When it comes to buying computers for your small business, one word dominates the conversation:
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Advances in technology have created a seemingly endless list of choices in computers and computer-related equipment. The decisions you make will inevitably reflect the needs of your business. But to make the right decisions, you'll need to know what your options are.
Here is a sampling of the options at your disposal:
New vs. Used
The first thing you need to decide is whether you'll buy new computers or used ones. In reality, this is really not much of a decision. Constantly changing technology and decreasing costs make new computers your best option. Used computers will most likely be outdated and beaten up. They may also contain internal problems that you can't see until you set them up. New computers, on the other hand, are warrantied and often come with special software deals that are not available with used products. In the end, you'll spend far less time and money going new.
Desktop vs. Laptop
Next you will need to decide whether you'll need laptops, desktops, or both. The big advantage of laptops is portability. Today's laptops can go virtually anywhere and do virtually anything you need them to do. But in general, they have smaller processors and less disk space than desktops, and they are more expensive. You'll need to weigh those costs against your need for mobility. Many small businesses opt to purchase desktops for the office and laptops for employees who work outside the office. Assess your needs and decide what's right for you.
Mac vs. PC
By far, the biggest divisions among computer users revolve around the battle between those who favor Macintosh computers and those who favor PCs. Both are quality products. Both are capable of meeting the computing needs of your small business. But deciding which one is the best for your business will to a large degree be determined by the type of business you own. Most small businesses operate in a PC environment and format their files in a PC format. However, businesses that work in graphic arts and other creative activities tend to favor Mac formats. Your best option is to talk to other small business owners to determine the computer environment that is best suited to your industry. Some companies, especially the ones who regularly rely on computer technology to do business, find it best to keep at least one of each on hand to make sure they have the ability to meet all their computing needs.
Wireless vs. Cables
A recent advance in computing has been the move to wireless connectivity. Many computers now come with built-in wireless capability. This technology enables the user to connect to the internet via a wireless hub instead of through clumsy cables and wires. The wireless revolution has been especially beneficial to laptop users who can now surf the internet from virtually anywhere, provided they are in range of the wireless hub connection. Coffee shops, airports, and other public areas even provide wireless connections for their customers free of charge.