Mobility vs. performance: What matters most in a business laptop?


Thursday 18 February 2016

Only 10 years ago, users had to weigh up (literally) what mattered most: mobility or performance. Today, they’re spoilt for choice.

Desktop-replacement laptops used to be heavy, clunky boat anchors with poor battery lives. It wouldn’t be unusual for your laptop bag to weigh over five kilograms with just a laptop, power brick and a few papers as you struggled through airport security.

The ultra-portable machines at the other end of the scale were significantly lighter, but at the expense of screens so small they were hard to work on effectively – not to mention the low-power processors that struggled to run a video clip in a presentation.

Power to the people

Fast-forward to today and the landscape has changed considerably. Several years ago, processors streaked past software in terms of capability, and now there are only a few types of programs that really need a high-performance PC. The latest games, computer-aided design (CAD) programs and video and photo-editing software all require a lot of computing power, but an Excel spreadsheet with a massive dataset or a PowerPoint presentation with dozens of videos and graphics is a cinch.

Although there may not be a great requirement for it in a business context, most of us like to have a PC with plenty of performance, whether it’s because we’re impatient types who want files to open quickly or because we have multiple programs open throughout most of the day. Fortunately, even those who travel frequently and want a light PC no longer have to compromise. As notebook PCs have become lighter and companies have embraced smartphones and tablets, mobility has taken off in the SMB and SME market.

Mobility an economic game changer

According to an ACMA report released earlier this year, around three-quarters of SMEs reported that employees had access to company-supplied mobile broadband. These employees used mobile broadband to do about 20 per cent of what they had to do, and the organisations saw a reduction of more than 10 per cent in costs and a time saving of more than 10 per cent for the employees.

Power without compromise

It’s this trend towards mobility becoming an integral part of our lives that is driving innovation and producing the latest wave of computing devices and notebook and tablet hybrids. Devices such as the ThinkPad X1 Carbon mean users don’t have to make the choice between mobility and performance. These little powerhouses have great battery life, offer screens with a good compromise between size and portability, a full range of processors, the option of a discrete graphics card and large hard drives.

With these new developments, there’s no longer a need to compromise on portability and performance.

This article originally appeared at ThinkFWD.

Return to the Mobility theme page to learn more about keeping you and your IT team up to speed in this fast-moving sector.