There’s a weird feeling afoot these days, in the Valley, and in San Francisco. Across the rest of the world — Denver, Santiago, Toronto, Berlin, “Silicon Glen,” “Silicon Alley,” “Silicon Roundabout“, Station F — it seems every city still wants to be a startup hub, dreaming of becoming “the new Silicon Valley.” But in the… Read More
When looking to buy the best mobile workstation for your business needs, you're not just looking for a highly powerful (and more expensive) work laptop, but rather a versatile device that provides the same level of power you'd expect to find in a desktop PC, but within the mobile laptop form factor.
You will need to expect to pay a bit more for the best mobile workstation, as the parts they use, build quality and the level of after-sales services mean that these are an investment, but choosing the right one means you'll have a solid and dependable performer that will help you with your work for years to come. Also, thanks to our price comparison tool, we can help take the sting out of the price tag by helping you find the very best prices for these excellent mobile workstations.
These portable powerhouses are popular in a number of verticals: CAD/CAM, Geospatial, oil & gas and engineering because they allow workers to be flexible on the move, reducing downtime that might be associated with long commutes or intercontinental flights.
A number of recent trends have accelerated this shift. Component manufacturers have shifted their attention away from the desktop to the laptop markets with a laser focus on delivering the best performance per watt.
Some vendors – like MSI – are also using experience acquired in other markets – such as gaming – to design and build their mobile workstation portfolios. Then there's also the move to further miniaturise the form factor with a number of models falling in the UItrabook category by virtue of their size and heft.
Because mobile workstations are so specialist – and come with such a high price tag – finding one that suits your business needs is important, and we're here to help with this list of the best mobile workstations in 2017.
Very few laptops on the market can compete with this model. Dell's Inspiron range is aimed at business and consumers with a definite nudge towards the former. Dare we say, the 7000 series is one that will please almost everyone, including gamers. For the price, you get a laptop with an aluminium chassis and a long list of impressive features. As this is not your typical workstation, the laptop comes with Windows 10 Home but can be upgraded to Windows 10 Pro for £99.99.
Not only is the Razer Blade one of the best gaming laptops money can buy, it is also an excellent desktop replacement and mobile workstation for non-gamers, thanks to its excellent array of features and powerful components. It’s thin, powerful and includes some of the latest hardware money can buy.
HP’s mobile workstation Ultrabook has already reached its third generation but the last one is still very much a best-in-class especially when it comes to sheer value for money. It is one of the cheapest workstations on the market to offer a professional dedicated graphics card, and the most affordable business laptop to come with a whopping half-decade warranty. HP opted for a 14-inch diagonal which may well hit a sweet spot for some.
HP calls it the perfect combination of brains and beauty and it is kind of hard to disagree. The G3 is essentially a mobile workstation that has been squeezed in an Ultrabook form factor. A 4K monitor adorns it and there’s plenty of oomph under the hood. It is actually the only device known to us that comes with a Xeon CPU. Add in extensive ISV certification, a super-long warranty and MLD-STD 810G certification and you have a very attractive candidate.
The more upmarket version of the Inspiron 15 7000 above is the Precision 15 7000, an outrageously fast machine with an equally outrageous price tag. As expected you get cutting edge components and the type of flexibility in the customisation process that sorely lacks with the SOHO-oriented Inspiron range. This is Dell’s direct, built-to-order model at its best: From the latest Intel quad-core CPU to a plethora of other high end parts, this is as good as it gets.
Lenovo hails this model as the world’s first multi-mode workstation, one that manages to combine power and creativity thanks to a 360-degree hinge that has, to some extent, set the standard when it comes to convertible or 2-in-1 designs. What’s more, it is one of the very rare laptops to come with built-in Wacom Active ES pen technology, capable of delivering 2048 levels of pen pressure sensitivity and tilt recognition.
MSI is not a brand that we usually associate with workstations but the Taiwanese company, unlike its staunchest competitors, Gigabyte and Asus, has made some remarkable inroads in this lucrative niche market. The WS60 is essentially a more expensive version of its gaming laptop with a certified professional GPU. It’s worth noting that this laptop is one of the slimmest and lightest of the workstations in this list.
This is the top-of-the-range workstation at Lenovo, the apex predator, the one to beat. Targeting designers, engineers and professionals in the oil and gas industry, it is one of the only two models to feature an Intel Xeon processor. There’s also a built-in colour calibrator as well as a steep price tag for the top-end model to highlight its premium nature. It is a shame though that it doesn’t offer any RAID option at this price and tops out at 512GB storage.
Toshiba’s excellent range of Tecra business laptops has produced this brilliant mobile workstation, which packs a heck of a lot of power into an easily portable body. As well as offering plenty of power and mobility, there’s also plenty of connectivity options which makes this an excellent laptop for business use.
The MSI WS60 6QH 088UK is an excellent mobile workstation, and with MSI being known for producing powerful gaming laptops, it’s no surprise that the company has also created this powerful workstation that excels in CAD and graphics applications. This laptop has been updated to provide some of the latest components to ensure a top notch experience.
In the world of workstations lies an even smaller niche. One for vendors that build to order using parts from the likes of Foxconn. The Octane III is one of them, allowing the user to choose exactly what parts they want to power their workstations and more. Sure, you don't get the sort of support you'd expect from the likes of Lenovo, Dell or HP, but for many, the pros of using a vendor like PC Specialist will outweigh the cons.
The model we configured came with the best consumer grade laptop CPU on the market, 64GB of RAM and two 500GB SSDs in RAID-0 mode. Of course, you’re free to specify the machine as you wish – but there are plenty of options when it comes to powerful components, that’s for sure.
If you're looking for the best business desktop or all-in-one PC for your work, then make sure you check out our updated list – including the brand new iMac for 2017. We've weighed up the best business PCs on the market, and with our price comparison tool, you can also shop with confidence knowing you're getting the very best deals.
When you're working in an office all day, nothing quite beats a traditional business desktop PC for working on. They are usually much more comfortable to use than a laptop, and they can be easily maintained and upgraded, so you don't need to buy a new model every couple of years.
They usually offer a lot more power for a lot less money than business laptops, so if you're looking for a cost effective way to populate your office with powerful machines, going for a business desktop PC is an excellent choice.
Also, if you think that a business PC has to be a boring-looking beige box, think again; the desktop PC has evolved significantly over the past three years beyond the monoliths that mid or mini-towers used to be.
To help narrow down your search for the ideal system for your business, here are Techradar Pro's top 10 business desktop PCs.
Dell is a well-known and well respected name when it comes to business computers, so you can be sure when you buy a machine from Dell that it is a well-built and well-supported device. The Dell OptiPlex 3050 Micro offers very good base specs that can be customised to your needs, for a very compelling price. The slim line case also keeps your desk or office from feeling cluttered.
The HP Elite Slice for Meeting Rooms proves that business desktops don’t have to be big and bulky. This simple yet powerful device has a small form factor that makes it slot onto desks or in meeting rooms with ease, and with dual-microphones, HP Noise cancellation and specialist conferencing software, it makes it the perfect device for holding meetings on.
If you’re looking for an incredibly powerful, yet stylishly designed, all-in-one PC that’s not made by Apple, then Microsoft’s brilliant Surface Studio will be for you. It comes at a price, but for build quality and performance, you’ll not want to look any further, especially if you work in the creative industry.
There's no denying the solid build quality and sheer design elegance of the Apple iMac all-in-one. If you were setting out to build the most futuristic, glamorous looking office there's no doubt the Apple iMac would be at the top of your shopping list. With the lowest-end model built inside a floating-style 21.5-inch display, even this 'basic' offering is capable of high-end video and photography work.
We've also had time with the new iMac for 2017, and it looks like Apple will continue its winning streak with its new and improved all-in-one.
The Lenovo ThinkCentre M900 is an excellent desktop PC for business use, as it combines speed and power with an excellent build quality and reliability which is essential for PCs used for work. The Lenovo ThinkCentre M900 comes in a range of configurations, with the top-end model boasting a huge amount of power. This flexibility lets you build a Lenovo ThinkCentre M900 that suits your needs, and there's plenty of room to upgrade and expand this desktop in the future.
If you are after a space saving business-ready device that doesn’t cost the earth, this should be on your short-list. Bear in mind that the price includes a 3-year next business day onsite warranty, which is certainly not to be sniffed at if things go wrong. Note that buying it direct from HP entitles you to a 10% discount on HP printers.
A wonderful piece of technology at an amazing price, this all-in-one PC from Dell is a good example of why you may want to shop around. You can buy this machine from Dell Direct, but you may find it cheaper at Amazon – while that means you might not get to customise the PC at checkout, thanks to Amazon Prime, you can get it the following day even if it is a Saturday.
Behold the Mac mini. Apple’s cheapest computer is even cheaper when bought from a third-party. It is tiny even compared to the competition but still manages to pack an Intel Core i5 with faster graphics and Thunderbolt 2 plus a myriad of other connectors, all in a box that’s only 36mm thick and sits comfortably on an A4 sheet.
The HP ProDesk 400 G4 Tower is an excellent desktop PC that, thanks to its 27% smaller chassis than the previous generation, will look great in modern offices, while providing plenty of power for workers.
If you need a solid PC system that’s going to work day-in, day-out, then the Dell Optiplex range should get a good chunk of your attention. The 3020 range is based on a no-nonsense micro-tower system, which comes with Windows 7 Pro 64-bit with a free upgrade to Windows 10 Pro. This system has everything you need to get your business up and running, while remaining expandable as you go.
The types of desktop PCs
A recent development in the desktop PC world has been a modest diversification of the system case. The typical business PC comes in a mini-tower box, which is probably best sited under or next to your desk.
But if space is at a premium, a smaller case would be a better choice. Dell, for example, delivers its Optiplex models in mini tower, ‘thin’ desktop and ‘compact’ small form factor sizes, each model offering the same computing power but in a different case.
Three other formats that have grown in popularity are:
 All-in-one, otherwise known as AIO, which combine the monitor with the base unit. The move to power-efficient components, the falling price of LCD panels and the ubiquity of touch functionality make AIO an increasingly popular choice for businesses. The all-in-one PC essentially resembles a slightly larger than normal LCD display that contains the processor, hard drive and memory built-in to the screen casing. The end result is a very elegant, clutter-free desktop PC.
 Ultra-small form factors, otherwise known as net tops or mini PCs, which borrow a lot of their designs (and components) from laptops. They are essentially laptops without a screen, input peripherals and a battery.
 HDMI dongles which have been inspired by tablets and smartphones and often share parts with the latter. These are usually used for display signage or in niche markets. They are usually not powerful enough for most tasks but things are likely to improve by the end of 2016.
It's that time of year again: another bargain-packed Black Friday 2017 is almost upon us, and that means you're going to want to know where the best offers can be found – and we just happen to have gathered together all the biggest discounts from Argos below.
Argos always goes all-in for Black Friday, which we like, and it looks like this year's extravaganza isn't going to be any different. Of course Argos has a bewildering number of categories and departments to sift through, but we're going to focus on all the best tech and gadget deals you can pick up, as well as a few extra surprises.
Save yourself some frantic clicking and scrolling by browsing through the selections below, which we'll update before, during and after Black Friday 2017. If there's an electronics deal that you need to know about, then you're going to find it here – whether it's a cut-price or a significant saving on a .
Don't waste any more time reading this introduction – check out the best of Argos Black Friday 2017 below!
Black Friday deals quick links
Argos Black Friday deals
To get you more in the mood for Black Friday 2017 here are some of the best deals that Argos announced during the shopping craziness that was Black Friday 2016.
Gaming Black Friday deals – Black Friday is usually the perfect time to pick up that games console you've had your eye on, and Argos made the purchase of a that little bit more appealing by reducing its Call of Duty Infinite Warfare bundle down to £199.99.
More recently the price of a limited edition gold PS4 Slim, with a 500GB hard drive, was down to £249.99 – so you can see that if gaming is what you're interested in, Argos is often the best place to go.
TV Black Friday deals – Argos usually comes up with the goods when it comes to deals on TVs, and Black Friday 2016 was no different, with the 43-inch LG 43LH570V Full HD Smart LED TV (complete with USB recording and playback capabilities) down to £295 on the day.
Gadgets Black Friday deals – as we've mentioned, one of the reasons we pay special attention to Argos on Black Friday is because it has so many gadgets on offer, including the full-sized , which last year could be yours for the bargain price of £119.99.
Smartphone Black Friday deals – Black Friday is also the perfect time to get that smartphone upgrade you've been promising yourself as there are so many decent deals around, such as £50 off the LG G4 at Argos last year, putting the price down to just £249.95.
Another great smartphone deal we've seen on Argos recently is a SIM-free Sony Xperia E5, yours for a mere £129.95.
Tablet Black Friday deals – if you were more interested in tablets than smartphones during Black Friday 2016, then Argos had you covered in this department too. The 32GB Wi-Fi iPad Air 2, for example, could be picked up for a mere £209 in silver or space grey.
Another Argos offer that caught out eye recently was the £30 you could get off the Samsung Tab S2, an 8-inch slate with 32GB of storage, yours for £299 – that's £30 off the regular RRP.
Audio Black Friday deals – audiophiles really were spoilt for choice at Argos during Black Friday 2016, with a pile of offers available. One of the best was the Bose SoundSport audio-only in-ear headphones on offer at half price, just £39.99 of your hard-earned cash.
More recently the Google Home speaker has been knocked down to £99, which is £30 off the regular retail price.
Toy Black Friday deals – Argos is also a great choice for toys of all descriptions. One of the Black Friday deals that particularly caught our eye last year was the Disney Star Wars AT-AT U Command Figure for only £79.99, offering plenty of Star Wars fun for fans of all ages.
As well as that we've spotted Argos' lowest prices ever on the colourful Furby Connect dolls, down to £34.99 online recently.
Argos on Black Friday 2017: what you need to know
The speedy ordering system, the wealth of categories, and the option to pick up your goods – all the stuff you're used to from Argos – still apply on Black Friday, so it's worth making it a priority for your holiday shopping.
Do make sure you've got an Argos account before Black Friday 2017 arrives, so you're ready to start shopping on the day itself. Signing up for email updates is also recommended if you want to be the first to hear about the best deals, and you can also spread the cost of purchases with an Argos Card (check online for details).
Deals go live right on the stroke of midnight as Thursday night turns into Friday morning – Argos says the quietest time on its website on Black Friday 2016 was from 3am to 4am, so if you want to beat everyone else to the bargains, you might consider a very early start. In stores, meanwhile, Argos says it'll be putting on extra staff to give you a hand in your bargain hunt.
The top 5 Argos Black Friday deals last year
1. HP 15-ay020na laptop bundle
Black Friday is always a good opportunity to pick up a cheap laptop: last year Argos was selling the HP 15-ay020na laptop with a bag, mouse and a copy of McAfee for just £269.99.
2. Amazon Fire tablet
The Amazon Fire tablets are some of the best value slates around, especially on Black Friday – last year you could pick up an Amazon Fire 7 tablet with Alexa for only £29.99.
3. Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
The still holds up pretty well against the flagship smartphones of 2017, and last Black Friday at Argos the price of one of these handsets was discounted down to £419.95.
4. Sony KD55XD7005 4K TV
4K TVs have never been cheaper – for just £769 you could have bagged a Sony KD55XD7005 55-inch model running Android TV last year, more than £200 off the model's original price.
5. The Force Awakens Interactive Darth Vader
Star Wars fans were spoilt last Black Friday at Argos, with this interactive Darth Vader toy figure reduced from £119.99 to just £24.99, a bargain whatever side of the Force you're on.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday guarantee crowds of shoppers hunting for the the biggest discounts around, so to give you a head start this Black Friday, we've collected together all the best offers from Currys subsidiary PC World on this very page for you to browse through.
The usual Black Friday rules apply – top tech at low prices – and for PC World that means big savings on laptop computers, desktop computers, tablets, software, printers, computing accessories and more besides. Whatever part of your gadget life needs upgrading, you should be able to find something to suit at PC World over Black Friday.
PC World prices are usually some of the lowest around anyway so on Black Friday 2017 they represent even more of a bargain. Whether it's hefty discounts across a whole range of products or special, time-limited deals on certain bits of gear, we'll list all the important offers you need to know about on this page.
That's enough of an introduction – let the PC World Black Friday 2017 extravaganza commence!
Black Friday deals quick links
PC World Black Friday deals
As you may remember, Black Friday 2016 was a bumper one over at PC World – these were just some of the many excellent deals on offer over the last 12 months, and the signs are already looking good for 2017 as well.
Desktop Black Friday deals – for raw computing power and that big screen experience you still can't beat a desktop computer, even if they're not as fashionable any more, and PC World has had the HP 411-a005na desktop as low as £399.98, complete with monitor.
More recently one of the best deals we saw was £300 off the Dell Inspiron 5675 gaming PC in Recon Blue, down to just £599.99.
Laptop Black Friday deals – if you were after a cheap but capable laptop during Black Friday 2016 then you couldn't have done much better than the Lenovo IdeaPad 510, with an Intel Core i3 CPU and a 1TB HDD, available for just £299 from the PC World shelves.
Lately we've also seen £120.99 knocked off the HP Pavilion 14-bk069sa 14-inch laptop, now down to £379 with free delivery.
Convertible Black Friday deals – Microsoft's brings the best of both a tablet and a laptop into one sleek computing device, and last Black Friday you had the chance to pick up the 128GB Surface Pro 4 model, complete with Type Cover keyboard, for only £699.
Or what about the Dell Inspiron 13 5000 deal we saw lately? The 2-in-1 was priced at just £479, a saving of £239.98 on the original price.
Wearable Black Friday deals – maybe you're looking to get fit in time for Christmas, or at least by the start of the New Year, in which case a Fitbit can help: the large version of the Fitbit Blaze smartwatch was all the way down to £132.99 at PC World on Black Friday 2016.
Another deal we recently spotted was £20 off the excellent Garmin Forerunner smartwatch, down to just £139.99 at PC World.
Tablet Black Friday deals – the Samsung Galaxy Tab series of Android tablets continue to give the iPads from Apple a run for their money, and that's certain true in terms of sticker price at PC World, with the 32GB 9.7-inch available for £399.99.
In recent months, PC World has been knocking £30 off the cost of a 32GB, 10.1-inch Lenovo Yoga Tab 3, yours for just £199.99.
TV Black Friday deals – did you know PC World also does TVs? You do now. The store has had the rather impressive 49-inch LG 49UH850V Smart 3D LED TV set, complete with 4K Ultra HD and HDR capabilities, on sale for a mere £598.97 – that's more than £300 off.
Another deal we've seen at PC World more recently is £300 off the Samsung UE55MU6670, with the 55-inch curved 4K television set yours for just £799, HDR support and all.
Printer Black Friday deals – printers aren't the most exciting of gadgets but they're very handy to have around, and PC World has been offering the Epson Expression XP-345 – a quality all-in-one wireless inkjet print – for just £39.99, which is £40 off the regular price.
More recently we've seen £40 knocked off the price of the HP DeskJet 3730 all-in-one, taking it down to just £39.99.
PC World on Black Friday 2017: what you need to know
Both PC World and its owner Currys regularly offer a ton of big discounts during Black Friday, and if you're in the market for a computer, tablet or wearable then these outlets should be worth a visit on Black Friday 2017. All the deals you need to know about will be ready for you on this page.
Don't forget there's free delivery available on all orders, or the option of free collection from over 800 stores if you want to pick up your shiny new gadget in person, so getting your discounted tech bargain couldn't be easier.
In addition, you've got a choice of finance plans to pick from if you would rather spread the cost over several months rather than paying for everything up front, and the store promises to match the prices of its competitors on all the goods it has in stock – you can find details here.
Whatever kind of gadget you're after this holiday season, with the discounts available at PC World and Currys, you should be able to stock up ready for 2018. Many Black Friday 2017 deals are set to go live from midnight, and the discounts carry on all through the weekend, so there's plenty of time to grab a bargain.
The top 5 PC World deals so far this year
1. HP 14-an062sa 14-inch laptop
If you want to get yourself a Windows 10 machine, then you couldn't do much better than this AMD-powered laptop from HP – it was more than £150 off for a retail price of £248.97.
2. LG OLED55C6V 4K TV
How about more than £500 off your 4K television? If you've been paying attention to PC World this year then you might have grabbed the 55-inch LG OLED55C6V for just £1,489.
3. Asus Zen 21.5-inch all-in-one
All-in-ones give you the benefit of desktop power and screen size without the bulk, and PC World has had the Asus Zen 21.5-inch all-in-one on sale for £449.98, more than £100 off.
4. Microsoft Surface Pro 4
PC World has been selling the excellent from Microsoft for the knock-down price of £916.97, more than £160 off (that's for the 256GB Core i5 model with 8GB of RAM).
5. HP Stream x360
You can get the benefits of a tablet and a laptop with the Stream x360 from HP, with an 11.6-inch screen and Windows 10, which could've been yours for just £219.99 this year.