Well it’s the beginning of the year, the Christmas blues have hopefully worn off, and it’s time to approach the year ahead with gusto. Sometimes it’s nice to have some new tools to help that sense of optimism, and as an accountant, a new laptop might just be one of those new tools.
Just to keep the Apple fanboys (and girls) happy, I will be featuring a Mac here, and the rest are on the Windows OS. In all honesty though, how many of you use a mac for your accounting? My bet is, very few. If you do though, get in touch, I’m happy to be proven wrong!
What do you want / need from your laptop?
All those various programs from your practice management suite, to spreadsheets and more will need plenty of memory and decent processing power. Particularly as a management accountant, you’ll want something to handle some decent number crunching to produce those beautiful presentation graphics.
It’s not just number crunching either that your machine will have to cope with. Think about your day-to-day operations. Maybe you’ll be receiving plenty of files from your marketing or web team; a decent screen is a must.
A small laptop might be more portable, but don’t get something too small that you can’t have enough screen real-estate. Also anything you buy should be 1080p resolution.
Weight & Battery Life
These two factors often compete against each other, so balance them accordingly for your needs of portability. More off-site meetings tends to mean a need for a longer lasting and more durable battery.
A larger keyboard with F keys and a numerical keypad should be aimed for. Smaller laptops typically won’t have this, but external numeric keypads are available.
Anything beyond an Intel Core i5+ and AMD Ryzen processors.
8GB is really the minimum these days, modern software is hungry for RAM to enable quick multitasking between large spreadsheets and databases.
Solid state drives (SSD) are much faster to respond. Some laptops offer both SSD for the operating system, and integral hard disk for storage of items that are stored longer term.
What you came here for
Without further ado, here are the 5 laptops we’ve chosen. We’ve kept to the general versions of the laptops, as there are many sub-versions under them. This instead gives a starting point, and you can choose to specify more RAM or CPU power as you see fit.
Dell Latitude 5590
- A decent screen size of 15.6″; to give enough screen space without being too heavy
- 8GB of RAM by default and a capable Intel i5 processor (for the base model)
- A number pad, thanks to the slightly larger screen
- A well built plastic shell that feels sturdy (possibly more so than some aluminium cases)
Lenovo ThinkPad E580
- i5 processor with 8GB RAM (upgradable to 16GB)
- Solid performance and durable build quality
- Good selection of ports
- Great keyboard with highly responsive keys
PC specialist Recoil II
This is a bit of a curveball, as you’ve possibly not heard of this company before. However, two of the team here have had a laptop from PC specialist, and most satisfied they were too.
- A solid brushed aluminium elements to case
- Very speedy next generation Intel i7 mobile processor
- A very defined action from the mechanical keyboard with alterable backlight
- A really powerful graphics card – a bonus if you’re dealing with a lot of marketing materials in your business
- Battery life could be a little better
Acer Aspire 5
- Recently updated to include 8th-generation Intel Core processors
- We’d recommend you go higher than the i3 and with an SSD drive too
- The keyboard is a nice size for long periods of typing, but the responsiveness could be better
- It comes with colour intelligence technology which dynamically adjust the gamma and saturation in real-time
- Impressive battery life
All the usual Apple plus points, such as: solid build, fantastic display and respectable internal architecture to give responsive computing.
However, as mentioned at the top of this article, I would wager that it isn’t typically used as a tool of an accountant; a number pad is noticeably lacking for a start.
If you are using one, because you find yourself dealing with a lot of marketing material related to your business… get in touch.
Let us help you out so you can spend more time doing what you do, so we can help you drive your business forward.