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What is the cheapest way to buy laptops?

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by Marie-Louise, Jul 26, 2015.

  1. Hi,

    I've just been given the responsibilty to ICT co-ordinator and have a lot to do with it! First step is to get a bank of laptops for school (primary) with nothing left in the pot to spend! So....

    What is the cheapest way to get at least 15 laptops for schools?

    Is there any funding? Worth contacting any companies?

    Obviously, under the circumstances, happy for them to refurbished. Just need for them as cheap as...would love to get some for free, but that really would be a miracle, wouldn't it?!

    Thanks in advance
  2. olderandwiser

    olderandwiser Occasional commenter

    "With nothing left in the pot to spend."

    Forget it.
  3. djphillips1408

    djphillips1408 New commenter

    We buy in a lot of refurbished kit for our school and my technician always uses hardware associates as they provide good cheap kit and very good service. But you are going to have to find some money from your head/bursar, grants for such things are much rarer nowadays.

  4. If you're buying second hand / refurbished laptops, there's going to be some bits to check on. Check how old the batteries are - batteries are often the part of a laptop that wears out the quickest, and you'll find that most majufacturers don't warrenty them for as long as the rest of the machine. These days it's general easy enough to find new replacement batteries (around £30 each, depending on model), and if you're buying refurbished from a dealer you should check with them if they put new batteries in for you. To speed an older machine up, a new SSD drive is often a good idea - £30 - £50 per machine, and again if you buy from a dealer that might be something they sort out for you. Laptop keyboards, also, are easy enough to swap out for new ones if you need to, and generally cost around £20 each.

    A second-hand laptop might come with an older Windows license - depending on what Microsoft licensing agreement, if any, you have you might be able to upgrade to whatever newer version you prefer, or you might be stuck with whatever the laptop is licensed for. That's something you need to check with whoever handles your licensing, which might be the local authroity if you're a state school.

    If you want a good refurbished laptop dealer, try ICT Direct: http://www.ict-direct.co.uk/

    Do compate their prices with new machines - there's a number of lower-powered Windows devices available now for around £100. Their processor and RAM might be limited, but for a mobile device for use in a classroom they might be adequate for what you want. And, of course, you could look at Chromebooks - not Windows machines, they won't run your old software, but they work very well with Google Apps and anything else web-based, and they are very affordable new machines.
  5. Afternoon Marie-Louise

    Have you considered deferred-leasing options? There are various solutions available to you which would enable yourself to spread the cost of your purchase over 1,2 or even 3yrs

    If this is still an active requirement, I'll be more than happy to discuss with you


  6. Just to add: check what kind of Windows version you have on your existing network, and how your licesning is done. You might well have a whole-school license agreement of some kind, in which case you can upgrade from any version of Windows to any version you like, just as long as each computer does have a Windows license of some kind on it.

    Many / most schools run a central Active Directory server which computers are then "joined" to and managed by. This neds the "pro" or "enterprise" version of Windows, which you don't generally get on computers sold on the high street. The cheapest Windows laptops are currently around £150 - Lidl have a special offer on at the moment. That kind of machine is unlikly to come with a version of Windows that can be domain controlled. However, you could look at using a mobile device management system to manage you laptops instead - Meraki do one that's free, I think it can be used for Windows devices as well as iPads and Android tablets.

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