Byte Me Article 197 – What’s needed on a new laptop?

What’s Needed on a New Laptop

Following on from last week’s article on all of the changes that we make to a business grade HP laptop to prepare it for sale – once we have removed all of the junk (around 20 programs) from these laptops we then have to start adding useful software.  We install the latest versions of the following software – Adobe Acrobat Reader, Adobe Flash Player, CutePDF Writer, Java, K-Lite Codec Pack, 7Zip, Internet Explorer and all of the latest Microsoft Updates and Critical Patches.

If the laptop is going to a home user we also install the Microsoft Games Pack and Avast Home Edition Anti-Virus.  For business use we skip the last two titles above and install, register, configure & update Trend Micro Anti-Virus.  In nearly all cases we also install a Traditional Windows Skin to make Windows 8.1 much easier to drive.  This returns the familiar Windows Start Button as well as the Task Bar and allows users to place standard icons and shortcuts on the desktop as they have always done.

Further to the above we also tweak Internet Explorer to open faster and to protect you while on Internet banking sites.  At the end of all of this work the laptops can be sold to a home user or a business and are ready to be used.  They can be taken home & switched on without further questions being asked of the owner and without the threat of annoying pop-ups demanding attention or money.

2014-10-25 Byte Me Article 197 - Laptop Transition 2

If the customer requires further customisations such as Microsoft Office, MYOB, QuickBooks, Phoenix or a host of other software titles, we install and configure these programs for a small extra fee.  We are also asked to transfer data from the customer’s previous laptop/desktop in about 80% of cases.

If you knew exactly what you were doing to reach the state of readiness just documented, it would take 6 to 8 hours to complete.  This is why we see such high levels of frustration from people that have purchased a computer from a large retail outlet and are left to contend with the setup by themselves.  We get to allocate 3 or 4 identical new laptops at a time to a single tech to cut the time invested per laptop down to just under 2 hours.

Keep in mind, that for all of the work I have been documenting here we initially chose a HP Business Grade Laptop.  If we had chosen a standard consumer laptop – especially from the likes of Toshiba then there could easily have been 30 junk and trial applications that needed uninstalling.  This amounts to close on 4 hours work by itself!

You can see why I resent the amount of junk software my industry is bundling with new brand name laptops and desktops.  They either think that they are making their offering more appealing or they are chasing further on-line revenue after the initial sale.

With an initial RRP of $799 on the example laptop here, we do all of the above work, double the ram to 8GB and sell a much more reliable, faster and easier to drive device at $849. 

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

For more advice and assistance from Kerr Solutions, like and follow us on Facebook