Top 10 Desktop Buying Tips

By John R. Delaney  |  Posted 2004-09-07

1. Match your desktop configuration to your business needs. If you buy strictly according to price, you may end up with systems that cant handle the workload. Likewise, dont overspend on options youre not likely to use.

2. Leave room for expansion. You may not need lots of memory or recordable optical drives now, but you may need them down the road.

3. When it comes to storage, bigger is better. Youll spend a little more up front, but if you skimp now, youll pay later.

4. Dont be suckered by "free" software offers. In some cases, all youre getting are trial versions that expire in 60 days.

5. When pricing desktop systems, check whether the cost includes monitors. If not, you may have to add $100 or more to the bottom line of each system.

6. Buy your desktops from an established manufacturer. You may end up paying a bit more, but chances are the company will be there when you need help.

7. Consider investing in an extended on-site warranty plan. If your technical resources are stretched to the limit or nonexistent, such a warranty could mean the difference between a few hours of downtime and several weeks of lost productivity if any of your systems have to be shipped out for repair.

8. If money is tight, consider a vendor financing package. Most major vendors offer financing deals designed for small businesses with limited cash flow.

9. Evaluate your workspace before you buy. Desktops come in several form factors to fit even the tightest work areas.

10. Dont take on more than you can handle. Most desktop vendors provide consulting and IT support services specifically geared to small companies so you can concentrate on your business.

Check out eWEEK.coms Desktop & Notebook Center at for the latest news in desktop and notebook computing.

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