All laptops created equal…, right? Wrong.
Monthly IT Support Update – April 2017
Given that last month’s email was a bit depressing with the whole automating our livelihoods caper, I thought I’d go back to some IT bread and butter this month to mellow things out.
We’ve had a few queries recently about the cost of hardware and software – specifically why there is such pricing disparity between consumer and business desktops and laptops.
A computer is just a computer, right?
Well yes and no, something you buy from Kogan or Harvey Norman for a few hundred dollars is going to be missing a whole lot of important business features. Everything is going to be minimum spec:
- poor processor,
- low memory,
- old fashioned storage,
- short battery life,
- poor quality screen,
- minimal warranty and
- budget operating system.
These cheap systems may work to a degree, but if your staff will be forever waiting for tasks to complete; not only will their efficiency suffer, but they will be calling for IT support all the time asking for unsolvable problems to be fixed. This hits your bottom line twice as hard!
Purchasing hardware that’s suitable for the job saves you money in the long term, and keeps your staff happy; that’s a win-win. You don’t have to spend mega-bucks either, however, there are some items that we always recommend with any new computer purchase:
- Three year manufacturer warranty – almost all computers come with a standard 12 month warranty, things won’t generally break during this time, but they’ll almost certainly break within three years. It might cost an extra hundred dollars, but a new machine will be far more expensive. As a business you can’t afford to be hassling the shop you bought it from to fix broken hardware with an unknown turnaround time. Manufacturer warranties can give you next day onsite support and peace of mind.
- Solid state drive (SSD) – flash based storage, as opposed to magnetic storage is at least an order of magnitude faster, and is now relatively cheap. A machine with an SSD is like a cheetah vs. the sloth you might be used to. No need to go and make a tea or coffee when you switch your machine on in the morning.
- Good quality screen – This one is more targeted towards cheap laptops, one area they always skimp on is the screen, low resolution, poor viewing angle and terrible colour. These are no good for anything, especially editing documents, spreadsheets or images – the toolbars take up the majority of the space! Any new machine should have a full HD (1920×1080) screen at minimum.
Aren’t you ripping us off?
We don’t have this question asked of us very frequently, but I’m sure it has crossed your mind when you see a quote for $2,000 laptop and there’s a $600 sale on down at JB Hi-Fi.
We do not quote on junk computers, we always build to the requirements of the specified work environment. Furthermore, margins on desktop and laptop computers are very tight, especially if you’re buying single or small orders (less than 100 machines). We do everything we can to keep costs as low as possible, but never sacrifice on performance, as it invariably leads to problems.
About the author:
Eden Freeman is Intuitive IT’s Director of IT and outsourced IT manager to our clients. Eden’s no-nonsense and practical approach to IT Management ensures his clients receive the best possible solutions for their IT needs. Eden works across our many and varied clients, ensuring best practice is implemented from a technology perspective and can communicate risks and ideas to the business at the same time. A unique and highly regarded set of skills that make him invaluable to the IIT team. Contact Eden here