Recommendation for a Laptop for Work

I need to buy a laptop for work and I have no idea what to get. What specs do I look for? What brands are best? Where is the best place to buy? (I'm in SA). How much ram, what processor etc. I have no idea!!!
I will be using at home and at the office so battery no issue, and doesn't need to be small or lightweight. Want to hook up extra monitor easily (I currently use a desktop with 2 monitors). I tend to have a number of different programs open at once as well as multiple internet tabs and outlook. A few USB ports is a must.
If you could please point me in the right direction/give me some ideas, I'd be eternally grateful! Probably want to keep it under $1500 if possible, but I don't know what that will get me!



    What are you mainly using it for?

    What are the main apps you be using?


      I work in admin/accounts for 2 very small companies and we use a custom accounting/invoicing program which is cloud based. I also use MYOB online. Use outlook and excel, publisher mostly plus PDFs. Word occasionally.

  • -1 vote

    Try JB HI FI or Harvey Norman
    You can easily get a core i7, try to see if you can get a 500gb or 1TB SSD ram (SSD not the ordinary one), I have found Dell HP etc pretty good. Try Dell website as well, they have some sales going on


    Dell xps 15


    When you say for "Work" what do you mean? There aren't that many places that let you BYO. Most want to make sure you aren't being a tight arse and not using anti-virus and want to keep you on their AD and if a company buys it and you smash the screen say, they'll have that sorted in a day with corporate service policies. Also any home computer from JB or HN are usually pretty average.

    If the policy is BYO, Does your company IT department give you a list of guidelines?

    What sort of work do you do? Don't name the company just the general nature.

    I tend to have a number of different programs open at once as well as multiple internet tabs and outlook.

    What sort of programs? Do you need a touch screen? To connect 2 monitors you can daisy chain via the monitors or get a dock of some sort? Does the company provide this?

    In general I would suggest as a min

    i5 2.0Ghz

    8GB of RAM (with the option to go up to 16GB should you need it

    256GB SSD


    Built in graphics is fine

    Maybe have a look out for a Lenovo eBay store sale. Or DELL outlet.


      I work for a tiny company doing admin/accounts. Work will be paying for the lappy, I get to choose whatever I want.
      I use a customised accounting/invoicing program which is cloud based. (I hate it, it's slow and frustrating) I also use MYOB online, outlook, publisher, word, PDFs etc. A lot of online portals.
      Don't need a touchscreen necessarily, but it might be nice.
      I'll need to organise and buy whatever I need to be able to use another monitor. I have a spare monitor at home but will need to buy one for work. Is a dock easy to transport too so I can use it at home and the office? I'll be driving to work and parking onsite.
      I've just seen an ad on TV that JB has 20%off all computers, are there any worth considering from there or are they all crap?

      I also need it ASAP 🙄


        In general imo home use computers from stores are shit. There are exceptions.

        I agree about checking your memory usage. I would highly recommend 16GB stock based on your usage, ideally with the motherboard supporting 32GB so you can upgrade.

        Re dock, you’re probably better off buying 2 and having everything plugged in at both locations (they would be $150-250 each) which is the entire point of the docks.

        DELL XPS are highly regarded and are good machines. Grab a Logitech keyboard and mouse set for both locations.

        If you go through the DELL store you should be able to get it quickly.


    I prefer Dell. I would recommend their latitude line. you can negotiate the pricing with DELL sales consultants.

  • +2 votes

    I'd suggest the Dell XPS 13. Price is $1409.38 using code PAPP10 and you have to use the eBay app. Link to item
    (Cost is $1999 new retail)

    I would also recommend checking if you need more than 8gb of RAM, which may be necessary if you're using several programs at once.
    You can check current memory usage by going into Task Manager (right click the task bar at the bottom of your screen) then the Memory tab.
    Make sure to do it when you have everything running already.

    For the USB ports, you say a few, but it would be better to define this specifically.
    My suggestion has 3, but they're USB C and one would be needed the second monitor.
    Generally if you want several USB ports you'd use a dock which charges the unit, easily connects to an extra display, and provides extra USB ports.


      I'll have to check out my current memory usage, thanks for that.
      I think a dock would be best to make sure I don't use up USB ports on monitors etc. I also like to use a regular mouse, can't stand the stupid mouse pads on laptops!


      i would look at the Dell XPS + dock as well. Dock connects to 2 monitors and the laptop can be closed or used as a 3rd screen.
      If you're moving it around between office and home a lot 15" might be a bit big. I would look at 13" - You'll be using external monitors most of the time.

    • +2 votes

      Pavilion is the lower end of HPs laptops. Spectre is their flagship line (with prices to match) and Envy is their mid-high range line. I would tend to stay away from the lower end of any brand as the build quality and reliability tend to suffer.

      I've had a good experience with my Lenovo Yoga 920, which is an ultra-thin 14" convertible. These are no longer in stores but the newer version is the Lenovo Yoga C930. However, since this model is quite recent, it's a bit expensive. I also note it might not suit your use case as well as it does mine.

      Things to consider:

      • 13-14" is better for portability
      • 15" tend to have number pads, if that's important
      • Do you have peripherals that you need to connect? How many USB-A ports do you need?
      • If you connect to external displays, do you connect via HDMI, DisplayPort or USB-C? Having the port on your machine is more convenient than carrying a dongle
      • How long would you need the machine to last on the go? Battery life varies tremendously across models

      Minimum specs I would go for (less important but preferable in brackets):

      • Processor: Intel Core i5-7500U or above (prefer Core i5-8250U or above as 8th gen are quad core)
      • RAM: 8 GB (prefer DDR4 over DDR3)
      • Storage: 256 GB SSD (prefer NVMe over SATA); do not get a machine with a HDD - too slow
      • Battery: 50 Wh minimum capacity as a guide but always check reviews regarding battery life
      • Display: Do not choose 1366x768 - outdated and looks atrocious. At the other extreme, I would recommend against 4K unless you have a need for it as Full HD 1080p looks good without as much impact on battery life

      You might consider these lines:

      • Lenovo Yoga C900/S900 series ($$$)
      • Lenovo Yoga C700/S700 series ($$)
      • Lenovo Thinkpad T series ($$)
      • HP Spectre series ($$$)
      • HP Envy series ($$)
      • Dell XPS series ($$$)

    Thanks for your input everyone. Doing some research now. Lots of you have recommended Dell XPS, why is Dell XPS so much better than the others? Is it a faster/better processor?


    Looking at reviews on the Dell XPS and there's a lot of unfavourable ones.


    Have a look at Thinkpad T480 -
    It’s $1280 after discount with 3yrs warranty. Docking options are available. Reviews are here and here.


      I've owned a few older Thinkpad T series and they were heavy but indestructable .All 3 had tons of inputs and outputs . Lenovo from my experience have awesome driver support . There are lighter thinner models but the price gets prohibitive at the air like units .
      Stear clear of HP , The ones I've used were absolute junk .

      If battery is not a problem you could probably look at S/H .


    *Actually, just occurred to me ebay is having a discount. Maybe best to go for it on eBay right now, probably quicker shipping as well.

    Something like this might be ideal. Will comes with 8gb of RAM (if the budget isn't strictly $1,500 maybe throw in another 8gb for 16gb)

    Would also be wanting to buy it with a 128gb SSD abd then pick up a larger storage drive for the 2.5" bay.

    All that would push it over $$1,600. If you wanted to keep it as close as possible, drop the extra RAM and just go for storage.

    *Maybe better laptops out there, but gotta get that ThinkPad recommendation in!

    Also, if you preferred ryzen, check the A series.

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