The BJCS guide to hardware specs

27th May 2014

What hardware do I need?

Oftentimes, a computer system upgrade follows a software upgrade. Customers come in because their department is getting new software and they want to make sure that their computer will play nice with it. For some, this means they must replace their fifteen-year-old CF-27s and CF-28s with something newer.

Panasonic Toughbook CF-27Panasonic Toughbook CF-31

Not everyone who comes through our doors or calls us on the telephone is necessarily tech savvy. Trying to decipher specification sheets and system requirements can be like trying to read ancient Greek. That's OK. That's what we're here for.

A good starting point for figuring out what kind of hardware (that is, which computer) you need is to look at the system requirements for your software. Most software companies will give you recommended system requirements. If available, try to find your software's minimum system requirements. Minimum system requirements will indicate what specs your computer will actually need, whereas recommended system requirements will typically list off the latest and greatest specs that come with brand-spankin'-new consumer-grade laptops. These specs -- things like the latest generation i7 processor, 16GB memory and Terabyte hard drives -- aren't available on even the highest end rugged laptops. The latest (non-rugged) consumer laptops, however, won't be able to survive a squad car, a construction site, or any other tough environment.

If you check the minimum system requirements, you might find that you can get by with a Pentium IV processor, 1GB memory and 5GB of hard drive space. The difference between minimum system requirements and recommended system requirements is often huge, and our refurbished Toughbooks will usually fit well within this range.

Once you know your minimum and recommended system requirements, you might want to talk with a salesperson to help you find what you need (call toll-free at 877-202-7788 or email Bob). We're here to help, and we won't hard-sell you or pressure you to buy something more expensive than you need.

A good rule of thumb is to find a halfway point between the minimum and recommended system requirements. This will ensure both that you stay within your budget and that your computer will remain compatible with new and updated software in the future.

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