Our contemporaries over at Daveway Tech hit the nail on the head when it comes to why you should purchase business-grade computers. In our experience, the computers available off the shelf at the big box stores like Best Buy, Staples, and Walmart are all a bad decision for your company. It seems that inevitably, the reason for the disposal of consumer-grade equipment ends up being a major hardware failure on the motherboard that’s not worth repairing. On the other hand, business-grade computers are usually disposed after years of service and being deemed too slow compared to newer models. Generally speaking, they are still fully functional computers and find a second life after being donated to charitable organizations. Spend a little more today and save more in the long run.
On a related note, there are “white box” (aka generic, custom-built, no-name) computers. These computers are built by a local company with parts that are sourced from between four and 15 different vendors. Our opinion on these computers is generally poor. Even if you assume that high-quality parts were used, and that it was assembled with care, a white box computer still has two unique problems compared to brand-name equivalents. Microsoft gives the major PC manufacturers a very large discount on Microsoft Windows that local builders will never be able to take advantage of and instead of one computer warranty to deal with, you now have from four to 15 different warranties to deal with. If there is ever a hardware problem with one of these computers, you end up having to prove without a doubt to part manufacturer that the problem is in-fact with their part and not another one. In addition, these machines are routinely found with illegal copies of software bundled with them, and built with lower-quality parts. Someone inexperienced with computers would likely not be able to pick up on these deficits. Unless your organization has a budget to keep at least five spare white boxes on-site and a full-time IT presence, it’s best stick with business-grade, brand-name computers. Even then, when you purchase so many computers that five spares is reasonable, the discounted prices that the major manufacturers will offer are sure to convince you that they’re the better option.