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Computer Policy for Medical Students
Entering in the Summer of 2011

Provided by Administrative Computing
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine


For medical students starting at the School of Medicine in July 2011, the following notebook computer policies will apply.

The School of Medicine requires that all medical students have a newly purchased notebook computer. The School of Medicine will determine the models and specifications required. This year all hard drives will either be hardware encrypted or software encrypted. The School of Medicine will purchase the notebook computers and students will be required to reimburse the school for the purchase. The purchase price of the notebook computer will be added to the first year bursar's statement as a fee.

The notebook models for the Class of 2015 have not been chosen yet. In early Spring of 2011, various models available at that time will be evaluated by the Office of Administrative Computing. In late April, the final selection of laptop models will be announced.

Last year, the Class of 2014 students had the option of purchasing one of four models:

  • Dell Latitude E6410
  • Dell Latitude E6510
  • Apple MacBook Pro 13", Aluminum
  • Apple MacBook Pro 15", Aluminum

The major differences between the Dell models and the Apple models were screen size, warranty and price.

Due to operating system requirements for certain eCurriculum features, the School of Medicine electronic exam systems, students purchasing either Apple model will be required to purchase and have installed Apple BootCamp and Microsoft Windows.

School Orientation starts July 7, 2011. Computer Orientation starts July 5th. In order for the notebook computers to be ready for students for the start of classes, the following timeline will have to be adhered to. It will take the office of Administrative Computing 3 weeks (beginning June 13th) to ensure that all notebook computers are imaged and ready for student Computer Orientation. It takes 3-4 weeks for the computers to arrive after the order has been placed and processed by Purchasing. The orders should be place no later than May 23rd.

Students will be allowed to select the make and model of notebook computer that they want by going to a website (provided at a later date) between April 25th and May 23rd. All students having selected and committed to a purchase by that date will received the best quantity discounted rate available at that time. Students choosing to wait longer to place their order will be required to pay the price at the time of order and may not be able to receive the quantity discount. In addition, students electing to order after May 23rd may not receive their notebook computer in time. Loaner notebooks will be provided to late add students on a first-come first-served basis. There is no guarantee that all students will be able to receive a loaner notebook, depending on demand. The preceding dates are approximate and will be confirmed as we begin discussions with the two vendors.

Students will not be allowed to make their own notebook computer purchase, nor will they be allowed to substitute a notebook computer that they already own for the notebook computer required by the school. This ensures a high level of compatibility and the highest level of full service technical support for all students.

For questions, please contact David Pilasky, Director of Administrative Computing via email: or


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is included in the laptop package?

A: The laptop package for the Class of 2014 included:

  • The selected laptop
  • Case's Software Center provides site license for the latest operating systems (Windows 7 & MacOS 10.6.6) and Microsoft Office
  • Backpack carrying case
  • 1TB External hard drive
  • Wireless optical mouse
  • This year we will include a security cable

Q: Which notebook is recommended? (mostly from last year)

A: In order of preference, we recommend the following:

  1. Dell Latitude E6410 - Price, warranty and lightweight
  2. Dell Latitude E6510 - Same as above, with larger screen
  3. Apple MacBook Pro 13" - Excellent quality, but warranty concerns and price
  4. Apple MacBook Pro 15"- Same as above, with larger screen

Dell has the absolute best warranty. Pretty much no matter what breaks, Dell will replace it at no cost. Dell covers accidental damage. Apple's warranty only covers manufacturer's defects and those may be difficult to prove. Apple does not cover accidental damage. We can repair Dell & Apple laptops in-house.

The differences between the E6410 and E6510 are the same as between the MacBook Pro 13" and MacBook Pro 15". Those differences are size, weight and screen size. The smaller laptops seem to be the most durable.

Q: What is covered under the Dell and Apple warranties? (mostly from last year)

A: Dell's Complete Coverage warranty provides full hardware repairs for 4 years. All accidental damage is covered. If you drop your laptop and break the screen, it will be repaired. If you spill your beverage of choice on the keyboard and it shorts out your system board, it will be replaced. Although, under both circumstances you're likely to receive a remanufactured (refurbished) replacement part. If you run your laptop over with your car, it will not be repaired (don't laugh, it has happened). Also covered under Dell's warranty are the Backpack and mouse. The external hard drive is covered under the manufacturer's warranty and we/you will have to deal with them directly, not Dell. If you are away from school, you can contact Dell Customer Service directly and they can send a technician to you to make hardware repairs. They generally, will not be able to help you with software issues other than the operating system, especially things related to school.

This past year 5 Dell laptops had some kind of liquid spilled on them. All were repaired at no cost to the student.

Apple's AppleCare Repair Agreement provides hardware repairs for 4 years. Only manufacturer's defects are covered. Accidental damage is NOT covered. Accidental damage can be repaired by our staff, but the student is responsible for paying for the replacement part out of pocket and the warranty may be voided. There is no labor fee if School of Medicine technicians repair your laptop. The Apple Mighty Mouse has a 1 year Apple warranty. The backpack has a "limited product lifetime warranty" ( and we/you will have to deal with the manufacturer directly, not Apple. The external hard drive is covered under the manufacturer's warranty and we/you will have to deal with them directly, not Apple. If you are away from school, you can go to an Apple Store for hardware repairs. They generally, will not be able to help you with software issues other than the operating system, especially things related to school.

This past year 7 Mac laptops had some kind of liquid spilled on them. In one case our technical staff were able to repair the laptop, although the warranty was voided. In 3 cases the students had to pay for the repairs out of pocket from as little as under $100 up to over $800. In the other 3 cases, students with older laptops, elected to purchase new laptops.

Q: What are the differences between the Dell and Apple concerning my work at school and studies?

A: There are a number of differences, which are mostly inconveniences all of which have workarounds.

  • Many students using Dell laptops really love Microsoft OneNote for taking notes in class. OneNote is not available as part of Office for Mac. However, Mac students can boot into Windows via Bootcamp to access Windows on their Mac and access OneNote that way.

  • Some lectures in the large lecture hall are recorded and made available via the eCurriculum website. The video/audio/PowerPoint capture software is not completely compatible with Macs. The video and audio will play, but the PowerPoint slides will not be synchronized. However, Mac students can boot into Windows via Bootcamp to access Windows on their Mac and access the videos that way.

  • All electronic exams must be run in using Windows. Mac students will have to boot into Windows via Bootcamp to take exams.

  • We do not have any Macs available as loaner equipment, if your laptop is in for repairs. You will receive a Windows PC, if you want a loaner.