If your small business is planning to invest in new computers, it is essential to be aware of the differences between business class and consumer grade devices. Understating these differences will not only help you pick the right device for your business but also save money, avoid downtime, and better plan your technology budget.
How often will this machine be in use? If it is going to be constantly running for +40 hours a week, a business class device is the clear choice. Business class computers are built to hold up to higher workloads and often are outfitted with higher quality hardware. Consumer grade devices are built to sell and often come with inferior components from lesser-known brands.
Warranty & Support –
Most business class devices come with an extended warranty or the option to purchase one. We always recommend extending a warranty as a new computer from a reputable brand shouldn’t need to be replaced for several years. And a good warranty can help avoid downtime. Business class warranties often provide priority access to repairs, replacements, and support from the manufacturer. This priority can mean the difference between days or weeks of being without your computer. Consumer grade devices typically come with a standard 12-month warranty and don’t always have the option to be extended.
Business class devices often come with advanced security features, such as encryption tools and mobile device management. Additionally, most come with the Professional version of the operating system. The Pro version is often a requirement for the device to access business networks and assets. A consumer grade device without the right operating system could require an additional investment of $100 to upgrade the OS AND the time investment of waiting while it is installed.
Consumer grade devices also regularly ship with pre-installed software, also known as bloat-ware, that is difficult to remove and can conflict with business applications.
Consumer grade computers typically use mass-produced components. While they aren’t as reliable or robust as the more quality components found in business class devices, they are easier to find when a part needs to be replaced. Another reason why an extended warranty is so important when investing in a business class device.
Business grade devices are built just for that, business. Consumer grade devices offer much more stylized options such as chicklet keyboards, detachable screens, or color options. Some of the top-tier business devices do offer sleek looks and designs but are not as customizable as their consumer grade counterparts.
Business class devices are almost always the more expensive of the two. Superior hardware, extended warranties, and advanced software and security features mean a higher price tag. Consumer grade computers give you the opportunity to shop for the best price or desired feature that fits your budget and needs. It is worth noting that a consumer grade device will save money in the short term but will have to be replaced much sooner than a business class equivalent.
Our recommendation? If you plan to use your new computer to help run your organization, invest in one designed for business. It will pay off in the long term with robust features, longevity, and dedicated support. Looking for an IT partner than can help with technology purchasing, budgeting and support? Reach out to us today.