Choosing the Right Computer Type for Your Small Business
As a business owner or operations manager of a small business, you need technology that keeps pace with your business and the needs of your employees.
Computers built on the Intel vPro® Essentials platform are tailor-made for small businesses, with professional-grade performance to support the applications and collaboration tools you use the most,1 built-in hardware-based security features, and a range of form factors to meet your team’s needs wherever work gets done.
Read on to learn about your form factor options, the essential features to look for in a computer, and the benefits of the Intel® vPro Essentials platform for small businesses.
Selecting a Form Factor
When selecting the best PCs for your small business, start by considering how and where they will be used to help inform your form factor selection.
Laptops are an easy front-runner for nimble, on-the-go employees, offering a powerful, flexible choice for everyday professionals—whether on-site with customers, collaborating in meeting rooms, or simply moving between office and home. Laptop options include standard and thin-and-light business-grade models and 2-in-1s with a convertible screen that can be used in tablet mode.
Desktop PCs and AIOs
Desktops are a strong choice for employees with a dedicated work space, like those serving customers in a retail or office location. Additionally, you can consider all-in-one (AIO) computers, such as those with powerful Intel® Core™ processors, that streamline an entire desktop system into a single device.
Mini PCs are great for small businesses needing a compact PC that fits into tight spaces without compromising performance or features. Mini PCs offer desktop performance in a compact, energy-efficient package that can be used in a variety of ways, including hidden behind the screen in digital signage or as a hub in a conference room.
Mobile and Stationary Workstations
Intel® processor-based workstations are the go-to choice for professionals such as architects, engineers, analysts, and video editors who need high-performance desktops or laptops purpose-built for demanding resource-intensive applications or computational workloads, including data analysis, 3D design, video and audio creation, animation, and rendering.
Understanding Small Business Computer Needs
Selecting a form factor is just one step toward finding the right computer for your business. Let’s walk through other considerations to keep in mind.
Unfortunately, 61 percent of small businesses were the target of a cyberattack in 2021.2 You can protect your sensitive information by educating your employees on how to spot threats and by following small business cybersecurity best practices. As cyberattacks continue to evolve, the best security starts at the hardware level.
With today’s flexible workplace environments, you need security that’s built into your hardware, not just your software. Computers built on the Intel vPro® platform give you integrated hardware-based security capabilities that help protect your business PCs against security threats even when your employees are on the go. For example, Intel® Threat Detection Technology (Intel® TDT), an Intel vPro® platform-based security technology, helps to defend against advanced threats that could slip past software-only solutions.
Your employees need tools that enable them to do their best work to meet the needs of your customers. Underpowered or older devices can cause lagging, crashes, and freezes, which can have a significant impact on employee productivity, collaboration, and customer interactions.
When selecting the right computer for your employees, consider the type of work they do to understand what level of processor power, memory, and storage they’ll need.
Employees who do complicated tasks or use resource-intensive applications for work such as video editing, 3D modeling, or data analysis, will need a powerful processor and more random access memory (RAM), while employees who work on less-data-intensive projects may not need as much.
It’s also important to consider not only your needs today, but what you may need for the future. You’ll want to choose a business PC that is designed and sized to grow with your business—not only to support your employees but to also keep from having to buy or upgrade often if what you have is undersized.
When a PC’s processor gets overloaded, it crashes—a frustrating and unproductive experience for any employee. A faster processor can run many applications simultaneously and support the multitasking required in today’s dynamic work environment. Additionally, AI is being integrated into popular productivity applications and use of AI-based tools for increased efficiency are quickly being adopted. AI functionality requires additional processing power so it can be used without impacting system performance.
The amount of RAM that your computer needs depends on the complexity of the programs you’re running. Video editing? That needs a lot of RAM. Basic web browsing? Not so much. Look at your employees’ tasks to determine whether you have high or low RAM requirements.
When shopping for a new computer, choose one with plenty of storage space to help avoid unexpected slowdowns, freezes, and crashes—all of which can be productivity killers. If you want your new PC to last as long as possible, think about all the files, apps, and tools your employees will use and accumulate over their tenure—it can be a lot, especially for small business team members who often wear many hats. Accounting for these storage requirements prevents you from needlessly retiring your devices.
Consider if you need a computer with integrated graphics, meaning the graphics processing unit (GPU) is built into the processor. Integrated graphics hardware doesn’t have a separate memory bank to process your graphics and video. Instead, it uses system memory shared with the CPU, which uses less power, creates less heat, and helps to improve overall performance.
Bad video quality, device incompatibilities, and spotty connections greatly impact productivity and output. When teams collaborate across locations, they need tools built with flexibility and speed in mind.
For more reliable and faster connectivity, prioritize solutions like computers built on the Intel vPro® platform. To give your employees quick access to power and the ability to connect additional displays and devices with ease, take advantage of the integrated universal Thunderbolt™ port that provides fast charging3 and high-speed data and video transfer4 capabilities.
As more employees work from anywhere, they need performance on the go, and you need tools that help support them, but do so remotely. For example, with PCs on Intel vPro® Essentials, your IT consultant or service provider can use Intel® Standard Manageability features to remotely access, troubleshoot, and manage issues even if the computer is off or unresponsive.
You need your devices to evolve and pivot alongside your company, and you can be assured that Intel® products are built to last. PCs built on the Intel vPro® platform deliver built-in sustainability benefits for businesses throughout the device life cycle, from build to retirement.
Intel works with its partners to include built-in sustainability features that provide visibility on PC usage, including device model, number of PC on/off cycles, and performance details. This information can help small business owners make informed decisions on the life cycle of the PC, such as when to repair, repurpose, or recycle to maximize its overall residual value.
Intel vPro® Essentials for Small Business
Business is constantly changing, and when you have the right technology and tools behind you, meeting those demands is easier. With business computers built on the Intel vPro® Essentials platform, you get the performance and collaboration your team needs, peace of mind that your data is protected by integrated hardware-based security features and that your company is ready for tomorrow’s opportunities.