Gateway, SDSU offer laptop deal

Tanya Marsh

Tanya Marsh

A deal between Gateway and SDSU offers students a choice of two laptop computers at a reduced price.

Eric Loos, senior computer support specialist, said, “There are two models that are [available]. One of them is called the 1450 [SE Notebook] that comes with a Celeron processor; that’s the lower end model.” The 1450 costs $1,550.

The higher-end model is a 450L Notebook, which comes with a Pentium 4 processor and costs $1,799.

“The prices include tax and shipping and everything,” Loos said.

However, the biggest savings available to students buying these models is not just in the computer, it’s in the warranties.

“It is a heavily discounted price, due to their warranty on it,” Loos said.

“Each machine that you buy comes with a three year parts warranty and a three year accidental damage warranty.

“The parts warranty is pretty self-explanatory. If something breaks in [the computer], it’s under warranty and can be fixed free of charge. For the accidental damage, if you were to accidentally drop it off the desk, if [the laptop] cracks or something, it can be replaced for up to three years.”

Loos said in June, when the program was started, the prices were nearly a $500 savings.

These discounted machines are available to “anybody affiliated with the university with the exception of alumni,” Loos said. “It’s for faculty, employees, staff members, any students. It’s campus wide.”

A discounted computer and three year warranties are not the only benefits offered to those who buy the laptops.

“One of the biggest benefits for students is service,” Loos said. “We have a service center here on campus, in NFA 149. They don’t need to go to Gateway, because we are Gateway. I’m certified to fix it all. If you buy it through our program [you] can get it fixed free of charge, and you don’t have to go anywhere.”

In addition to on-campus service, Loos said, “If I can’t fix it within a day, we have loaners so they’re not without a laptop.”

An additional charge laptop buyers will have to consider, however, is software.

The computers come with Windows XP Professional, Loos said, but, “they don’t come with Office because we have a new software contract and [students] can get the Office XP Standard for $73 in the Bookstore.”

He added that this is a heavily discounted price, as the same software has been advertised in Best Buy for about $500.

A few university members who will find particular use for the laptop program are nursing students, who will be required to purchase laptops for the Fall 2003 semester.

Accelerated nursing students in the Sioux Falls branch of SDSU are already required to have laptops.

Micheala Wosje is one such nursing student. She said that while she bought the laptop “because they’re required,” she does like it and uses it a lot.

“I use it for downloading music, Quicken for my checkbook, my classes are all on the Internet and all the information is on the Internet, and when we take quizzes and tests there’s a proctor in the room and we take the test on theIinternet. The notes are on the Internet so we can type into them while the instructor is talking,” Wosje said.

She added that she also uses her laptop for Web CT, research, and many other tasks.

Wosje said she has appreciated having the laptop.

“The best part has been the ease it makes for the learning in the classroom,” she said.

However, Wosje had a few problems when she purchased her computer.

“I ended up buying the Celeron processor, but I’m exchanging it for the Pentium because there was a lot of confusion as far as what was standard on the computers and what came extra,” she said.

“The worst part was the fact that there was so much confusion in the buying process. Everybody [within Gateway] said something different.”

Still, Wosje said that she would recommend the program to others.

“Eric [Loos] has been really great. He’s done everything to help,” she said. “They are really good computers.”

Students, faculty, and staff considering a laptop purchase can stop by the laptop promotional table next Wednesday in the Union Breezeway from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Two Gateway representatives will be present to address questions, there will be a drawing for a printer and there will be free SDSU ice cream and popcorn.