Class of 2010 to receive new laptops for Fall of ’08

Kate Drew

As part of the laptop program instituted by UNIT, all members of the sophomore class will be returning their Dell Latitude D620 laptops in May 2008.

This is the first time that an entire class will be participating in this step of the laptop program.

After the laptops are returned, they will be given to an outside company hired to clean, fix and remove all data from the laptop.

Students will then be able to sign up for early shipping, allowing them to receive their laptops during a designated week in June, July or August.

There has been no decision made about the model of the laptops.

However, it has been determined that they will still be Dell Latitude laptops.

There has been concern about the problems with the Dell Latitude D610 laptops, specifically the defective batteries.

According to William Truitte, project analyst for the Villanova Laptop Program, Dell has assumed full responsibility for this issue. Dell has extended support beyond its standard warrantee in response to these issues and has assured the University that there will be no problems like this in the future.

UNIT will be sending out an e-mail with all the information regarding the laptop program.

“We want to put out as much information to the students as possible,” said Maura Ewing, a member of the project management team. “It’s really about finding unique ways to get the information out there.”

Truitte recorded a podcast, available on UNIT’s Web site, that includes a wealth of information about the laptop process.

Students must return their laptops without stickers or cracks and in working condition.

Along with the laptop, students will also be returning the adapter given to them the summer before their freshman year.

The laptop computers are given to the University under a two-year lease, and returned computers will be given back to the leasing company.

Because of the contract with the leasing company, no student will be given the opportunity to purchase their laptop.

“The leasing company may not always be with the manufacturer of the machine, in this instance, Dell,” Ewing said. “The University’s procurement office handles the leasing requirements and contracts.”

The laptop exchange program is an issue of concern for students planning on studying abroad during the spring 2008 semester.

UNIT has made arrangements for these students, including allowing them to mail their laptops back to the University.

Study-abroad students will be able to sign up for early shipping the same way as students remaining on campus.

UNIT does not foresee any conflicts during the exchange process.

“The process is pretty straightforward, and we’ve been doing it for five years,” Ewing said.