All laptops created equal…, right? Wrong.

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All laptops created equal…, right? Wrong.

Monthly IT Support Update – April 2017

Hi all,

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 a pricing disparity between consumer and business desktops and laptops.

When we send through quotes for hardware, we sometimes get responses back such as:

  • That is a bit more than I wanted to spend.
  • I can get that cheaper down at Harvey Norman.
  • I just wanted a laptop for my business.

A computer is just a computer, right?

Well, yes and no, something you buy from Kogan or Harvey Norman for a few hundred dollars less will miss many essential business features. Everything is going to be minimum spec which means:

  • poor processor (slower),
  • low memory (slower),
  • old-fashioned storage (slower),
  • short battery life (annoying),
  • poor quality screen (annoying),
  • minimal warranty (increased downtime)and
  • budget operating system (incompatibilities).

These cheap systems may work to a degree, but if your staff is forever waiting for tasks to complete, not only will their efficiency suffer, but they will be calling for Business IT support all the time, asking for unsolvable problems to be fixed. This hits your bottom line twice as hard!

Purchasing hardware 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 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 most of the space! Any new machine should have a full HD (1920×1080) screen.

Aren’t you ripping us off?

We don’t have this question asked of us frequently, but I’m sure it has crossed your mind when you see a quote for a $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 buy single or small orders (less than 100 machines). We do everything we can to keep costs as low as possible but never sacrifice 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 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

About the author

Eden has over a decade of experience in the IT industry. Working with numerous organisations from a diverse range of industries; education, finance and renewable energy to name a few.

Prior to joining Intuitive IT Eden worked at a top tier Managed Services provider which gave him valuable experience in a wide array of enterprise level technologies and customer environments.