From time to time, I have customers asking for Windows 7 Professional edition to replace the home edition that was shipped with a cheap consumer laptops. People buy cheap consumer laptop because they are cheaper than business laptop, but the money and time they spent on installing professional edition of Windows and trying to get it to work with the corporate network often does not worth it.
Major laptop vendors, including, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Toshiba, are taking great pains to differentiate between their consumer and business-oriented product. Laptop vendors have made certain assumptions about what it means to be a “consumer” and build their products accordingly.
What is the difference between business laptop and consumer laptop? and why business laptops cost more than consumer laptop?
Here are reasons why a business laptop is more expensive than a consumer laptop:
They are better built and more sturdy for travelers. Business laptop uses sturdy, lightweight materials like carbon fiber and magnesium rather than cheap plastic.
They all ship with Windows 7 Pro or 8.1 Pro. Professional edition of Windows OS have features that Home edition (or Standard edition) does not have. You need Professional edition of Windows to easily joining a corporate network, so, it just does not make sense to buy a cheap consumer laptop and spend a couple hundreds and valuable time to upgrade the OS to Windows 7 Professional edition. Why do you need Professional edition of Windows for Business PC?
They have less junk software pre-installed. Software companies pay laptop vendors to install their trial ware (or bloatware), which can reduce the price of the laptop. Removing it is an annoyance, even with free software like CCleaner. Businesses don’t want to waste time and money removing unwanted software, so manufacturers reduce or eliminate the junkware on business laptops.
They come with enhanced security tools. Business laptops tend to come with security feature that helps you not only password-protect and encrypt your hard drive, but also do things like manage your passwords, and securely erase sensitive files.
They offer easy expansion. Most business laptops come with docking as an option, while consumer laptops almost never do. If you spend a lot of time working behind a desk, but still need the mobility of a laptop, a docking station or port replicator can be valuable. It lets you hard-wire your desktop mouse, keyboard, display, Ethernet cable, printer, USB desktop storage device, and other peripherals to the docking station, and then physically connect the laptop to the docking station with just a snap. Push one button and you can grab your laptop and go.
They come with longer warranty and better tech support. Most business laptops, except low-end models, come with 3 years return to depot warranty, and option for onsite service, many offer 7/24 phone tech support. Do you know that technical support number is difference between business laptop and consumer laptop? Do yo uknow that you have to wait for a long time while calling technical support for consumer laptop?
They look better and reflect your business image. A cheap consumer-class laptop can destroy your corporate image, while a business class laptop can reflect your corporate image. I know people who bought Apple Mac Air, or Lenovo X1 Carbon, X250, or at least T450 series not just because these laptop looks cool, but it makes them feel better about themselves, and look successful.
Even if you are buying a laptop for home use, it still makes sense to invest in a business-class laptop, which offers more value in the long run than the consumer counterpart. Business laptops are built to last, with higher-quality components that are tested more rigorously. Components used for consumer computers may be more generic or even looks cheap, while computers designed for professional use more often built with higher-grade materials and name-brand parts. That is why business-class laptop tend to last longer. You really get what you paid for.
Now that you know the difference between business and consumer laptop, would you still buy consumer laptop just to save a couple hundred bucks?