Guide to Choosing a Computer for Your Business

Computers are essential to most businesses, so it’s only fitting that you spend a bit of time doing some research into what machine will suit you. There are many options on the table so it could get a little confusing. Hopefully, this article will explain a few things to help you get a clearer understanding of what type of a computer will give you the best value. Of course, when investing in a computer for business, there are many factors that need consideration, such as cost, convenience, reliability, portability, usability, accessories, features, operating system and potential for expansion.

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Don’t go for the cheapest option

You might think that getting the cheapest option from a relatively unknown retailer might be a clever business decision, but not quite so. For one, your productivity will eventually suffer when the machine underperforms. The advantage of spending a little more and buying the right business machine from a retailer like Harris Technology is that, not only will you get a computer that will serve your business for a long time, you can focus on your business with peace of mind because we guarantee reliability and support. Try and buy the latest models, because most business computers are built to last for about 3–4 years, so if you buy an older model, your investment will not last for long, as new updates will make the machine obsolete. You are likely to be using the computer all day so any downtime will be costly and inconvenient. It’s best to spend a bit more and get something you know will be reliable. Additionally, having a nice reliable computer will boost your morale.

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Decide on portability

This really comes down to how portable you want your computer to be. If you only want to work in the office, get a desktop. If you are constantly on the road or want to work from home as well, get a laptop. Just know that desktops are probably more affordable than laptops, have higher specs, and are easily upgradable. Miniaturisation of components comes at a premium. Modern computing may be all about portable devices but the desktop is far from dead. If a laptop looks like the right choice for you, you can always connect it to a monitor, keyboard and a mouse, when you are at the office. You might also want to use a docking station for convenience, although most laptops are equipped with the necessary ports. The advantage of a docking station is the minimal amount of connecting and disconnecting of cables.

If you choose a desktop, you will have some further options depending on your needs. You may choose an all-in-one unit, where the computer appears to be built into the screen. Many people like these for styling and convenience, although they will have some limitations for upgrading. All-in-one units are ideal if you want to save space on your workstation. Smaller form factors such as micro PCs or all-in-one designs are gaining popularity as they reduce the space taken up on the desk and improve the appearance of the workspace. Apple iMac may have started the revolution of desktop aesthetics to match the office décor, but many other companies have now caught up with the trend. The chunkier counterparts of all-in-one and units, with a separate desktop unit, have other advantages, such as the ability to upgrade internal components, and the option to change the monitor.

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If you opt for a laptop, note that there are several types of laptops that may be suitable for your business. Laptops can be categorised into Netbooks, Ultra Portables, Thin and Light, Mainstream and Desktop Replacements. To know further about these categories, read my previous article about Laptop Categories. The main criteria that separate laptop categories are the screen size.

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Focus on getting a good processor

The processor is what will have the greatest influence on the speed of your computer. It’s the most vital component of the computer. It’s also the hardest part to be replaced. So get a fairly good processor, that will last you for a while. You can always upgrade the other components much easier and cheaper. When it comes to a processor, speed isn’t the only spec you should consider. The number of cores in your processor is also vital. For most businesses, 2–4 cores will be sufficient. If you have more taxing tasks, such as rendering video and other multimedia applications, it’s worth investing in a higher number of cores.

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RAM

When it comes to RAM, you’re best advised to have all RAM slots filled. More RAM slots filled, more access points there will be for RAM, which should help your machine run smoothly.

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Graphics Card

Do not assume that a video card suitable for gaming will be ideal for your business related work, even if you are paying more for gaming cards. Just because it’s expensive, it doesn’t mean that it will be able to meet your needs. Gaming cards are built for games, which render images quickly and frequently. If your business requires 3D modelling, you should be using a different graphics card to a gaming card, because the screen will stay still for a period of time.

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Storage

A hard drive is generally the storage medium of your computer. For most businesses, you wouldn’t be needing anything in excess of a 1TB internal drive. You can always extend your storage capacity with more internal, or external storage solutions. When it comes to storage, it’s not just a question of capacity, but speed and portability as well. Solid-state drives (SSDs) make storage faster since they contain no moving parts, and store all data on a collection of microchips, which makes them a popular choice for laptops. But Hard Disk Drives (HDD) offer more capacity for the lower price. There are also more options for HDDs at the moment. It’s also handy to be connected to some form of cloud storage, so you can backup your important data in the event of a hardware failure or a cyber-attack. Another advantage of cloud storage is that you will be able to gain access to information from a different device in a different location if the need arises.

Conclusion

The cost of a quality computer that’s only for business use shouldn’t be treated as a luxury. It’s very much an integral investment. Having a unit dedicated for professional use will save a lot of time in the long run. Not having to deal with all of the software downloaded on your personal computer will make your work machine operate optimally. A quality business computer will be faster and likely have less technical issues. The idea is to invest in something that will last you for about five years. Happy hunting! Check out what options are available from Harris Technology for your business: Business Laptops, Desktops and All-In-Ones.