Buying a computer from a retail store can offer big savings, but are you buying the best computer for your business, or the best one for the retailer’s business? Find out why you need to “Go Pro!”
Consumer vs Business Computers
If you look closely at the computers for sale at most retailers, you’ll notice that they are nearly all consumer-grade. Consumer-grade computers are built to a price – giving the consumer the best technology for the lowest price. You end up with:
- Cheaper materials and lower build quality
- Shorter product life, 1 year warranty only
- Windows 8 Home version (no Windows 7, no server compatibility)
- “Bloat-ware” pre-installed, including consumer anti-virus
- No recovery disks included (make your own or lose it)
And don’t be fooled by the “extended warranties” – they are designed to cover the time when the computer is least likely to go wrong (years 2 and 3) and have too many exclusions to read – one of them will surely apply to you when the time comes to claim. You are better protected by new Australian Consumer Law which covers the “reasonable” life of any product, and is completely free!
Why Buy A Business Computer?
Why go “pro”? At first glance, business computers may appear more expensive, but they are designed to last longer, are compatible with corporate and server-based networks, and can come with upgraded warranties such as HP’s Care Packs (a true upgraded warranty with business-grade service level agreements). Some of the advantages are:
- High quality build and materials, computers designed for 3 to 5 year minimum life-span
- Upgradable warranties with various SLA (e.g. Next Business Day On-Site, 2Hr Response 24/7 On-Site, etc)
- Windows 7 Professional (with Windows 8 Pro license) fully compatible with Servers and AD cloud services
- Recovery disks included
- Remote power management (Intel computers with vPro)
- Business-grade accessories (docking stations, etc)
The total cost of ownership (TCO) of the life of the computer is considerably less with a business computer. They are cheaper to set up, require less on-site maintenance, and parts are less likely to fail. If they do fail, they are covered for full on-site replacement at the manufacturer’s expense and in a timely manner.
We can supply business-grade desktop, laptop and high-end workstation computers from HP, Lenovo, Sony and Toshiba, complete with extended warranties, software and accessories. Please contact us for a quote.
Q1. You said extended warranties were no good, but want to sell me a Care Pack? What’s the difference?
A1. Lots! HP Care Packs (and similar upgrade warranties from other vendors) come with a Service Level Agreement – a proper contract that commits the vendor to send out a fully-qualified technician to replace any defective parts within the agreed time-frame.
For example, upgrading to a 3 year Next Business Day onsite warranty from the vendor will guarantee that a technician gets to you the next business day with a replacement part (subject to parts availability). Conversely, an extended warranty from a retailer has nothing to do with the manufacturer and is issued by a 3rd party as a quasi-insurance policy. They will usually just “pay out” a cash equivalent to the computer’s current value, often a fraction of the purchase price, after making one or more cursory attempts to repair it. We have seen several computers come back from these “3rd party warranty” repairers in a worse state than they were in beforehand.
Q2. Why can’t I get Windows 7 in the shops any more?
A2. Microsoft withdrew Windows 7 media from distribution, and their license agreements with vendors allow them to dictate when to stop selling Windows 7 licenses. All computers now are sold only with a Windows 8 license attached.
Q3. If Microsoft forced vendors to license only Windows 8, how can they sell computers with Windows 7?
A3. All versions of Windows have had a Professional and Home version available. Windows 3.1 had Windows for Workgroups, Windows 95 had NT Workstation, Windows ME had Windows 2000 Pro, XP Home had Pro, etc. The Professional versions come with downgrade rights, allowing you to install the previous Professional version of Windows. Therefore, vendors can sell computers with a Windows 8 Pro license attached, but with Windows 7 Pro pre-installed and activated. They will come with both Windows 7 and Windows 8 recovery media.