Computer PurchasingDepartment Purchase Guidelines

Purchasing Guidelines for Department Owned Computers

The sections below provide valuable information regarding each element of your purchase.

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 7 Professional 64-bit
LTS public site computers operate on the 64-bit version of Windows 7 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 7, please contact your LTS Computing Consultant to discuss migration plans or other options. Windows XP will no longer be supported after April 2014.

LTS continues to test Windows 8 with Lehigh-specific software and business processes. Windows 8 is not yet recommended as the default operating system for new faculty and staff PCs and support will be limited. If you have a special circumstance or are ordering a tablet computer or other non-primary computing device, please discuss plans with your LTS Computing Consultant before placing an order.

Macintosh OS X
Apple includes the latest version of Mac OS X when buying a new Mac. Faculty and staff should be aware that much of the software made available byLTS via Lehigh Software is licensed specifically for Windows. Some administrative tasks and business process software require Windows. If you need to use such software, a good solution may be to also purchase VMWare Fusion and ask your Computing Consultant to install the latest UIU Windows 7 image as a Virtual Machine. Please contact your LTS Computing Consultant to discuss these options.

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 Technology Installation and Maintenance Services team (TIMS) 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 TIMS 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 the TIMS documentation for a complete a description of the TIMS policy 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 iPod, 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. Apple currently does not offer any kind of Accidental Damage protection. 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.