We have a very capable and experienced Mac Workshop at HardSoft HQ. This means we can engineer any Apple Mac with a third party upgrade. We are now able to offer 1TB hard drive for Apple MacBook Pros. This is currently only a 5400 rpm drive and adds circa £1.25 per week over the standard 500gb units. This option is not on our website so pleaes contact us for details.
1TB option for MacBook Pro
Andrew loves computers and the way the market is evolving to a 'pay as you go' model against the old methodology of CapEx spending. A background of sourcing lease financing for Start Up businesses means he is perfectly place to provide insightful commentary on computing for new businesses.
When it comes to the education sector, most schools have been using Apple’s Macbooks and iPads which work really well for them. However, the release of Microsoft’s Surface range means that there is now a great alternative to those iPads and Macbooks.
A study conducted by FutureSource found that Apple iOS and MacOS devices are in decline, particularly in the USA, and are not necessarily the primary tools of those in the education system. They found that outside of the US, Microsoft is still a leader in the market
The key factors in this were viewed to be the price, and Apple’s quirky keyboards. iPads are great for helping younger children in nursery and primary schools, but as children progress they often need to type their work and create projects which are more suited to a traditional keyboard and mouse interface. Head teachers and school administrative departments can often find that for the price of one MacBook with a good specification, they can get several laptops or Chromebooks for their students to use.
Microsoft have added to the Surface Pro tablet this year and introduced a rage of Surface products which are high specification, high quality products, which run the Windows operating system and offer a reliable rival to the Apple Mac range.
The Surface Book 2 and the Surface Laptop both have a 13.5” PixelSense Touchscreen with great high specs of i5 and i7 Processors. The Surface Book 2 is an amazing 2-in-1 tablet which weighs a little over 1Kgs, making it perfectly portable for students, and it converts into a laptop! Meanwhile the Surface Laptop has facial recognition and runs using the Windows 10 S operating system, which allows you to easily roll out account and security settings between all machines just by using an encrypted USB stick.
The Surface Pro is the Microsoft version of the tablet, offering the latest 7th Gen Intel i7 Processor with a 12.3″ touchscreen and 13 hours of battery life which will see you through the whole school day. Finally the Surface Studio is a real rival to the Apple iMac. A thin all-in-one unit that has a massive 28” PixelSense Touchscreen which can be rotated and used in the normal upright position or flattened to the desk, like a huge tablet. These can be used as higher end graphics and animation stations using the NVIDIA Geforce range of graphics cards, up to 2TB Flash drive and Intel i7 processors.
So as you can see, the Microsoft Surface range really does have something for everyone in education and really rivals the Apple products. For more information on leasing any of the Surface products for your school get in touch with our team on 020 7111 1643.
So you’ve got a new start business and you want to lease your IT equipment. What do you need to do, and how does it work? If you are a new business you are probably well aware of how difficult it is to establish a credit history, as well as how traditional financing methods such as banks can be difficult to deal with. HardSoft can provide from £1,000 to £15,000 of lease finance to new businesses, which can include both hardware and software.
Here we explain our simple application process for new start businesses:
- The first step is to establish whether you are a homeowner.
- If you are a homeowner, we will ask you for bank statements (either business or personal) in order to assess your ability to meet the lease repayments. If you are not a homeowner, we will ask you to provide a guarantor, such as a director, shareholder, or relative.
- Unfortunately, if you’re unable to provide a guarantor we won’t be able to proceed with your lease application.
- Once you have provided your bank statements, we will review them to prove you can cover payments.
- A Limited Director’s Indemnity may be requested if you have set up a new Limited Company.
- If we cannot be satisfied that you would be able to make the repayments on your lease we will not be able to proceed with your application.
- If you are looking for an amount in excess of £10k we will request to see your business plan or proof that you have external investment in your business.
- Once we have seen either your business plan or proof of external investment we will complete your application and proceed with any credit searches.
- If you are requesting less that £10k we will complete your application and proceed with any credit searches.
The first payment will be equivalent to one month’s payment, which can be paid by debit or credit card. Occasionally we may require the lease to be over 24 months (rather than 36) and a deposit of three months maybe requested should the ability to repay be difficult to assess.
Leasing remains the most tax efficient method of acquiring new computers – just ask your accountant! – and here are some reasons why you will want to finance new computers with a lease:
- You can use the equipment immediately without having to pay the full cost price, keeping your cash flow intact.
- You will be able to keep other financial arrangements available to you, such as credit and bank loans.
- You can budget effectively because your repayment costs will remain fixed for the duration of the lease agreement.
- You can offset lease payments against your annual taxable profits.
If you would like to learn more about leasing, or find out what is the best equipment for your requirements, get in touch with our knowledgeable sales team who will be happy to talk through the process and products available with you. Contact email@example.com or 020 7111 1643.
We know our customers and blog readers are pretty savvy when it comes to technology, but just in case you were wondering NAS stands for Network Attached Storage.
In recent years we’ve all been storing more and more information in ‘the cloud’, entrusting some of the most important things in our lives to third party companies who we hope are trustworthy. We obviously don’t want to return to the days of saving everything onto those temperamental floppy disks, but local Network Attached Storage (NAS) is available and there may be more reasons to start using it than you’d think.
What is NAS?
Most data storage options that you’ll be aware of are either cloud based, such as Google Drive or Dropbox, or local, such as an external hard drive. A NAS is hard drive which is connected to a network, so it’s a mixture of the cloud and local storage options.
A NAS is connected to a network, so it can be accessed by any number of PCs within that network, unlike a external hard drive which can only be connected to and accessed by one computer at a time. They are similar to external hard drive in terms of functionality, but unlike them NAS devices usually have a form of built-in operating system adding software functions such as media streaming and remote access.
If you use a cloud storage service like Google Drive, you are in effect renting space on a network connected drive that belongs to someone else, giving you access as long as you’re connected to the internet. Using a NAS gives you this access without having to hand over your data to another company.
You can configure a NAS to support Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID) which is where two, or more, hard drives are connected together to add extra redundancy – storage of data on all of the drives – to act as a fail safe should one of the hard drives fail.
How do you calculate your storage?
Did you know your NAS wont give you 100% storage capacity? So 3 x 3TB, wont give you 9TB storage but 5.4TB, this is because the redundancy mentioned above to ensure your data is always safe uses 30% of your capacity. However 3 x 3TB could store 1 Million Photos or 17M large data documents. Drobo have a great storage calculator which you can use to help decide which storage is right for you.
Why do I need redundancy?
Redundancy protects data against drive failure in real time. This means if you are working on a file and one of the internal drives in a RAID fails, the storage device can continue to work normally. (Some RAID setups can even survive when two drives fail). It will give you an indication that one of internal drives has failed, allowing you the chance to back up important data and replace the failed drive with another one.
The slight drawback of a NAS is, as mentioned above, you may need more or larger drives than you at first thought in order to achieve the same storage space.
HardSoft can help
We have various NAS storage devices to lease such as the unique LaCie 2big Dock Thunderbolt 3, which meets all your storage needs in one unit. Connect your digital camera, charge your phone, or connect a shuttle drive using the front facing USB 3.0 Hub. Use the SD and CF card slots at the front to download files from all of your other devices, such as a GoPro®, or even a drone. You can power your laptop whilst you daisy chain using the dual Thunderbolt 3 ports. The display port allows you to connect to 4K and high resolution displays. Get universal compatibility with USB-C and USB-C 3.0 via an adapter cable. The LaCie 2big Dock is available to lease from HardSoft from £5.95 + VAT per week.
HardSoft has been trading for more than 30 years, started by our founders and brothers – Andrew and Philip Morgan – in 1982. Both have always been at the forefront of computer and IT technology and pride themselves on HardSoft’s ability to stay current and move with the ever changing landscape of the industry. Starting designing and selling computer games for the Dragon 32 back in 1983 then selling Amstrad PC’s in the early ’90’s. The HardSoft Sales team shares the ethos of Phil and Andy. Account managers are always up to date with the latest products and offers, so that we can provide you with the best kit for your needs, at the best price.
Let’s introduce you to the HardSoft Sales Team
Steve says his HardSoft sentence, so far, is 12 Years. His favourite aspect of working at HardSoft is being part of its evolution over the years. When he first started we were selling Pentiums and the fax machine was King, from orders to proposals with our lease funders, all the answers came out of it. Now we sell a huge amount of products and “The Cloud” is the new King!
When he’s not at HardSoft Steve plays rugby for Epping Upper Clapton Rugby Club, as well as badminton on a Monday evening with one of our founders Phil. Steve says “he is much better than me, but please don’t tell him.” Oops, sorry Steve! He is also a Game of Thrones and Star Wars geek. Happily married since 2011, Steve has a little boy who is now two. Oh and he has a brown Labrador named Baxter. Steve’s most proud achievement (apart from those two) is being a London 2012 Olympic Games Maker at Hampton Court Palace, standing on the finish line (opposite Princess Anne) as Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins won Bronze and Gold respectively. Interogate Steve with a Phone appointment. Book a 15 minute session. or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Ryan has worked at HardSoft for 9 years and says he’s hoping for a gold watch next year, despite being around 30 years off of retirement age! He was lured in by what he describes as “an exceptional level of office banter” and decided to stay, and here he still is.
Ryan loves a cup of tea, and outside work loves films, and a good Netflix binge. According to Ryan he dislikes everything else – which we’re sure will please his lovely girlfriend to hear!
When we asked Ryan to share a fact that no one would know about him, he told us he dresses like a wizard at the weekend. No, we have no idea either, and we didn’t like to ask any more! Book a phone call with Ryan here or email email@example.com
Michael has been with HardSoft for 8 years, he says the best part of working here is that because it’s a family run SME business you feel a part of that family and it’s a very collaborative place to work.
Michael enjoys a good chat and talks a lot – no bad thing for someone in sales! – and he does believe he has the gift of the gab. He considers himself to be absolutely hilarious and the office comedian – his colleagues may beg to differ!
Away from work, Michael played cricket at county level up until the ago of 18 and still enjoys playing cricket to a good standard on Saturdays for his local cricket club in Harlow. When he’s not playing cricket, he enjoys eating cheese and drinking good red wine. You can get in touch with Michael here or firstname.lastname@example.org
Jamie is coming up to his 3rd year at HardSoft, after jumping at the opportunity to leave 3am shifts at Stansted Airport. He started out his HardSoft career as an assistant to the sales team, with a focus on learning and developing skills, website management and of course, he was the go to Tea Maker..
Fast forward a couple of years and Jamie is now a fully-fledged member of the sales team, dealing with new and existing customers on a daily basis. He enjoys working at HardSoft thanks to the fantastic atmosphere to work in, and the great social life, with nights out, boat parties and the annual Christmas trip to look forward to!
Outside of work, Jamie enjoy watching TV & Films, from Masterchef and The Great British Bake Off, to Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead – and pretty much everything else in between. Jamie says that other than nights out with his mates or enjoying a good meal out, he leads a fairly boring life – and he’s the youngest one here, that can’t be right! IOf you want to discuss things then book a telephone appointment. Or call Jamie on 020 7111 1643 Ext: 407 or email@example.com
Scarlett is the newest member of the sales team, having only been with us for 5 months. She has a previous sales background working in the City and is leading a new focus to improve our customer service even further. Scarlett grew up in Sawbridgeworth and lives not far from the office.
She is attempting to follow Slimming World, which isn’t easy when you work for HardSoft, where food is discussed from 8.30am through to 5.30pm with everyone asking “what’s for breakfast/lunch?” and “is it time for tea and cake?”. Although we’ve only ever known her to be a platinum blonde, Scarlett has changed my hair colour several times in the past and been everything from red, turquoise, purple, brown, and back to platinum. Away from the office, Scarlett has recently raised a lot of money for a local charity by doing a charity skydive, which she says “was the best experience in my life, AMAZING!”. You can get in touch with Scarlett on 020 7111 1643 Ext: 408 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Our knowledgeable sales team are here to help you find the best deal possible for your business. Take a look at our website at www.hardsoftcomputers.co.uk and see what products you would like to lease from HardSoft, then give the sales team a call on any of the numbers listed above, or the general Head Office number 020 7111 1643.