What To Consider When Buying Computers For Your Business
Small-to-medium-sized businesses of all industries need to keep their employees equipped with quality, reliable computers to keep workflows going. Yet, many small business owners are trying to maximize restrictive budgets.
How can you equip your employees with the machines they need without exceeding your IT budget? And how do you know what to buy? Should you get the HP refurbished laptop or a brand new Dell desktop?
Read on to learn how to pick the right machine for your employees.
Choosing Specifications: Low or High-End?
PC performance depends on a wide variety of factors, including CPU speed, GPU power, storage, and RAM. We can generally categorize business devices into three performance tiers.
- Low-end machines have basic CPUs like Intel’s Pentium or i3 lineup. They might have a traditional hard drive and a low amount of RAM (generally 8 GB or fewer). These machines work fine for basic office tasks like word processing and spreadsheets but can struggle with advanced tasks.
- Mid-range machines have mid-range CPUs like Intel’s i5 lineup. Storage might include a small solid-state drive (much faster than a traditional hard drive), and RAM will likely be around 8 GB. This range typically encompasses the most cost-efficient machines, and the majority of business users will be pleased with the performance on offer here.
- High-end computers can boast i7 CPUs with multiple cores and offer high clock speeds. They have solid-state drives to greatly speed up responsiveness, and the RAM available can reach 16 GB and beyond. High-end machines are necessary for demanding applications, such as video editing, 3D design, and music production.
Cost can reflect more than just performance. Ease of use is another contributing factor to price, and you might notice that high-end laptops can be thin and light, making them easier to carry around, but they’ll be more expensive than bulkier laptops with the same specs.
Choosing a Form Factor: Desktop, Laptop, or All-in-One?
Choosing between a desktop, a laptop, and an all-in-one comes down to what the machine is used for, who is using it, and where it will be placed in the company.
When to Buy Desktops
The classic tower PC like Dell’s Optiplex line and Lenovo’s ThinkCentre that connects to a monitor, keyboard, and mouse has been around since the early years and is a well-known form factor throughout the business world.
Since all the internal components of a desktop computer are easily replaceable and mass-produced, they’re cheaper to repair.
- Great price-to-performance ratio
- Capable of massive GPU or CPU performance
- Easily replaceable and upgradeable internal parts
- Bulky and not portable
- Requires power directly from the wall
- Susceptible to power outages (we’d recommend using a Uninterrupted Power Supply or UPS for surge protection and backup battery to protect from spikes, surges and temporary power outages)
When to Buy Laptops
Mobile technology has become far more powerful in recent years, and now most people will be more than happy with the performance of a solid business laptop computer like a Lenovo ThinkPad or HP Elitebook.
A regular laptop is more than enough for most professionals, and the portability is a convenience well worth the trade-off. Remember that you can still use a larger display if you plug a laptop into it, directly or through a docking station.
- Portable. Able to run without wall power for some time
- Can run even when the power’s out
- Performance is sufficient for the majority of basic office tasks
- Small form factor makes high-performance machines more expensive than desktops
- Cost efficiency is usually lower than desktops
- Not many internal components are upgradable and repairs are more costly
When to Use All-in-Ones
All-in-ones are uncommon and take up a small but still present niche in business use. The main selling point for these machines is how elegant they can look: a single self-contained unit combined with maybe a wireless keyboard and mouse just looks clean and organized on a desk. It’s not uncommon to see these devices in hotels for guest use for this reason.
However, all-in-ones have many of the same disadvantages as laptops without the portability aspect. It’s not easy or inexpensive to open up and repair and upgrade an all-in-one, and the limited space doesn’t leave much room for true performance-optimized components.
Still, in places where appearance counts, an all-in-one might be a perfect niche device to add to your IT budget. You’re also saving on desk space, so it’s ideal for professionals who do a lot of writing or paperwork while working on a small computer desk.
- Minimizes desk clutter with potentially no cables
- Access to a large built-in screen
- Requires power directly from the wall
- Susceptible to power outages
- Not many internal components are upgradable
Choosing a Condition: New, Used, or Refurbished?
In an ideal world, we’d all have brand new machines to work with. But turning to a Dell refurbished laptop instead of a new one might be necessary to squeeze more mileage out of the IT budget. Don’t worry though; you aren’t taking too many risks or concessions in doing so as long as you know where to look.
When to Buy New
The advantage to buying new is clear: you’re getting a brand new machine fresh out of the factory with little chance of defects. The seller almost always offers a warranty, post-purchase technical support, and a return policy.
The disadvantage: the cost will be significantly higher than going used or refurbished, and today’s IT budgets have little room for this method of procurement unless you’re a large enterprise.
When to Buy Used
A used machine certainly saves you money, but the problem is that you lose a lot of the benefits of buying a new like a warranty, a service guarantee, and a return policy. And anybody who has perused consumer markets before knows that quality control is very inconsistent in used markets. Buying used also invites the risks of unknown defects and potential for malware.
Another strike against used machines in a business context is the inability to purchase in bulk most of the time.
When to Buy Refurbished
Companies on a budget should explore the refurbished market as the way to go, especially when buying electronics in bulk. Refurbishers thoroughly inspect, repair, and test every machine they sell, so it’s functioning at peak performance.
As long as you choose a certified refurbishing service, the level of quality you receive is basically on par with buying new devices. Best of all, you still get a warranty and a service guarantee. Business IT departments buying in bulk should also look to the refurbished market to maximize their savings.
Reach Out to Refurb.io If You’re Buying in Bulk
Are you a value shopper or a bulk buyer? Are you a business owner or an IT professional looking to equip your teams with quality computers? Refurbishing is an excellent opportunity to maximize your budget without overpaying for reliable computers.Refurb.io is certified by Microsoft to provide Grade-A and B refurbished computers; we even offer free shipping within Canada. We’re we even include a full year of warranty on all our products. Ready to make the most of your IT budget? Check out our listings for certified refurbished desktop computers, laptops, and other devices and accessories.