Business Class vs. Consumer Grade Machines
Why would a business want to purchase a business class machines rather than consumer grade machine?
As a smart shopper you’ve probably recognized that the machines designated as business class carry a premium price over the consumer machines that you might find at an electronics store, mass merchandiser or online. So you may be asking yourself why should I spend the extra money to buy that business class machine when I can find something with specifications that appear to be identical and it costs less?
As a provider of IT services to businesses we have dealt with this question repeatedly over our 25 years in business and I can tell you that in most cases you’re better off paying the higher price and getting the business class machine. Yes, the specifications are very similar, however the differences are real but often hidden.
In our experience when you have a problem with that consumer class machine it will often take three to five business days to be repaired. The business class machine normally takes one or maybe two days. When you call for technical support you experience the same sort of differentiator, the consumer class machine means you get the less experienced support person and so the frustration factor with the entire process is higher.
If you aren’t an experienced IT person who knows what to look for you can inadvertently purchase a machine that has a version of the operating system designed for home not business and as a result it won’t connect properly to your business network.
We have had clients over the years purchase equipment from big box stores then ask us to connect it to their network. Our technical team would have to inform them that it was necessary to upgrade the operating system to a business-class operating system so that the machine could connect to the network. The dollars saved in that purchase were re-spent bringing the machine up to standards that suit a business class computer.
In closing; is it always a bad idea to purchase consumer grade equipment? No, but you need to understand the downside and be willing to accept the risk. That might include buying ten computers when you only need nine so that you have a spare when you need it.
By Barry Utesch, Owner TCS