Workstation PCs do not share a universal definition because different businesses have different sets of requirements. More recently, laptops have also entered theforay, so it isn’t a monopoly for desktops anymore either. On the other hand, irrespective of size, form factor, or price, all workstations do share a few key features. For instance, anenterprise grade PC should be capable of delivering consistent and reliable performance under heavy workloads, even if that workload persists for days. As for more specific needs of a small company, it will depend on several factors that we will discuss next.
Scale and Sector
Small company can mean anything from a 3-man software development team to a mining company that employs over 1,000 people. Therefore, what would suffice as a workstation is highly dependent on the kind of work that the company does, as well as how much work each PC will need to handle. It’s quite possible that the software development company with three partners/employees will need more expensive and performance oriented workstations than the mining company. On the other hand, the mining company will need several more workstations than the small software company, albeit with comparativelyless need for raw computing power (barring servers).
Portability and Cost-Efficiency
Mobility is almost of universal importance now for work PCs, irrespective of the field. Massive desktop PCs with impressive computing power and zero portability have their place too, but small business operations generally do not need too many of those. Instead, they stand to benefitmore by investing their total workstation budget in buying multiple mini workstations like the book-sized ThinkCentre M Series Tiny. Despite meeting the standards of an enterprise-grade workstation, the 1Lportable desktop is surprisingly cost-effective and space-efficient, especially for bulk purchases and small business offices.
Office Size and Setup
A workstation PC that’s not meant to leave the office under normal circumstances can provide more performance at the cost of portability. However, if we are discussing an office setup with multiple employees, then the available space in respect to the number of employees must be taken into account. If an office is small in respect to the number of employees working inside it at the same time, then the mini workstation presents itself as the best option once again.
Alternatively, AIOs, or All-in-One desktops are also space saving options worth considering.These are slick and stylishdesktops where the cabinet and the monitor come as a single unit. AIO PCsare generally not as suited for 24×7 duty as workstations, but they will do just fine as regular office computers that are switched off at the end of a workday. However, mobile workstations and workstation laptops might be a better fit for companies that need their computers to be both space-efficient and durable.
Whichever workstation a business might choose, they should not forget about the other most important requirement, which would be the ports. Any work PC that’s labelled as a workstation should have support for at least three monitors through HDMI, DisplayPort, and Thunderbolt. It should also have at least four USB ports, if not more.