Student Laptop Initiative
Information Resources & Technology highly recommends that all students come to campus with a new, name-brand laptop computer.
Before purchasing a laptop, IRT recommends students contact their department of study or their academic advisor. While many departments do not have a computer preference, some, such as art, may have specialized requirements.
After consulting with their department, students should consider what computer best suits their needs and preferences. Please keep in mind that a computer is a tool and students should purchase the computer they are most comfortable using.
Purchasing an Apple Computer
Students who prefer to buy an Apple computer may purchase the computer online, through the Apple Store for Education, or directly from an Apple Store. When purchasing at an Apple Store, be sure to bring your student ID and mention that you are a student. IRT highly recommends purchasing three years of AppleCare with an Apple computer. This warranty will cover most hardware problems students face with their computers for three years. Please note that due to the nature of Apple and AppleCare, IRT cannot repair Apple computers on campus. They must be repaired by Apple.
Purchasing a Windows-Based Computer
When purchasing a Windows-based computer, students should be aware that there are two major classes of computers: consumer class and enterprise class. Consumer class computers are available from major retailers, like Best Buy or Walmart. These computers are less expensive but are not built for longevity. Students who purchase a consumer class device may have to replace it before graduation.
An enterprise class computer is built to last for a longer period of time but costs more initially. Most manufacturers differentiate the classes by product line. For example, the Latitude line is Dell's enterprise class and the Inspiron line is Dell's consumer class. Similarly, the ThinkPad line is Lenovo's enterprise class and the Ideapad line is Lenovo's consumer class. While they cost more up front, IRT highly recommends that students consider purchasing an enterprise class computer as they are generally much more durable than consumer class machines.
When purchasing a laptop, IRT also recommends that students buy an accidental damage warranty. This warranty will cover all basic hardware problems that students may encounter plus any damage from drops, spills, etc.
Purchasing a Lenovo Laptop
While IRT does not have a preference about what brand of computer students buy, we currently use Lenovo computers on Rowan's campuses and Lenovo has extended our campus pricing to students. Please keep in mind that when purchasing a Lenovo computer through this program, you are purchasing directly from Lenovo, not through the University. The main advantage of buying a Lenovo computer is the Technology Assistance Center is a Lenovo Authorized repair center and can perform warranty work on Lenovo computers. Loaner computers may also be available to students who have purchased a Lenovo Think branded computer.
To review and purchase a Lenovo, visit the Lenovo Rowan Student website.
All students must have anti-virus software installed on their computers. The University provides all students with a free, licensed copy of Symantec Endpoint Protection for use on their personal computers.
In addition to the anti-virus software, IRT also recommends that students download Office 365 for their personal use. The University has collaborated with Microsoft to provide Office 365 to students for free.
Other software, including the Adobe Creative Suite, is available on the RowanCloud.
In addition to a computer, students may want to purchase a flash drive or portable external hard drive to back up data. While the University provides each student with a personalized area on the Rowan Network to store data, called the H drive or Home drive, many students prefer to back up important data to multiple locations. An external hard drive or large capacity flash drive will allow students this flexibility.
For more information on purchasing a laptop, please contact the IRT Support Center at 856.256.4400 or email@example.com.