Mobile Computing Program (Laptops)

Mobile Computing Program Update -- April 2016

Rensselaer's Mobile Computing Program team is pleased to announce that they will offer two laptop models this year: the Lenovo T460s Ultrabook and the Dell XPS 15 Mobile Workstation.

Lenovo Thinkpad T460s UltrabookDell XPS 15 Mobile Workstation

The Lenovo T460s -- shown at the left above -- is the recommended model for students in the engineering, business, and science programs.

Specifications for the T460s include an i7-6600U processor, 8GB RAM, Intel 520 graphics, 14.0" FHD 1920 x 1080 display with touch, 256GB solid-state hard drive, 720p HD camera, Intel Dual Band wireless-AC(2x2), Bluetooth, 3-cell front and rear batteries, and a backlit keyboard. Ports include: RJ45, Mini DisplayPort, HDMI, 4-in-1 card reader, headset, 2 USB 3.0 (SS), 1 USB 3.0 (SS) always on. The laptop weighs 3.1 pounds.

For students in the architecture or gaming programs, the Dell XPS 15 -- shown on the right -- is the recommended model.

Dell XPS 15 specifications include an i7-6700HQ processor, 16GB RAM, Intel 530 graphics, NVIDIA GeForce GTX960M 2GB, a 15.6" FHD 1920 x 1080 display, 512GB solid-state hard drive, 720p camera, DW1830 3x3 wireless, Bluetooth, six- cell battery, and a backlit keyboard. Ports include a 6-in-1 media-card reader, HDMI, headset, two USB 3.0 (SS) always on, and one USB 3.1 always on. The XPS weighs in at 3.93 pounds.

Both laptops will have a pre-installed software image, which will include Windows 10 Education, Office 2016, Siemens NX CAD, Maplesoft Maple, and Mathworks Matlab. The laptops are also configured for campus connectivity and printing.

Each complete Mobile Computing Program package includes the laptop, software image, backpack, and security cable. Both systems come with on-campus service for the three-year manufacturers' warranty and three-year accidental damage coverage.

The price for the complete Lenovo T460s package is $1,345.00.

The price for the complete Dell XPS 15 package is $1,745.00.

And because this is a campus academic program and students are required to have a laptop as a condition of enrollment, no sales tax is added to either cost.

You will be able to order your laptop package through the Student Information System starting in early May. Laptops will be distributed to students in late August prior to the start of classes.

Windows 10 Images Now Available for Mobile Computing Participants

The Mobile Computing team is pleased to announce that Windows 10 base images are now available at the VCC Help Desk for students participating in Rensselaer's Mobile Computing Program.

The images -- which are currently available for the T430, T430s, T450s, and W541 laptop models -- include Windows 10 Education and Office 2016.   The Windows 10 base image for the T440s is temporarily unavailable while members of the Mobile Computing staff work to resolve a problem with that laptop’s image.

As with all images at the Help Desk, these are not upgrades but full installs. Since all existing software and data will be overwritten upon installation, all Mobile Computing participants are encouraged to please back up all of their pertinent information prior to imaging their laptops.

These images are made available for students who would like to try Microsoft's latest operating system and Office products. Keep in mind, however, that as with most new software products, there may be unforeseen compatibility issues with other software packages.


Why We've Gone Mobile

Using a Laptop All undergraduates are required to have a laptop computer that meets Rensselaer specifications, and laptops are now used in nearly every class.  Wireless connectivity is also available in every classroom.

MBA and MS students in the Lally School of Management and Technology are also required to have laptop computers. All matriculated students -- both undergraduate and graduates, regardless of school -- may participate in the Mobile Computing Program.

You can connect your laptop computer to the network in the more than 50 classrooms around the campus, using both wired and wireless connections.

In addition, every residence hall room includes network access for each resident at no additional charge, and most campus locations, including the residence halls, offer wireless connectivity.

An Important Update Regarding Windows 10

Microsoft has recently released a major upgrade to its Windows operating system. In conjunction with other schools and departments, DotCIO is currently working to validate that Rensselaer's campus software and services function properly with this new operating system. As a result, at this time, the Mobile Computing team recommends that users hold off on upgrading until this process is complete.

We plan to have a Windows 10 laptop image available to Mobile Computing Program participants in January 2016.

DotCIO public lab and classroom machines will not be upgraded to Windows 10 for the Fall semester.

If you still choose to upgrade your computer to the new operating system at this time, we strongly encourage you to back up your important data before beginning.


The Mobile Computing Program

The Mobile Computing Program offers a complete laptop package including a state-of-the-art ThinkPad that arrives pre-loaded with powerful software packages that many students require for their coursework, and which is also specially configured for easy connection to the Rensselaer network. Students also receive help configuring their new laptops right out of the box, so they're ready for their classes from Day One. What's more, the Mobile Computing package includes on-campus support for both hardware and software.

In short, through its partnership with Lenovo and leading software companies, the Mobile Computing Program is able to offer this laptop package at a substantially discounted purchase price. You will receive the greatest value for your dollar, as well as the on-campus repair and consulting facilities to help you get the most out of your laptop!

If you have questions about the program, please refer to the Frequently-Asked Questions portion of this website; you may also contact the Mobile Computing Team via e-mail or call (518) 276-3838.