The usual option is for students to get our laptop, even if they have another laptop. The reason is one of support and reliability. There's nothing wrong with your laptop from a personal use perspective (and I'd imagine it'd make a great TV for your room if it has a tuner card) but there's a few reasons it's not a good choice for your primary academic laptop:
- It's not a business class laptop. The HP Pavilion series are consumer-grade laptops. The difference is in the standarization and reliability of components. Vendors are less consistent in the components they use for consumer laptops. Usually individuals don't care since they're not supporting large numbers, but the consistency issues also relate to overall product quality.
- It's a very large computer--quite frankly, our standard laptops have trouble fitting on our smaller desks at Drew, and this one wouldn't fit at all. Considering well over half your courses will require you to bring your computer to class, this is a big issue. And with your 2 hour battery life you'll be sweating it out if you're not near an outlet.
We evaluate all exception requests individually, but we do not approve non-business class laptops as a rule, and would need Windows Vista Business or Ultimate (this is not because of our preference--it's because only business-class version of Windows Vista can join a Windows domain and use enterprise management tools, which we leverage extensively.)
Anyway, about our laptop: Check our web site
for more information (especially the link to our color brochure about it) but the short answers to your questions: You order it by going to http://www.drew.edu/2012
and stating your preference, we won't selling upgrades directly but hope to have a custom site from Lenovo with options over the summer (really the only ones you'd probably get are a bigger hard drive, more RAM, and an extended battery), the cost is detailed in the brochure, and can either be payed all at once or over four semesters.
Hope this helps. Really, you should read the information on the website to gain a full understanding of the program.