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Consumer-Grade vs Business-Grade Computers: What’s the Difference?


This is a very important question and one that can save you thousands of dollars. While the consumer-grade computers certainly cost less to buy from places like JB Hi-Fi or Harvey Norman, in the long term it is going to cost you more. The simple fact – based on both our experience, and the development life cycle from vendors such as HP and Dell, is that a computer system designed for consumer/home use is not going to last as long as a computer system designed for business use.

Computer systems designed for consumers/home users represent a false economy for businesses. Whilst they are cheap to buy, they aren’t on par with their business-grade counterparts, and you need to pay for IT to integrate the new computer system into your corporate network each time. Over four years, you might need to repeat this process three or four times as you continually repair or replace the cheaper computer, each time interrupting your staff and productivity while it occurs. With a computer designed for business, you only do this once.

  Consumer computer Business computer


Designed to be used at home, for media, internet, emails.

Designed to be used at work for internet, emails, productivity applications, industry specific applications.

Initial cost

Cheap, often with outdated components. Many retail stores sell consumer-grade computers at huge discounts, but they’ve already been on the shelf for months.

Not as cheap, but very cost effective over three to four years of service.

Warranty type

Typically a 12 month return-to-base or mail-to-base warranty

Minimum of 3 years next business day on site warranty, which can be increased to same business day or 24×7 coverage.

Warranty repair time

A return to base warranty is typically returned to the client after one to two weeks.

On site warranty is typically repaired for the client within a few hours of the service technician visiting the client.

Build quality

Cheaper components and fast assembly processes make for a poor build quality.

More costly components and rigid quality assurance at assembly time make for a build quality that is durable.

Average life expectancy

12 to 18 months, after which repair is practically impossible as most components are obsolete. Throw it away and get a new one (and deal with the hassle that goes along with it).

Three to four years, after which repair is generally possible as spare components are kept by manufacturers.


Need help choosing and installing a computer system?

We can help!

We provide the following services on a daily basis to our clients:

  • Analysis of your computing needs, and obligation free quotations
  • Supply and on site installation
  • Moving data from an old computer to your new one
  • Integrating your new computer in to your corporate network
  • Installation of software applications, printers, and other devices on to the new computer
  • Secure disposal and recycling of your old computer system

No matter what computer system you need, or even if you’re unsure what you need, please get in touch with our team. We’d love to help you!


Offering a wide range of IT solutions, and located in Perth, WA, and Devonport, Tasmania we service all of Australia and we'd love to hear from you!

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