Surprise! A Desktop PC May Be a Better Investment Than a Laptop

by QuickBooks

2 min read

Here’s a product you don’t hear much about anymore: the desktop PC. Yawn, right?

Although the big, boring, and boxy device may seem as dead as the VCR, don’t be so quick to give it a thumbs-down. Any technology you buy for your small business should be justified by its potential return on investment and not its “coolness” factor.

Reasons to Consider a Desktop PC

Here are four reasons to consider purchasing a desktop instead of a laptop:

1. Affordability — Desktop PCs almost always cost less than laptops and tablets. You can find decent, low-priced systems — at least 4 GB of memory, a 500 GB hard drive, three USB 2.0 ports, a third-generation Intel core processor, and a monitor — for $450 or so. (Don’t worry about a discrete graphics card unless you plan to do a lot with graphics or video.)

2. Expandability — Because desktops are relatively spacious inside, they offer more room to upgrade than laptops. Simply open the box and pop in more memory, a larger hard drive, or a faster graphics card. (If this makes you nervous, get someone to help you.) You’ll also find more external ports for hooking up storage drives, DVD-Rs, and so on, without having to use a USB hub.

3. Ease of maintenance — All of the reasons that make it easy to expand a desktop system (see #2) also make it relatively simple to maintain. Jobs that would send your laptop to a repair shop can be handled by anyone on your staff who is moderately handy and familiar with computers. Changing a hard drive or installing a video card are surprisingly straightforward tasks.

4. Power — As a small-business owner, you may need a lot of computing power at times, perhaps to edit a video for your website or to design a professional marketing brochure. The software applications you’ll use for those jobs, such as Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop, generally run best on a beefy desktop that’s equipped with a high-end graphics card. What’s more, these apps tend to tax the processor hard, which generates heat, a problem for many laptops.

Tips for Buying a Desktop PC

Is a desktop PC a good investment for your business? Here are several things to keep in mind when making purchase decisions.

  • One size does not fit all. Think about your computing needs as a whole: Some employees, such as sales reps in the field, obviously may benefit from using a laptop. Others, such as the folks in the back office, may do just fine with a basic desktop.
  • The latest all-in-one PCs are quite stylish. Depending on what type of business you’re in, coolness might count for something. A snazzy all-in-one PC on the receptionist’s desk may help dress up the room and make a positive impression on your customers. (They are, however, less easy to maintain.)
  • You may need to spring for a monitor. Don’t buy the cheapest one you can find. Your employees will be more comfortable and more productive if they don’t have to stare at a tiny, low-resolution screen all day. Modern monitors are spacious and offer high-definition resolution for a fraction of the cost of monitors built a few years ago.

Related Articles

How to Choose the Right Location for Your Small Business

You’ve done the initial legwork. You know your target market and the…

Read more

The Military Servicemember’s Guide to Starting a Business

Many of the personality traits that make a person an ideal candidate…

Read more

Your Financing Options

Current financing options are broken into three categories: Small Business or High-Growth…

Read more