Business vs Consumer Grade Computers: What’s the Difference?

Myth: the computers you can buy online at Staples, Amazon, or elsewhere are perfectly fine to use for your business. In reality, there are some key business grade computer differences in quality and specifications from the ones you find online. While purchasing computers online can feel tempting because of the price, their affordability comes at a higher cost: the efficiency of your business.

So, what exactly is the difference? And how can the differences possibly be worth the added expense?

The answer boils down to a phrase we hear often: you get what you pay for.

What is a Consumer Grade Computer? 

A consumer grade computer is the kind of computer you’d use at home for all your personal needs. Activities like surfing the web, sorting through your photos, and watching the occasional YouTube video don’t require much power. Computers you find a killer deal on on Black Friday or Amazon are consumer grade and perfectly fine for these activities.

But, think about the things you need to happen at work. The applications you use at work are generally going to need more processing power. In addition, you want heightened security, lasting coverage, and high quality components. Unfortunately, most consumer grade computers don’t fulfill these requirements.

When you think about how different our work activities are versus our personal activities, it’s easy to see why two completely different types of technology might be needed for each environment.

The Benefits of Business Grade Computers

Higher Quality Parts

Higher quality means higher power, faster speed, and better security. Business computers have more processing power and more memory because they’re built to run more powerful applications than consumer computers. 

Slow computers can severely impact your business’ productivity and end up costing you more in the long run than investing in a business grade computer. In 2017, a study run in the UK found that employees were wasting an entire working day every month due to IT issues, costing an annual average of $44.9 billion to the UK economy. That is a lot of lost time and money simply because computers aren’t functioning as they should. 

Overall, the higher quality your computer, the faster and more powerfully it will run, boosting productivity and helping keep your business running smoothly.

Better Warranty

Business grade computers traditionally offer a longer warranty than consumer grade computers. This is largely because they are built to last longer than home computers. 

Whereas a consumer computer might only come with a 1-year warranty, business computers often offer at least 3-year warranties. Your computers are therefore covered longer, protecting your investment and ensuring your equipment continues to operate smoothly long after your initial purchase.

Longer Lifespan

Consumer computers aren’t built to last. They have a natural expiration date intended to force you to buy a new one. They often don’t come with the option to upgrade them for a longer life. For example, you may not have an additional memory slot to upgrade memory capacity and increase performance over time.

Alternatively, business grade computers are designed with upgradability in mind so that you can keep them longer and expand their performance when needed. Memory and hard drive upgrades can keep your equipment running longer and faster. Combine naturally longer lifespan with extended warranties and you’ll keep your business technology functioning at maximum efficiency for many years after your investment.

Less Bloatware

Bloatware is software pre-installed onto computers intended to market other products. Manufacturers allow other companies to install software that generates ads in the form of free trials and other junk intended to make you buy their services. The advertising companies pay the manufacturer, which is what drives the price of your consumer computer down.

A business computer, however, arrives completely ready to go. No need to remove unnecessary features or software that serve no other purpose than to bog you down and waste more of your hard earned money.

Money Now or Money Later

The ultimate difference between business vs consumer grade computers is how and when you spend your money. Business grade will cost you more up front, but save you from downtime, regular IT headaches, and frequent replacements.

We use our business computers for a daily average of 8-10 hours. This is simply the demand of running a business. Consumer grade computers are not designed for this intense usage. Combine high usage with the cheaper parts used to build them and they are guaranteed to fail faster than any business grade computer out there.

So, while it might be tempting to snag the next deal you see online, think twice before you click add to cart. Your upfront savings might cost your business more than those savings are worth in lost time, productivity, and maintenance. 

You get what you pay for and you owe it to your business to pay for the best.



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