So we get free laptops….

Photo from

Grace Williams, Business and Social Media Manager

   During our first semester at SNU, we all receive a laptop as part of our tuition (and an optional, upgrade with purchases) and are told that we can go to the laptop center with any problems. If you have ever wondered how this system works, then this article is for you.

   Each Spring, Mark Murray, director of SNU’s laptop center, speaks with representatives from different laptop companies to choose the free laptop for the new students in the upcoming academic year. The criteria that Murray looks for is the warranty and quality of computer for the budget he receives.

   “The warranty was the major factor in choosing the Fujitsu laptop this year. We typically buy computers in May or June but don’t give them to the students until August or even January, meaning that months of warranty are being wasted while no one is using the laptop. Fujitsu, however, doesn’t start the warranty until the student picks up the laptop. We had a huge problem with the Lenovo Thinkpad last year and were almost out of warranty when we discovered it. This lead us to seriously consider an alternate company.”

   The warranty is so important because it means that if something is found to be wrong with a computer that was not caused by accidental damage, then it can be repaired or replaced free of charge. The laptop center is here to help complete or facilitate all repairs whether a student is under warranty or not.

   Murray said, “Bring your computer to laptop as soon as you encounter problems because the later you bring [it] the more likely it is that the warranty has run out. Plus, the laptop center is willing to provide some services that we won’t advertise for free on a case by case basis.Spills and accidents are not covered under warranty, but we will still help you fix it.”

  The laptop center is a Fujitsu repair center, so almost all repairs on the Fujitsu laptop can be done in house. If a repair needs to be done off site, the laptop center will take care of all details (including getting your computer to the service location) to find you the cheapest deal on repairs, if you leave your computer with them. The exception is often for Mac computers because the Apple store is easily accessible to students, and it is usually faster for the student to take it there than the staff. For the most part, the laptop center can take care of repairs the quickest and cheapest way possible because when computers are returned or are replaced for only one malfunctioning part then those broken parts become parts machines for the University.

   The laptop center is becoming the place for any computer issues regardless of whether it is a software or hardware issue. I.T. is currently the place for issues such as resetting your active directory password or moodle problems, but it can be confusing to remember the distinction so the laptop center will now be the place for students to get all help on their laptops.