Thursday, February 23, 2012

Recommended and Minimum Specs for Software: Knowing What You Need

Panasonic Toughbook CF-27
It seems that a great deal of our customers are in the process of updating the software that they utilize in their police cruisers or in their ambulances.  For some, this means an inevitable upgrade in computer systems as well.  But, lets face it, it might be time to upgrade from those fifteen year old Pentium III CF-27's and CF-28's anyway.

For those who are less than technologically savvy, understanding exactly what they need to purchase to adequately run the software they are looking to purchase is much like trying to read Greek or Latin.  It doesn't help that most software companies recommend that you purchase your upgrade computers based on the recommended specifications.  Recommended specifications are generally in-line with the latest and greatest hardware options available (such as i7 processors, 8 Gig of RAM, 1 TB hard drives, Windows 7 Professional, and so on).  You can't even purchase a brand new Panasonic Toughbook CF-31 with those specifications.  Those specs are generally only found in end-user laptops (such as a Dell or HP that would be purchased at a large retail store for home usage); laptops that you should never consider mounting in a vehicle.

Panasonic Toughbook CF-19
This is where it becomes important to also receive a listing of the minimum specifications for the software you are looking to purchase.  Although the recommended specifications may be similar to those listed above, the minimum specifications might only require a Pentium IV processor, 1 Gig of RAM, 5 Gig hard drive, and Windows XP.  And for those that aren't fluent in tech-lingo, the difference between the minimum and the recommended is huge!  It also gives the ability to purchase a wide array of refurbished Panasonic Toughbooks such as the CF-19, CF-29, CF-30, CF-74, or even the CF-52.

Once you have the minimum and the recommended specifications, you should talk with Toughbook salesperson or email them your the specifications.  From there, a reputable company will help you purchase what you need (not what they want to sell you), all while trying to stay within the constraints of your department's budget.  A good rule of thumb is to try to find a mid-point between the minimum and recommended specifications.  This will make your computers a relevant technology for a long period of time and that you should not have any issues with any upgrades that are required by your software company.

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