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Compare and Contrast Computers: Business Grade vs. Consumer Grade

If your business is considering new computer purchases. you need to understand the differences between business-grade and consumer-grade machines.

These differences should inform your decision, as should a clear understanding of how the machines are used. In many cases, your company’s computers are used for hours each day, running sophisticated software programs and accessing data and information that needs to be fully and quickly loaded. Here’s a closer look at the main differences.


Consumer computers are built to sell. In order to keep prices down, manufacturers use cheaper, less expensive components — motherboards, sound cards, memory chips, speakers, storage devices and hard disk drives. These components are what collectively comprise your computer’s power, speed and performance. Business computers are often more customized and come with powerful motherboards, processors and other components designed for business use.


Most consumer-grade computers come with a one-year warranty, with little ability to extend the warranty. If your machine breaks, during the warranty period, the entire machine will need to be replaced. That means time without a machine and time needed to get a new machine configured correctly. Given the investment in and usage of business-class machines, warranties are generally longer, in some cases up to 5 years. Business users often get priority access to help desks and service, often via dedicated support line.


Most home users have a computer for basic programs — word processing, connecting to the internet, social media and email. Consumer models often come with the most basic home versions of popular software, without the advanced security and networking capabilities. Home computers also come with a lot of bloatware, — pre-installed versions of software, often with a free trial period. These programs can be a nuisance and conflict with your business-grade connectivity and anti-virus tools. 

Business computers are much different, running complex programs that demand a lot of memory. Increasingly, business applications and data are stored in the cloud, meaning reliable, high-speed access is a must. You’ll want a professional-grade version of your operating system and the memory and processing speed to handle your app demands. Other must-haves that are included on most business machines are remote-desktop access controls, encryption features and fingerprint readers, smart-card readers or other security enhancements.


Business computers are designed to withstand the daily wear and tear of office use. That means they last longer and, as noted above, have longer warranties that protect your investment. Shelf lives for consumer computers are much shorter.


Business computers will cost more, due to the better components, security features, operating system and warranty included. However, businesses can also gain quantity discounts from computer makers to reduce the per-unit price.

Having the right computers is essential for your business. At NetLogix, we specialize in helping companies understand their IT needs and developing cost-efficient solutions — from hardware to managed services to cloud computing — that solve your most urgent business needs. To schedule an initial free consultation, contact us today.


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