Patrician Brothers' College
Laptop Purchase Guide
Current as of 13/8/2018
Only for those not studying Music or Computing
This document will go through how to choose a device for students at Patrician Brothers' College Fairfield.
A Chromebook is a device that only runs Google Chrome as an internet browser. As a result, it only runs programs that run in a web browser.
The benefits of this device are that since it is less demanding on hardware than a Mac or PC, the acceptable specifications for a device are much less, which means the device is quite a bit cheaper. They will also run everything that most students will need, and force students to work online - often meaning their work is backed up automatically. Chromebooks also do not have a large amount of malware targeted towards them, so they are safer to use than most devices.
A Macbook is a full featured laptop, offering the ability to use some extremely powerful programs. In our experience, however, the vast majority of students do not use these programs to anywhere near a level requiring the purchase of a Macbook, and the alternatives on a Chromebook will be sufficient for their needs.
Macbooks are an essential purchase for those wishing to study Music and Computing subjects in Years 10-12 as these do use specialist software at a professional level that is not compatible with Chromebooks.
Benefits of a Macbook include the extra capabilities that are offered by specialist software - which are only important if this is something you will use. Another benefit would be greater compatibility with software than a Chromebook - although the Chromebook has excellent alternatives for most popular software available, they are less well-known.
Prohibited - Windows
Windows computers are prohibited as a device at our College. We are a Mac school, and most of the devices we have are Mac products. It is therefore difficult for our staff to support students with devices that are unfamiliar to us. Secondly, the vast majority of viruses and malware are written for Windows computers, often requiring a large amount of time to fix, slowing down computers and networks, and causing data loss and security issues. While it is true that these are still problems on the Mac and Chromebook platforms, they are much less of a concern.
Suppliers we have used in the past:
Google does not currently have a list of resellers. You can complete an internet search for specialist suppliers.
The device you purchase needs to follow some basic rules:
Brand new device - There are concerns about the ability of devices to run today's software, as well as warranty coverage of older or second-hand devices. While they may be cheaper upfront, they could be more expensive long term in terms of repairs, or in the time that they are unusable due to faults or repairs.
Macbook - 8Gb Minimum
Chromebook - 4Gb Minimum
Warranty - 3 year, next day, on-site warranty. This means you can specify a location, and a technician will come to you to repair it.
The expected life of a laptop is 3 years. While, with care, they may last longer, as technology moves so quickly, it is generally expected to replace these devices every 3 years. You should plan for this by saving up for a new laptop well before your device reaches the end of its warranty.
You are free to choose any supplier you wish to supply your device. We require you to purchase a 3 year, on-site warranty with your device, to ensure that it will work for the expected life of the device.
Chromebooks can be difficult to find in stores, so we have sourced a supplier to make this easier for you. All Chromebooks purchased through the Order Portal below will have this warranty automatically included in the price. Bear this in mind when comparing devices from other suppliers, and if you choose to go with another supplier for your Chromebook, ensure they offer a 3 year, on-site warranty.
For Macbooks, these can be purchased through many electronics outlets. When purchasing, you must purchase AppleCare+ for your device, which includes the 3 year, on-site warranty with it.
Suppliers can change their offerings at will without informing the school. As a result, these instructions can become out of date. If this occurs, please email
email@example.com to get this fixed.
1. NO Windows computers. Only Apple or Chromebook computers can be used at the College.
2. Only purchase NEW computers - no second hand computers - due to warranty considerations.
3. Ensure your computer meets the specifications outlined in this document
3. For Apple computers -
Start at around $1500
Purchase from any store
Ensure it has at least 8Gb of RAM
Purchase an AppleCare+ Warranty (around $300)
DO NOT purchase any store warranties
4. For Chromebooks
From around $450 to $600
Purchase from the portal - http://pbc.orderportal.com.au
Ensure it has at least 4Gb of RAM