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How to Choose a Computer for your Business
You get the most out of your technology. You have been using your latest computer for about 4 years. And now you are noticing just how slow that computer has become. Needs change and you need something that keeps pace with your business. But what should you be looking for? Let's sit down and do a consultation. This is the same advice that I would give my clients if asked this question.
Mobile or Desk Bound
The first question you need to be asking is a basic one. Does your business dictate a laptop or a desktop computer? If you make frequent presentations on the road, a laptop is a must. If you want something that is on the highest end of processor power, you should consider a desktop computer. Desktop computers always run higher on processing power than laptops. Laptops require miniaturization and, as such, take longer to develop. Hence, they are always behind the power curve. Will this computer be acting as a server? Will it "serve" up files to other computers on your network. If that's the case, you won't be wanting to take that out of the office. That would disconnect users from their data. And that's a no-no.
The Price Point
Never ever go after a computer based on an initial price. Most brand name computer manufacturers have learned a marketing trick. They put a computer sticker price at the lowest possible price. But this price will not be the price you will pay. Unless you want the barest bones computer you can imagine. You will almost always end up paying hundreds more than the initially quoted price once you're done. It's just a sneaky way to get you "in the door." But there are other reasons you should never go on price alone.
It's All About Support
Probably the single most important factor for choosing a computer these days is support. What kind of support will you have once this company has made a sale? A while ago, computers differed tremendously in their configuration and components. But things have changed. Now, computers are incredibly modular. Most of the major manufacturers use very similar, or identical, components. There are many reasons for this change, but all you need to know is that the main issue isn't components anymore. It really is about the post sale support. Research your manufacturer and get the "skinny" on their class of support. If you are going after a local cheapy beware. Sure, you may get an excellent deal, but will they be around if the computer breaks?
The Middle Road is Golden
People tend to make one of two mistakes when they buy a computer. They either tend to buy too little computer or too much. Don't go after a super cheap computer. It's almost always a bad idea, unless you happen across a great deal. In my experience, this rarely happens. Also, don't get top of the line components in your computer. You will pay a premium for these items. And in six months, you will be kicking yourself as those components have depreciated tremendously. A good rule of thumb is to look at the low and high ends and pick something in between. You will get a great deal for your money and it will last you many years.
A lot of computer vendors are in the habit of stuffing software onto systems. They will give you everything you don't need. This gives the illusion of value. But really that software will just bloat your system. You only need a few pieces of software really. Obviously, there is the operating system, or OS. This will most likely be Windows. Then you need an office suite. Again, this will most likely be a Windows based product like Office. As a sidenote, you may want to look at Openoffice(openoffice.org). It's free and is compatible with Microsoft Office. Just make sure you get the right version of Office. This is especially true of Powerpoint, Microsoft's presentation software. Not all versions have Powerpoint included.
Don't get bogged down in all the options. Just remember, most computers are basically the same. They have most of the same hardware and software. I have discussed some of the major differences. Remember, in this day and age, it really is about the support.
Copyright 2006 Jack Knows Inc.
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