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Hardware Thread, £3500 for 15 laptops in Technical; Part of the limitations tho' is that you'll have so much more work supporting them if they're cheap tat. That's ...
  1. #16
    mark's Avatar
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    Re: £3500 for 15 laptops

    Part of the limitations tho' is that you'll have so much more work supporting them if they're cheap tat.

    That's the main reason i'd hold out for a minimum spec of robustly built machines with a pretty solid hardware. We bought 15 @£335 each plus a trolly for £1500 and a couple of WAPs.

  2. #17
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    Re: £3500 for 15 laptops

    What age are the kids that will use them?
    It was suggested that we had some laptops available in one of our main school IT rooms. I pointed out that the keyboards probably wouldn't last five minutes with the heavy handed 11 - 16 year old's & I also told them that it would cause even more work for myself (I am the only one, looking after a network of around 200 machines), they agreed not to try the laptop route.
    We have a trolley of laptops for use in the Sixth Form, not had too much trouble apart from the batteries dying, which is a major pain. We all know about battery memory, but I just can't seem to get through their heads that they need to let the batteries discharge fully every so often, so they are put on charge after a hours use. Still it ain't my money.
    So the battery life is another aspect that you could throw at them. The cheaper the laptop the lower the quality of the battery (not always the case I know)
    I know what you mean about getting on & just doing the job that you have been asked to do though.

  3. #18
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    Re: £3500 for 15 laptops

    If you are going to use them as part of your domain i would also make sure they come with the Intel Pro Wireless, as they have a pre logon system which makes sure the wireless is connected before the user log's on.

  4. #19

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    Re: £3500 for 15 laptops

    £3500 for 15 laptops - probably not possible.

    Find cheapest deal currently possible and present it your head and explain that is the best you could do.

    (XP Pro laptops currently commanding a premium because very few people want a Vista machine at the moment - especially in schools )

    If you feel the need to, you could also present the cheapest machine you'd actually recommend that would give medium/long term value for money.

    You'll have done your best at this point - relax and have a nice 1/2 term break

    regards

    Simon

  5. #20
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    Re: £3500 for 15 laptops

    Wireless laptop suites *shudder*

    If space is a concern tell your cheap ass head to fork out some extra cash and get some thin clients in that badboy

  6. #21

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    Re: £3500 for 15 laptops

    If you are going to use them as part of your domain i would also make sure they come with the Intel Pro Wireless, as they have a pre logon system which makes sure the wireless is connected before the user log's on.
    Which oddly enough is the first thing i remove from any laptop that has uses the Intel wireless chipset !! Can't stand that software - the MS wireless software amazingly enough runs the wireless aspect better.
    My opinion blah blah...

  7. #22
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    Re: £3500 for 15 laptops

    Im not sure if this has changed recently but we always used to make sure the laptops were centrino based when buying - this was the only way of being sure they would be able to connect to the network pre-logon (and using only the M$ software).

    We recently took delivery of a load of bog standard core2 duo's (not sure if these are centrino based?) but these also work fine

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    Re: £3500 for 15 laptops

    I would be costing some alternatives (proper laptop and a desktop suite) and going back to the head.

    If he just wants to save space there are some excelent space saving PCs these days, or even a normal PC with a TFT will fit on a 60mm bench.

    It does annoy me when ludites think they know better, our head of sixth form was winging about how much his new server cost him. He'd obviousely had a Dell flyer in his paper that Sunday.

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    Re: £3500 for 15 laptops

    i'd point out how hard this is to fill, i'd also point out the cost per year of the life of the laptop, include things like upgradability and warranty.

  10. #25
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    Re: £3500 for 15 laptops

    You can get Dell Vostro 1000's for £199.99 each with Vista Home and 249.99 with XP / Vista Business.

    Might be worth a call to an education sales person to see if they can go any lower. If you can get hold of them

  11. #26
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    Re: £3500 for 15 laptops

    Quote Originally Posted by FN-Greatermanchester
    Quote Originally Posted by kerrymoralee9280
    Sorry, I did mention both - I think that must of been because I 'wished' I had £4500, but unfortunately the figure is £3500 to play with.

    Yeah, sorry - Windows XP Pro, Wireless ready and they MUST be brand new. Forgot to mention that.

    I saw some for about £240 on Misco but they had Windows Vista and I don't want to use Vista in the school yet. The cheapest XP Pro was £300 which is about 67 over budget.

    (all figures ex VAT)
    Do you know if it is Window Vista Business, Ultimate or Enterprise Edition you can downgrade to Windows XP Pro for free?
    i saw that too however where do they expect you to get the xp pro licence from? and as xp needs activating you simply cannot use a licence key from another pc!

  12. #27
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    Re: £3500 for 15 laptops

    i saw that too however where do they expect you to get the xp pro licence from? and as xp needs activating you simply cannot use a licence key from another pc!
    LOL unfortunatly thats exactly what you do, then you have to call the activation line go through all the automated options until you get to speak to a human and explain you have an OEM Vista Business Licence and they will provide you and activation code. Quite an annoyance if you have multiple systems.

  13. #28

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    Re: £3500 for 15 laptops

    If you buy 15 laptops for £3500, you will end up buying new ones very soon to replace them - low price doesn't equal reliability or quality.

    Battery life is going to be very poor on that sort of priced machine, you are not going to get the correct windows license that you need in school (unless you already have a Schools Agreement, in which case you can simply use that to fix that problem). You will also only get a 12 month warranty for that.

    So, i'd be expecting to replace them after 12 months...

    I'd find the best deal you can get at the moment with everything in good order (ie. good brand, wireless, windows xp pro/vista business, 3 year warranty) and provide that to them as the cheepest option you can get.

    Having a look at the Dell Vostro 1000 that someone mentioned earlier - the cheapest option with XP Pro, 3 yr warranty and the better, 9 cell, battery etc... I got them to £348ea via the online configurator - so you'd probably be able to get them a bit cheaper (probably closer to £300 ea) if you give their education team a call. However, they only have Sempron 3500's in them, which were slow last year, let alone for the future.

  14. #29
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    Re: £3500 for 15 laptops

    you might be able to get cheap laptops, but when all the keys are missing in 6 months time, you might find that they turn into expensive laptops. Far better to get desktops!

  15. #30

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    Re: £3500 for 15 laptops

    > Windows XP Pro
    > Wireless ready
    > £233 (ex VAT) each

    Those Asus / RM Eee PCs are £200 each. They don't come with Windows installed but they are seemingly /capable/ of running Windows, so you could buy a copy for each one. That'll cost more than £33 each, though.

    If you can forget the whole Windows thing, you can have your laptops with money left over for the cabinet. Portable laptop cabinets are stunningly overpriced, and tend to have crummy little castor wheels that break far too easily. Buy a cabinet from a DIY shop, nail it to a sack-truck, problem solved.

    Second hand might do it, but check the batteries - laptop batteries are classed as "consumables" by the second hand merchants I've known, expect them not to be able to hold a full capacity charge.

    If you want to buy a Windows Vista laptop and then downgrade to Windows XP you'll need to buy a volume license from Microsoft. This will cost £50-ish per machine. We've just bought some Dell Vostro 1000 laptops which still have an option to come installed with Windows XP Pro.

    --
    David Hicks

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