Equipping Your Office – Laptop or Desktop?

When business owners or managers set up their office for the first time, and each time new employees are added, there are several practical accommodations and decisions that need to be made. Office furniture needs to be purchased to provide seating and work space for each employee, and, of course, computers are needed too.

Business owners must decide whether the company would be best served by purchasing laptop or desktop computers for their employees. Ultimately, the choice may be one of preference, but there are some practical considerations that must be taken into account as well. Here are a few things to think about.

Cost: Historically, desktop computers cost less than laptops, offering more bang for your buck. While this is still true to some extent, the prices have gotten closer together in recent years. But this hasn’t stopped more than 90% of the population of Sacramento to use them; simply because they’re a part of their metier. Today, laptop computers can often be found for as little as $200-300 more than their desktop counterparts. That difference can add up when multiplied by the total number of employees and may be the determining factor for some employers. This slight increase in cost per unit may not be a significant factor to other employers.

Ongoing maintenance: Desktop computers are often easier to upgrade or repair than laptops. For example, if a keyboard goes bad on a desktop computer, you can simply buy a new keyboard. Replacing the keyboard on a laptop is possible, but it’s more difficult and often requires professional repairs. The same is true for other components, which can be easily removed and replaced in a desktop computer but are more difficult to switch out on a laptop. Since laptops are portable, they are, by nature, more prone to damage or theft.

Comfort of use: Most laptop computers have smaller, more compact keyboards that aren’t as comfortable to use as those that are full-sized. Many people find a mouse easier to use than the laptop’s integrated trackpad, too. Of course, you can always get full-sized keyboards, mice, and even monitors for use with the laptops when the employees are at their desks. These tools aren’t as portable, but they can combine the ergonomics of a desktop with the portability of a laptop.

Portability: Employees who work exclusively at their desks don’t need their computers to be portable, and a desktop computer is probably ideal for them. For other employees, who work from off-site locations, portability is an absolute must. Laptops allow these employees to work wherever they are, and the widespread availability of Wifi networks allows them to log into the company network from virtually anywhere.

Another option is to provide employees with a desktop computer to use in the office and a tablet to use for sales calls and other meetings with clients. Cloud computing allows these employees to access the files they need without bringing along a computer.

Aesthetics: Let’s face it, appearance is important. With so many workplaces moving to open-concept floor plans with streamlined work stations, having rows of desktop computers, with the associated wires and large towers can be unsightly. Minimizing the amount of equipment on a desk can give the entire office a cleaner, more sophisticated look.