Laptop purchasing advice

There are many ways to purchase a MacBook for the HS bring-your-own MacBook program. The following are some basic suggestions.

1) Purchasing. K-12 students may be eligible for the education discount from Apple. You may obtain your computer from an online retailer or if buying in the US, you may want to consider purchasing from a retailer and having the device delivered to you.

2) Warranties and insurance. Some families believe the extended warranties are a good investment (so the MacBooks are covered for manufacturer-related failures for three years instead of one year), but other families have passed on this additional coverage without problems. Note that the warranties are international, so that US-purchased MacBooks are covered for repairs in the UK and vice-versa. Several ASL community members have successfully claimed laptops on their home owners and renters insurance after a theft has occurred. Not all policies provide this protection, but it is worth checking in advance, since laptops may also be covered when not at home.

3) Older laptops. Using an older MacBook that is already owned is fine as long as it is reliable, and families who have recently purchased Windows laptops are allowed to use those for the first two years of the program. We request that new purchases be MacBooks, however, to help us support the program and allow faculty to expect consistency of software used in the classroom.

4) New MacBooks. You can find new MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro options available from Apple.

Some students interested in more advanced software or having Windows also installed on the MacBook may prefer to own a MacBook Pro, with its faster speed and greater capacity. Investing in more memory will allow more programs to run smoothly at the same time.  If you plan to run Windows on your MacBook (Air or Pro), we strongly recommend opting for 256 gigs of storage space, since it will need to be split in two parts (one for each operating system).

5) Cases. We tested many cases for the MacBook Airs. The MS uses NutKase cases for the MS Laptop Program. 

There are many options available for cases these days!

6) Back-ups.  ASL recommends that an external hard drive or online backup service to ensure that student information is backed up consistently. Students are provided with a Google Suite for Education account which can be a great way to back up classwork and projects.

7) Repairs. Our HS Technology Support Specialist is happy to take an initial look at student machines. If a repair is required, the student will be advised to book an appointment with Apple directly. A loaner Apple laptop will be provided (up to two weeks) to any student who needs one when their personal laptop is being repaired. 

8) Power chargers.  We request that fully charged MacBooks be brought to school and power chargers left at home, since modern MacBooks should be able to last a school day on a full charge without needing to be plugged in. 

9) Financial aid. Financial aid, in the form of a loaner computer, is available to help offset the cost of buying a laptop. Families interested in this option should contact the Admissions Office. ASL welcomes all financial aid inquiries, whether or not the family currently receives aid, and holds all information in strict confidence.