For small business owners, buying reliable and value-for-money laptops is important. Even in the rise of the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), businesses still recognize the value of giving their employees a primary device to use at work. Here, we’ll compare two of the newest offers in the market: Dell Inspiron vs HP Pavilion.
|Dell XPS 13 9370 |
|>i7 8th generation|
>8 GB RAM
>256 GB SSD
>12 hours battery
|HP Elitebook 840 |
|>i7 8th generation|
>16 GB RAM
>512 GB SSD
>8.5 hours battery
The biggest challenge among small businesses is getting the right specifications. Unlike large companies with a tech team that can advise the admin, most startups rely on web searches and recommendations by their friends.
Still, you don’t have to feel like you’re flying blind here. If you are looking for an affordable choice but not short of functionality, we got you covered here.
Considering the budget
I know that small businesses don’t always have enough money for fancy equipment. Even though you only have a little to shell out, it’s important to set a budget. This way, you’ll have realistic expectations over the device you’re going to get.
Remember that you don’t always need top-dollar options. Depending on the tasks you need to perform, you can save money by getting just the right benchmarks.
For example, if you’re just looking for a device for your support staff, entry-level laptops would do. On the other hand, mid-range and high-tech devices should be chosen for professional staff and dev team respectively.
By acquiring tiers of laptop technologies, you can save money but still fulfill the needs of your small business. To give you an idea about Dell vs. HP laptops, here’s what you should expect from the price you’re willing to pay:
🔖Below $300. If you’re really cash-strapped, there are still laptops that you can purchase for your business. Usually, these would be Chromebooks and cheap Windows devices that run in unreliable Celeron or Pentium processors. Personally, I don’t recommend this to business owners.
🔖$600 and under. This entry-level price range can already give you a reasonable device to use for simple business tasks. You can find reliable Chromebooks with a sturdy build and specifications as well as humble Window laptops. For your support staff who only uses a browser, word processor, and a few other basic apps, this would be great.
🔖Below $900. If you want a mid-range laptop for professional use, anything between $601 and $900 should be perfect. Laptops within this price range usually have great memory performance. This will also work for multitasking since most of these laptops have business-class features. Most of the time, it would have long battery life, fingerprint scans, popping displays, and so on. You can find HP Pavilion laptops under this price.
🔖Above $1,000. In case you’re willing to spend a little more, you can get a prime laptop at this price range. Usually, devices with this price tag will have a sleek and professional look, not to mention the excellent memory performance. If you have a dev team, design crew, and other technical stuff, this should work smoothly. The Dell Inspiron is one of the best options here.
What operation system (OS) suits your business?
Aside from the price, another important consideration here is the operating system of the laptop. For this one, we have two major options: Apple OS/X and Windows.
Let’s start with the famous Apple OS. First, most laptops under the Apple brand is pricey, but many people are willing to pay the price. Most MacBooks have a sleek and professional look which appeals to small corporate businesses.
Although MacBooks are money grabbers, it’s worth it if you want a quality display, function keys, and lightning-speed processing. Also, companies who run Mac-based apps will choose Apple OS by default. But as much as many small business owners are spending prime money for this processor, it’s not the quintessential choice anymore.
Windows, on the other hand, will give you a wide range of options. This includes Dell Inspiron vs HP Pavilion models. Also, you have far better price options in Windows together with different configurations. If you tend to be picky, Windows is the way to go. The Windows 10 OS is built with multitasking apps fit for almost all businesses.
Lastly, let’s take a look at a possible third option: Chrome OS. It’s rare for businesses to choose this. It’s a new kid on the block and a bit limited in terms of multitasking prowess and storage. Although it has a fairly low price point, Chrome OS is developed with students in mind. Even basic support staff tasks could be a challenge to do here.
Design and build
If we are to compare Dell and HP laptops in terms of this aspect, we will have varying opinions. For Dell, it’s a bit obvious that they focus more on functionality rather than having a sleek look. Although their models look basic, it’s not ugly either. All these design simplicities are offset by the fact that Dell has a wider range of colors compared to HP.
Dell vs. HP laptops? Cooling wise, Dell is a champ. For most businesses that run at least 8-10 hours a day, this is a big deal when choosing for a laptop to buy. Not to generalize HP laptops, but most of its models, including the Pavilion, tends to get a little bit hot than usual.
Overall, HP is the best-looking between the two. If you give more care about the appearance, especially for a customer-oriented business, HP models might be best. Some HP laptops even have aluminum and carbon fiber casings to take the beating of blunt force and sudden falls.
The last thing you want to have in the middle of a business day is a malfunctioning laptop and a ton of work. If you happen to experience technical issues, the laptop brand should be easy to reach. Both Dell and HP have an excellent customer service line.
Both of them offer warranty coverages and phone support. However, Dell stands out here. When you call them, you’ll have a personal assistant that will walk you through the process of troubleshooting and fixing the problem. In case the issue can’t be fixed via phone, a support technician from Dell will connect to your device to have it fixed right away. So Dell Inspiron vs HP Pavilion? Dell gets this point, for sure.
Not to discount HP’s support, they do have resources to help you rectify the problem. They also have a YouTube channel with self-help videos that you can use.
Are you traveling for work?
If you’re a business owner who travels from place to place for work, it’s important to have a light and compact laptop. This is where HP becomes the best pick. The thin and sleek design makes it easy to have in tow. Even if you don’t sacrifice screen size, HP laptops are fairly light, not to mention sturdy when it comes to the perils of continuous transit.
As a rule of thumb, laptops under three pounds are ideal for business trips. However, make sure that it has the ports and features that you need. Sometimes, a little more weight is worth it if you badly need a high-tech device.
Three major specs to check
To make it easy and simple, there are three major features that you have to check when purchasing a new laptop for your business. After considering the design and operating system of Dell vs. HP laptops, I think you should also give the same emphasis to these parts:
No matter how good-looking your laptop is, its functionality will depend on the CPU it uses. The CPU of your laptop is the engine that makes it work. Low-end and mid-range CPUs aren’t good for businesses because these are old technologies already. The likes of Intel Atom, Intel Pentium, Intel Celeron, Intel Core m3, m5, and m7 are already goners in the business industry.
If you want a reasonable device that can perform more than the usual notes and emails, I suggest that you opt for either an Intel Core i3 or i5 CPU. These are great for businesses, like a reliable sedan that can run without a glitch.
In case you’ll be running robust programs day in and day out, I suggest that you acquire an i7 CPU. The 7th generation Intel is great but spring more money and you’ll enjoy the speed of 8th gen. You can find all of these options in both Dell and HP laptops.
➕Storage and memory
There are three memory capacities to check here: RAM, HDD/SSD, and VRAM. For the RAM or Random Access Memory, the bare minimum should be 4 GB. An 8 GB or 16 GB is more than decent for usual business tasks. This applies to Dell Inspiron vs HP Pavilion.
When it comes to the hard drive memory, you have two options namely HDD (hard disk drive) and SSD (solid state drive). Most HDDs nowadays with at least 1 TB of memory are great, but if you’re editing photos or videos, a 256 GB SSD might be better. SSDs are known for its speed, something that you can’t get on Chromebooks.
Lastly, the VRAM or Video Random Access Memory is for those that are using heavy graphics. Take note that all laptops have integrated graphics units on it, but if you want more performance, a discrete graphics card will be a good addition.
Battery life dictates how long your laptop can run without an external power source. If you are traveling, it’s important to have a unit that can run for at least 6-8 hours. Although other specs might be more important to you, it’s an added perk to have a high-powered battery.
If we are to compare Dell and HP, the former seems to use 3-cell batteries even more. This doesn’t hold much power unlike what most HP models have.
Best Dell & HP Laptops for Small Businesses
If you’re looking for the best Dell and HP laptops for your business, I have reviewed here two of the best picks for Dell vs. HP laptops:
Dell XPS 13 9370 2018 Edition
A sleek look and very thin bezel, the Dell XPS 13 is probably one of the most aesthetic laptops Dell has ever made. It’s very slim as well and highly customizable.
The Dell XP 13 runs in an 8th generation Core i7 processor that starts at $999. If you want to save a little, you can avail the i3 version at around $800.
This has an 8 GB RAM which you can upgrade to up to 16 GB as well as a 256 GB SSD for optimal performance and speed. Make sure that you check the sticker on the deck as the XPS 13 line has varying CPUs.
As for the battery life, this is impressive at 12 hours+ for the touchscreen model. If you want a 16-hour runtime, the older 9360 model will suit you.
The only gripe I have for this laptop is that the webcam still looks up my nose although the quality is much better now.
HP Elitebook 840 G5
If you’re a loyal HP fan, you’ll love the Elitebook 840 G5. This 14-inch laptop is classy and bears a vivid range of colors which is a big step up from previous HP models. The keyboard is also easy to use and very comfy for extended typing.
The Elitebook 840 G5 comes in different configurations, but you can have it with an 8th generation Intel Core i7. It has a 16 GB RAM and a 512 GB SSD as well as an integrated graphics card.
In terms of battery life, the Elitebook is still impressive at 8 hours and 30 minutes. It’s a little shorter than what the Dell model has but still great as a business laptop. One thing that stands out here is the sound quality. You may not use it for business purpose, but it’s an added perk at some point.
The only downside here is the blurry webcam. The display on the base is also mediocre. But considering the configurations, these are just minor issues.
Dell Inspiron vs HP Pavilion? Both the brands are great, but it’s up to you to choose which one suits your business.