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Business PCs vs. Consumer PCs - What's the difference?

The Confusion

If you head over to your local electronics shopping center, the blinking LEDs and flickering screens you witness from the lineup of computers on display, are most likely coming from what OEMs call “consumer machines”.

Since the birth of the personal computer, there have always been Consumer PCs and Business PCs; machines aimed at two separate markets that claim to be focused on what matters most for the particular individual. What truly makes a business machine what it is versus a consumer machine, and what is the state of each within today’s market?

Many computer manufacturers have either merged their business line PCs with their consumer line or have completely gotten rid of them. When you talk enterprise, government, or health care, there are three PC manufactures whose machines seem to rule the landscape – Dell, HP, and Lenovo.

The aforementioned three companies rule the landscape and provide to seeking business what they call, business machines, but why do they still exist and what makes them special apart from the average consumer machine?

The Technology

There is the obvious statement that, “business machines focus on what businesses need”, but what could they possibly need that is different from what your mother might seek in a laptop? To start, port selection is a big one, do you remember when machines all came with VGA ports, Express Card slots, and an array of other oddly shaped ports? The business machine user still remembers, because he or she is most likely still using them today.

Just because the technology word is accelerating does not mean the boardroom has, and for many, VGA ports are still needed to connect up to projectors for presentations. While many consumer have passed up what they believe to be technologies of a once distant past, they must remain on business machines, in an environment where they might be needed. When Lenovo launched their latest ThinkPad Ultrabook and decided to forego an express card slot – it caused more dishevel than any consumer would think. And that is your first difference, business machines will tend to stick to the classics, while consumer machines will push ahead at a faster pace.

The Lifespan

Businesses don’t just tend to keep technologies longer than they should, they tend to keep the actual machines a bit past their expiration dates. If you work within a large corporate, replacing three thousand machines might not squeeze into the fiscal yearly budget for the IT department, as a result we see two situations arise within the business machine sector – Longer support from manufacturers and easier maintenance for onsite technicians.

While your consumer laptop may have a long three year warranty, once a certain time point has passed, many manufacturers will stop carrying parts for a machine. In the world of business, machines can be kept well past their allotted years and thus OEMs will attempt to keep a larger stock pile of parts and continue to provide support. Want a new LCD for that consumer machine from six years ago? Good luck. Want a new LCD for that business machine from six years ago? They probably still have it in stock.

Dell’s Latitudes, Lenovo’s ThinkPads, and HP’s EliteBooks consumer ultrabooks and notebooks, the process of disassembling them to replace a damaged LCD or malfunctioning keyboard can be a lengthy one. Business machines are designed in mind with the idea that in house IT departments may need to make quick repairs and push machines back out into the workplace.

The Comparison

We can compare two similar laptops from Lenovo to see the easy of reparability – the YOGA 2 Pro and the ThinkPad YOGA. These two laptops are actually a perfect example of the difference between consumer and business machines. While they both carry the YOGA name, one is designed for the multimedia heavy consumer, while the other is designed for the boardroom.

I have personally stripped down and looked at both machines in terms of reparability and the ThinkPad YOGA is eons ahead in terms of reparability and upgradability compared to its YOGA 2 Pro brother. If you want to gain access to the interior of a ThinkPad YOGA, simply grab your nearest Philips head screwdriver, if you want to gain access to the YOGA 2 Pro - you are going to need a hex key.

Once inside, the YOGA 2 Pro is packed very tightly and forces the technician to go at a slower pace and work with a higher level of precision. Opening the ThinkPad YOGA showcases easy access to common components and requires tools that everyone has laying around their house.

If we compare the two units directly we can see the true differences; the YOGA 2 Pro has a Super HD screen at 2k resolution (3200x1800) and a thin body. In contrast, the ThinkPad YOGA can cost the same price, but is thicker and includes a lower 1080p HD resolution screen (not to mention a smaller display). Instead, the money you pay for the ThinkPad YOGA goes towards higher reliability, longer available support, and a keyboard that appears to fold in to protect itself.

ThinkPad, EliteBooks, and Latitudes are all names the business man knows – they are the king of the laptop world when it comes to enterprise, but what should you pick up? For the last few years, I have personally been using ThinkPad notebooks; I prized their keyboards, durability, and black rubberized exteriors. Today though, I am using a YOGA 2 Pro – the thin and light form factor, Super HD screen, and amazing palm rest are simply things I could not pass up.

The Question

In the end, the question of “whether a business machine or consumer machine is right for you”, comes down to your needs. Do you want the latest and great technology with super high resolution screens, or do you want reliability along with true and tried technology? If you are working in a corporate location, you might appreciate how well the business machine integrates into your environment. If you are an at home user, you might enjoy the detail put into the speakers and display of your consumer machine.

The decision of consumer machine or business machine is up to you, but it is helpful to note that you won’t find many business machines in places like Best Buy as they are catering to the everyday consumer. If you want to pick up a business machine or just see what head is out there, over to an OEM’s website and click into the business category.

Remember, that high price tag you see isn’t for nothing – it stands for reliability and (in the case of ThinkPad) the hidden magnesium-alloy roll cage within.

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Comments

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ktl88 says:

Wow, nice article. Now I get it why while they cost the same, the specs vary significantly. Will get a business one next time, coz my work does not require heavy specs.

retyler says:

The difference is not only in the tech. With the business class machines you do not receive as much of the bloat ware, if any, that you find in the consumer machines. Great article.

Chacness says:

Something that wasn't really touched in this article is the warranty service. If you have a business class Dell PC or laptop and opt for the pro support, you can have a tech at your home or office within 4 hours if they have the parts local to do the repair. With consumer only companies your looking at the likely hood of shipping your unit back to the manufacture on your own dime and will be extremely lucky to get it back in one week. I've also heard horror stores of people getting their units returned only to find that the repair depo wiped the drive even though it wasnt needed. Good bye family albums and music library.

John20212 says:

+ don't expect any driver support from HP.

 

Cormango says:

There are two reasons I will never purchase anything HP again...

#1: They have been using defective hinges in their laptops for nearly a decade and purposesly stopped manufacturing the parts required to fix them to force consumers to purchase new laptops instead. They never resolved this issue. As far as I know, it's still a problem in all consumer models today. Terrible. There are a couple legal firms taking people's names with these laptops. I signed up for a few and hopefully some day I'll receive a cheque for little to nothing. LOL.

#2: They have the worst drivers in the history of drivers. The print drivers are the worst! Always crashing the print spooler service. Does anyone remember the days of the old HP printers? They were the best with the best drivers. Today, the worst. Jokes about German sausage are the wurst!

Many OEMs now provide on-site support for laptops. I've had a few Lenovos and Dells both serviced in my own house by a "trained" technician.

npoe says:

Same here in Mexico for Dell in consumers warranties.

Cormango says:

Business and consumer computers do not cost the same. We pay a premium for a product with an 18 month life cycle. Plus on site support. A laptop that would normally be $800 for a consumer is about $1400 for us. We purcahse the slim line of Lenovos T series. Great laptops.

A business machine rarely comes with bloatware. But most businesses have an imaging server with a reference and master image or a task sequence which overwrites the factory image anyway.

gerrymad says:

Nice explanation. I've been a ThinkPad user for about 15 years. People never quite understood why it was not cheaper even though it had relatively mid-tier specs. I get about 4-5 years out of my ThinkPads which I doubt I will get out of the Yoga 2 Pro Ideapad I just bought. Yea, I finally broke away from the ThinkPad. The screen on the Yoga 2 was just too tough to pass up.

simphf says:

I had a T61 for 5 years and upgraded to a X1 Carbon. I love them both.

I have a dell Inspiron 8200 bought in 03

schlubadub says:

+1 my Dell Inspiron has been going strong since 2005/2006. I've only changed the battery since then

nothing as delicious as the X61s

Thank god it was so boring at wpc until yesterday

Well nice article but as much as I like Windows 8, I still think Microsoft should realize an enterprise dedicated Windows 8 with no Metro in it. I just don't see government offices and big industrial business using the Metro part.

ryangadz says:

They all will eventually use the modern UI but it will take time to get everything transferred over. Software in business and institutions seems to move even more slowly than the hardware.

typhon62_1 says:

They will NEVER re-write their software for Metro.  I'm a electrical engineer and I talked with the developers of the software I use all of the time because of bugs and other issues.  The developers say they will ditch Windows and only support Linux before porting the UI to metro.

Heck, my Xilinx development software still uses command line windows for a lot of functions.  Electrical and mechanical engineering develpment packages are way too precise to be controlled by a finger...

 

Coan says:

I think the other commenters have kinda nailed it, it won't work for your industry, but a lot of other industries are already using touchscreen software or wouldn't be affected like yours. There are going to be a lot of businesses where things will work fine with a touch screen and the apps will move so they can load the same software on a tablet for portability as well as the desktops.

ryangadz says:

There is a lot more to the MODern UI than touch. I don't have touch and still use it on a 30' monitor with Wacom Intuos. Desktops were a mishmash of code and as we figured out exactly what we needed on computers. Now its time to focus and write good code.

The desktop might never disappear but neither has command line as you have mentioned. It might still have its usefulness but most stuff with be written for Mod in the future.

M# will be where things get really interesting. ;)

Flagz says:

Working in a hospital, besides charting, notes, and shift reviews, I can see ALOT of the med distribution, consults, ETC being switched over to a Metro UI, and I can see the base overall home screen being the Windows 8 start screen especially on the specialized units, and PYXIS machines

mlfj4901 says:

I think you're dead right. I work in a variety of medical labs as a float, nearly every single new analyzer is using a touch screen. And many run a variant of windows.

DaytonaGTS says:

At work we still use XP and won't get win7 till early next year, sucks because it still has IE 7 and most of the internet does not support it anymore. My work computer is about 6 years old, and isn't getting replaced just tech refresh.

Cormango says:

I'd rather see my employees use touch screen workstations than Microsoft to abandon MetroUI in the Enterprise. ModernUI is not just a UI... There are many other advantages to running an Modern application vs legacy apps.

ryangadz says:

Exactly! Mod is just a complete revaluation of how we use computers with added security, performance, and reliability benefits. A lot of criticisms get hung up on touch and that is just silly for many applications; I'd agree.

inseyven says:

Gamer's PC .-.

hopmedic says:

I've changed many keyboards of all things, on laptops, and I have appreciated the fact that it only takes three screws to do it on an HP Business class notebook. My HP dv6t on the other hand.... Never again will I buy an HP consumer grade notebook.

John20212 says:

The PC landscape is not that simple. There are also notebooks and PC for gaming and other specialised users, and a paragraph on that is missing here.

What also is not mentioned is that driver support for even high end consumers notebooks (those around $1.8k) is non-existent, at least as far as HP notebooks are concerned. Just take a look at the lack of AMD gpu drivers for notebooks still in warranty, e.g. the last drivers released for AMD HD6770M by HP was in 2011.

 

 

You seem to have missed that this article was focusing on Enterprise vs Consumer machines. Gaming PCs exist in their own niche and obviously aren't included in "consumer".
I also wouldn't use HP's failure to provide good driver support as evidence to support the notion that ALL OEMs operate that way.
Edit: Also forgot to add that drivers are not solely the responsibility of OEMs. If AMD is lax on pushing updated drivers for their products I'm fairly certain HP can't do it for them.

John20212 says:

AMD released plenty of driver updates since the 2011 HP ones, but when you run the AMD update tool it specifically states to contact HP because of how HP decided to implement swichable graphics, so here the ball is solely in HP court.

Plus it's not just HP (although HP seems to be the worst one), Sony was the same when I had a VAIO AR with an Nvidia chip and there Sony failed to release new drivers and I have Nvidia on record saying that Sony specifically forbid them to release drivers for VAIO.

Dell also is not any better, with Alienware M17x R2 they failed to release new drivers direct from Dell and said that you can try to use AMD one but at your own risk as they have not tested them and cannot guarantee they will work. That is not what I consider good support, especially for a high end gaming notebook when the most up to date drivers are key.

 

Cormango says:

Updated drivers from HP... pfffffttt, when pigs fly!

XboxOmac says:

AMD has that driver updated. http://support.amd.com/en-us/download/mobile?os=Windows 8.1 - 64 I chose Windows 8.1 just to make sure its updated currently. It is. Its HP that doesn't update the one on their website. Trust the drivers from the original OEM, not the computer's manufacturer.

John20212 says:

I agree its completely HP's fault. AMD has released updates for their drivers regularly. The problem is my Pavilion DV7 Quad Core, has swichable graphics and HP has to make the modifications for the AMD drivers to work, which they have failed to do since 2011.

 

Gaming PCs would fall under the category of "Consumer PCs".

sd4f says:

I used to be a thinkpad man, but lenovo quality since their take over from IBM has gone down the toilet, and just about every feature that was good about a thinkpad is now gone.

I'm in a position that, I can't buy a decent quality business laptop, so I might as well go to the other end of the spectrum, and just live with an entry level model. It's unfortunate, because thinkpads were so good, but now they're just the same as everything else, albeit a couple of better features, but much higher price than is warranted.

lolpetewtf says:

I'd like to hear your points. I had IBM Thinkpads, and Lenovo.

inseyven says:

It's applied to laptops, it doesn't work as fine on desktops because people can easily expand the functions because of the slots, or inverse

John20212 says:

For desktops its best to build your own, as you can then have much better support with drivers direct from the part OEMs and don't have to worry about any tweaks the PC OEM has done to the components.

I wish it was that simple with notebooks.

 

toraji says:

Exactly, i build my own machines for work, nothing better and nothing cheaper and no bloat where at all, with laptops or. Ultra books its a little different butft I suggest surface2 or pro2

ebradley says:

Or just buy it from a MS store. No garbage ware

Awesome article Michael!

lippidp says:

Not mentioned is the ability to get the machine without an OS or preinstalled with your own company-approved images. Enterprises buy volume licensing for Enterprise-grade versions of Windows that can connect to a Windows domain and utilize BitLocker and a TPM. Also required are the ability to customize and lockdown the CMOS program and BIOS settings en masse. Security and compatibility for the wireless adapter is also an important factor that consumers don't give a shit about. Oh, and don't forget physical security measures against tampering with the hardware for those employees that like to tinker.

I definitely agree on the TPM chip for bitlocker - perhaps the biggest difference between consumer and business machines in my immediate experience

Very true! I did forget to mention TPM chips - good point!

AccentAE86 says:

Been using Thinkpads for my business exclusively. But the Surface Pro 2 is really calling me. If a Haswell based ThinkPad Helix comes out I'll be all over that. And yes, the huge expense of a ThinkPad has ALWAYS been worth it imo.

toraji says:

Accent, go the pro2 way, I promise you won't regret it

Cormango says:

We are a Lenovo shop for laptops, and a Dell shop for desktops. Yeah, we're weird. But we're working with Microsoft right now and it looks like we'll be pushing out Surface Pro 2's instead of laptops. We're just waiting for a better docking station.

Techman360 says:

I've pushed out about 15 Surface Pro's so far instead of Dell Latitude laptops and the areas I am not pleased is the extended warranty and cost of accessories.  Only option is 2 years and it covers 2 claims for accidental only.  our Accounting department expenses our systems for 3 years so we like to keep the device in warranty for the entire time.  Because of that I am looking at the Venue Pro 11 over the Surface Pro / Pro 2 from here on out.  Got the first one right after Christmas but so far my review is mixed.  More issues than Surface Pro but Dell is pretty good pushing drivers and bios updates so there is hope.  We have been a Dell shop for about 12 years now mostly due to the extended warranty so being satisfied with Microsoft 2 year warranty is a hard one to swallow.  Just my insights.

Neo Nuke says:

Great article. Actually learned something

I just bought a Dell Alien-ware laptop how long does that last?

John20212 says:

Alienware are pretty solid machines, but Dell just like HP hates to provide updated GPU drivers, at least that was the case with M17x R2; no support for Windows 8 and updated Win7 drivers, had to waste time and look for workarounds on forums to get stuff to work. Not sure how they changed now with the R5 but if their driver support lack as it did before I would stay away.

Not great for a gaming laptop where you want the latest drivers for new games to work optimally.

 

Cormango says:

Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but Alienware laptops typically have an 8-12 month life span for availability. This is actually very good. I know three people with Alienware laptops purchase 3 years ago and they all still game on them today... If you didn't get it, I suggest getting a good warranty. I'm never a warranty guy, I think they're a waste. But when it comes to a nice laptop, I'd reccomend spending the extra $150 to protect it...

jhoff80 says:

Yeah, before the Surface Pro I used a Latitude XT (and then XT2) for many years.  Dell's consumer laptops can often be garbage, in the build-quality department.  Their business laptops are often much sturdier.  The XT2 was rock solid while I used it.

On top of that, when you call Dell's customer service for their Small Business section, I've found that to be drastically better than their Home customer service.  Reps have tended to be more knowledgable, they were more willing to replace parts immediately instead of useless troubleshooting, and when I had an issue with the original XT (two years after purchase, a year before warranty expiration), they replaced the entire machine with the newer XT2 model.  In contrast, conversations with the Home customer service reps always have felt to me like pulling teeth.

Chinocop says:

You should also mention one thing that business laptops have over consumer laptops: the touch point!  I will not buy a laptop without the touchpoint as I hate the touch pads for precision.  That's why I always buy ThinkPads because they have the best keyboards.

I dislike the recent chiclet keyboard Thinkpads - will hold onto my X61s till my (or its) last breath.

Ah, foregoing the TrackPoint when I switched to the YOGA 2 Pro was a hard choice - but, I have adjusted.

MooCoo says:

I have had my Elitebook for six years now and still going strong! Twice I've added more memory to it, and the latest upgrade was a new ssd. One mean machine now. I've used Vista, 7 and currently the new 8.1 in it with no or very little problems. The Quadro-series graphic card can handle some 3D drawing and occasional photoshoping. No gaming needed. The only downside is that it can't do the virtualization of emulator needed in app development for wp8. So eventually I must at some point buy a newer one, and it's going to be a desktop this time. That way I can buy a Lumia 2520 for mobility needs :)

Marc_SP says:

For me the key difference is that most business laptops have a matte screen. I hate to see my face reflected on the screen half the time I use a laptop (although am not so ugly, haha). Why there are almost no consumer notebooks with a matte screen? (I guess same reason most still use a crappy TN LCD panel, instead of IPS or better, such as the ones in even 200$ tablets: cheaper to make). A matte screen is soo much convenient.

schlubadub says:

You can buy a spray that makes screens less shiny... Anti-glare spray or something. Or you can apply a film, like a screen protector on a phone

A matte screen also ruins contrast and colour saturation. I'd never pick matte over glossy unless I work directly under the sun.

Marc_SP says:

That must be why all high-end TV's are glossy!

MyThIc3LiTe says:

You are so wrong this isn't even amusing...

Matte screens do none of the above on a good panel. IPS ideally. TN panels? Well of course, its a crap panel to begin with. 
 

Matte is superior to glossy in most if not all aspects. The TV industry simply picked glossy because glossy panels pop on displays and most consumers just don't care. Hell, even Samsung up to recent times offered matte displays on their LED TVs. 

Professionals in controlled lighting still pick matte panels. What do you mean directly under the sun? Matte panels only do so much, under direct like they are still as bad as glossy panels. 

It is indirect reflections that ruin the display. Right now none of my office lights are reflected in my 1080p laptop panel. I get just the panel. All 400 nits of brightness. Its perfect. 

You're not professional, so please stop talking about things you have no idea about.

This used to be very true and for that exact reason - matte screens are easier to view (especially in sunlight). But, we are seeing a change; just look at the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, ThinkPad YOGA, Latitude 7000 series, etc. Now that there is such a large focus on touch machines, OEMs are starting to go glossy with their business lines.

KM2612 says:

A very very insightful article....wow....nice

Apply_Logic says:

I'm in the market for a new laptop
1. Light weight
2. Fast (special data transfer)
3. Windows (i don't see myself with a mac)
4. Affordable ( no more than 1000)
5. Media centered ( I own alot of music)
6. Connectivity ( hdmi and so on)
7. 17 inch or more ( HD of course )
Please great people of wpcentral help?

txDrum says:

I think you mixed up the TPY and the yoga pro when you were comparing the screwdrivers needed?

I did, thanks for the catch! Fixed!

terrokkinit says:

Very informative; thank you :)

Tirinti says:

This is what OEMs are thinking and whats makes so called and of PC era. It is only end of PC with outdated technology era. Busines needs High resolution mate touchscreens, SSDs and projectors and external displays connected by Thunderbolt, because HDMI an display port are outdated and VGA is even more outdated. IT is easy to mise some details in the Excell table presentrd on low res analog projector. Somebody from Lehman Brothers did it, and there was crisis, somebody in Greek goverment did it, and the Grece defaulted. If only EU and USA had banned VGA 10 ears ago, there woildn't have been any crisis. Generaly acountants should be banned from takeing any decision, because their saveings are causing masive loses in the future. And if they want to spend more money they are wasteing it on some overpriced things like nVidia Quadro GPU, which is exactly the same as GeForce but with higher business price. Only engineers should be allowed to be CEOs, because they are smart, while acoutants are stupid.

The funy thing is that the best PC for business are being sold as a consumer versions without Windows Pro. Even more funny thing is, that it was very hard to upgrade my Vaio Ultrabook to Windows Pro and it was back then the only model with 15" FullHD touchscreen.

Dell still dosen't have any business model with touchscreen.

There is no Venue tablet with Windows Pro.

I think Microsoft should buy Dell, drop their consumer models and produce proper business hardware.

realwarder says:

<edited> because I was wrong :)

rinosaur says:

Um... what... you are blaming these massive financial crisis on a single "mistake" that wasn't caught because they used a VGA port???? What's your frustration with accountants again? And you know what happened in these boardrooms how?

fancyabrew says:

Dell do offer touch screen latitudes

frnlh says:

Business machines will also have Trusted Platform Modules and the ability to be inventoried and maintained over a network.

realwarder says:

I was just going to say this.  For a business these days having a TPM and using Bitlocker is a must.

Sometimes (but not always and less these days (very sad Lenovo)) the CPU models in the business laptops have more features.  E.g. they may be the same sounding X MHz CPU, but the business version can have additional extensions enabled like supporting virtualization software or V-Pro. e.g. 4700EQ / 4700MQ

SMMinke says:

Nice to see what a new angle you bring to the WP Central team of writers. This owner of an MSP company was nodding in agreement and giving the affirmative "uh-huh" as I read. We expire our clients machines on a set schedule of 3 years but WILL allow a business-class machine to go for 5. It's all about risk assessment and business-class devices carry less "moving parts" and thus less risk. ;-)

Thank you very much, SMMinke! Glad you enjoyed the article.

Happy Fujitsu Lifebook S6510 user here. 6 years old with a 160 GB SSD and Win 8.1 Pro and running strong.

sholokov says:

Technology World*

That's what you meant.

Choco22 says:

I drop my ThinkPad X220 from 2nd floor with the lid opened. The plastic in the left palm rest is cracked and showing the magnesium alloy case. However the rest of the system is intact. Still using it until today. Want to upgrade to the ThinkPad Yoga for the next round, for the touch screen and digitizer (for use on design) and also the new processor inside.

Shantek says:

Nice article, and pretty well written. Although doesn't relate to WP at all. The site seems to be straying away from just WP articles a lot more these days (and i for one like the bigger variety). Curious if 2014 may drop "phone" and become "Windows Central".

Back on topic, this article answered a few things I was always unsure about - thanks!

Kram Devil says:

It's a business to do pleasure with you.

KasakDesign says:

Very nice article. Informative. I am pleased.

Sunofabob says:

In a paragraph you made it seem as if the Yoga Pro 2 was the easier to repair but you then mention the yoga being easier to repair.

Yeah, switched that around - was a typo. Thanks!

mango.lover says:

Love my Yoga 2!

I've been using my Asus Ultrabook for my work needs without issue what so ever. It has all the bells and whistles I need. I'm quite happy with it. Had a HP laptop before and this is heads and tails above it in every way. I was hesitant at first to go with an Asus as I've never had one. Since then I've bought a tablet from them as well, I've been very happy with both products. In fact my next desktop will be an Asus machine. 

Miti 1982 says:

Just one note... The ThinkPad Yoga opens with the Philips screwdriver and the Yoga Pro uses the hex...

I have a T60 and a T400, the latter with Windows 8, and the are still great!

Cheewii Poon says:

Hey man great informative article, but I think you made a mistake here "If you want to gain access to the interior of a YOGA 2 Pro, simply grab your nearest Philips head screwdriver, if you want to gain access to the ThinkPad YOGA you are going to need a hex key." It's the YOGA 2 Pro (consumer PC) that requires the hex key.

Also "If we compare the two units directly we can see the true differences; the YOGA 2 Pro has a Super HD screen at 2k resolution (3200x1800) and a thin body." 3200x1800 is not 2K, 2K (as generally accepted by the market and not real 2K) is a resolution of 2560x1440. 3200x1800 is QHD+.

Nevertheless, it's a great article, I never knew the huge slot in my old laptop was for ExpressCards!
 

Great article! (though yes, the PRO 2 requires a hex key :)
The distinction between warranty procedures is the real kicker.

I spoke with the local Apple business manager (London, Oxford Street) and asked about return to base SLA's and he told me basically i'd get to jump a genius bar queue (their version of preferential treatment, i guess) but i would still be required to bring the devices in... Wtf was my verbatim response. That coupled up with poor upgradeability just makes the beautiful macbook pro a no go.

I do think the blurred line between consumer and pro (prosumer, as it were) is a marketing farce. Those devices are NOT professional if i cant easily remove the hdd before taking the device back.
Dell have a new haswell xps 15 - not seen any reviews yet, but that's supposed to be the windows macbook pro, with easy access to the innards so...

fancyabrew says:

Yep apple just can't offer proper support for enterprise users, i want on site support

freshfelicio says:

They should have put some screws on the Surface Pro instead of gluing all parts together. A 1000$ machine isn't replaced every year, so the ability to change the battery or the SSD would have been nice. But no, everything is glued together, and to open it, you have to use a hair drier to remove the glued screen just to see the glued SSD and the glued battery.

rinosaur says:

Wow I never knew that...disappointing

Techman360 says:

Dell Venue Pro 11. One of the first things I did when I got mine was pop the back cover off and remove the battery.  Looks like the SSD is just screwed down and looks replaceable.  Replacement battery is listed on Dell's site.  It is things like this that have me looking away from Microsoft and their Surface Pro's along with extended warranty and cost of accessories. 

tyaan says:

Very interesting article. In Germany there is another big difference between consumer and business laptop. You nearly get no consumer laptop/tablet with 3G/4G connectivity. So if you want mobile data, you need choose an business device.

DJCBS says:

Very interesting article. Though one should also have in mind, obviously, that this is a limited analysis of the business PCs as it sticks with laptops only. Most enterprise machines are PCs and not laptops. Also as for the brands, I think it depends on the country. Over here, for example, only HP is used from those 3. The other brands that dominate the business landscape are Asus and Toshiba.

jaimeastin says:

I almost always go business line like latitudes and optiplexes, but I gave the xps 13 and 8xxx line a try and I have been very pleased. They have been sleek, reliable, and built with quality in mind. That's why I go business, build quality and components. I still have a latitude for the ports and such... But I like how dell is finally getting design and quality standards up.

For the most part, manufacturers need to stop the low end market or at least up the quality in areas that matter most... Price gets people an inexpensive computer, yet after all their problems, they hate the manufacturer and/or windows and go off and buy a mac... In my experience I would argue that the consumer more so caused the problems that"broke" the PC, but they would disagree. This is why if the quality was up, complaints would lower... Shoot, I see the same consumers with their beat up ma books... And I mean beat up... Shoot, all of my board members beat up their latitudes but a couple... But they can take it!

Techman360 says:

The Latitude 7000 series is also very nice.  We have only ordered one so far but I am about to order one or two more shortly.  Compared to the 6430 they are sleek and thin.

jaimeastin says:

I know.  When I saw them a few weeks ago, I was very pleased with Dell's direction.  Can't wait to get one here to play with :) .

 

Techman360 says:

I just logged back on my Premiere page to look at the accessories for this model (you need a spacer for the E series dock) and the 7440 is no longer listed for me. In its place is a Latitude 14 (3000, 5000, and 7000 series) but there is no details on it. Have a email into my rep who is out until Thursday. I need to get another one of these ordered too.

Whodaboss says:

Great topic and article Michael!

fancyabrew says:

good article I'll keep the link to send to our users when they want some random consumer laptop and try and argue the toss!  We're a DELL shop and only buy Latitudes so users do get a pretty good choice of machine.  Main reaons are support, if it goes wrong a bloke is on site to fix it next day and you don't have to talk to an Indian (sorry) call centre, here in the UK support is UK or Ireland based, a quick call and you're sorted.  One of our users purchased a consumer based Toshiba a few years back it went wrong an he had to return it to base and it took two weeks to fix, mind you I did have fun saying I told you so! We also requie disk encryption so the ability to order with hardware encrypted disks is an advantage.  Also you know what you're getting and you'll get that model for several years.

TechFreak1 says:

Wish there was a no compromise laptop. But that is practically impossible.

MooCoo says:

I forgot all about the docking station, which is by far the best thing that's ever been made for laptops! It's a true plug and play experience and helps with day to day task when mobility is a factor, but you still need a big screen and other peripherals to be connected.

fancyabrew says:

yep +1 for docking stations too

ParNeverhood says:

What about the TPM, I find it in every business class machine, but I don't buy consumer equipment, so is the TPM typically only in business machines?

mlcooper54 says:

I agree with the general gist of this blog, but please, Michael, are you from the U.S.? Can you try to clean up your grammar and English?

What does this mean? The aforementioned three companies rule the landscape and provide to seeking business what they call, business machines...

To start, port selection is a big one, (period) (Do)do you remember when machines all came with VGA ports, Express Card slots, and an array of other oddly shaped ports?

Just because the technology word (world) is accelerating does ...

While many consumer(s) have ...

it caused more dishevel (dishevelment) than any ....

If you work within a large corporate (corporation), replacing three thousand...

for the IT department, (period. As a..) as a result we see two ...

laptops from Lenovo to see the easy (ease) of reparability (repairability)...

one is designed for the multimedia heavy consumer - so this is for overweight consumers?

both machines in terms of reparability (repairability) and ...

simply grab your nearest Philips head screwdriver, (Period. If)  if you want to gain access to...

The decision of (whether to choose a) consumer machine or business machine is up to you, (Period. It...) but it is ...

 If you want to pick up a business machine or just see what head is out there, over to an (see what is out there, head over...)...

I'm sorry. I had a very difficult time reading this blog. The grammar sucks. The spelling sucks. Back in the day, we had reporters. Editors and proofreaders took the reporter's article and made it readable.

 

As big and wondrous as WPCentral (and I suppose Mobile Nations as a whole) claims to be, can't you find people that know good grammar and that can spell properly?

 

In no way am I including reader comments. I realize we have readers from all over the world and many readers do not have English as their first language. I also realize some of WPC's contributing writers are not American/English. But, geeze, you guys from the States (and the UK) should really try to do better.

 

Daniel's excuse was he has to throw out so much content every day that he doesn't have to do it correctly. How does that work for the factory worker? I'm doing so much, you certainly don't expect me to do it correctly??? How about the hospital emergency room workers: we're so busy...you want us to do our job with precision?

 

Sorry. When I went to school (including getting my electrical engineering degree) we were expected to use good grammar and we were expected to spell words correctly.

 

karthikt94 says:

Superb article. Was thinking of going for a HP consumer laptop, but now I am confused between that and a thinkpad.