In today’s financial landscape, both individuals and businesses have been tightening their belts to greater degrees than ever before. People simply want to conserve whatever cash they have, and this is rightfully so in these uncertain times. But keep in mind that with the remote workforce of today, there are certain gadgets that are an absolute must, such as Smartphones and Laptops.

While it may be tempting to get something cheap at the outset, keep in mind the old adage: “You get what you pay for”. So, how do you stretch your dollars in this regard? Here are some tips.

What You Need To Do

  1. Determine what your needs are:

Sure, the aesthetics of the device that you want to purchase should be visually appealing to you. But a purchasing decision has to go well beyond than just that. For example, one of the first things you need to ask yourself is if you need a home or business computer. While the differences of the two may be rather subtle at the outset, they have very different purposes. For example, the home computer is designed just for that: general Internet surfing, doing light work, accessing your personal social media sites, accessing videos, playing games, etc. But this option will not work if you own a business or need a system for working from home. In this regard, you are much better off looking at things in the long-term, which means spending more money in the beginning and getting a much more powerful computer that can handle such tasks as video conferencing, creating heavy duty presentations in Powerpoint, maintaining your company website, etc. Also keep in mind that business laptops are far better equipped to handle the Cybersecurity issues of today, such as handling the next generation firewalls and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs).

  1. Confirm the Operating System (OS) that you need:

There are three types of OSs that you can get with today’s computer. These are:

    • The iOS
    • Windows 10;
    • Different flavors of Linux.

Traditionally, the iOS has been best suited for those individuals and businesses that are heavy into the graphics arts areas. Linux is better suited for compiling source code that make use of open source software libraries. Windows 10 is obviously much better suited for business usage. In this regard, it is very important that you make use of Windows 10 Pro. Not only will this let you keep up with the latest software patches and upgrades in a much more expedient – and secure – fashion, but you will be able to toggle back and forth between different versions of business applications (such as Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams, etc.) more easily. Windows 10 Home edition has much more limited functionality in this regard. So while it may be more expensive to get Windows 10 Pro, it will be well worth it in the end for your daily work needs. Also, Windows 10 Home is bloated with extra applications that you really don’t need in the end. Not only will this take more hard drive storage, but more processing power as well on part of the Central Processing Unit (CPU). Another key point to remember: the security tools that come with Windows Home 10 are often made available from third party vendors, which is an extra expense to you. This is not the case with the Windows 10 Pro. In fact, many of these tools come to you at no extra cost.

Another factor to consider is that when you use the right Operating System (like Windows 10) your applications and productivity tools will usually be fully integrated. This makes it much easier and more seamless to get your job done.

  1. Home related PCs have cheaper parts:

True, you can get a home computer for as little as $200.00 these days. It will probably last you at most one and a half years. But cheap does not end with price alone. Very often, those kinds of PCs are also built with cheaper hardware as well – yes, the technical term for this is “refurbished”. When this happens, a very old or even damaged component is very often rebuilt with no new raw materials included in them. Because of this, there is a far greater chance of a system wide breakdown in the end, which will cost you even more to have repaired. How do you avoid all of this? Well, the answer is simple. Spend a little bit more cash and getting a good computer that falls in the price range of about $1,800.00 to $2,000.00, which most business laptops cost these days. Yes, this will give you sticker shock in the very beginning, but it will pay huge dividends in the long run. For example, not only with they last longer, but the parts that have been used to build them will be genuine, and not refurbished by any means.

  1. Try out your new business computer to the maximum:

Just because you bought your computer, it does not mean that you are stuck with it forever. Very often, depending upon where you purchased it from, you have a certain time window in which you can return your new computer. So during this time frame, test out your new business laptop as if it were a race car being driven in the Indy 500. Try out every feature and application that you can and test it all through the most processing power that your new device can muster. If it does not fit the bill, return it, and look for something else that will meet or even far surpass your needs.

Make sure that the new system will run all your business applications at the speed you need. If your system is too slow, it will stop you from being as productive as you need to be.

Conclusions

Overall, the rule of thumb in purchasing a new business laptop should include the following:

  • Windows 10 Pro;
  • At least 16 Gigs of RAM;
  • An SSD hard drive;
  • A webcam that is compatible with the Windows Hello tool. It provides for two factor authentication (2FA). This webcam should also be able to handle heavy duty usage for either Microsoft Teams or Zoom.

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