What’s the Difference Between a Consumer Computer & a Business Computer? (Read this Before You Buy!)

What’s the Difference Between a Consumer Computer & a Business Computer? (Read this Before You Buy!)

You see a great sale on a consumer PC and think that you can save a bundle by buying a few of those for your office. But you could end up with computers that can’t handle the needs of your business and aren’t upgradable. Not such a great deal after all.

It’s common to want to keep your costs as low as possible when buying hardware for your office, but if you don’t know the key differences between a consumer-grade PC and a business-grade PC, you could end up making a critical mistake.

There are big distinctions between computers designed for home and office use, and additionally, the ones you usually find on sale on Black Friday are even more stripped down than other models.

Why is it a better value to pay more for a computer designed for business when a home computer has a lower price tag? We’ll go over the important differences next and tell you why you need to look beyond the sticker price when shopping PCs for your office.

Reasons Not to Use a Consumer-grade PC for Your Business

Think about the types of things you do on a home computer as opposed to your work computer. Generally, the types of applications you use at work are going to be more powerful and require more performance capability to run smoothly. 

Your home PC might be used mainly for photos, home budget spreadsheets, or homework…things that you like to keep secure, but don’t require enterprise-grade encryption. Your work desktop computer could be storing your QuickBooks accounting file or have access to sensitive client data, and thus security is much more important.

Here are some of the key differences in computers designed for consumers and those designed for business. 

Faster and More Powerful

When it comes to things like processing power and memory, you’ll find that business PCs have more robust specifications. They’re designed to have the ability to run more powerful applications than consumer PCs, which could be anything from Adobe Illustrator to CAD design software.

Slow computers can drag on productivity and actually end up costing you more in the long run than if you paid less for a consumer-grade computer.

For example, if an employee loses an average of 60 minutes per day of productivity because their computer is slow, and they make $18 per hour. That ends up being a lost productivity cost of about $360 every month.

Better Security

Business-grade computers have higher security features incorporated into them to meet the needs of companies that have to comply with data privacy regulations like HIPAA or PCI. If you purchase a home PC, you may find that security is lacking.

Even the copy of Windows that comes with each PC has distinct security differences. Following are the features in Windows 10 Pro (comes standard on business-grade PCs) that Windows Home (comes with consumer PCs) does not include:

  • BitLocker device encryption
  • Windows Information Protection
  • Group Policy
  • Mobile device management
  • Assigned access
  • Dynamic provisioning

Better Warranty

You will typically get a longer warranty with a business-grade computer than you will with a consumer-grade computer. This also speaks to the fact that business PCs are made with better components that are designed to last longer than home PCs.

We researched two HP laptops, one consumer and one business to compare the standard warranties:

  • HP consumer laptop: 1-year limited hardware warranty
  • HP business laptop: 3-year limited parts, labor (3-3-0) warranty

So, you can see, you have more protection if anything goes wrong when you purchase a business-grade computer.

More Ability to Upgrade

Another shortcoming of many budget consumer-grade computers is that they don’t have much ability to make them better through upgrades. For example, they may not have an additional memory slot to allow a memory upgrade to increase performance.

Business-grade computers are designed with a capacity to upgrade their capabilities later, so you can keep them longer and expand their performance in a number of ways when needed, such as through memory or hard drive upgrades.

Less Bloatware

Bloatware are those annoying programs that double as advertisements that you never really asked for. Consumer-grade PCs are notorious for having a lot of bloatware on them, some with annoying popups that the user then has to deal with. 

PC manufacturers typically don’t put bloatware on business-class computers, so you’re starting with a cleaner PC hard drive that’s ready to deploy.

Business Appropriate Features

If you buy a home-use PC, you might end up finding out that it doesn’t have certain features that your business requires, like the ability to easily use remote desktop control. 

Business-grade PCs will often include features needed for professional work, including remote access software and fingerprint scanners for biometric logins.

Looking for Fast, Reliable Computers for Your Office?

Shopping for the right computers can be a daunting task due to all the options out there. B-Comp Services can offer you expert guidance on both hardware and software products, so you get the best value for your technology investment.

Contact our experts before you buy that next PC! We’re here for you at 303-282-4934 or online anytime.