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Frequently Asked Questions

 

Last updated: April 17, 2015

Q: I have, or just bought a MacBook Pro laptop that is configured the same as or better than what Case requires. Do I still have to buy one from Case?

A: Most of the newer MacBook Pro models are acceptable. Please contact us at CaseMedHelp@case.edu to see if your laptop is acceptable. However, incoming students should upgrade their memory and warranty (recommended) to our specifications. Students bringing or buying Macs on their own may be subject to the following condition; they will have to go to the Apple store for hardware repairs while the laptop is under warranty.

We request that you ship your Mac to us at least two weeks before the start of school, so that we can set it up for use here at Case. Make sure that you backup your laptop before shipping it. We will completely wipe it out during the imaging process. If you do not ship it to us, it will not be ready in time for classes.

Q: I have, or just bought a Windows laptop that is configured the same as or better than what Case requires. I'm willing to assume full responsibility for it. Do I still have to buy one from Case?

A: Our recommendation is that you purchase a Dell laptop through the school due to the quantity discount and the exceptional warranty. However, this year we will conduct a BYOD Pilot with up to 15 students who have a slightly older non-Dell, or want to purchase some other Windows laptop on their own. Please contact us at CaseMedHelp@case.edu to see if your laptop is acceptable.

Students bringing or buying other Windows laptops on their own may be subject to the following conditions; 1) students purchasing non-Dell laptops will receive a separate computer orientation which may be several hours longer than other students, as we will have to set up each laptop individually 2) they will have to contact the vendor directly for hardware repairs.

Q: How will the 15 students be selected for the BYOD Pilot for older Windows laptops?

A: The first requirment is that the laptops must meet our minimum specifications. All students requesting this option will be added to a list. If less than 15 students request this option, then all will be included. If more than 15 students put in a request, then 15 will be randomly selected on May 15th. If a student puts in a request, but is not selected, they will have to order a laptop through the school (Dell or Apple) or make a purchase on their own of one of the required laptops. For students not selected, we will make every effort to ensure that they have a laptop (the one ordered or a loaner) for the start of school.

Q: Can I just bring my own (faster, better, more powerful) laptop? Why do I have to order one through the School?

A: Ask to be part of the BYOD Pilot. The School has two computer technicians to provide technical support for over 600 medical students. The best way to provide the highest level of hardware and software support for that many students, is to standardize on a few systems. We support 4-6 models of laptops and multiple operating systems for each of the 4 classes. As a result, we can only support the systems offered by the school.

Q: I want a faster processor, more memory, better graphics processor. Can I buy one of the recommended models on my own and ship it to you?

A: Ask to be part of the BYOD Pilot. The School has two computer technicians to provide technical support for over 600 medical students. The best way to provide the highest level of hardware and software support for that many students, is to standardize on a few systems. We support 4 models of laptops and multiple operating systems for each of the 4 classes. As a result, we can only support the systems offered by the school.

Q: What should I do if I'm on a waitlist for another schoool?

A: We really hope that you will choose Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. However, we understand that plans can change, and our preference would be for you to wait until you're sure that you're coming to Case before ordering a laptop through the school. There is a delay between order and delivery. In order to ensure that your laptop is here in time for the start of classes, we recommend that you do not wait longer than late May to order. The School accepts students from the waitlist, so if we do have laptops left over, they generally go to our late accepts. The bottom line is that you will not be charged for the cost of the laptop if you decide not to come to Case Western Reserve University.

Q: If I receive permission to bring my own laptop, do I still have to attend one of the Computer Orientation sessions?

A: Yes. During the orientation sessions, we will teach you how to connect and login to the Case network, set you up for printing, show you some of the resources available and talk to you about the proper care and feeding of your laptop.

Q: Can I order one of these notebooks, but with different hardware (e.g. bigger hard drive, better video, larger screen, etc.)?

A: No, the models that we have pre-configured for you were selected to get the best quality notebook at the best possible price using Case's campus agreement with these vendors and an additional quantity discount. If you want to buy more memory or a bigger hard drive on your own, we can install it, at no cost, as long as it doesn't violate your warranty.

Q: I can buy a Dell/Mac through my school or some other website for less than the price Case has listed on the website. Can I buy this one instead?

A: First off, make sure that you are comparing the same specifications. We compared a website that a prospective student sent to us in a previous year. On a Dell laptop, by the time we were done, the exact same laptop was just over $2,200 compared to the one we offered for $1,700 at that time. The biggest difference is the warranty which adds almost a couple hundred to our price and probably isn't included in your price. But, IF you can find a better price for the same computer, go for it. As long as it is the same hardware, we'll be able to provide full support for it. This applies to Dell and Apple only.

Q: How are the laptops repaired?

A: Students can take their laptops to our technical staff in room E-318 for all hardware and software repairs or any time they have a question about their laptops. Our technicians are Dell certified and can perform all hardware repairs covered under the warranty for Dell laptops at no cost to students. Replacement parts are usually recieved within a day or two. Students with Mac laptops will have to take their laptops to one of the local Apple stores. Students are provided a loaner laptop (Dell, Windows) while their laptop is being repaired if the repair takes longer than a day or two. When out of town, students can also contact Dell directly or take their Macs to an Apple store for hardware repairs.

Q: How do I pay for my laptop computer?

A: If you order a laptop through the School, you will see a separate line item on your tuition bill for the cost of the computer. Your financial aid will only cover the cost of a laptop up to $2,000. You will have to pay the rest as part of your tuition bill. Whatever Case pays, is what you will be charged. Case will not markup the cost of the laptops. If you purchase a laptop on your own, the cost up to $2,000 can be covered under your financial aid package.

Q: When can I pick up my laptop?

A: Students MUST attend one of the Computer Pickup & Registration sessions. Students will need their laptops set up and ready to go by the start of classes. During these sessions, our staff will walk students through the process of customizing their laptops, logging on to the Case network and numerous other prodecural steps and informational items. The session will generally last less than one hour, except for student in the BYOD Pilot.

Q: What is included in the laptop package?

A: 
The laptop package for the Class of 2019 included:

  1. The selected laptop
  2. Case's Software Center provides site licenses for the latest operating systems (Windows 8 & MacOS 10.10.x) and Microsoft Office among other applications
NOTE: We will not offer an accessories package this year. Feedback from prior students indicates they prefer to make their own purchases of these items. We strongly recommend that you have a good backpack with proper padding for your laptop. A wireless mouse. We also recommend an external hard drive for backing up, a security cable to prevent theft (IF your laptop has a security slot. Some laptops including Retina Display Macs do not have the security slot).

Q: Why are Lenovo laptops not being offered this year?

A: The Lenovo laptops are fine laptops and are recommended by us. However, last year we did not have a very good ordering experience with our vendor. The Lenovo laptops did not arrive until after classes had already started.

Q: Which laptop is recommended?

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

  1. Dell Latitude ???? - Price, warranty and lightweight
  2. Dell Latitude ???? - 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 laptops in-house. You will have to take your laptop to the local Apple Store (~30 minute drive) for hardware repairs. You should investigate a MacBook Protection plan that provides insurance for accidental damage.

The differences between the E5440 and E5540 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 popular and most durable.

Q: What is covered under the Dell and Apple warranties?

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 may 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). The backpack, mouse, security cable and external hard drive are covered under the manufacturer's warranty and you will have to deal directly with the manufacturer, not Dell. NOTE: For the Class of 2019, there will be no accessory package.

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, several Dell laptops had some kind of liquid spilled on them. All were repaired at no cost to the student.

If your laptop is in for repairs. You will receive a Windows laptop, if you want a loaner. The maximum length of time for borrowing a loaner laptop is 30 days.

Apple's AppleCare Repair Agreement provides hardware repairs for 4 years. This warranty is only available for commercial purchases. The best warranty available for personal purchase is 3 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 is voided. There is no labor fee if School of Medicine technicians repair your laptop.

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, quite a few Mac laptops had some kind of liquid spilled on them. In some cases our technical staff were able to repair the laptop, although the warranty was voided. In a couple of 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 cases, students with older laptops, elected to purchase new laptops.

You should investigate a MacBook Protection plan that provides insurance for accidental damage.

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

A: There are a number of differences, which are mostly inconveniences all of which have workarounds.
Some older lectures in the large lecture hall were recorded and made available via the eCurriculum website. The video/audio/PowerPoint capture software was not completely compatible with Macs. The video and audio will play, but the PowerPoint slides will not be synchronized.
There are one or two educational applications used during the first or second year that are Windows only. Students with Apple laptops have two options: 1) share/borrow a Windows laptop from a classmate, or 2) use the Windows computer located in E-321.

We do not have any Macs available as loaner equipment, if your laptop is in for repairs. You will receive a Windows laptop, if you want a loaner. The maximum length of time for borrowing a loaner laptop is 30 days.