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Computer Policy for Medical Students
Entering in the Summer of 2015

Provided by Administrative Computing
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

For medical students matriculating at the School of Medicine in July 2015, the following laptop computer policy will apply.

The School of Medicine requires that all medical students have a working laptop computer for school use. The School of Medicine will determine the models and minimum specifications required.

The School of Medicine will offer two models of Dell and two models of Apple laptops available for purchase through the school. By purchasing through the school, students will be able to take advantage of the education and quantity discount as well as being able to add the cost (up to $2,000) to their financial aid package. The purchase price of the laptop will be added to the first year bursar's statement as a fee. The Dell laptops will be fully supported for software and the hardware will be supported in-house by Dell certified technicians for 4 years. Students purchasing an Apple laptop through the school will receive full software support, but will have to go to the local Apple store (approx. 30 minute drive) for all hardware repairs while the laptop is under warranty.

Students who do not want one of the Apple laptops offered through the school, may elect to purchase a MacBook Pro on their own. If a student has a fairly new MacBook Pro, they may contact us at CaseMedHelp@case.edu to see if their laptop is acceptable. The school will set the minimum hardware specifications required.

This year, we will conduct a pilot with up to 15 students who have a slightly older non-Dell, or want to purchase a different Windows laptop on their own. No Chromebooks or Linux systems. Please contact us at CaseMedHelp@case.edu to see if your laptop is acceptable. The school will set the minimum hardware specifications required.

The specific laptop models for the Class of 2019 have not been chosen yet. In late Winter of 2015, the Dell and Apple models available at that time, or expected soon, 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 2018 students had the option of purchasing one of four models:

  1. Dell Latitude E5440
  2. Dell Latitude E5540
  3. Lenovo ThinkPad T440
  4. Lenovo ThinkPad T540
  5. Apple MacBook Pro 13"
  6. Apple MacBook Pro 15"

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

School Orientation starts July 8, 2015. Computer Orientation starts June 29, 2015, if you're already in town). In order for the laptop 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 15, 2015) to ensure that all laptops are imaged and ready for student Computer Orientation. It takes 3-4 weeks for the laptops to arrive after the order has been placed and processed by Purchasing. The orders should be placed no later than May 15, 2015.

Students may select the make and model of the laptop that they want to purchase through the school, by going to a website (provided at a later date) beginning April 27th. All students having selected and committed to a purchase by May 15th will receive the best quantity discounted rate available at that time. Students may choose to wait longer to place their order, but 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 15th may not receive their laptop in time. Loaner laptops 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 laptop, depending on demand. The preceding dates are approximate and will be confirmed as we begin discussions with the vendors.

For questions, please contact David Pilasky, Director of Administrative Computing via email: David.Pilasky@case.edu or CaseMEDhelp@case.edu.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Most of the information below applies to the Class of 2018 and is only for informational purposes. This section will be updated at a later date.

Q: What is included in the laptop package?

A: The laptop package for the Class of 2018 included:

  1. The selected laptop
  2. Case's Software Center provides site licenses for the latest operating systems (Windows 8 & MacOS 10.9.x) and Microsoft Office among other applications
  3. Backpack carrying case
  4. 1TB External hard drive
  5. Wireless optical mouse
  6. Security cable (except for Retina Display Macs)
  7. PGP Desktop (encryption software) (may be required $37)

NOTE: For the Class of 2019, 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. We also recommend an external hard drive for backing up, a security cable to prevent theft and a wireless mouse. We will provide links for recommended an external hard drive, and security cable at a later date.

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 E5440 - Price, warranty and lightweight
  2. Dell Latitude E5540 - Same as above, with larger screen
  3. Lenovo ThinkPad T440 - Price, warranty and lightweight
  4. Lenovo ThinkPad T540 - Same as above, with larger screen
  5. Apple MacBook Pro 13" - Excellent quality, but warranty concerns and price
  6. 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.

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. The Apple mouse has a 1 year Apple warranty. The backpack, security cable and external hard drive are covered under the manufacturer's warranty and you will have to deal directly with the manufacturer, not Apple. NOTE: For the Class of 2019, there will be no accessory package.

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.

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) we will open the Computer Classroom during the weekday afternoons until 5:00pm upon request.

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.

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 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 for the pilot for using their own older Windows laptops?

A: 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 put in a request, but is not selected, they will have to order a laptop through the school (Dell or Apple). 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: I would like more information.

A: A website for the Class of 2019 will be posted early Spring 2015. In the meantime, please visit the following website for the Class of 2018 to see last year's information: