Consumer vs Business Class PCs: What is the Difference and How it Impacts your Business
Stephen McCandless, Operations Manager at SimplePowerIT

We know what you are thinking: It’s Black Friday and the technology sales are ripe with great deals like $400 laptops that appear to have the same specs as that business class laptop that is priced at $1250. Do I buy it for work? That is a good question, but it boils down to the differences between business and consumer PCs. There are many, and yes, if you buy from Staples, Costco, or Office Depot, you will be getting a consumer PC. But no matter where you buy your PCs there are many reasons to go business class.

Durability and Warranty

Business class PCs are built to last. The standard warranty for a consumer grade PC or laptop is between 90 days and 1 year. Consumer grade PCs and laptop models are quicky discontinued and parts may be difficult to get. On the other hand, the standard warranty for business class PC or laptops starts at 1 year and go up to 3 years.  In addition, the lifecycle of business models (such as Lenovo ThinkPad’s) ensures driver support and long-term compatibility.  Business class PCs are tested for durability and, properly spec’d, you can generally expect 4 or more years of service. Often bundled with a 3-year repair warranty, there is no worry that parts are not readily available.

Powerful Hardware

Business computers use far more powerful computer processors and graphics cards, along with better cooling systems and larger capacity batteries. The consumer model may look appealing, but the hardware used in them is cheaper and lower quality. Many business laptops (such as ThinkPads) are specifically designed to better withstand the wear and tear that is commonly associated with travel and repeated battery recharge cycles. This ensures your business PC is able to function seamlessly without the worry of your technology failing.

Business Software and Operating System

For most businesses, it is essential that their IT service provider can manage the devices. Business class PCs are bundled with professional operating systems that enable the PC to connect to your business network and integrate with servers and network resources. Consumer PCs (with Windows Home) cannot connect to or see your business network and often lack other security features like encryption and built in smartcard or biometric readers.


Consumer grade PCs contain non-essential software that is installed onto the machine before you purchase (trial versions) because the vendors get paid for doing it. However, bloatware can contain significant privacy and security risks. Business machines have little to none as the expectation is that your IT provider will install exactly what is needed for optimal performance and security.

It is important to have your business run smoothly with little to no downtime, investing in business-class technology will not only give you peace of mind, but it will also let you focus on what matters the most- your business. Looking for a quote on best-in-class business technology? If you would like a member of our team to conduct a comprehensive review of your business technology and recommend areas for upgrade, we can help. Contact our team at SimplePowerIT today at (509) 433-7606 or for a free initial consultation.

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