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Device Considerations for Specific Users

Applied IT (Year 12) - Hardware

Christian Bien

Device Considerations for Mobile Employees

The wide accessibility of the internet has seen a rise in employees working away from business premises, working at home or at a client location. Employees working away from business require specific hardware requirements including:

  • Wireless internet capabilities - including WiFi and Mobile Data access

  • Battery life of around 8-10 hours, sufficient to meet the daily needs of mobile users

  • Weight - light and portable, less than 1kg is ideal

  • Trackpad or Touch inputs - difficult to use external peripherals of keyboard and mouse when not at a desk.

Mobile employees can forgo some specifications including:

  • Powerful Processor: Mobile employees often perform light work in mobile situations, powerful applications are often used on desktop computers at the business premises. Powerful CPUs will also impact heavily on battery life.

  • A lot of RAM: Mobile employees only require a satisfactory amount of RAM (around 4-8GB) to perform basic multi-tasking functions. A high amount of RAM will reduce battery life

  • Large screen size: A large screen size will reduce portability and usability of a device. Unless folded screens become a reality, large screens can be avoided for mobile users.

Examples of Ideal Devices include:

  • Microsoft Surface Pro

  • Apple Macbook Air

  • Apple iPad Pro

  • Lenovo Yoga Series

Device Considerations for Designers and Gamers

Gamers and high performance designers, require computers with high processing power but little mobility in their devices. Hardware requirements would include:

  • Powerful multi-core processors: Processors such as Intel Xeon can have between 6 - 8 core processors to adequately meet user performance needs.

  • Lots of RAM: Around 10Gb or more RAM - the more the merrier but try to be realistic.

  • High performance networking: Gigabit ethernet ports, Wireless 802.11 AC and thunderbolt capabilities should be standard for high performance users.

  • Large screen size: External high quality monitors of around 27 inch should give users enough screen real estate to display their needs.

  • High performance graphic cards: Around 2-4GB in VRAM, AMD Fire Pros are a great graphics card as they offer 2GB in VRAM and dual GPUs - also offers multiple video outputs of HDMI.

Designers/gamers can forgo some features including:

  • Battery life: The device will be stationary in one location for the majority of its use.

  • Weight: The device will be stationary in one location and won't be moved a lot.

Examples of ideal devices include:

  • Apple Mac Pro

  • Dell Alienware AURORA Gaming Desktop

Client business users would have desktops connected to a main high performance server. As most of the information is processed by the server, the client desktops would not require a high level of performance. Hardware requirements would include:

  • High performance networking: Gigabit ethernet or 802.11 AC wireless.

  • Adequate screen size: As it is a desktop, a small laptop display would be inadequate, around 18-20 inches would be an appropriate sized monitor.

  • Affordable: Not really a hardware feature as such, but be mind large businesses would be purchasing a large set of these devices, from 10 to 1000 units.

Client business users can forgo some features including:

  • Mobility: The device would be stationary for a majority of its use.

  • Fast processor: Only requires an adequate processing speed to process transmissions from the client server to the desktop.

  • Weight: Ideally it should be small as possible but weight wouldn't be a large issue.

Examples of ideal devices include:

  • Apple Mac Mini

  • Dell Inspiron Mini

However, in the age of remote working and more affordable laptop/tablet options, client machines are becoming less common in the workplace.

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