Have your laptops (or PCs) come to the end of their use, or are they beginning to slow down your business? We’ve all worked in offices where the laptop you are using begins to slow down, crash, and increasingly frustrate both you and your progress. But looking to replace your laptop isn’t always an easy task and we’re going to explore a few things to consider when you need to.
How could I get around this?
You first need to think what you need the laptop for, and, perhaps crucially, what you might need it for next year, or the year after. If you’re just using a computing for the usual Microsoft Office work or surfing the web, you’re unlikely to need anything too powerful, but you still want something that won’t slow you down because you have that extra tab open and that gives you the extra flexibility to buy new software that may require a bit higher specification.
Portability, or power?
Of course, if you’ve got staff who are going to be doing intense CAD work, then you’ll need a laptop with a specification to match that. If you’ve got staff in marketing, you have to think that, if you don’t already, they may need some level of design software along the road. I could remember working in a Marketing role, and trying to work on Photoshop and experiencing a lot of trouble with the speed dropping suddenly, or even it crashing. You also might need to think about how portable you need your laptop to be. Are you taking it out of the office a lot, or moving around a big site? If not, you can cope with having a bigger laptop - it will depend on your preferences.
Next, you need to think about what your budget is going to be. How much you spend on your laptops will depend on a few things, and I suppose most important is how much you, and your colleagues, will be using them and what will be the impact if they’re not running smoothly. You can buy a new laptop from about as little as £200 (although it might be useful to have a managed expectation on the performance), upwards to about £2,500 - where you would expect quite a lot from it. Make a decision that’s right for you.
A key aspect to consider when deciding the budget (with respect to the use) - is the idea of false economies. While this theme is threaded through earlier, it deserves to have an article of its own. Saving a couple of hundred pounds on a laptop can seem like a wise choice at the time, for instance, to make sure you come in the budget in a particular period, but in the long run, it could represent a significant cost.
Your laptop running slowly, or crashing, particularly on a recurring basis, can cost you a lot of time. When you put value to that time - even at one hour per week over 2-3 years, then it begins to be an incredibly expensive decision over the coming years using your laptop. It could be even more expensive, if not too longer after you buy your laptop, you have to buy another one to rectify the problems with the first one, so it’s definitely an issue to keep in mind. If you can’t price in buying the right laptop or laptops new, it is definitely worth considering refurbished laptops, which often provide similar performance at a reduced price.