Setting up the right workstation for your business is more than just choosing between a laptop and a desktop computer. Sure, if your business demands you to be constantly on the go, getting a laptop over a desktop computer makes a lot more sense. However, there are other factors which should also be taken into consideration, such as the computer’s operating system, its processing speed, its overall storage capacity, and so on. In order to get the appropriate specifications suited for your particular business, you need to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of your computer. Here’s a list of all the essential computer components to get you started.
Screen size & resolution
Your computer screen is virtually your office desk, and, as in real life, you don’t want a small working desk that clutters easily. Getting a low-resolution (1366 x 768 pixels) screen will do just that, and you’ll end up scrolling and ‘alt-tabbing’ for most of the time. That’s why you should get a decent screen size with at least 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution, which will make its content fit perfectly on your interface without any awkward clipping due to its size. For desktop computers, this might seem somewhat less relevant, as monitors are bought separately and come in various sizes, but for laptops, it makes a world of difference as they cannot be as easily replaced.
In the past, computer data was stored primarily on hard disk drives (HDDs), which consist of a spinning disk that reads and writes data magnetically. This makes them somewhat susceptible to breakdowns, as data can get lost if power supply is interrupted. Nowadays, we have solid-state drives (SDDs), also called flash drives, consisting of flash memory chips and transistors which allows for much greater write and read speeds. In addition, reliable manufacturers offer much longer warranty periods and even monitoring software options, giving you much-needed peace of mind when it comes to the safety of your data. Hence, investing in a quality Samsung SSD makes sense for small business owners, as the stored data won’t get as easily compromised due to some unexpected mechanical malfunctions, making it more secure in the process.
RAM & CPU
These two are the heart and lungs of your computer, as they are responsible for the overall performance and speed of your computer. In essence, RAM keeps the ‘blood’ pumping up your machine’s circuits while dealing with multiple-tasks all at once, like opening multiple tabs in your web browser, and so on. On the other hand, the CPU determines the speed at which your computer processes data, and makes sure it doesn’t ‘run out of breath’. For small business owners anything between above 4 RAM (although 8 is better) and a processor speed of 2 to 3 GHz will be more than adequate.
Finally, you need a system software that will handle all of your computer’s programs, services, and hardware, aka an operating system. The three most common operating systems of today are Windows, macOS, and Linux. Windows is the most common and widespread of the lot, running 87,8% of the worlds operating systems, making it the standard choice for many a business worldwide. MacOs (Apple) is used by businesses focusing heavily on design and graphics and comes exclusively with Apple computers, whereas Linux is used primarily by the IT sector and can be installed on any desktop or laptop.
Bonus tip: Battery life
One of the biggest advantages of laptops over desktop computers is their ability to be used anywhere, even without a power source. However, this apparent flexibility is also a double-edged sword as laptop users are usually at the mercy of their battery lifespan, some last as little as three hours. Getting a better laptop battery is rather inexpensive and it’ll increase your batteries endurance so you don’t have to race against time to get things done.
In the end, it all depends on the type of business you’re running. For stationary workplaces, desktops offer more power, for lower the cost, and can be fully upgraded, whereas laptops offer greater mobility that comes at the cost of decreased raw power and a higher price tag.