Rowan Student Guide to Purchasing a Computer

Rowan’s Student Laptop Initiative

Rowan Universities Division of Information Resources and Technology highly recommends that all students come to campus with a new, name brand laptop computer for their use on campus and in classes. This page is designed to assist you in purchasing the laptop that is best for you.

Before purchasing a laptop we recommend that you contact your department of study or academic advisor. While many departments do not have a computer preference, some, such as Art, may.

After talking to your department you should look at what computer is best for you. Please keep in mind that a computer is a tool not much different than any other tool and that you should look at purchasing the computer that you are most comfortable using.

Purchasing an Apple Computer

If your preference is to purchase an Apple computer, you may purchase it online through the Apple Store for Education or directly from the Apple Store. If you are purchasing at an Apple Store, be sure to take along your student ID and mention that you are a student. In addition to purchasing your computer, we highly recommend purchasing three years of AppleCare. This warranty will cover most hardware problems you may face with your computer for three years. Please note that due to the nature of Apple and Applecare, we cannot repair Apple computers on the Rowan Campus. They must be repaired by Apple.

Purchasing a Windows Based Computer

When purchasing a Windows based computer you should be aware that there are two major classes of computers, Consumer class and Enterprise class. Consumer class computers are computers that you can purchase from a major retailer such as Best Buy or Walmart. These are less expensive but are not built for longevity. If you purchase a consumer class device, you may have to replace it before you graduate. An enterprise class computer is built to last for a longer time period but is more expensive initially. Most manufacturers differentiate the classes by product line. For example, Dell Latitude line is their Enterprise level computers and the Inspiron is their consumer class. Similarly, the Lenovo Ideapad is their consumer class machine, while the ThinkPad is their enterprise class computer.

While they cost more up front, we highly recommend that students look to purchasing an Enterprise class computer as they are generally much more durable than consumer class machines and will hold up better as you take them from class to class.

In addition to purchasing your laptop, we also recommend purchasing an accidental damage warranty. This warranty type will cover all basic hardware problems that you may encounter in your computer, plus any damage from drops, spills, etc.

Purchasing a Lenovo Laptop

While we do not have a preference as to what computer you purchase, we are currently using Lenovo computers on the Rowan campuses. As a benefit for our students, Lenovo has extended our campus pricing to our students. Please keep in mind that if you purchase a Lenovo computer through this program, you are purchasing directly from Lenovo and not through Rowan University. The main advantage to purchasing a Lenovo is that the NSS Workshop is a Lenovo Certified Repair Center and can perform warranty work on Lenovo computers. Loaner computers may also be available (based on availability) to students have purchased a Lenovo Think branded computer.

To review and purchase a Lenovo, you may visit the Lenovo Rowan Student website.

Software

Currently, the only software that students are required to have on their laptop is anti-virus software, no matter the type of computer you own (Windows or Mac). The good news is that Rowan provides Anti-Virus software for all of their students. We are currently in the process of changing vendors, and will have more information on where to download and how to install your Anti-Virus software shortly.

In addition to Anti-virus software, we also recommend that students purchase a copy of Microsoft Office Home and Student. You can purchase the Windows version of Office online or at major retailers. The Mac version may be purchased online or at major retailers. Make sure you purchase the proper copy of Office for your computer.

Microsoft Office and other academic software is also available on the Rowan Cloud.

Other Devices

In addition to your computer you may want to purchase a flash drive or portable external hard drive for backing up your data. While Rowan provides each student with its own area on the Rowan Network to store data, called the H drive or Home drive, many students prefer to back up their important data to multiple locations. An external hard drive or large capacity flash drive will allow them this flexibility.

For more information on purchasing a laptop, please contact the IRT Support Desk at 856-256-4400.