PC Laptop Recommendations

ECN's User Services group is frequently asked to provide specifications and Purdue pricing for new Windows- and Linux-based laptop (notebook) computers which will be purchased with Purdue account numbers. Our Mac laptop recommendations are typically a MacBookPro, and sometimes a MacBookAir. If you are looking for personal laptops (not paid for with a Purdue account number), please see http://eng.purdue.edu/jump/a75fc5 instead. 

In departments supported by ECN, laptops are often used to provide remote access to ECN-Domain desktop PCs;  rather than as one's primary computer. (Please read about our laptop support scheme.)

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

To determine the approximate age of an existing Dell laptop, see our Dell model years page.


Recommended Laptops (Faculty and Staff)

Please note that prices shown below are approximate and subject to frequent change. Faculty, staff, and graduate staff placing orders with Purdue funds should contact ECN for up-to-date pricing and to place all orders. Note that battery warranties only last 1 year, irrespective of how long the system warranty is.

15-inch, 4-pound model: The Dell "Latitude 5500" (NEW SUMMER 2019 - replaces the 5590) has a large screen (1920 x 1080 pixels 15.6-inch FHD non-touch widescreen display w/ camera) and commensurate starting weight (about 4 pounds). The 5500 includes 16.0 GB memory, a 512GB M.2 SSD drive, an Intel Core i7-8665U, 4 Core, 1.9GHz processor, and a keyboard with numeric keypad (see the photo illustration on this page, below).  ECN options include a 4 year "CompleteCare" (accidental damage protection) warranty and keep your hard drive.  Total cost is approximately $1240. 

This model also offers discrete graphics options. Contact ECN for build-to-order pricing if you need to change these specifications. 

14-inch, "not too heavy" 3-pound model: This is our "most frequently purchased" laptop. The Dell "Latitude 5400" (NEW SUMMER 2019 - replaces the 7490) relies on solid state drives for storage. It has our environment's most-requested mix of size (1920 x 1080 pixels 14-inch FHD non-touch widescreen display w/ camera and starting weight (about 3.2 pounds, not too heavy). ECN options includes 16.0 GB memory, a 512GB M.2 SSD drive, an Intel Core i7-8665U, 4 Core, 1.9GHz processor. ECN includes a 4 year "CompleteCare" (accidental damage protection) warranty and keep your hard drive - 4 years, is about $1185. 

13-inch, 2.7-pound model:  The Dell "Latitude 5300" (NEW SUMMER 2019 - replaces the 7390) has a 1920 x 1080 pixels 13.3-inch FHD non-touch widescreen display w/ camera and a starting weight of about 2.7 pounds. Base model includes 16.0 GB memory, a 512GB M.2 SSD drive, an Intel Core i7-8665U, 4 Core, 1.9GHz processor, integrated HD webcam and microphone. ECN options include 4 year "CompleteCare" (accidental damage protection) warranty, and keep your hard drive - 4 years.  Total cost is approximately $1230. 

The 5300 is also available as a 2in1 model. The "Latitude 5300 2in1", (NEW SUMMER 2019 - replaces 7390 2in1) with similar configuration as above, but also includes a Touch Screen* with a 360 degree hinge at a cost of around $1415.

*: Not everyone likes the touchscreen.

12-inch, 2-pound Table/Slate model with detachable keyboard:  The Dell "Latitude 7200 2in1" (NEW SUMMER 2019 - replaces the 5290) has a 1920 x 1080 pixels 12.3-inch FHD touch widescreen display w/ camera and a starting weight of about 2 pounds. Base model includes 16.0 GB memory, a 512GB M.2 SSD drive, an Intel Core i7-8665U, 4 Core, 1.9GHz processor, integrated HD webcam and microphone. ECN options include 4 year "CompleteCare" (accidental damage protection) warranty, and keep your hard drive - 4 years.  Total cost is approximately $1685.

Tablet model: We are recommending the Dell "Latitude 7200 2in1" (resembles the Surface Pro) (Note that Microsoft Surface Pro's have some drawbacks: 1) only available with 1 or 3 year warranty vs 4 and 5 years on the Dell version; 2) only provides mail to depot hardware service vs on site for the Dell version; 3) requires a $50 deductible for accidental damage repairs vs no deductible for the Dell version.)

 

Also available are the Latitude 7300, 7400, and 7400 2in1 models. Contact ECN for up-to-date pricing and options.

 

ECN Standard Options on all models: - 5300, 5400, 5500, 7300, 7400, 7200 2n1, 5300 2n1, 7400 2n1:

8th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-8665U Processor (4 Core,8MB Cache,1.9GHz,15W, vPro-Capable)
Intel® Core™ i7-8665U Processor with Integrated Intel® UHD 620 Graphics, Thunderbolt
16GB, 2x8GB, DDR4 Non-ECC (except 7200 2in1 model has DDR3 memory speeds)
M.2 512GB PCIe NVMe Class 40 Solid State Drive
Qualcomm® QCA61x4A 802.11ac Dual Band (2x2) Wireless Adapter+ Bluetooth 4.2
4 Cell 60Whr ExpressCharge™ Capable Battery (except 7200 or 5300 2in1 models)
13"/14"/15" FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-Glare Non-Touch screen,Camera & Microphone (*touch option on 2n1 models)
90W AC Adapter, 3-pin (65W Type-C option on 2n1 models)
4 Years Hardware Warranty with Onsite Service after Remote Diagnosis
Accidental Damage Service, 4 Years
Keep Your Hard Drive, 4 Years

 

Possible Upgrades from ECN Standard:

32GB, 2x16GB, DDR4 Non-ECC    +$190
M.2 1TB PCIe NVMe Class 40 Solid State Drive  +$110
Latitude 5400 only: Radeon 540X GPU  +$60
13"/14"/15" FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-Glare with Embedded Touch Screen, Camera & Microphone  +$35
5 Years Hardware Warranty with Onsite Service after Remote Diagnosis  +$50

 

Docks/Monitors/Adapters:

Dell Thunderbolt Dock - WD19TB  +$185
Dell 23" Monitor - P2319H  +$135
Dell 27" Monitor - P2719H  +$182
Dell USB-C Mobile Adapter - DA300  +$53


 


Consumer models, netbooks, and/or other brands

Consumer models: Faculty and staff occasionally ask us about cheaper mass-marketed laptop models. Attractive advertised prices on Dell Inspiron, XPS, and Alienware model lines are achieved via short warranties, the possibility of long waits in a telephone queue when you need to obtain service, and mail-in hardware repair service only (no on-site service). Because these model lines are targeted toward home use, ECN does not recommend or purchase them.

Other brands: ECN's preference for Dell over other laptop brands (e.g. HP, Sony, Acer, Lenovo) is based on Purdue's geographic location. Dell's service technicians for business customers in this region are based in Frankfort, Indiana, and they visit West Lafayette to provide on-site service on a daily basis. Most other brands have service centers at least 60 miles away. As with Dell's consumer models (described above), the other brands offer mail-in service only, scheduled via long waits in a telephone queue. Although we understand you might prefer more brand choices, ECN believes convenient, timely serviceability should be of paramount importance when purchasing a laptop. 

These are some of the reasons ECN recommends specific Dell Latitude and Dell Precision Mobile Workstation models and recommends against netbooks, other model lines such as the Dell Vostro, consumer models, and other brands. Faculty and staff who opt to purchase these models should note that such laptops will be entirely self-supported; ECN won't provide ordering, software installation, or troubleshooting services for them.

The Dell Latitude line of laptops, on the other hand, are designed for business. ECN recommends the specific Dell Latitude models listed on this page; we also recommend various Dell Precision Mobile Workstation models. For a Dell Latitude or Precision Mobile Workstation, we have direct on-line access to Dell Support, and on-site service is provided when necessary.

For the lightest-weight PC laptop, we suggest the Dell Latitude 13.3-inch model described above.

Justification: Campus-wide processes are now in place designed to keep Purdue's acquisition and ownership costs in check. If you opt to purchase an alternate brand or model, please note that the procurement process might require that you provide justification for your selections.

Please contact ECN to discuss your specific needs.

 


Keyboards

The 15-inch Dell Latitude model described above is the only recommended model large enough to include a keyboard with a numeric keypad. The other recommended models have standard keyboards without numeric keypads.

 

Keyboards with & without numeric keypad

Top: 15-inch Dell Latitude model with its included numeric keypad.
Bottom: Typical keyboard on the smaller recommended Dell Latitude models.

 

Future Models

To determine the age of legacy models, see our Dell model years page.

 


See also:

 

 

Last modified: 2019/10/02 17:21:47.197570 GMT-4 by joshua.p.harley.1
Created: 2010/04/02 08:44:22.135000 GMT-4 by john.a.omalley.1.

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