There are two types of computer that you might need for your business: desktop PCs and laptops.
Advantages of desktop computers
If you carry out all your work in one place, a desktop computer will meet your needs and will offer the best price for a given level of performance. Desktop PCs are generally more durable than laptops - an important factor in a busy office.
Desktop computers can generally be repaired and upgraded by local computer shops using standard off-the-shelf components. This can extend their life considerably. Laptops are more difficult to repair and you may need to return them to the supplier or manufacturer for repairs.
Advantages of laptops for business
If you need to use a computer while away from your office, a portable device such as a laptop or a tablet computer can be invaluable. They are particularly suitable for salespeople making client visits and for employees who work from home or out of the office regularly.
If your workers occasionally need to work in the office, you should consider using a docking station. This will allow them to use their laptop in the office in place of a desktop PC, and connect it to the existing business network and a power supply.
Laptop theft and security issues
Laptops are easy to steal and need additional security measures such as a security cable to lock them to a desk when away from base. Most laptops on the market are equipped with a Universal Security Slot that allows them to be attached to a cable lock or laptop alarm.
More than a third of laptop thefts occur in the workplace. You can help prevent this by:
- using docking stations that are permanently fixed to your desktops and have a feature that locks laptops securely in place
- storing laptops in a secure room or cupboards, especially if you're leaving them unattended overnight or for the weekend
Some workers may benefit from having a smart phone, netbook, tablet or other handheld computer rather than a laptop. These devices can synchronise data such as diaries, telephone numbers and short documents with a desktop computer or via cloud services. They are ideal for workers who need to make notes while out of the office. For more information, see mobile technology and cloud computing.