A common question we get from business owners and managers is “What are Business-grade Computers?” or “Aren’t all computers the same?”

Many folks are unaware that there are different grades of computers. Business-grade computers are designed for the workspace. Home or Consumer-grade computers are designed for occasional use.

Department store computers are not business-grade computers. They are designed for home users and absolutely will cause problems for businesses as they grow. As a consultant, I have seen this problem several times.

Sometimes the computer just happens to be the one they started with before they grew. It could be the low price, the look or lack of proper assistance at the store, but consumer-grade computers are not the right fit for business. At work, you need the computer to be running and reliable all the time. You don’t need extra wallpapers, games or a pretty appearance. What you need is industrial-strength reliability.

Below are specific comparisons of current day, middle-of-the-road $600 computers.
Laptops have similar differences. Business-grade laptops may have a sturdier body to reduce flexing.

Business-Grade Computers

Built for the business that needs reliable computing and the least amount of downtime possible. Access to the computer is critical at all times. Manufacturer support is very quick and and on-site service is augmented by Computer Pros Today.


  • Are built to an engineer’s specification
  • Purpose is Reliable and Stable computing.
  • Built to run 24/7
  • Manufacturer’s Planned Lifetime is 3 to 5 years
  • 3 year standard Manufacturer’s Warranty
  • Designed for quick maintenance  and service, reducing downtime.
  • Built with high-quality parts and reliable/proven chipsets
  • Retains value, good investment.
  • Includes only those features which are necessary for business
  • Fewer drivers for features means fewer problems with Windows updates
  • Unless specified for higher performance, video and sound are good
  • Come with Windows 10 Professional version to connect to Windows Server Active Directory
  • No adware or junkware
  • Smaller, but faster, and more reliable storage (data is kept on the server)
  • Custom-tailored to the business tasks. and purchased through a Manufacturer’s Partner.

Consumer-Grade Computers

Built for the home user that wants cutting edge technology every few years. Access to the computer is not critical. Manufacturer support may require mailing the computer to them.


  • Are built to a Marketer’s competitive price-point.
  • Purpose is entertainment, many “Bells and Whistles”
  • Occasional use
  • Manufacturer’s Planned Lifetime is 1 to 3 years
  • 1 year Manufacturer’s Warranty
  • Typically more disposable than serviceable
  • Use a cutting-edge chipset which may not be stable
  • Built with least expensive parts for the wiring, motherboard and power supply
  • Not an investment. Loses value quickly
  • Contains many extra features
  • The many features mean many drivers- more likely to have problems
  • Video and Sound are typically excellent
  • Windows Home version cannot attach to a business server directory
  • Typically loaded with adware and junkware programs
  • Large, Slow storage drive, Plenty of Data Storage
  • Available off the shelf at most department stores.

Of course, only you can decide what’s best for your business. I hope this information helps you make a wise choice. If you have any questions, we would love to hear from you! Please call us at 540-972-8881 or visit our website www.computerprostoday.com

Note: Computer Pros Today does not sell consumer-grade computers. We are partners with most major manufacturers and we sell business computers, high-performance workstations, servers, firewalls, switches and other business equipment that fit our client’s needs.