This may be the post-PC era, but if you're running a business, you almost certainly need traditional computers to stay productive and manage everything from payroll to projects. In short, the line between business computers and home computers may have blurred considerably in recent years, but that doesn't mean any computer will do for your business.
As you evaluate your options, consider these factors and tips from Staples, which helps small businesses make more computing happen:
Support: Many businesses, especially small businesses, rely on hardware and software makers for support. If you don't have your own IT staff (and even if you do), think about buying a computer with prepackaged support assistance. Look for top Hewlett-Packard models that come with Support Assistant, which installs automatic updates, schedules PC tune-ups, and streamlines access to HP technicians via online chats.
Security: Your computers hold valuable data, and you don't want to make it easy for thieves to walk off with that information. Aside from the security measures provided by your operating system, be sure to check if your machines can be secured to a desk. New Lenovo models help to safeguard the computer's physical security with a cable lock, padlock loop and chassis intrusion switch.
Portability: Even if your business has typically used desktop computers, don't dismiss laptops. Today's laptop computers and tablets pack a lot of power and can handle just about any computing task. Look for laptops with at least 8 gigabytes of RAM and a 750-gigabyte hard drive capacity for storing all your files and apps.
Screen real estate: Whether you choose a laptop or a desktop, be sure to focus on screen real estate, especially if your business requires employees to keep multiple windows open through the day. Look for laptops with a screen size at least 15 inches, also all-in-one desktops, or desktop bundles that include a monitor. Still not enough space? You can also consider an extra monitor.
Cost savings: If economy is a key concern, consider a Chromebook from the likes of Acer, HP or Samsung. These devices will be particularly suitable for businesses that use Gmail and Google Docs for work.
Touch screen: With touch-screen devices in their pockets and purses, today's computer users have grown accustomed to touch as a key to the computing interface. To bring touch-screen devices into the workplace, consider a Windows tablet, such as the Microsoft Surface, or a touch-screen laptop.
Specs and speed: Most of today's Windows computers are powerful enough to handle the vast majority of typical business tasks. But if you're planning to do serious graphics work, video editing or other processor-intensive tasks, be sure you're buying a computer with extra power, like 8 GB of RAM and Intel Core i7 and AMD A10 processors.
Windows 7 or Windows 8: When thinking about operating systems, think of the choice like this: familiarity versus the future. There's no easy answer to this question, but if you're currently upgrading from XP or don't want to invest in training for Windows 8, then Windows 7 is a suitable choice.
Visit www.Staples.com/businesscomputers to learn more about which business computer is right for you.