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My Required school laptop!

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#1
As a business student The University of Connecticut, is forcing me to pay a mandatory fee for a laptop every semester. The nice thing is its loaded with all the business software I need for the university.

I pay 460 a semester for 4 semesters. 460x4=1840 +400 dollar buyout fee if I want to keep it (2,240)

Heres the specs they told me:

*
Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T9300 (2.5Ghz; 800MHZ; 4MBL2) [I think its actually 6mbL2 for the T9300]
*
14.1" WSXGA display w/Camera
*
2.0GB, PC2-5300 DDR2 SDRAM (1 DIMM) [Woot 1 Dimm upgradeability!]
*
100GB, SATA, 7200 RPM hard drive
*
2.0GB USB memory key
*
Internal DVD-R 8x
*
Integrated 1.0GB Ethernet
*
Intel Wireless WiFi Link 4965AGN (N disabled)
*
6 cell Li-On battery
*
nVidia Quadro NVS 140m graphics card
*
UltraNav TouchPad & TrackPoint w/Scroll button
*
3 USB, PCMCIA, Express Card & Bluetooth slots
*
Windows XP Professional OS

(The notebook computer does have insurance coverage for either damage or theft although, it is limited to one occurence per year. In the case of a theft, you are required to obtain a police report. Please note that the insurance coverage is provided for those times when an accident is unavoidable. The coverage does not mean you should be careless with the laptop.
)

personally I wanted to buy a nice tablet lappy for 900ish before this. But I'm sort of stuck with this. It would cost me 1,500 via lenovo's website to buy this lappy.

What do you guys think of what Im stuck with?

BTW I do mostly webdesign on my comp now, little to no gaming. I also do lots of media stuff, editing, dvd burning/ripping.
 
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#4
cant you just buy one yourself and say you already have one ?
 
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#5
"Q: My parents want to buy me a notebook computer. Will I be able to use this notebook for my BUSN classes?
A: No. Participation in the Mobile Computing Program is MANDATORY for all junior and senior Business students at the Storrs campus. The new building was designed to accommodate the ubiquitous experience. The School of Business believes that participation in this program is vital to your academic success."

Basically if I don't go with it, they can give me the boot.
 
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#6
well if thats what u want for your future, do it, who cares if its expensive, its a long term investment and if it comes with all the software you need that could set you back a fair bit anyway, plus im assuming you will get support/insurance etc.
 
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#7
That nVidia Quadro should be good cause for the high price. You're right about the processor having a 6MB L2.

Newegg has similar (but slightly slower) laptops for about $1,400. With the faster processor and with the discount I'm sure they get, I bet they make about $600-700 in the green with each one they sell.

Do they have any added software? Anything for CAD? What makes their laptops so special? What justification do they have adding roughly $500 over retail?
 
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#8
It does sound like a bit of a rip-off, but I guess you've got no choice so there's no point moaning about it. At least you get to keep it at the end (by which point it will be worthless). I guess you're paying for all the software and they've probably got a deal with the software companies to do this scheme.

I've been too distracted refreshing the page and looking at xvi's sigpic featuring Top Gear quotes about "The Stig" lol
 
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#9
That nVidia Quadro should be good cause for the high price. You're right about the processor having a 6MB L2.

Newegg has similar (but slightly slower) laptops for about $1,400. With the faster processor and with the discount I'm sure they get, I bet they make about $600-700 in the green with each one they sell.

Do they have any added software? Anything for CAD? What makes their laptops so special? What justification do they have adding roughly $500 over retail?
Well this question on the website seems to answer that

Q: I've seen laptops advertised on TV for much less. Why does the School of Business laptop cost so much?
A: The semester fee of $475.00 includes the laptop, a backpack, Ethernet cable, memory key, software (including upgrades), re-imiaging services, on-site technical support, a loaner pool, defective hardware swaps and insurance.
The software I would assume would probably cost quite a bit, and it also includes any hardware problems, insurance etc.

I dunno, sounds like a pretty decent deal to me.
 
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#10
yeah I looked at it, and really it comes out to more 2grand, with all the addins. Especially th 3yr warranty those generally cost 300ish.

I was wondering though is the NVS 140m upgradeable :D
 
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#11
Q: I've seen laptops advertised on TV for much less. Why does the School of Business laptop cost so much?
A: The semester fee of $475.00 includes the laptop, a backpack, Ethernet cable, memory key, software (including upgrades), re-imiaging services, on-site technical support, a loaner pool, defective hardware swaps and insurance.
A backpack, $20. Ethernet cable, included with laptop. Memory key, $20. Re-imaging services, restore CD included with laptop. Technical support, do it yourself. Defective Hardware, Newegg RMA.

That's expensive software. Unless it's realtime complex 3D CAD (thousands of dollars?), a $500 HP/Dell laptop would work just as well.

I mean, powerpoint can only run so fast.

I was wondering though is the NVS 140m upgradeable :D
Doubt it.
 
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#12
"Some say that he knows two facts about ducks and both of them are wrong."
 
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#13
"Some say that he knows two facts about ducks and both of them are wrong."
?? You lost me their bud, ??

I made the same build on the lenovo website came out to 2k ish.
 
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#14
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#15
lol, nah not much free time man
 
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#16
did my 5 mins of research too bad lenovo's arent upgradeable
 
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#17
I'm in the eng. program at UT, and they don't have anything like this at all. All they do here is give you a list of minimum and recommended requirements for a computer. Engineering is pretty different from business, but unless you use something specialized the only software I can see you needing would be Office. Heck, Microsoft had a deal where you could buy all of Office for $90 bucks if you're a student [ http://www.theultimatesteal.com ] but they ended it.

Them forcing you to rent a laptop is pretty ridiculous IMO. Here at UT they have computer labs all over the place so you really don't need a laptop unless if you want the extra convenience. The warranty is nice, but it's still a ripoff. You can save hundreds of dollars by buying your own, not to mention you can actually decide what goes into it. See if there isn't a way around it... I'd be pissed about this.
 
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#18
yeah I could get some high end lappy for this price . . .

Well I shot them an e-mail asking them if I could just "buy the software" I agree with Fat Forester, I cannot think of a single business related app that A. Reqiuires a processor like that, and B cant b run on any other laptop out their. UCONN is the same way, we have lots of computer labs, and the ones in the engineering buildings are especially nice. I have friends that go to many of the best schools in the country and they don't require stuff like this for their business or engineering programs. Odd.
 
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#19
I just rummaged through the FAQ's, and the only thing you're entitled to keep after the "buy out" is Microsoft software. So really all you're getting is XP, Office (if even), a warranty, and a bunch of other stuff you probably already have.
 
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#20
Sounds like a university using an excuse to PAY OFF their new computer lab... Call a school staff member and see if there is a way around it? Tell them you already have one and see what they say :nutkick:
 
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#21
I also want to find out what this exclusive softwware is after they respond to my previous e-mail
 
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#22
I also want to find out what this exclusive softwware is after they respond to my previous e-mail
You should ask them if it's just a money thing or what???
 
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#23
Hi XXXX,

The Mobile Computing Program is Mandatory for all Storrs business majors taking upper level (3000) courses. By making the program a requirement, students eligible for financial aid have their need increased by the cost of the program.
We also believe that standardizing on one hardware/software platform is the most efficient and economical way to guarantee faculty that all students will have access to the necessary technology. The program also allows our IT staff to provide all support (hardware, software, network). The program provides for all software upgrades; access to a loaner laptop if needed; insurance against damage and theft. The program allows us to provide all students with equal access.

Please let me know if you have any other questions/concerns.
XXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXX
Mobile Computing Support Consultant
was their response
 
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#24
Well that's just a bunch of malarkey. They didn't tell you anything about the software used, just that it's "easier" and makes them some money. By your junior year most people already have a laptop, so forcing them to rent theirs for 2,000 dollars whether you like it or not is ridiculous. If you build a Lenovo Thinkpad T61 with the specs they listed + 3 year warranty, their silly backpack, 2gb stick, and Office 2007 Home and Student... you're still coming out to $1,800 dollars. Ask them where your $400+ goes.
 

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#25
it probably goes toward loaners(while yours is broken/being repaired), and replacements for theft. ( can have one incident of break/theft a year and theft requires police report).