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Choosing the right business hardware solutions

Choosing the right laptops and other hardware solutions often involves several variables other than just cost.

Choosing the right laptops and other hardware solutions often involves several variables other than just cost.

Hardware decisions are often among the toughest ones small businesses have to make. Most cannot afford to waste money or productivity by using a trial and error approach to technology solutions.

Business and technology blog Inc. recently offered readers its perspective on five of the most powerful business laptops available today. The reasoning offered for why each device made the final list illustrates exactly how complex these decisions truly are.

The 13-inch Sony Vaio Z Series made the cut for its lightweight carbon fiber design and powerful i7 processor that rivals the computing speeds of many larger, heavier competitors. The Lenovo Thinkpad T Series also got the Inc. seal of approval for its 1TB hard drive, RAM capacity of up to 32GB and a 15-hour battery life. Joining them is the latest Macbook Pro with Retina Display, lauded for its lightweight design, computing speeds and stunning visual capabilities.

Offerings from Acer and Asus also found themselves among the Inc.elite upper echelon of business laptops. The former boasts a fingerprint reader for additional security while the latter has a unique curvature and impressive speakers said to make long business trips more bearable.

The simple fact is that these are complex decisions. Small and midsize businesses (SMBs) have to weigh features against one another and determine not only what they value most, but which devices can deliver the desired results and at what cost. The best IT support companies teach SMBs two important lessons.

First, there is no universally superior technology solution. For every company, there are different goals and needs that will determine which laptops, desktops and other IT assets are most appropriate.

The second lesson is that just because a manufacturer lists features and specifications on a box or website doesn't mean they always hold true. For example, experienced IT professionals know that battery life estimates can be accurate for some models while wildly off the mark with others. Choosing the right technology solution comes down to knowing what you need, knowing what providers say they can do and if they can actually deliver on those promises.