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The A – Z Of Purchasing Computers for Your Company in 2021

The A – Z Of Purchasing Computers for Your Company in 2021

I will never forget my first laptop purchase. I had saved up about two to three months’ salary, with the intention to get a laptop that was modern, powerful, and stylish. The choice was not difficult. I had owned a Dell Optiplex back in the days and believed it to be a good soldier. Searching through the market at that time led me to discover the Dell Inspiron 15Z, a premium-priced laptop with the top specs during that period. Embarrassed, I would later learn as a Tech person, a needs assessment is absolutely necessary, since all that glitters is not gold. After all, who buys a laptop without an Ethernet port?

 

After consulting for a number of small to medium enterprises, and various government agencies, I have been able to fine-tune the selection of devices to suit clients’ needs. This remains true for personal computer use as well. Important questions to be pondered over include:

  • What is the intended use of the computer?
  • What is the appropriate form factor?
  • Which is the preferred platform?
  • What is your budget?

 

After answering these questions, we can then move into the selection phase by looking at the specifications of the devices that catch our attention. A specification sheet is available from all manufacturers for all machines, and lists important details such as: Screen/monitor size, form- factor, storage capacity, RAM (memory), processor and graphics, ports, and operating system. Although this is not the complete list of specifications, it generally allows for an informed decision.

 

Screen Size

Screen Size

The screen size of a laptop’s display or monitor size is only going to be important when considering the use of the device. Designers and artists are likely to opt for larger screens, as it would provide them with more ‘real estate’ to work comfortably. This measurement is taken diagonally across the screen. The bigger the number the larger the screen, but you already knew that!

 

Form Factor

The form factor comes into play after deciding on the intended use and analyzing the placement of the machine. Computer form-factors range from tablets and ultraportable laptops, to large all in one computers. It will all boil down to the application.

 

 

Storage Capacity

Typically, the bigger the hard drive or SSD capacity, the better. It allows for more efficient storage of files, and the result is a better user experience. It is also important to note that the use of SSD (Solid State Drives) is on the rise, and that is due to the technology. Flash memory, similar to what is used on flash drives, allows for files and folders to be accessed at much quicker speeds. It also guards against the physical damage often seen with the regular hard drives, which occurs when a laptop is moved or dropped, resulting in a phenomenon equivalent to the scratching of a CD/disk, and a damaged drive.

 

RAM

Random Access Memory or temporary storage, directly impacts the responsiveness of your interaction with a computer. Theoretically, the more RAM a computer has, the faster it able to access stored information. In today’s tech world, we are seeing unbelievable speeds thanks to devices that are able to hold never before seen quantities of RAM.

 

Processor & Graphics

The central processing unit (CPU) is often referred to as the brain of the computer. It performs calculations, fetches instructions, executes a number of those instructions. The two major brands on the market today include Intel and AMD, who release each one with a given model number. Typically, the higher the number, the better the processor. The Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) is like a dedicated CPU for graphics. They were designed to accelerate computer graphics workloads. The better the GPU, the better visuals.

 

Ports

Yes, the types of ports carried on a computer/laptop are extremely important when selecting a computer. The device should include an ethernet port, at least one USB 3.0 port, and other USB ports. Other ports for consideration include VGA, displayport, SD card slot, and HDMI.

 

Operating System

The operating system of a computer is again determinant on the intended use of the device. Musicians and designers generally gravitate to the Mac OS, computer-related professionals; Linux, and everyone else; Windows. As of March 2020, the most installed operating system was Windows 10, at 52%, according to NetMarket Share.

 

Below I have put together a short specification sheet with what I deem to be the minimum requirements for both desktop and laptop computers going into 2021.

Monitor/Screen

Size

Hard Drive Memory Processor Graphics Ports Operating System
Desktop >21” 256 GB SSD or 500 GB HDD or greater 8 GB DDR4 or greater Intel Core i5 10 Gen or higher

 

AMD Ryzen 5 or higher

Intel UHD Graphics 620

 

USB 3.0

Gigabit Ethernet Port

HDMI

SD card slot

VGA

Windows 10 Pro

Mac OS X 10.13

Laptop >15.6” 256 GB SSD or 500 GB HDD or greater 8 GB DDR4 or greater Intel Core i5 10 Gen or higher

 

AMD Ryzen 5 or higher

Intel UHD Graphics 620

 

USB 3.0

Gigabit Ethernet Port

HDMI

SD card slot

Windows 10 Pro

Mac OS X 10.13

 

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