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Purchasing Windows Computers/Laptops

Desktop Computers

WSU has a desktop computer ordering tool that can be used to configure and order a new computer. (Windows OS only – sorry Mac people! If you prefer a Mac, you can get one; see our purchasing person about ordering Apple computers/laptops.) Some of you may have already taken advantage of purchasing a PC using the tool. One nice thing about this is that your new computer will come with pre-installed WSU software (Windows 10 Enterprise, Office 365, and Acrobat DC and a few other basic needs – more as needed and pre-arranged – ask CAHNRS IT). And they have a pretty fast turn around – Sometimes as soon as a couple of days. Their tool allows you to customize the computer to whatever you need. Buying this way also includes a 3-year warranty and full support.

To access the configuration tool, go to the CAHNRS IT website. There is a link on the left-hand menu titled “Buy a Desktop PC”. This tool allows you to select pre-configured options and customize them as needed. The system will generate a quote that can be purchased through the normal process, or over the phone with a P-card. The systems will be shipped directly to your site. Once the computer arrives, you submit a ticket to CAHNRS IT* to do a quick remote session to finish with final configurations to optimize running on the WSU network.
* unless you have you started the process via a ticket. In that case, be sure to use that ticket for any related correspondence.

How to Use the Configuration Tool Unfortunately, there are no instructions on the configuration toll page. But the process is fairly straight forward. They have three levels of computers shown which are pre-configured to meet most needs. To see what each actually has you need to click on the button “Preview this computer”. If you like the options, you would then click on “Get Purchase Quote” at the bottom. I don’t recommend selecting any of the pre-configured choices. I would only use this screen to view how they have it set up. However, you can skip this step and go directly to “Customize your computer.” After clicking that button, a spreadsheet will open. You first “Select a computer” to get the base configuration for one of the three pre-configured options. It will show the price before customizing. In the spreadsheet, you can change or add to the pre-selected options. But make sure you deselect the default items (select 0). The spreadsheet currently doesn’t automatically do that for you. If you try to submit for a quote and have extra items selected, you will get an error message telling you to select only a single item (or only up to 3 items under the hard drive choices). Things you can add on to your order include an upgraded hard drive(s), upgraded keyboard/mouse combo, a monitor (not included by default), HDMI cables, a webcam (not included by default), speakers (not included by default), Wireless (WIFI/Bluetooth not included by default). The computer will come pre-configured with our Windows Pro 10 version. Beyond that, you will need to make special arrangements or be able to do it on your own (or with my help, or via a CIT remote session) after receiving your computer.

WIFI/Bluetooth Please note that you need to select the WiFi or WIFI/Bluetooth add-on at the bottom of the configuration tool to have this on your computer. If you do not at least add WIFI, you will not be able to connect to the wireless network here without later purchasing an external dongle. If you plan to use with wireless devices, you should make sure you choose the option WIFI/Bluetooth.

Extra software/Apps If you want CIT to pre-install items for you, you need to start off the process by submitting a ticket and fully explaining that you are planning to purchase through their “Buy a Desktop PC” tool and that you have special needs for additional installations prior to sending the computer to you. They will work with you through the process. Starting off with a support ticket is also a good way to start if you don’t know what you may need for your computer.

Direct link to “But a Desktop PC” Tool: https://computerquotes.it.cahnrs.wsu.edu/. If you have any questions or need help configuring your computer, submit a ticket to CAHNRS IT. They would be happy to help you. I am also available to help answer questions.

Laptop Computers

They don’t have the same service for purchasing laptop computers. However, they do have recommendations on which would work best for your purposes. You can find the link “Buy a Laptop” on the CAHNRS IT website or go directly to this page: https://it.cahnrs.wsu.edu/laptop-recommendations/. Notice that these are also only Windows computers. If you prefer a Mac, you can get one. See our purchasing person about ordering Apple computers/laptops. Again, these are recommendations and not a purchasing tool. If you aren’t sure which would be best for your circumstances, contact CAHNRS IT by submitting a ticket. They can help you with which brand and model you should get to do what you need and advise you on what adaptors, or things you need for online work, you may need.

Here are their general recommendations:

  • Have enough memory – at least 16GB
  • Have enough processing power – at least an i5 core (higher the better)
  • Get a solid-state hard drive (SSD)
  • Must have Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise – NOT WindowsHome
  • Avoid buying from third-party vendors such as Amazon, Walmart, Office Depot, etc. Why: Poor reliability, poor customer support, poor warranties, and you don’t always get what you think you’re buying.

Recommended purchasing links (from the CIT website)

Once you receive your laptop you should submit a ticket to CIT to get it configured for our network and to get the software you need to have installed (Office365, Acrobat DC, GlobalProtect, and assistance with other software). They will set up a time to do a remote session with you. You can submit a ticket either by email (cit.support@wsu.edu) or through their support portal.