Mac Laptop Recommendations

ECN's User and Desktop Services group is frequently asked to provide specifications and Purdue pricing for new Macintosh laptop (notebook) computers. (Alternately, see our PC laptop recommendations.)

Should you consider an Apple iPad as a substitute for (or in addition to) a traditional laptop? See our iPad recommendations.


Mac interoperability issues

Incompatibilities and interoperability issues do arise between Macs and PCs. For example, because the Mac edition of Microsoft Outlook is architecturally different than Outlook for Windows and lacking comparable features, managing shared calendars is problematic. Microsoft PowerPoint has occasional trouble with presentations created in the PC edition (and vice versa). Some software might not be available for Macs. If you and/or your workgroup rely heavily on e-mail-, contacts-, and calendar-sharing features provided in ITaP's Microsoft Exchange server environment (as typically accessed using Microsoft Outlook on a PC), please contact ECN to discuss how or whether a new Mac would address these needs.  

We're not going to discourage people from purchasing Macs, but we don't want them to think it's going to work flawlessly in the Purdue environment. It's easier for faculty, significantly less so for staff with administrative functions.

Macintosh Laptops

Faculty, staff, and graduate staff placing orders with Purdue funds should contact ECN for up-to-date pricing and to place all orders.

ECN recommends every current Mac laptop model, including the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro(we prefer the MacBook Pro 4 port for most use). To get a good estimate of current specs and pricing, visit this page: https://www.apple.com/us_edu_210880/shop

Memory upgrades and other options are available at additional cost. ECN purchases AppleCare (four-year warranty coverage) with every Mac.

All are capable of driving an additional external display(but might need adapters to connect to external display(s). Memory upgrades, secondary displays, and other options are available at additional cost.

When you're ready to order, please contact ECN to discuss your specific needs. We'll confirm the order details and ask you to provide the Purdue account number to be charged (working as needed with your business office). ECN will also handle placing the order.


Mac hardware support:

Apple’s approach to hardware makes support both easy as well as incredibly difficult. It’s easy when it works, and incredibly difficult and time consuming when things do not work correctly. Also recognize that Apple changes OS settings at every update, and causes software (and 3rd party hardware) to break until things are fixed.

1. Before any work is undertaken, we require you to have an up-to-date TimeMachine backup - ECN is not responsible for (and unable to) recover lost data

2. Any hardware work will be undertaken only on machines under warranty. Even so, please recognize that we may need to get the device shipped out or delivered to Indianapolis.

3. Hardware work on off warranty machines is strictly done as a courtesy, and will be completed as we can find time for the work. These are NOT considered priority items.

4. Mac hardware is expected to be in a standard configuration - the use of KVMs/non-standard setups is completely unsupported - even if we have a configuration that works once, recent OS updates have rendered hardware instantly (and expensively) non-functional (eg Startech dongles)


Some additional caveats, in no particular order:

  • Apple store shipment estimates are NOT APPLICABLE to Purdue purchases - Expedited shipping is unavailable.
  • AppleCare+ now covers onsite repairs for laptops (laptops purchased prior to July 2017 do not have this coverage)
    This is currently on hold during the pandemic.
  • We would be happy to consult with you at any time in your purchase process - the earlier the better, especially with a previous failing Mac. 

Last modified: 2021/03/15 13:33:35.392387 GMT-4 by sundeep.rao.1
Created: 2010/04/02 13:06:27.042000 GMT-4 by john.a.omalley.1.

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