(ARA) - You've bought the turkey, winter clothes are out and it's official: The holiday season is in full swing. It's a time when many start thinking about holiday gifts and many small businesses consider how they'll hit those end-of-year goals and start the new year out ahead of schedule.
But the holiday season is not only a good time to end the year with a bang, it's also a smart time for some strategic spending to invigorate your business by putting some new technology under its tree. Not only will employees be ecstatic about the upgrade, but investing in new technology before year's end makes business sense for a handful of reasons:
* Cost savings. The holidays are a good time to find the best deals and sales on retailers' shelves. Saving money on necessary expenses is always a good idea - and for many businesses, purchasing by Dec. 31 could mean you qualify for a write-off when tax season arrives in March.
* Productivity. Investing in new technology can make businesses more productive and profitable in the new year. Upgrading technology gives employees faster, more efficient tools and allows them to save time, which ultimately means saving money.
* Support. If a business is still using Windows XP, upgrading now to Windows 7 Professional means there will be no disruption to access to technical assistance when support for the Windows XP operating system ends in April 2014.
So now that you know some of the reasons why you should invest in new technology this holiday season, you may be asking what you should look for when shopping for PCs for your company.
Most small businesses - like Santa's workshop - will benefit from choosing machines that are security-enhanced, have a high capacity to increase productivity, have round-the-clock support, provide mobile freedom and give users a fun, enjoyable experience. The following are six hot new PCs on retailers' shelves this year that offer the features and functions small businesses are looking for:
* Acer Aspire Timeline X 4830T. If you need a PC that's equally versatile for use in the home, in the office or at school, this PC will help you stay productive, secure and mobile. And with a high-definition wide screen, it provides crystal-clear images.
* Toshiba Portege Z830. The lightest 13-inch ultrabook weighs just 2.5 pounds but packs plenty of power in a reinforced case. Add in a spill-resistant keyboard and advanced AirFlow cooling, and this machine is perfect for business on the go.
* Dell Vostro V131. Ultrathin and tipping the scale at just 3.6 pounds, this laptop was made for small businesses that need to take their technology on the road. With a battery life of 9.5 hours, you'll be able to get through the day on a single charge.
* Samsung 900X 1B. Duralumin, the same material used in aircraft construction, makes this laptop light and incredibly strong. It boots in just 12 seconds and features a display two times brighter than other conventional PCs in the market.
* HP ProBook 5330m. Its thin, lightweight design, compact profile and 13.3-inch diagonal display makes this notebook ideal for small businesses. And with a sleek design with magnesium bottom, aluminum enclosure and radiant dual-tone finish, you know your clients will be impressed.
* Lenovo ThinkPad X1. At seven-tenths of an inch thick, this is the thinnest ThinkPad ever made. Weighing in at just 3.7 pounds, this machine also features Lenovo RapidCharge battery technology that charges the battery to 80 percent capacity in just 30 minutes.
All these PCs are available and ready to be gift wrapped this holiday season with Windows 7 Professional, which was designed specifically with small businesses in mind. For more information on small-business offers from Microsoft Corp., visit www.microsoft.com/windows/business