Let’s face it, it is tempting. A PC is on special for $799 and they’re even throwing in a carry case! Couldn’t go wrong!
Unfortunately there is plenty that can go wrong for a business. As far as business PCs go, we want PCs (and laptops) that are reliable, can process our work as fast as possible, stay on for 12 hours at a time, don’t mind a bit of rough use during travel, and the ability to get it fixed when things go wrong with it. That’s a lot to ask for of an electronic machine! They not only store our work information but often our personal photos and information as well.
Computers that are for home use are significantly different to those that are used in businesses. Here are some of the reasons why:
The build quality of a Harvey Norman PC/Laptop and a business laptop is significantly different. Firstly the business range laptops from major computer manufacturers have gone thorough several iterations of learning what parts work best together. Each part that was faulty in a year, was improved in the next. Much like a good car manufacturer. The chassis used has far more research out into it than the cheaper ones. Chassis on devices are crucial to the way heat extraction is done. Heat extraction determines how well the parts will operate under pressure when you have 15 applications open. It could literally mean the difference between a blue screen of death or a phased PC.
Electronic devices have over 500 parts that make them work. That means there’s a lot that can go wrong. The warranty that most retailers offer is one year and sometimes you may be able to purchase an additional year. This is because the PCs are generally built to last around the 24 month mark. Where as warranty’s for the business range PCs and laptops can be extendable up to 5 years. They know that the build quality is good enough for it to last 5 years. A Warranty acts like insurance for your car does – and it is crucial to ensure that warranty is at least 3 years.
And when things do go wrong most business machine manufacturers like Dell, HP, IBM offer on site warranty. Meaning if the hardware goes wrong they will come to your home or office to fix it. Harvey Norman or JB Hifi will ask you to bring the machine in and leave it with them for 3 weeks at a time to get it fixed
Support and Service
If you ever need phone support the devices that are more expensive generally will also have more people on their support team. So you’ll find that Dell’s Vostro call centre will have a 2 hour wait and no call back service whereas Dell’s Latitude range will have no wait time and an alternate chat service.
Overall you get what you pay for when you buy a PC. If you’re okay with mediocre service, long hold times, blue screens, and fine not having a pc for 3 weeks while it gets fixed, then ‘retail range’ PCs are for you. If you’d like a PC that can stay on for 12 hours at a time, can handle several applications without restarting, and good service when things go wrong, then buy a good quality PC/Laptop once every 3 years.
Here is a quick checklist on what to look out for when purchasing PCs:
- If a price of a PC is too good to be true, question it!
- Ensure it has a warranty that states next business day
- Ensure it has a warranty that has onsite service
- Call the service centre and see how long you’re on hold to get to a support technician
- Check that the plastic quality doesn’t sound hollow