Business models

Even if you have no road warriors on staff, the ability to be productive in every nook and cranny of the office makes the laptop-vs-desktop decision an easy one. Consumer models also tend to have shorter life spans, with sexy newness trumping longevity. Two consumer laptops that appear to be the same model could contain different components, since vendors tend to source whatever is least expensive at the time.

There are a lot of things like that that large enterprises do that small businesses could learn from and apply on a small scale. Drivers work, accessories are interchangeable, and even when the machine is out of warranty and breaks, it can be cannibalized for parts to repair other units. There’s a reason some laptops sell for rock-bottom prices at the local big box store: their relatively cheap, plastic-heavy construction compromises their long-term durability. People buy machines with home editions of the operating system and then wonder why they can’t join them to the domain, he notes. Bourne. This can cause issues such as driver incompatibilities. Even keyboards and track pads are coated with materials that result in less long-term wear no more shiny spots after three months of use. Brian Bourne, president of Toronto-based CMS Consulting, points out that smaller organizations can save themselves a lot of grief by applying more rigorous IT and business protocols to such purchases.
In fact, in the first quarter of this year, twice as many portable PCs were shipped in Canada as desktop computers, according to IDC Canada. Every machine should have complete warranty coverage, says Mr.

Bourne says, Small businesses are more likely to run equipment out of warranty. The price may seem high, but the first time a user slams the lid of a laptop shut on the car keys and cracks the screen (true story, by the way) it will have more than paid for itself. Instead, he recommends spending a few extra bucks on a business-grade laptop. Business models, on the other hand, tend to be reliably consistent, with the same components in machines of a given model.6 million. With our increasingly mobile work force and the powerful and inexpensive laptop machines now available, it makes no sense to buy a desktop computer, says independent analyst Carmi Levy. Spring temper furnace Bourne says. And, Mr. Another factor to consider, says Mr. Today’s collaborative work teams absolutely need the kind of tote-it-anywhere capability that only a laptop can offer, he says. A domain computer can be centrally managed, making life easier for the administrator, whether thats an IT expert or the boss. Selecting a laptop for business use is not, however, simply a matter of picking up whats on sale. And, increasingly, that computer is a laptop. Thats just over a million units out of a total of 1. What works at home probably wont survive the average office environment, Mr. Magnesium or aluminum typically replaces cheap, flexible plastic in case and chassis construction.

These days, it’s virtually impossible to run a business of any size without a computer. Bourne, is the operating system. Look for corporate-focused machines that are built to higher standards. Hard drives ship with built-in shock absorbers to protect data in the event the machine is dropped. Impressive gains were made in the consumer and small office spaces especially, according to IDC. For small businesses without their own in-house IT department, this kind of support is crucial to maximizing uptime and ensuring business continuity in the even of hardware failure. Levy says. In today’s office, mobility is king and the desktop PC is virtually dead for most mainstream users. In addition, he says, they typically come with longer, more comprehensive warranties, as well as improved access to corporate support resources like technical-support help desks and service departments. Laptops are on a roll. Complete coverage, which is branded differently by each vendor, covers not only the usual component failures but accidental damage. For example, buying consumer machines for business use is false economy, Mr.

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