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BizReport : Internet : October 09, 2015

SMBs: What to look for in your next device

Technology is changing at the speed of...well, technology. Every few months there is a new operating system or a new device released, and it can be hard to know what device is right for a small business. One expert offers his advice.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: What should a small business look for in a new PC?

Thomas Koll, CEO of Laplink: Of course it depends very much on the business itself. At this stage I would always buy a Windows 10 device. But I recommend to look at three criteria: (1) How do I want to use the PC (laptop vs. desktop) and if Laptop, should it be a 2-in-1 meaning that I can use it as a tablet as well. This can be very convenient for browsing, watching, checking email. The laptops have become very powerful and can rival any desktop. Touchscreen is a must as many websites are changing to a format geared towards tablet browsing and less for mouse browsing. (2) basic specs: SSD in laptops is good, but 128GB might not be enough for many business laptops. Buyers might want to look at 256 GB. What processor? Intel i5 is great for office work, Intel i7 if you need more power. If you pick an AMD system (A-6, A-8, A-10 or similar, make sure you understand how the compare to the Intel family). I would not recommend anything less. Memory should be 4 GB minimum, but I would opt for 8 GB. (3) What should be connected. The new laptops and higher end machines have only selected ports. All have USB, but be sure that you are ok with missing network ports (wireless only or needed USB adapters) and the monitor ports. HDMI or DisplayPort. It makes no difference, but you have to deal with adapters often. If you plan to use high resolution monitors, check the output of the PC. Some laptops run high resolution like 4k, but will not necessarily connect to 4k monitors or TVs. This has become very confusing, but it's worth to check it out.

Kristina: When a business is migrating from one OS to another, how can they ensure they aren't losing data?

Thomas: With a new PC most businesses will migrate from XP, Win7 or Win8.1 to Windows 10. In any constellation, it is best to use a migration/transfer tools that can find all the documents and even transfers settings and applications. However, before migrating off the old PC, a backup should always be done. Market leader in migration and recommended by Microsoft is PCmover.

Kristina: What do businesses need to know about moving large amounts of data?

Thomas: Moving large amounts of data needs time. It depends largely on the speed of the old PC, the connection (network) and if you have large files or many small files. It would be good to keep large amount of data on an external storage device. The it can be easily attached to a new PC. Again, always have backups. Drives do break and more often these days. Cloud storage is an option, but the upload needs a very long time. Again, using a migration tool will guarantee getting all the data across.

Tags: business computer, Laplink, SMB computer tips, SMB tips

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