As a business, your computer is one of your most valuable assets. A business computer contains all of your business's vital information – tax codes, inventory, payroll, employee information, trade secrets, debt records, payments received, payments made and more. Every item sold and every email sent is stored, in some form, on your business computer. Not only does this give your business a record for legal and tax purposes, but also provides a record of where you've been, where you are and where you're going as a business.
One reason businesses become successful is because they value the efficient use of time. This success often begins with a good computer. A slow computer at home might be frustrating, but a slow work computer wastes money. You can't afford to keep using a computer that slows every time you reply to an email while another program is running a report. If your computer freezes while you're processing a payment for a waiting customer, you risk losing their future business. A reliable business computer that can streamline multitasking without experiencing a drop in performance is essential to your business's success.
The Dell XPS 8700, Lenovo ThinkCentre M93p and Lenovo ThinkStation C30 are great examples of business computers, and they have the processors and memory capable of making sure that your time is well spent. If you're interested in learning more, you can read articles on business computers in our learning center.
A business PC will never be as cool as a gaming computer. The case isn't going to have fancy LED lights, and unless your business is video editing or audio recording, you most likely won't need a high-end graphics or audio card. Business computers are relatively boring because you won't be using your office PC for playing video games or watching movies. You'll be using your computer for storing data, making spreadsheets, calculating payroll, processing payments and more – all tasks that are about crunching data rather than crunching aliens or zombies.
In addition, the biggest differences between a business computer and a home computer is the quality of the components and the lack of crapware – trial software preinstalled on a computer to make it cheaper. The components inside home computers, particularly processors and motherboards, aren't made to run day and night like a business computer. In addition, the preinstalled crapware can be difficult to remove and can slow down your computer. Business computers should come with only the operating system installed to help you be efficient from the start.
Below are some of the criteria you'll want to consider when choosing a business computer.
The quality of a business computer's performance falls first on the processor, or CPU (Central Processing Unit). This component processes and executes data from all your software, as well as managing the computer's hardware components. It runs everything from your internet browser to your Excel spreadsheets.
Processors have cores and each core has threads. These threads are where data is processed. The best business computers have quad-core processors with four threads of executable data per core, which is like having the processing power of sixteen single core computers.
Since you won't be using your business computer for games or video, you shouldn't give much attention to a computer with a high-end graphics card. Most business computers have an integrated graphics system, which means that the processor is responsible for the graphics. However, a dedicated graphics card, which has its own memory and processor, can improve performance because the graphics are no longer a burden on your CPU or memory.
Memory & Storage
Memory, or RAM, is how a processor quickly accesses data in order to run software. A complex software program, like 3D rendering programs or video editing software, requires more memory to run efficiently. However, most business software, like Word or Excel, will easily operate with 4GB of memory without a hitch. The best business computers allow you to upgrade and add memory to meet your business' needs.
The hard drive is where all of your important files are permanently stored. It's like a warehouse-sized filing cabinet that can fit in your palm. How much storage you'll need depends on your business. The standard capacity for a base model is 500GB of storage. Some business computers come with a 1TB hard drive and some business desktop series allow you to upgrade to 4TB of storage. Hard drive storage is important if your business uses or stores many video or audio files.
As your business grows, you'll want to have a computer that can grow along with your needs. Consider purchasing a business computer that has expansion slots and drive bays that allow you to add or upgrade components so your computer doesn't easily become outdated. In addition, the number of USB ports determines how many external devices you can connect to your computer such as printers and external hard drives.
As you add components, you'll need more power, so you may want to consider the wattage of the power supply unit. An underpowered computer can cause irreparable damage to components, costing you time and money.
Help & Support
One of the biggest differences between a business computer and a home computer is the help and support offered by the manufacturer. Not only are business computers built with better components that have a longer life cycle than components on a home computer, but business computers often come with better warranty and service options.
The standard industry warranty for a business computer is three years. This coverage should include parts and labor. In addition, the best business desktop manufacturers allow you to extend and upgrade the warranty to include services like asset recovery, online data backup, remote diagnosis and onsite servicing. With this type of service, you don't need to hire an IT person because the manufacturer provides a certified technician to come to your business. This means that if your computer breaks down, you can be up and running again in hours instead of weeks.
When choosing a computer for your business, the cheap desktop you have sitting at home probably won't cut it. A business computer is an investment in the efficiency and success of your business. Take a look at the business PCs we reviewed and consider the criteria above to help you find the best business computer to help your business succeed.