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How to Choose a Business Computer

business.com editorial staff
business.com editorial staff

To keep your company running smoothly, you need a powerful and reliable business computer.

  • When you are searching for a business computer, consider features such as the type of processor, RAM, hard drive storage and more.
  • When deciding the price range of your business computer, you should consider factors such as how often it will be used, the types of features you need, and how much time you have to look for it.

A powerful and reliable business computer can be your most important productivity tool. There are many options for a computer – some are less expensive than others. But without properly researching and choosing a high-quality device, applications will run slowly, your computer may crash, and your employees' productivity and efficiency can suffer. As you look for a business computer, here are a few features and specifications to consider.

Processor

The processor is critical to your computer's performance. The processor is what allows you to run and utilize multiple applications simultaneously. Not all processors are created equal. First look at the number of cores. 

A single core's job is to send all the data to the processor. If the processor features multiple cores, each core is responsible for different computing tasks, instead of handling the entire system. This allows for a faster and more smooth computer experience. Additionally, a processor's cache is memory available for the processor's temporary storage. The more cache that is available, the more files the processor can quickly retrieve.

Also, consider the processor's frequency. This is the speed of the processor, measured in hertz. This is a good indicator of how quickly and how well the processor can perform.

Hard drive storage

Your hard drive is where all your files and documents are permanently stored. The amount of storage will vary by model, but, ideally, look for a computer with no smaller than 500GB of storage space. Many new business computers offer at least 1TB of hard drive storage, allowing you to store hundreds of documents, images and video files.

You may also want to consider a solid-state drive, instead of a traditional hard drive. They have no moving parts so they tend to last longer. 

RAM

Random-access memory, or RAM, is where your computer stores files for quick access. For example, the more applications you use simultaneously, the more RAM you will use. When most of your RAM is utilized, your computer will slow down significantly. Just like with hard drive storage, the amount of RAM will vary by model; look for business computers with at least 2GB of RAM to ensure optimal productivity throughout your workday.

Resolution

If you are going to conduct frequent video conferences or you work in a field dealing with graphics and other multimedia, you need a display with a high resolution. The higher the resolution, the sharper and more detailed images that will be presented. If you rarely work with images or video, the resolution of the computer should not be a high priority.

Ports and connectivity

The more ports and connectivity options featured on your device, the more you can use all your accessories. Popular options include USB 3.0, USB 2.0 and HDMI ports, along with an optical drive. But optical drives are becoming rare. If you don't absolutely need to use DVDs, it might be worth skipping this option. USB Type-C ports are very new and would be a good way to future proof your purchase, but make sure it's not your only port. Also, consider computers with Bluetooth capabilities for easier connectivity with other Bluetooth-enabled devices, such as your smartphones, tablets or even headphones.

Warranty

The warranty on your computer is important to cover any technical issues that may arise with your device. Many manufacturer warranties cover the parts of the computer and any servicing that needs to be completed. Most business computers are only covered for one year, but several of the best models are covered for three or more years.

Overall, your goal is to find a computing device that can handle all the work you do in your industry. Each model will vary, and it is up to you to find a device that is reliable, powerful and capable of all your desired asks.

What price range should you consider for a business computer?

According to Statista, the average cost of a business computer was $632. The price range for a business computer varies depending on an array of variables, such as the following:

  • Frequency of use: One of the top variables to consider before you set a price range for a business computer is how often you will use it. If you plan to use a computer for 8 hours a day on a consistent basis, you need a higher quality computer; therefore, you'll need to accommodate this by setting a higher budget.

  • Types of features: Consider the features you require. For instance, if you need a computer that is super fast or has a lot of memory, you will also spend more versus models with lower processing capabilities and lower RAM.

  • Timing: How much time do you have to purchase your computer? If the computer you've been using has died, you'll probably end up spending more money, because you need something immediately. However, if you have the time, search on sites for refurbished computers, or, alternatively, you can contact local businesses and other organizations to find out if they have barely used computers for sale.

Tech Radar Pro has identified some of the most popular types of business computers. They are as follows:

  • Dell OptiPlex 3050 Micro
  • Microsoft Surface Studio
  • Apple iMac Pro
  • Apple iMac (27-inch, 2019)
  • Apple Mac mini
  • Dell OptiPlex 3020
  • HP Elite Slice for Meeting Rooms
Image Credit: AndreyPopov / Getty Images
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