As part of the three-year replacement cycle, new laptops were chosen for students to use in the fall of 2020 and upgrades will be made in select computer labs on campus.
New HP ProBook 440 G7 laptops have been voted on by students and various other faculty and departments on campus. Manager of Technology Services Merlin Miller said the processor in the new laptop will be the biggest difference along with a built-in camera cover and an HDMI port.
Miller said the HP ProBook has the tenth generation Intel processor, which is the latest processor as of now from Intel, which has faster speed and better performance. He said the decision to use this laptop was made after surveying students in February 2020.
Miller said the Technology Services team spoke to faculty and departments that dealt with business and technology on their preferences on the laptops along with the Learning and Teaching Center.
“Just having fresh units without any prior use and the latest processor will be the biggest benefit,” Miller said.
The ProBook screen resolution will be higher because it will have full HD screens. These screens will allow for more items to be packed into the screen because they have more pixels to use up in that space.
Miller said memory and harddrive sizes will be the same—an eight-gigabyte memory and a 256-gigabyte harddrive.
As of April 9, there are no current plans to increase the technology fee; Miller said those plans could change in the future, but it was highly unlikely.
“At this time the cost of the notebooks (laptops), that falls within—where they have been in previous years,” Miller said.
According to a Board of Regents meeting document, the laptop equipment purchase will cost $4 million and is funded through an interfund loan that consists of the Education and General Fund and the Plant fund.
Miller said the interfund loan borrows funds from other parts of the University and pays it back over the three-year cycle until new laptops need to be purchased again. The meeting document states the University pays back the loan with the Technology Fee students pay per credit hour every semester. According to a tuition fees document on the University’s website, all students paid $23.20 per credit hour for the Technology Fee for the 2019-2020 school year.
The interfund loan will also provide some updates to some computer labs on campus. Miller said PC labs in Colden Hall and Garret-Strong will both get new computers. He said the new PCs will be more compact in thickness with a 24-inch screen, which is slightly bigger than the current 22-inch screens, and the towers will be a mini form factor that will be integrated in with the monitor. Miller said this would allow for more desk space for students.