Consumer or Business Grade - What’s In a Computer?

Consumer or Business Grade - What’s In a Computer?

Everyone thinks the best thing to do when you need a new laptop, whether it be you’re replacing a dying/old laptop, or you’re buying your first laptop, that the key to look for is the specs, and nothing else. While yes, specs do mean longevity, performance and others, if you came across two laptops with the same specs, but one was $250 cheaper, you’d obviously buy that one. Why spend that extra $250? Here’s why:

As with any laptop, specs are king – or at least, that’s what the marketing will let you believe. The age-old idiom of “You get what you pay for” is king in the computer world, whether that be laptops or desktops. If you spend $3500 on a Mac desktop, you’re getting mid to top end hardware in a shiny fancy metallic enclosure. You’re getting stability and recovery options that Windows based machines can’t even come close too, but you’re also getting limited and expensive repair costs, and technical support is either hard to come by or expensive as well.

Almost any consumer grade based laptop or desktop is made of plastic. Any time plastic is heated and cooled repeatedly (aka. When you turn your laptop on and off), that plastic weakens the structural integrity. One day you’ll wake up and go to your laptop, open the lid and *CRACK*, the hinge your lid opens on splits in half, and you’re now not able to open the screen. You can either plug it into another monitor if your laptop supports it, or you’ll have to get that hinge fixed. In our experience, replacing the bottom plastic shell and hinge assemblies on LCDs are so expensive, that it’s more profitable for you as a consumer to buy another laptop. You’ll then have to go through the hassle of transferring your data, re-acquiring your software, disposing of the broken laptop, and more. Plastic structural integrity could fail in as few as 50 heat/cool cycles, or as much as 1000. You could get lucky, or you could get a lemon that isn’t covered under any warranty. Now you’re out $200, and a new headache is forming.

Business grade laptops, available at most high-end computer shops such as ACT360 Web & IT, are usually made of metal, or from a robust polymer that doesn’t weaken when heated and cooled repeatedly. These laptops, while more expensive usually, come with the same or exceed the specs of a consumer grade laptop, and are manufactured and engineered to last a company 5+ years. For a small investment, you wouldn’t need to be replacing everything every other year. You’ll get the same or better warranty, and components inside (what makes up the specs) are usually a higher quality part, or a name brand component, not a “as cheap as we can find to drive the price down” consumer grade part.

A handy breakdown of what specs you should be asking about, or looking for, will be coming within a few weeks, so stay tuned. As always, if you have any questions regarding the differences between business and consumer grade computers, please don’t hesitate to contact us!