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Best PSG-Approved Business Laptop Comparison 2020
***Our office will be closed after 3pm on 31 December.
31st Dec 2020- Do note that all Mac Laptop request will not be entertained anymore as won't be in time to generate the quotation.
For Windows Laptops request, on best effort basis we will try to send the quotation by today for any request before 12pm. (31st Dec 2020)- Grant submission deadline will be on 31 December 2020, there is strictly no extension for this grant***
Employees working from home is no longer a new phenomenon by now. In fact, it has taken so well that many in Singapore would desire for this to continue even after the pandemic has passed. Companies have been needing to adapt by providing support and setting systems in place for remote work. This has undoubtedly fuelled the push towards digitisation and digitalisation. Perhaps the most fundamental instruments needed to support remote work is the laptop. Understanding that many companies, especially SMEs, might need assistance in procuring a laptop, one of the Singapore government’s many grants was announced to fill this need. Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) The Productivity Solutions Grant supports companies in the adoption of pre-scoped IT solutions and equipment that enhances productivity and business processes. It supports up to 80% funding for eligible costs. The scope of this grant includes pre-approved remote working solutions bundled with up to three laptops per package. Eligibility for applying
- Registered and operating in Singapore
- Purchase/lease/subscription of the IT solutions or equipment must be used in Singapore
- Have a minimum of 30% local shareholding; with company's group annual sales turnover less than S$100 million, OR less than 200 employees (for selected solutions only)
Unlike most other PSG-approved solutions which are available well into the following year, the option to use the grant for purchasing laptops expires on 31 December 2020.
Any eligible businesses who have yet to take advantage of this might well wish to indulge in some year-end Christmas shopping.
Obviously, not all laptops on the market are eligible for purchase under the Productivity Solutions Grant. Of the ones that are, we ran them against a few criteria that we consider to be critical for a business laptop, namely: portability, durability, performance, and of course, battery life.
Take note that a government grant is understandably not going to support the most high-end model purchase. But here is our take on the best PSG-approved business laptops, and you wouldn’t thumb your nose at these.
1) Dell Latitude 3410 (i5 & i7 Version)
The Dell Latitude 3410 is a very solid option. Nothing about it stands out in particular, but it ticks every box competently.
In terms of hardware, the integrated 10th generation Intel Core i5 – 10210U processor is more than sufficient for business needs, although one can choose a Core i7-10510U model for higher processing speeds. The 14-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) anti-glare display is decent, if a little dim. Fortunately, the anti-glare feature does let you use the laptop comfortably even when the sun is shining behind you. Its 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD is comfortable for most work, except resource heavy functions like video editing. For that, the Core i7 processor model would be more suitable as it also increases the RAM to 16GB, and the hard drive to 512GB. As far as graphics is concerned, the laptop has integrated graphics. It's not nearly good enough for gaming or graphic intensive work, but there will be absolutely no problems with playing videos. It has a serviceable webcam.
Audio is hardly a priority for most business users, and the stereo speakers on this machine certainly do not excel. There is no bass, and the maximum volume can hardly fill a small room. When making audio-visual presentations, make sure to hook this laptop up to some external speakers.
In terms of design, the Dell Latitude is muted, which suits most professionals just fine. Encased in a black plastic chassis with a matte finish, this laptop will win no awards for looks but exudes practicality. It does not attract fingerprints that easily, and the plastic makes it light (1.65 kg). It is also compact, which makes it ideal for travelling. In addition, it offers a good range of ports, with three USB Type-A ports and one USB Type-C port, as well as a HDMI port and a microSD card reader slot.
Dell has done some incredible work with their keyboards, and the Latitude’s gives a premium feel while typing. The touchpad is large, has good sensitivity and support for multitouch gestures.
With a 53Whr battery, the Dell Latitude can last between 6 to 8 hours for normal usage, which is very reasonable. Fast charging also allows it to juice back up quickly.
- Energy star qualified
- Non-backlit Power Button with No fingerprint reader
- Bottom door included
- Windows 10 pro (64 bit) English
- Dell essential Backpack
- Dell Optical Mouse
- Microsoft Business Standard or Premium
- Professional Services
- 65 Watt AC Adapter
2) HP ProBook 430 G7
For a more budget option, the HP Probook 430 holds its own. With a display size of only 13.3 inches, and weighing at only 1.49 kg, this is the smallest laptop to be featured, and also the lightest. Despite the relatively small screen size, viewing angles are good, especially because the screen can be pushed back to a very wide angle.
The internals of this small machine measure up well. The latest Comet Lake U-series i5 processor is the same as the Dell Latitude’s, and about as good as it gets for laptops at this price point. 8GB of RAM is fine, and 512GB SSD is definitely good for the increased storage space it provides. The Intel UHD integrated graphics are decent, as is the HD webcam.
The small size of the ProBook 430 means there is a smaller selection of ports. But it still does manage to pack two USB Type-A ports, one Type-C port, one HDMI port, and one full-sized SD card slot. The SD card slot in particular is a rarity these days, with most laptops only supporting microSD cards. However, full-sized SD cards are mostly used only by photographers with their digital cameras, so this feature might not necessarily advantage working professionals too much. It also boasts a blazing fast fingerprint sensor, which gives more convenience when logging in to the device.
The silver design of the laptop makes it look more elegant and stylish. Made from aluminium and plastic, the ProBook is also more sturdy, giving very little flex even when a lot of force is applied to it.
Another potential drawback due to its small size – this laptop can only fit a 3-cell 45Whr battery within it, so its battery life is bound to suffer a little. It should still last for up to 6 hours, and it does try to make up for it by allowing for fast charging that lets it charge from empty to 50% battery in just 30 minutes.
Overall, HP Probook 430 G7 is the best budget-friendly and value-for-money product.
- Windows 10 Pro (64 Bit)
- 65 W adapter bundled
- 3 Years on-site warranty includes part & labours
- 3 Years hard disk retention
- Includes HP Essential USB mouse & 14-inch Topload NB carrying case
- Microsoft Business Standard
3) Lenovo ThinkPad E14 (i7)
For a more rugged look, look to the Lenovo ThinkPad E14. With straight angles, sharp corners, and a classic matte-black colour, the ThinkPad is nothing if not serious. It also manages to look somewhat hardy, with the lid and the bottom made out of anodized aluminium. The palm rest and screen bezels are plastic though.
Its 14-inch Full HD display has an IPS option, which improves colour reproduction. The usual Comet Lake U-series processor, 8GB RAM and 512GB SSD incite no complaints. The Intel UHD integrated graphics continue to do just fine for videos and productivity usage. The 720p HD webcam is a-ok.
Where the ThinkPad falters is in its connectivity options. It has one USB Type-C port and 3 USB Type-A ports. However, the Type-C port must be needed for charging the laptop. There is also no SD card slot, micro or otherwise, and the HDMI port is only the standard 1.4b instead of HDMI 2.0. As such, the I/O selection is serviceable at best but definitely far from ideal.
The keyboard is generally comfortable to type on. However, while glass trackpads are more popular these days, the ThinkPad’s one is made of plastic. This makes it a less smooth, but otherwise still very good, experience to use.
The ThinkPad has one of the better battery lives. We were able to get more than 11 hours of usage from internet browsing and about 9 hours from video playback.
To sum things up, the Lenovo ThinkPad E14 is an effective device with a great look for business, albeit with a limited port selection.
- Windows 10 professional 64 bit
- Full-sized keyboard with optional backlight
- One year Eset endpoint protection advance
- Built-in security and durability
- Three years warranty
- Wireless mouse & laptop bag
4) Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch (2020 Intel Version)
Does the Apple MacBook really need any introduction? Ever since the laptop grant was introduced in April 2020, many Apple users waited with bated breath to see if it would cover the MacBook, and they rejoiced when it was finally announced that it would.
MacBooks are somewhat divisive among laptop aficionados, with criticisms often aimed towards its high price and relatively lower specifications compared to competing products. There is merit in that; from a hardware perspective, this is the weakest laptop featured in this list. As an entry level model, this MacBook Pro only has an 8th generation Intel Core-i5 processor, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, and its I/O consists of a grand total of two Thunderbolt 3 ports (which means additional spending on dongles will almost certainly be needed). And yet, this is easily the priciest option available for the grant! Why would the government even deign to subsidise the cost of something so expensive?
Part of the answer is that for many people there is no alternative. To stay within the Apple ecosystem (iPhones, iPads, Apple Watch etc), one must use an Apple product. Not that Apple users necessarily want an alternative either. They stand staunchly by what they consider to be a cleaner and smoother user experience conferred by the iOS system, stronger security, and Apple’s excellent customer service.
There is also no denying that the MacBook Pro is very well designed. The 13-inch Retina display with True Tone technology is absolutely stunning, and provides a 2560 x 1600 resolution. Its integrated Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645 is solid enough that it can even handle some light gaming.
In terms of physical build, the MacBook is second to none. With its sleek aluminium unibody design and polished round edges, no laptop looks as premium as the MacBook. Its trackpad performs markedly better than any Windows laptop.
Apple also has a great reputation when it comes to the battery life of their products. The MacBook Pro is claimed to provide up to 10 hours of battery life with a full charge.
The only thing curiously missing is its support for WiFi 6. WiFi functions have not been mentioned for any of the other laptops because they all support the latest generation standard in WiFi technology, as is expected. Without it, the MacBook Pro will be one step behind in internet connectivity.
Overall, there is no denying the popularity of the Apple MacBook Pro. If your company relies on the iOS system, then this is really the only option for you. Luckily enough, it's certainly not a shabby one.
- 3 years of Apple care including battery
- 1 year of defective hard drive retention and replacement
- Magic keyboard
- Touch Bar and Touch ID
Which Laptop is best for you?
Note that the COVID-19 business continuity measures support will end on 31st Dec 2020 and application for PSG approved laptop submission need to be submitted before 31st Dec 2020.
At Smart-Towkay.com, we are able to support applications for PSG laptop grants. Time is running out, so if any of the laptops above catches your eye, or if you still require more details or help with the application, contact or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To apply, click the INTEREST FORM for the quotation to get the approval from Business Grant Portal.
Read also: Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG): Singtel × MacBook Laptop Bundle
Read also: Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) Singtel Laptop Bundle: Latest Updates and FAQs
Read also: COVID-19: Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) For Companies Embracing IT Solutions in 2020
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