific slides in your presentation while still in presentation mode. This is incredibly useful when you are presenting your slides.

The powerful 100-watt-hour battery, best of the MacBook-to-date, lasts between 9 to 11 hours which is far better than its predecessor.

As many design and tech-related software are made with Apple’s OS in mind, it is only natural that we chose the MacBook Pro in this category. You can customize the Memory and Graphics display, Storage size and even add-on Pre-Installed Software such as Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X.

Even though it weighs 2kg, the 16” MacBook Pro is worth the mention as its capabilities exceeds the minute inconveniences. The basic off-the-shelf version of the 16” MacBook Pro retails for S$3,499 (512GB SSD) on the official Apple website.

For the Technical Drawers: Microsoft Surface Book 2 13 Inch 512GB SSD

Image Credit: Microsoft

The Surface Book is often considered as Microsoft’s comparable to Apple’s MacBook Pro. With the basic version priced at S$2,188 on the official Microsoft website, any additional configuration such as extra memory and storage or a newer Intel Core can easily jack up the price to S$3,588. The corresponding expectations are high and Microsoft attempts to justify it with a few features.

The first major feature lies in its 2-in-1 capability. It is a convertible between a laptop and a tablet which makes it ideal for technical drawers, especially architects or 3D designers. Unhinge the screen of the base and you now have a digital drawing board! But it is rather bewildering that the Surface Pen is sold separately at an additional cost even though the Surface Book 2 seems to be designed for tablet drawing in mind.

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Microsoft has boasted repeatedly about the Surface Book 2 battery life, claiming up to 17 hours of use per full charge with constant local (not online streaming) video playback. We all know that battery life ultimately boils down to usage, so it really depends in this case. 

The Surface Book 2 runs Windows 10 Pro and has enhanced security features such as Bitlocker device encryption. In layman’s terms, this means your laptop will go into lockdown when stolen or lost, which helps protect your data – extremely important for sensitive business information. 

The hinge adds on to the thickness of the laptop but weighs only 1.5kg. There are also 3 main versions of this laptop:

13 Inch 256GB SSD with 8GB Ram at S$2,188.

13 Inch 256GB SSD with 16GB Ram at S$3,588.

15 Inch 1TB SSD with 16GB Ram and GTX1060 at S$4,588.

We recommend the 13 Inch, 512GB version as we find it to be more than sufficient for most work processes involving technical drawings etc. 512GB SSD for huge files, Intel i7 8th Gen processor, and even a 16GB DDR3 RAM which would be an overkill for other work processes but fits snuggly for a technical drawing laptop, you pay for what you get.

Image Credit: Imgur

What amazes us the most is the ability to cram all of that hardware into a relatively compact device that is also a 2 in 1 table and laptop. Weighing only at 1.5kg, the Surface Book 2 may not be the lightest, but it definitely is one of the best. There are also 3 main versions of this laptop:

13 Inch 256GB SSD with 8GB Ram at SGD$2,878.

13 Inch 512GB SSD with 16GB Ram at SGD$3,578.

15 Inch 1TB SSD with 16GB Ram and GTX1060 at SGD$4,588.

We recommend the 13 Inch, 512GB version as we find it to be more than sufficient for most work processes involving technical drawings etc, but if you are a gamer and do not mind forking out the additional dollars, the 1TB version with the GTX 1060 is a great upgrade.

We hope this guide has helped you narrow down your next laptop of choice for work travels!

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