If you are a business owner, you are always looking out for the bottom line. When purchasing, replacing or upgrading your business workstations, it is tempting to try to save a few bucks by buying consumer grade computers. Especially when they are on sale, it can look like a wise purchase. After all, the prices are lower and, they are basically the same, right? Not really. And, you might think you are saving money but, in the long run, these machines will end up costing you significantly more.
Differences Between Consumer and Business Workstations
You may not be aware of the differences between consumer grade and business workstations. After all, they all look about the same on the outside. Here are some of the most significant differences:
Workstation Hardware Quality
Business workstations are built for the demands of business. This is why they sometimes cost a little more. What you don’t see on the outside are higher quality components that are designed and tested to meet the demands of business use. Consumer machines are often built from cheaper, off-brand parts. These may work fine under the load of a typical home user but may fail under the constant use in a business application.
Machine failure costs more than the price of repair or replacement. When an employee’s computer doesn’t work, the employee can’t work, and that means lost money. It is even more problematic if the machine is tied to a critical business function meaning the breakdown grinds everything to a halt.
Given that business workstations can often stay in service for 4-6 years, the difference in costs will easily pay for itself over the lifetime of the computer.
Workstation Service and Warranty
Even the highest-quality business-class machine can break down. When problems arise, the quality of the manufacturer’s warranty is essential. Business workstations usually offer longer warranties. The coverage of the warranty is also generally better. Some manufacturers offer priority support and on-site warranty repair for business models. This means the computer gets repaired faster and your staff can get back to work.
One thing you might not notice when purchasing a consumer-grade system is the pre-installed operating system. These models tend to come with stripped-down or “home” versions. When using a computer for business, especially if you are connecting to a network, software such as Windows 10 Home will not offer the features you need. This version is designed for single-user applications without complex network connections. So, after saving a few dollars on the machine, you will likely need to immediately invest the time and effort in upgrading the operating system.
Even if you are able to get by with a lesser operating system, consumer PCs are often pre-loaded with a bundle of extra, unnecessary software applications that will be a hassle to remove and tend to slow down your system.
Business workstations, on the other hand, come with a professional version of the latest operating system. These systems also come without any unnecessary software bundles. They are ready to use, ready to connect to your network, and set to run your business applications.
Making the Right Choice
When considering your next purchase, just remember, consumer-grade computers are designed for home use. Business workstations are designed for business. Save yourself time, money, and frustration by choosing wisely.