Businesses with workers who rely heavily on laptops or ultrabooks may want to invest in a docking station to expand their workstation connectivity options. Unlike proprietary docks sold by laptop makers in the past, today's docks typically connect using the standard USB interface. As you can imagine, this allows your dock investment to be reused with newer laptops.
It's important to note that a dock eliminates the need for peripherals such as keyboards, mice, speakers and network cables that must be plugged in and unplugged all the time. Using wired Ethernet, too, offers faster and more reliable network connectivity as it frees up wireless capacity for workers not at their desks. Finally, some newer docks, such as the Targus USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Dual Video Docking Station, support two external monitors, which makes setting up a multi-monitor rig easy.
Deploy Multiple Monitors
It's well established that using more than one monitor helps improve productivity and boost user satisfaction-in some cases by up to 50 percent-since you spend less time toggling between application windows. Unfortunately, most SMBs dither about spending money on something that does not deliver an immediate and tangible return.
However, with 23-inch LCD displays available for as little as $150, businesses may want to consider a limited deployment or a pilot study. At a minimum, SMBs should consider deploying one external LCD display of reasonable size for laptop users. This will help reduce eyestrain by replacing the smallish laptop displays with something that is comfortable.
Upgrade Your RAM
Modern computers with 4 GB or more of random access memory (RAM) generally have sufficient memory for most user needs. The mantra "more RAM never hurts" continues to be relevant, though, and it's is bolstered by the sheer affordability of RAM.
For one, having enough RAM lets you reduce virtual memory or even turn it off entirely. This will result in a snappier experience for hard disk drive (HDD) systems, especially when they are heavily loaded. Newer laptops equipped with fast solid-state drives (SSD), on the other hand, will see more of their expensive flash-based storage space freed up.
Of course, a RAM upgrade may not be for everyone. One strange quirk of RAM memory modules is that, while the prices of slightly older chips tend to be cheaper, the reverse is true for those that are a generation behind. You can expect those prices to spike instead.
Upgrade to Solid State Drive
Deferring that company-wide system upgrade until Windows 8 adoption picks up? The easiest way to stretch the lifespan of an aging desktop or laptop is to upgrade the internal HDD to an SSD. The higher speed at which an SSD can read and write data, in turn, lets users boot up their systems and launch their applications faster.
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