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Not all technology is created equally. A consideration for many businesses is whether to purchase consumer class or business class computers for work purposes. While consumer computers offer ease of access at a fraction of the cost of business computers, are they really worth the cost savings? Here are just a few of the reasons your business should buy business class over consumer class.
When lining up a consumer grade system and business class system, you will most likely see similar processor speeds, similar memory capacity, and similar sized hard drives. So, why would you pay more for those items in a business class system? It is what you don’t see that is the issue. The costs of the system must be reduced somewhere. That usually comes in the speed of the motherboard, which is how fast the information can be moved around after the processor, memory, or hard drive is done with it. This plays a significant role in the overall performance of the system. A second item that is found in bulk on consumer systems is bloatware. This is all the unnecessary software that comes pre-installed by the manufacture on your computer. Each piece of software installed on the computer adds a footprint and takes resources, even if it is not running. This again, ties into the performance of the system.
Typically speaking, the performance of a consumer class system will not be as good as a business class system, especially over a 4-6 year time frame.
When it comes to using technology for work, compatibility is absolutely necessary. While technology advances, consumer computers change rapidly to stay up-to-date. This leads to compatibility problems in the boardroom or office, where technology is often bought in bulk and updated less frequently than consumer computers. For example, in the business world, in many cases VGA ports are still needed to connect to projectors, TV’s, monitors, etc. Legacy connections like these may not be commonly found on new consumer computers. A second item that tends to go under the radar is the version of Microsoft Windows installed on the system. Consumer grade systems typically have the “home” version of Windows, not the “business or professional” version of Windows. The “home” version of Windows will not properly attach to a “server” based network and even without a “server” based network, “home versions of Windows have reduced sharing capabilities.
The materials and manufacturing of consumer and business computers are vastly different. Business-class computers are commonly built with higher-quality materials than consumer grade systems. This is typically reflected in the warranty. Most standard warranties on business class systems are 3 years and they typically can be renewed for a 2-3 year extended window. Most warranties on consumer grade systems are 90 days to 1 year. That says something about the quality of the components being used.
Standardization is also a factor when comparing business class to consumer grade systems. Business class systems standardize on what is inside for significantly longer periods of time. Consumer-grade typically do not standardize on the components and the versions change at a more rapid pace. This can create complications when you are purchasing systems over several years, with consumer grade systems, everything is potentially always different.
When it comes down to it, business class computers are just that, made for business. If your company is considering consumer verse business class machines, be sure not to take the cheap route. Instead, choose quality, compatibility, and function.