Adam Turner
Technology Journalist

Adam Turner is a Sydney Morning Herald senior technology columnist who has been writing about the challenges facing Australian business for more than a decade

Adam Turner
Technology Journalist

Adam Turner is a Sydney Morning Herald senior technology columnist who has been writing about the challenges facing Australian business for more than a decade

You’ve enjoyed your tried and trusted PC, but it’s time for a new one. From hybrids and Ultrabooks to traditional notebooks and desktop all-in-ones, there is an overwhelming amount of choice on the market. Find out which PC should you add to your shopping list based on your business requirements.

There are certain things you should look for when shopping for a new PC. If you’re a busy professional constantly on the go the highest priority would be a thin, light laptop that’s easy to carry around and has a long battery life.

Whereas creatives and content creators who spend most of their work hours running demanding graphics or video editing programs will require power packed performance above all else.

Field service workers on the other hand will require a ruggedised notebook that can handle the day-to-day rigours of outdoor use.

With that in mind, here are three of the year’s best that will fit into your work life. 

Apple iMac, Dell notebook, Surface Pro 3

For the creative professional – Apple iMac with Retina 5K Display

Apple’s latest all-in-one desktop, the iMac, comes with a jaw dropping 27-inch 5K display.

At 5120 x 2880 pixels, the 5K Retina iMac is the world’s highest resolution display boasting a total of 14.7 million pixels. For context, that’s seven times as many pixels as a HDTV and 67 per cent more pixels than a cutting-edge 4K screen.

This makes the iMac a dream display for content creators who can edit 4K video at full resolution with space left for timeline and asset windows or edit high res images pixel-for-pixel with space to spare for editing tools.

The iMac is also a powerhouse of a computer that can be kitted out with a 4.0GHz Intel Core i7 processor, 1TB of flash storage, 32GB of RAM, and beefy AMD R9 discrete graphics.

The iMac chews through 4K video editing and you’d be hard pressed to fault the iMac’s performance when editing RAW image files in Photoshop either.

All this blazing fast performance and 5K display goodness is wrapped inside a sleek 5mm aluminium profile.

Compelling features such as the ability to make and receive calls and text messages from your iMac while your iPhone is in another room or buried in your bag, and the ability to seamlessly move between your Mac and iDevices ensure an uninterrupted workflow while you’re away from your desk.

At a starting price of $3,000, the 5K Retina iMac offers excellent value for money when you consider that pro-grade 4K IPS panels like the Asus PQ321Q retail for well over $3,000 for the monitor alone.

For the field service worker – Dell Latitude 14 Rugged Extreme

It’s heavy, bulky and doesn’t come cheap but the Latitude 14 Rugged Extremenotebook from Dell can take some serious punishment that makes it ideal for fieldworkers, military, police or fire service departments.

The tank like construction means that the notebook can be thrown around and dropped from a height without damage. All entry points are sealed by compression gaskets that protect the notebook from dust, sand, water and snow while the internal thermal system ensures that the machine stays cool during extreme temperatures.

It offers excellent performance with the latest fourth generation Intel Core processors, lightning fast SSD storage, bloat-free version of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 (software bloat is when successive software versions become perceptibly slower yet have minor perceptible improvement for the user), up to 16GB of RAM, discrete graphics options, in addition to built-in 4G with GPS and a bevy of ports that include two ethernet ports. The battery and hard drive are also swappable, which means you could swap out your drive and pass the laptop on to a colleague to use with their own modular drive.

The display offers exceptional visibility outdoors while the impressive 10-hour battery life should keep you going all day. 

For the professional on the go – Microsoft Surface Pro 3

From a hardware standpoint, Microsoft has addressed a lot of the criticisms levelled at the Surface Pro 2 with a much thinner and lighter profile while also delivering a larger and sharper display, in addition to a more versatile kickstand, improved type cover and tighter Pen stylus integration.

At a mere 9.1mm thick, Microsoft’s latest effort is not only thinner than the MacBook Air but has a slimmer profile than even the iPad 4 and falls short of the iPad Air by only two millimetres. Microsoft has also shaved 100 grams off the overall package, which now tips the scales at 800 grams. Battery life is also solid at around nine hours.

The writing experience with the new and improved ‘Surface Pen’ is top-notch and comes complete with pressure sensitivity and palm rejection so you can rest your hand on the screen while writing. You can also press a button located on the top of the pen to launch directly into OneNote even when the machine is locked, which is handy for quickly jotting down the odd note.

All these improvements make the Surface Pro 3 the best Windows notebook around and an ideal choice for professionals on the go.

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