If you’re thinking about buying a computer for your business, please read this, PLEASE! Buying a computer is one of the most important business decisions you will make. Your computer is the backbone of your business, besides you, of course. First things first, you’ll need to figure out the type of programs you’ll need to use and plan accordingly to make sure you’re choosing the best business computer.
The best advice I can give you is this: don’t try and save on startup costs by buying something cheap. You can, for example, choose certain models and brands with the tech specs you need to save on costs. However, if you’re going into buying a computer with this mentality, it’s not going to work out well.
Lucky for you, I’ve probably made all the wrong choices with computers. If anyone can warn you about the horrors of choosing the wrong computer, it’s me. My computer served me in two very different work settings: research and digital marketing. I’ve had the same Lenovo CPU N2840 @ 2.16 GHz running Windows 8 on a 64-bit Operating System. Simply put, it’s a light laptop that has a touchscreen and decent battery life. I didn’t put much thought into buying it. I needed something light because I was on the go. Furthermore, I was a student and had a tight budget, so cheap was all I cared about. All I needed my laptop to do was Word, Excel, and a few data analysis programs, like STATA. It was on the slower side, which wasn’t ideal. but wasn’t a deal breaker. For the price, it did its job and didn’t break the bank.
Here is where all goes wrong. The move into digital marketing with this 2-year-old laptop has been a nightmare. I need to move quickly from website to website while downloading, editing, and creating media. Can I do that? Absolutely not. A simple 3-minute video would take 1.5 hours to convert. The worst part? During the process, doing anything else on my laptop was nearly impossible. It slowed down my system, or it would crash my computer, making me lose work. It was rough, each day, I knocked off 2 -4 billable hours due to tech problems.
The reason it’s so slow is it didn’t really care or listen to the tech specs. This has come back to haunt me. Take a wild guess how much RAM is on my laptop. 4 GB. That’s right 4 GB of RAM. The recommended amount of RAM needed to run Windows adequately, not great, but adequate, it 4 GB to 6 GB. I’m on the lower end of the spectrum for basic adequate use, let alone professional. To give you more of an idea how bad it is, the new Samsung Note 8 has double the amount of RAM.
This little anecdote shows that cutting corners on tech can really hurt you in the long-run. The same goes for not doing adequate research on what programs and platforms are right for your business. When you think about price and cost, you shouldn’t just think about it in terms of dollars, think about it also in terms of time. Yes, time is money. Don’t forget it.
For Choosing the Right Business Computer, we’re bringing you our best tips to make sure you don’t end up wasting your time and money.
Choosing the Best Business Computer – Ask for Advice.
Think about your purchase in the long-run. You expect your business to boom. Now, I’m not saying go buy something that will break the bank, but you do want something you can grow into overtime. You might not use all the functions at first, but you will in time. How do you know what functions you’ll need? That will depend on your business. My best advice to figure out what you’ll need? Ask around. Check in with other business owners and see what they recommend. Join some Facebook or LinkedIn groups to see what others in your sector are using, what they like and why.
Choosing the Best Business Computer – Mac or PC.
The battle of Mac vs. PC when choosing the best business computer has been going on for quite some time. Both have immense pros and cons. Here are few comparisons on four important considerations: security, operating system, software, and quality.
Choosing the Best Business Computer – Mac or PC – Security.
Mac. “Compared to a PC running Windows, Apple Macintosh computers are less vulnerable to viruses and other malware. However, viruses are beginning to target Apple computers due to the lack of experience that manufacturers have when it comes to fighting viruses on the Mac operating system,” says ComputerHelp.com.
PC. “Many people today are using computers running some version of Microsoft Windows, which makes it a large target for attackers. Windows computers are very susceptible to viruses and malware, especially if not protected by an antivirus program,” says ComputerHelp.com.
Choosing the Best Business Computer – Mac or PC – Operating System.
Mac. “ The Apple Macintosh operating system is often a much cleaner, faster performing, and more stable operating system than all versions of Microsoft Windows,” says ComputerHelp.com.
PC. “Although Microsoft has improved its operating system with Windows 7 and Windows 10, many PC manufacturers still bundle bloatware with their computers. With this extra software and drivers from dozens of manufacturers, the Windows operating system can be slower in performance and less stable,” says ComputerHelp.com.
Choosing the Best Business Computer – Mac or PC – Software.
Mac. “The available software options for an Apple computer are greatly increasing, with many software titles that are exclusive to Apple, as well as many that also run on Microsoft Windows. However, there are still more software programs available for Windows computers, largely due to the higher number of Windows computers on the market. Through the use of Boot Camp, an Apple user can run Windows and many of its programs,” says ComputerHelp.com.
PC. “More people are using and developing software for PC’s running Windows, which means there is a larger selection of software available for Windows. There is also an almost endless supply of 100% free programs, some that run on Apple computers, but the majority of which run on Windows computers only,” says ComputerHelp.com.
Choosing the Best Business Computer – Mac or PC – Quality.
Mac. “The Apple Macintosh computer is often built with a lot better materials when compared to most PC’s,” says ComputerHelp.com.
PC. “To help keep the overall costs low, some PC manufacturers build their computers from plastics and other cheaper materials when compared to a Mac. However, there are also PC manufacturers who meet and sometimes exceed the quality of Apple computers and Apple still does use plastic in some of its products,” says ComputerHelp.com.
Choosing the Best Business Computer – RAM.
Please learn from my mistakes. If the average smartphone has more RAM than your computer, I don’t care what industry or business you are in, you’re asking for trouble. Why is RAM important? Ram, or Random Access Memory, is one of the most crucial parts of your computer. It gathers and retains some or all of the calculations, data, or instructions to be stored temporarily. The amount of RAM will determine how quickly and efficiently you can get something done. Don’t for anything less than 8 GB of RAM, if you are an average computer user. If you use more advanced programs or do anything will videos, don’t choose anything under 16 GB of RAM.
Choosing the Best Business Computer – Hard Drive.
The RAM is the temporary memory, but you also have the permanent memory which is your hard drive. There are a number of options when it comes to hard drive sizes. People are becoming less concerned with the size of the hard drive because they use a cloud system or external hard drive. While this is great and you should be doing this, you still need to make sure everything is easily accessible on your device.
“Hard drive size is measured in gigabytes (GB) or terabytes (TB). One TB is the same as 1,000GB and is enough room for a lot of stuff. You’ll only need more if you work with or store large video files. Many computers now use solid state drives (SSDs) instead of a hard drive. SSDs are faster and more reliable because they have no moving parts. If you have the choice, it’s usually better to opt for a smaller SSD over a large HD. Look for: at least 250GB in a desktop or laptop computer,” says TechDounut.uk.
Choosing the Best Business Computer – Laptop or Desktop.
This is another option that will depend on you and your business. Both have pros and cons. Desktops are more secure and are less likely to get stolen or fall into the wrong hands. Laptops are portable, which is great if you need to leave the office for a natural disaster or if the internet goes down, but the security is inferior to the desktop. If you can, go for a laptop. Portability will never become a nuisance. Just make sure it has all its security settings and software updated.