Computers are so important now that few of us can live without one, and this goes doubly so for freelancers. In fact, many of our jobs need nothing more than a laptop in terms of equipment. As such, choosing the right machine is crucial if you want something that is cost-effective and meets your needs.
The last thing you want to do is spend hundreds of pounds on a new laptop, only to find it isn’t fit for purpose within six months. You need to make sure you’re choosing the right computer for you right now but also in the near future. As such, here is our top ten laptops for freelancers, covering the categories we think are the most important for self-employed workers:
Budget: Acer Chromebook 14
Many freelancers don’t need anything special, just a reliable laptop they don’t have to spend too much money on. For this, look no further than the Acer Chromebook 14. Anything you need to do online can be done quickly and easily with this little machine, with 4GB of RAM allowing for a good level of multitasking.
High-performance: Dell XPS 13
You’ll be paying a pretty penny for this machine, but it’s worth it if your job requires some serious processing power. The quad-core 1.8GHz Intel Core i7 processor packs a punch, while 16GB of DDR3 RAM makes sure it runs smoothly no matter how many tasks you’re undertaking.
Long-lasting: Lenovo ThinkPad X270
A laptop is an investment, and freelancers know how important it is to think long term with this kind of thing. If you want something to last you a while, the ThinkPad X270 is the laptop for you. It’s surprisingly durable given its small size, with a fantastic keyboard to boot, and an impressive battery life.
Good all-rounder: HP Spectre 13
If you don’t need anything special and are just looking for something that’s good overall, the Spectre 13 is probably your best option. It’s got a great display, plenty of power, 512GB of storage space and even a touchscreen. It’s also thin and light enough to travel with without problems, making a good all-rounder for freelancers.
Visuals: Dell XPS 15
You might think we’re cheating here, including two models from Dell’s XPS series, but the 15 is simply the best laptop for visuals out there. The 4K, Ultra-HD screen boasts a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels; that’s a stunning 282.4 pixels per inch. Combined with the gorgeous colours, this is hands-down one of the best screens available right now.
Ease of use: MacBook Pro
It’s difficult to tie down exactly what makes a laptop easy-to-use, but for those of us used to iPhones and iPads the MacBook Pro won’t require much of a learning period. This machine is intuitive as well as powerful, with the new touch bar adding another level of convenience.
Multitasker: Microsoft Surface Book 2
For the freelancer who regularly finds themselves with multiple plates spinning, you’ll need a laptop to match. With up to 16GB of RAM, the Surface Book is capable of having several processes going at once, and the ability to easily detach the keyboard and use it as a tablet adds to its functionality if you’re a multitasker.
Travelling: Lenovo YOGA 910
If you’re constantly travelling around the country, you want something that is lightweight, versatile and easy-to-use. The YOGA 910 gives you all this and more, with the ability to use it as a laptop, tablet or something in-between while weighing just 1.4kg.
Small-scale: Asus Transformer Mini T102HA
If you want something small that isn’t going to take up too much space in your bag or on your desk, this laptop-tablet hybrid is a great choice. For such a small machine, it packs in a lot of storage space with 64GB of memory. Its 10.1-inch touchscreen is hi-definition, and the processor is impressively powerful for such a diminutive machine.
Battery life: Lenovo ThinkPad T470
Contractors often don’t have a standard office, moving around the country for work, so a laptop’s battery life is a crucial factor. If this sounds important to you, the ThinkPad T470 is the machine for you. Its battery can last an astounding 16 hours, putting it easily at the top of the pack.
To find out more about what expense you can claim working as a limited company contractor or freelancer, download our free guide to expenses.