More businesses are beginning to accept what financial experts have been telling them for years: remote work is the future. If anything good came of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that it has proven the necessity of remote work. Even after we return to business as usual, workers and employers alike will continue to be aware of the benefits that remote work provides. The only real issue, then, is figuring out which computer is best suited for your work-from-home needs. To help you get started on the next phase of your career, here’s our recommendation for the best business computer for remote work.
PC vs. Mac
Which operating system (OS) is better for the remote worker?
This is the biggest question that has plagued office workers since home computers became a thing. Brand devotees have their preference and refuse to budge, but is there a real winner?
The short answer, though probably not as specific as you were hoping, is “not really”. Each OS has its own pros and cons, and picking the right one depends more on your personal needs than anything else.
When to Get a PC
If the majority of your devices are Androids, PCs are the better option. Macs and other Apple devices can connect with Androids, but the process for getting them to do so isn’t easy. Unless you’re a technology professional or you’re willing to put the time into reading several how-to guides, it’ll be much simpler to buy a PC.
It’s also worth noting that Macs aren’t readily compatible with most of the software that everyday businesses use. Microsoft Office is the biggest culprit here, but there are other software programs that aren’t designed to be Mac-friendly, either.
The good news is that both the Apple corporation and on-the-ground workers are aware of this limitation and have created guides to help users get around it.
For example, although Internet Explorer is largely obsolete, it has a few features that you can’t get anywhere else. These include the ability to send whole webpages to Microsoft OneNote with just a click and open files without saving them first.
PCs also win the cost comparison contest. With very few exceptions, PCs are always cheaper than their Mac counterparts.
Note that this doesn’t mean that all PCs are cheaper than all Macs. What we mean here is that PC computers are cheaper than comparable Mac alternatives. For every relevant category, PCs are usually cheaper than Macs.
When to Get a Mac
PCs aren’t inherently better just because Macs aren’t compatible with the same variety of devices. One of the biggest selling points of Macs is that they are automatically compatible with all Apple devices. iPads, Apple TVs, iPhones, etc.—all of these are inherently designed to connect with the Mac OS.
Another feature where Macs excel is graphics. If you’re a graphic designer, sound mixer, or some other type of professional artist, Macs are almost always the better choice.
Laptop vs. Desktop
There are two main factors to consider when choosing between a laptop and a desktop: portability and storage.
For Portability, Get a Laptop
The obvious advantage of laptops is that they can move with you. Whether you’re on your couch, in your bed, on the bus, or in the air, laptops are made to with you.
Desktops, meanwhile, have to be hooked up and plugged in at all times. If you need to move around a lot for work, then desktops will probably not be your friend.
Even if you don’t need to move that often, laptops may still be the better option. You can also easily convert a laptop to a desktop with the use of a USB monitor.
Desktops, however, cannot be converted into laptops. With a desktop, what you see is what you get—it isn’t going anywhere once it’s set up.
For Better Storage, Get a Desktop
That said, desktops have a distinct advantage over laptops: better storage capabilities. Don’t get us wrong: laptop storage capacities have increased by quite a lot in the last few years. There’s still no comparing them to desktops, though.
Better storage also means faster computing speed. If you’ve ever had a laptop crash on you or run so slowly that it might as well not have been running at all, you know exactly what we mean here.
Desktops are much less likely to suffer from these kinds of problems because they inherently have more storage capacity. The only way to really get around this with a laptop is to use an external storage device.
Choosing the Best Business Computer
We realize that every user’s needs will differ based on industry, job title, and even location. For some, a PC is better than a Mac. For others, a desktop is better than a laptop.
If you work in an artistic capacity for a technologically innovative company, a Mac desktop is going to be your best friend. If your job requires a lot of data entry or specific software, you’ll want a PC.
Need More Help Preparing for Remote Work?
Determining the best business computer is the biggest question related to remote work, but it isn’t the only question. You might also need help learning how to transition from an office environment to your own personal space, how to schedule your work so you don’t feel like you’re “at the office” all of the time, and how to set up the ideal office space.
If you’re preparing to transition to remote work, check out the other articles on our site. Whatever your business need, we’ve got you covered.