Vintage is great for some things—cars, home and fashion accessories, furniture. But when it comes to computers, vintage isn’t good at all, especially for businesses. Older computers are slower computers due to the fact that processors and computing technologies keep getting better and faster. And while you can see the beauty in a vintage watch, you can’t see the lack of speed in an older computer unless you have something to compare it against. So, to reveal the value of newer mobile PCs, Prowess Consulting put two devices to the test:

  • A Lenovo ThinkPad T420, powered by a 2nd generation Intel Core i5-2520M processor
  • An HP Spectre x360 convertible laptop, powered by a 7th generation Intel Core i7-7500U processor

We tested the Lenovo ThinkPad T420 because it’s much like the computers many companies purchased four or more years ago and continue to use today. (I myself was using a slightly newer Lenovo ThinkPad T430 not so long ago.) The 2nd generation Intel Core i5-2520M processor is old enough that we had to test it running Windows 7, because it can’t be upgraded to run Windows 10. For the newer device, we chose the HP Spectre x360 because the 7th generation Intel Core i7-7500U processor it uses is the newest on the market and is more than five years “younger” than the 2nd generation processor.

Our results show that the newer processor consistently outperforms the older processor—which is not surprising with all the advancements made with each new processor generation. Overall, we found that the newer processor booted faster, ran longer, and can increase productivity by empowering employees to do more in less time and to spend less time waiting for their PCs to finish tasks.

Why the Age of a Mobile PC’s Processor Matters for Your Business

For personal use, a slow computer is an irritation. For business use, it’s potentially devastating to profits, competitive success, and morale. As part of our initial research into newer mobile PCs with current-generation processors for business use, we found an interesting blog post, which stated, “Old, inefficient technology is a major frustration for today’s workers, with 45 percent of survey respondents saying they spend a huge portion of their day navigating outdated technologies.”[1]

So, in addition to slowing your employees and business down, which could lead to losing customers and creating opportunities for your competitors, older computers might also result in your employees leaving for greener—or at least technologically faster—pastures.

Seeing Is Believing—Experiencing the Benefits of Newer Processor

Our testing showed a significant impact on employee productivity, and therefore business success, when using older PCs, which demonstrates the value of newer mobiles PCs for your business.

In comparing the HP Spectre x360 convertible laptop, powered by a 7th generation Intel Core i7-7500U processor, to the Lenovo ThinkPad T420, powered by a 2nd generation Intel® Core™ i5-2520M processor, we found that the HP Spectre x360:

  • Boots 382% faster
  • Runs 1.55x longer on a single battery charge
  • Shares video on YouTube 596% faster
  • Converts 4K ultra-high definition (UHD) video 88% faster
  • Multitasks in Microsoft Office 119% faster

All of that increased speed leads to a lot less time employees spend waiting. Time savings and performance gains with the newer PC were common in our testing. Here’s just a sample of the gains we saw:


What’s more, the newer PC is 51 percent lighter than the older one, which makes the device much lighter to carry around. The 7th generation Intel Core processor also brings a host of newer features that add even more convenience to performance, which you can learn about in our full benchmarking report.

Cost Is a Consideration, But the Real Cost Might Surprise You

The benefits of new PCs go beyond convenience and performance though. The hidden cost of employee frustration also lurks in the background. In our research, we learned that the cost to replace an employee can equal anywhere from two months of the employee’s salary to up to two times the employee’s annual salary.[2] For an employee that earns a $50,000 salary, that cost could range from $8,300 to $100,000. The cost of replacing an outdated computer, however, is just $750 to $1,500, depending on the one you buy and the software you add.[3] To us, that seems like a bargain compared to losing an employee or a customer because of slow, outdated devices.

Read the Full Report

To learn more about why your company wants to upgrade to newer mobile PCs, and to see more results, the details of our testing, system specifications, and more, check out the full report: “Keep Your Company from Falling Behind: Tests Prove New PCs Can Improve Productivity and Your Competitive Edge.” We’ve also put together an infographic that you can share with your C-level managers to catch their attention quickly. If you’re looking for other benchmark reports, visit the Research section on our web site.

[1] “3 Small Ways You Can Increase Employee Happiness to Positively Impact Your Business.” November 2016.

[2] Center for American Progress. “There Are Significant Business Costs to Replacing Employees.” November 2012.

[3] Based on–1 as of February 2017.

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