The Myth of the $400 Computer

  2006-06-20


While writing a hardware proposal for a small business yesterday, I had to estimate the cost of 8 new desktop computers. Time and time again I’ve had clients surprised when I budget $800-$1,100 per computer when they’ve seen the Dell ads for $350-$400 computers.

There is no such thing as a $400 computer for businesses.

Home users might be able to get away buying a piece of junk Dell Dimension. Dimensions come with tons of useless software and last approximately 2 years.

Businesses should worry about TCO. This means budgeting $150-$350 for Microsoft Office (unless you can use OpenOffice.org), and getting the business class model such as the Optiplex from Dell.

If you get lucky, you may be able to get a business class desktop for $600-$800, but I usually budget $1,100 because you should never base business decisions on luck.