Wednesday, June 24, 2009

So what does the CIOs son bring to college?

My son will be a freshman at SU in the fall 2009. This is an exciting time for him. He is our youngest child and so we have been through the orientation and registration processes before. His sisters are 8 and 10 years older than he, so the technology scene was not even an issue in their day. The landscape has definitely changed.

As mentioned in my last post, almost all students come to campus with a computer these days and most of these are laptops. Oddly, at least to me, we are not seeing students walking all over campus with their laptops. We do see some, but not a large number. Students say that they don't need them in most classes, they are heavy to carry around, and they are concerned about damaging them. This leads me to think that for most students the laptop is a desktop replacement computer that is portable. Great for taking home for the weekend or to the library on special occasions. Note that the library already has many computers and so students generally use these.

With all of this in mind went for a large screen laptop (17") with a CD/DVD drive for listening to music or recording/playing video. You can also get a Bluray drive if you want HD movie capability. The larger screen makes the computer great for work, surfing the web and even watching movies. You could also buy a TV tuner to enable cable TV plugin. We did not go this far. One other note, make sure you have 3-4 USB slots for printers, campers, music players, etc. The weight for this is about 7.5 pounds. You would not want to run all over campus with it, but it provides mobility and large unit features. You might want to consider some inexpensive external speakers or headphones. Laptop speakers are generally poor.

We did not spend a great deal of money. We bought an HP for $649. It has an AMD chip which brings the price down a bit. It has 4MB of RAM and a 320GB hard drive. For software, we are buying it all through the campus. SU has programs with Microsoft to buy the full office suite. SU also provides the McAfee security suite for FREE. BTW, the choice of the HP had a great deal to do with price at the time. We also bought through a local store so that we could return it if something went wrong and it did. I did not buy the extended warranty because at this price I could replace the laptop for only a bit more. It came with 30 days parts/labor warranty and another 90 days on parts. Your choice.

Graduation is over and many may already bought the laptop. I am sure you made a great choice, but if not I hope this was helpful.

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