If you're looking to choose a new Windows computer for yourself or business then assuming you are using it for 'normal' office use (surfing the internet, using Microsoft Office applications, email and so on) we recommend the following minimum spec:
Windows 10 Pro
2-core Intel i5 Processor or more.
8GB RAM or more.
250GB SSD (solid state disk) or more. Don't buy anything with an HDD (spinning disk) - you will regret it.
|Security||TPM Chip (Trusted Platform Module)|
|Display||A full HD display (or better) is desirable.|
This shouldn't be a consideration if you are buying for normal office use.
If you have specific requirements then you will need to choose a suitable Graphics card.
|Size||13" or 14" is generally a good compromise between screen size and weight if you are going for a laptop. Anything bigger can be cumbersome to move about; anything smaller might be a bit fiddly.|
Windows 10 Pro is very important. If you are buying a computer and it doesn’t explicitly state that this comes installed, then it will come with Windows 10 Home. In this case, it won’t connect to your company network, making it pretty much useless.
In the past we’ve been able to upgrade Windows 10 Home machines with a separate Windows 10 Pro licenses as part of the build process. However, going forwards this may store up future problems. The next generation of PC management technology from Microsoft allows us to create a build process so that PC’s can self-configure over the internet – particularly useful in a remote/home working scenario. If a user leaves and you want to pass the PC onto another member of staff we can remotely reset the machine back to a clean state. However, for PC’s that were originally bought with Windows 10 Home, this also resets the version of Windows meaning that it is then unable to connect to your company network.
- The TPM (Trusted Platform Module) security chip enables important security settings that help with GDPR compliance. Most computers now have this, but if you are looking at the bottom end of the market in terms of price, you can find computers without it and these are not suitable for business use.
- PC's are very easy to upgrade; PC Laptops are normally easy to upgrade, although there is now a trend amongst some manufacturers to follow Apple's lead and solder components onto the mainboard. This means you may want to consider buying the next size up in RAM and Hard disk if you are unsure about how much you will need.
- PC Laptops typically do not last more than three years; the build quality is not great. If you are buying at the cheaper end of the market, expect to replace the laptop after three years. If you are buying something more expensive (typically thinner and lighter) then you should look for a three year warranty.