PC Laptop Recommendations
ECN's User and Desktop 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 funds. (Alternately, see our Mac laptop recommendations.)
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.
PLEASE NOTE: THE NEW LAPTOP MODELS RELEASED SPRING 2017 HAVE THE NEW 7TH GEN INTEL PROCESSORS AND CAN ONLY RUN WINDOWS 10 OR LINUX. Dell is going to offer them with 6th Generation Processors which will run Windows 7 or 8, to be available around late April 2017. ALSO, ALL NEW LAPTOP MODELS REQUIRE THE NEW DELL DOCK. The older Dell E-Docks will not work with the newer models.
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, 5.2-pound model: The Dell "Latitude E5580" (NEW SPRING 2017-replaces the E5570) has a large screen (1366 x 768 pixels 15.6-inch Ultra Sharp FHD widescreen) and commensurate starting weight (about 5.2 pounds). The 5580 includes 8.0 GB memory, a 500 GB hard drive, an Intel Core i5-7200U 2.5 GHz processor, a keyboard with numeric keypad (see the photo illustration on this page, below). ECN upgrades include a non-touch FHD LCD/w HD Cam (WWLAN) display, carrying case, and 4 year "CompleteCare" (accidental damage protection) warranty and keep your hard drive. Total cost is approximately $965.
This model also offers discrete graphics options. Contact ECN for build-to-order pricing if you need to change these specifications.
Contact ECN for build-to-order pricing if you need to change these specifications. A touch-enabled display, and higher-capacity storage are among the many available options.
13.3-inch, 2.5-pound model: A new model for 2016, The Dell "Latitude E7370" has a 13.3-inch widescreen (1920 x 1080 pixels) and a starting weight of about 2.48 pounds. Base model includes 8.0 GB memory, a 128 GB solid state drive, and an Intel Core i5-m5-6Y57 Dual Core 2.8GHz processor, integrated HD webcam and microphone. ECN's standard upgrades include a 256GB Mobility solid state drive, carrying case, 4 year "CompleteCare" (accidental damage protection) warranty, and keep your hard drive - 4 years. Total cost is approximately $1603.
12.5-inch, 3-pound model: The Dell "Latitude E7280", (NEW 2017-replaces the E7270), has a 12.5-inch widescreen (1366 x 768 pixels) and a starting weight of about 2.76 pounds. Base model includes 8.0 GB memory, a 128 GB solid state drive, and an Intel Core i5-7300U Dual Core 2.6GHz processor, and integrated HD webcam and microphone. ECN's standard upgrades include a 256GB Mobility solid state drive, 12.5-inch widescreen (1920 x 1080) ,carrying case, 4 year "CompleteCare" (accidental damage protection) warranty, and keep your hard drive - 4 years. Total cost is approximately $1213.
Tablet model: Our current recommendation for a tablet is the Microsoft Surface Pro 4. We suggested the following four models:
WARNING: DO NOT PURCHASE TABLETS RUNNING WINDOWS 8 RT!
High-performance laptops: For faculty, staff, and graduate staff who need a level of performance above that offered by the recommended Dell Latitude models, ECN recommends various Dell Precision Mobile Workstation models. Ask us to create a custom "e-quote" which meets your specific needs; please expect the price to start at about $2000 and to climb significantly as options are added.
When you're ready to order, please contact ECN. 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.
You may consider the info above to be ECN's official quotation for a standard new PC laptop, but please note that pricing and specifications are subject to change. If the actual cost varies by more than a few dollars or if hardware specs have changed significantly, ECN will alert you and wait for your approval before proceeding with your order.
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.
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.
Top: 15-inch Dell Latitude model with its included numeric keypad.
Bottom: Typical keyboard on the smaller recommended Dell Latitude models.
To determine the age of legacy models, see our Dell model years page.
ECN-supported PC benefits, which includes our (self-supported) laptop support scheme, http://eng.purdue.edu/jump/5e4a7f
- ECN-recommended laptops run Windows 7, since we do not presently support Windows 8, http://eng.purdue.edu/jump/9d6c2d
Last modified: 2017/04/06 08:47:15.699351 GMT-4 by
Created: 2010/04/02 08:44:22.135000 GMT-4 by john.a.omalley.1.
Type in a few keywords describing what information you are looking for in the text box below.