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  #1  
Old 05-06-2008, 04:57 PM
Benjamin K. Tokarski
 
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Default The Drew Laptop, and my computer options

Hello! Iím a student thatís set to transfer into Drewís class of 2010 this fall. Iím having a bit of a dilemma. Iím a little lost, and concerning the equipment I would like some help.
I had bought a new laptop at the end of January from HP. Itís a nice laptop, here are its specs..
HP Pavilion dv9700t
Windows vista home premium 32-bit Ė I know Drew doesnít like home premium.. I could change the OS myself, however I am not sure if that would void my laptop of its warranty, which I would like to avoid doing.
Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T9300(2.5GHz)
17Ē WSXGA+ brightview widescreen
3GB DDR2 system memory (2 Dimm) Ė 32 bit operating systems donít recognize anymore than that.
521MB NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GS
HP Imprint radiance, fingerprint reader, webcam built in
Intel pro/wireless 4965 AGN with Bluetooth
320GB 5400RPM SATA Dual HDD
LightScribe super multi 8x dvd+/-rw with dual layer
8 cell lithium ion battery which I plan on getting a spare as it lasts like maybe 2 hrs. I would like a better battery but they donít have a 12 cell for this laptop.
1 year warranty which I plan on extending anyways.

Ideally, I would just like to take this and be on my merry way. But I need approval? Anyways, as a 2nd option, which Iím exploring.. I was wondering about the Drew laptops. Should I be getting one?
If I do plan on getting one, I would like to know the following..
How to order one?
Can I put upgrades on it?
What upgrades are available?
Cost?
Payment plans?

Any other information possible really. The more I know the better I would feel about any choice I make.
Thank you for your time! Hope you can get back to me soon.
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  #2  
Old 05-06-2008, 05:20 PM
Mike Richichi's Avatar
Mike Richichi Mike Richichi is offline
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Location: Chatham, NJ
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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.
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Director of Computing and Network Services
http://depts.drew.edu/cns/
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  #3  
Old 05-06-2008, 05:41 PM
Benjamin K. Tokarski
 
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Default

This computer actually.. doesnt have a tv tuner card in it. ouch.
Oh well, looks like I'll have to go with the 2nd option.. Which I'm fine with. My dad wants this computer anyways. (He would be really happy with it too.)

I think I'll wait till the summer to order it through the custom lenovo site? Cause thats kinda what I wanted to modify.. Although the laptop really isnt all that different from this one.. Just random features.
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  #4  
Old 05-06-2008, 08:46 PM
Mike Richichi's Avatar
Mike Richichi Mike Richichi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin K. Tokarski
This computer actually.. doesnt have a tv tuner card in it. ouch.
Oh well, looks like I'll have to go with the 2nd option.. Which I'm fine with. My dad wants this computer anyways. (He would be really happy with it too.)

I think I'll wait till the summer to order it through the custom lenovo site? Cause thats kinda what I wanted to modify.. Although the laptop really isnt all that different from this one.. Just random features.

You can't order the computer itself from the Lenovo site--it would only be for additional options, that you would install yourself when you got the computer at Orientation.

Another option for you would be to use your current computer in your room as the entertainment center, and get the Tablet PC we offer for your academic work. The tablet is extra portable, lies flat, and can be written on with the stylus. But it sounds like your father has dibs on the Pavilion.

Glad to see you're already working on this and looking forward to seeing you in the fall.
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Director of Computing and Network Services
http://depts.drew.edu/cns/
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  #5  
Old 05-06-2008, 09:18 PM
Kelly A. Thomas
 
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Just saw this on the home page and had to give a reply. I was also a transfer student, and can I give you my two cents? That's be don't even bother getting Drew's laptop. I never did, and am VERY happy I didn't. You wouldn't believe some of the horror stories with them. Personally I got a Dell instead and have had *knock on wood* no problems with it, I have more advanced features, the same warranty, and it was actually a lot cheaper.
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  #6  
Old 05-06-2008, 09:28 PM
Kelly A. Thomas
 
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PS- they told me that my original computer (which I did end up getting rid of a year and a half ago) as well as my newer one would never work with the Drew system and such, but guess what, it has.
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  #7  
Old 05-06-2008, 10:18 PM
Mike Richichi's Avatar
Mike Richichi Mike Richichi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly A. Thomas
Just saw this on the home page and had to give a reply. I was also a transfer student, and can I give you my two cents? That's be don't even bother getting Drew's laptop. I never did, and am VERY happy I didn't. You wouldn't believe some of the horror stories with them. Personally I got a Dell instead and have had *knock on wood* no problems with it, I have more advanced features, the same warranty, and it was actually a lot cheaper.

When you have hundreds of the same computer on campus, of course you'll hear about problems. We know the whole picture and know that overall they've been very reliable. If there are specific issues we deal with them, and if they happen to more than a few computers, we can actually work with the vendor to get them fixed. You can't compare your experience with one computer with our experience with 1500 total.

We also do price comparisons and it would be nearly impossible to beat our pricing on a business-class laptop of equivalent specifications and warranty from another vendor.

Of course any computer will work on the campus network, as in you can plug it in and it will get to the Internet, and you can use webmail and web file access, but if you need to bring it to class and run specialized software, and faculty are depending on your computer working like your classmates' computers, that's when things can get difficult. I can only assume you haven't had to deal with that experience directly. Although we do try to be a little more flexible with transfer students (especially people who transfer in for junior year) there's still a laptop requirement and we expect people to adhere to it.
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http://depts.drew.edu/cns/
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  #8  
Old 05-07-2008, 07:41 AM
Jason R. Howe's Avatar
Jason R. Howe Jason R. Howe is offline
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Location: Rockaway, NJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly A. Thomas
Just saw this on the home page and had to give a reply. I was also a transfer student, and can I give you my two cents? That's be don't even bother getting Drew's laptop. I never did, and am VERY happy I didn't. You wouldn't believe some of the horror stories with them. Personally I got a Dell instead and have had *knock on wood* no problems with it, I have more advanced features, the same warranty, and it was actually a lot cheaper.

I too will give my two cents about transferring in and getting the Drew computer. Do it. I did in when I transferred in for Jan '04 -- I still use my Thinkpad everyday, plus as I was a commuter it was carried on my shoulder for the 3 years I was a student. And now I still use it everyday and bring to work (still at Drew). Laptops I had before this did not hold up as well over the long term.

And this is the problem with individual anecdotal evidence. For every horror story you can find, you can also find a wonderful success story -- although Kelly has no actuall experience with the Drew Laptop, so her evidence is a little hearsay.

Last edited by Jason R. Howe : 05-07-2008 at 08:07 AM.
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  #9  
Old 05-06-2008, 08:00 PM
Catherine A. Whitley's Avatar
Catherine A. Whitley Catherine A. Whitley is offline
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Location: Old Bridge New Jersey
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Welcome to Drew!
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