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Purchasing Guidelines for Departmentally-Owned Computers

Purchasing Procedures

  1. Always Check with your LTS Computing Consultant (or department computing liaison) before ordering.
  2. Consider only business-grade models from the supported brands below (not consumer, gaming, or other home-oriented systems.) Preferably, purchase one of the LTS bundles.
  3. Use the vendor links, vendor rep, or your Computing Consultant to obtain a Quote. Purchasing cannot accept cart, web page printouts or screen shots in lieu of an actual Quote.
  4. Choose the correct Operating System. A Lehigh-purchased computer is typically erased and imaged* by LTS once it arrives on campus. If you are customizing a PC configuration, you should choose the least expensive Windows option available unless you have reason to request an imaging exception.

Operating Systems

Most PCs purchased by Lehigh will be erased upon arrival and "imaged" by LTS with the current standardized Windows installation. *Imaging is a process by which the content of a computer's hard drive is replaced by a complete set of operating system software, drivers, applications and preconfigured settings specific to Lehigh's computing environment. LTS recommends that Windows computers be ordered with the least expensive Microsoft Windows option when possible. If for some reason your PC will NOT be imaged, and after you have discussed the ramifications with your Computing Consultant, you may write "no LTS imaging" on your Purchase Requisition before submitting it to Purchasing, and order the PC with the correct operating system of your choice.

Windows 10 Enterprise 64-bit

LTS public site computers operate on the 64-bit version of Windows 10 and this is the recommended choice for all faculty and staff PCs. Most office computers have been "imaged" with this operating system. If your department uses any software that is not compatible with Windows 10, or with a 64-bit operating system, please contact your LTS Computing Consultant to discuss other options.

Windows 7 End-of-Life Planning

Microsoft will end all support for Windows 7 SP1 on January 14, 2020. You should plan to upgrade or phase out usage of any Windows 7 PCs prior to this date, or possibly lose access to the Lehigh network when security patches are no longer available.

macOS

Apple includes the latest version of macOS when buying a new Mac computer. Faculty and staff should be aware that much of the software made available by LTS via Lehigh Software is licensed specifically for Windows. Some administrative tasks and business process software require Windows. If you need to use such software, you may be able to use Lehigh's virtual application environment (remote access to software on demand.) Ask your LTS Computing Consultant for more details.

Linux and other Unix flavors

Clients who choose a Linux system are often self-supporting. LTS support may be limited. Please check with your Computing Consultant if planning installation of a departmental lab operating on Linux.

Warranty & Repair

On-Site Repair and Upgrade Services

Hardware technicians on the LTS Computer Repair Services team (CRS) have been trained to provide computer repair and upgrade services for the recommended brands. These services are available for faculty, staff and students for both institutional and personal computers, and include both in-warranty and out-of-warranty work. Note that CRS technicians can perform in-warranty work only on systems covered by manufacturers' warranties. Depending upon vendor terms, technicians may be limited to working on only the business-grade systems. Please refer to CRS documentation for a complete a description of the policies and procedures regarding computer repair and upgrades.

Selecting Warranties

Most PC configurations recommended by LTS include the vendor's 3-year onsite warranty. The option of a 4th year extension varies by brand and model. The notable exception is Apple, where the default is a 1-year warranty, and AppleCare is offered at an additional cost for a total of up to 3 years of coverage (2 years for iPhone and iPad devices.) LTS recommends a minimum of 3 years of coverage for office computers.

For laptop purchases, Accidental Damage protection is a consideration. LTS can provide advice on a case-by-case basis and suggests you bear in mind how the laptop will be used. Some vendors include Accidental Damage with laptops by default, others offer it as an option at an additional cost (AppleCare+ from Apple). Additional notes and recommendations specific to each vendor are provided on the respective vendor pages.

In general, warranty decisions should be made with regard to how often and for what purpose the computer will be used, the cost of down-time, and the availability of alternative systems.

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For additional help, please contact the LTS Help Desk at 610-758-4357 or helpdesk@lehigh.edu