St Aloysius Huntingfield Campus has a Bring Your Own Laptop (BYOL) strategy. This document provides information regarding appropriate purchases.
Bring Your Own Laptop
The College supports both Windows and Mac laptops. A common misconception among parents in the past has been that students require a Mac laptop however this is not the case. Chromebooks and tablets (including iPads) are not supported as the operating systems are quite limited.
Specifications for purchasing a laptop
|Intel Pentium or faster CPU (Intel Celerons not recommended) or AMD equivalent||i3, m3 or faster CPU or AMD equivalent.|
|4GB of RAM||8GB of RAM|
|64GB Storage||120GB or higher Solid State Drive (SSD)|
We recommend laptops have a screen between 11 and 14 inches. These are more manageable for students to carry around all day than larger laptops, however this is not a requirement. DVD drives are rarely used and add to the size and weight of a laptop, thus they are not recommended. ‘2 in 1’ laptops which combine a laptop and tablet are fine, however, they are not necessary as the tablet features rarely get used.
Laptops should have at least 4GB of RAM. RAM, also known as memory, is where your computer stores information it needs when it is running. The more RAM you have the more programs you can run simultaneously. If possible 8GB of RAM is great for ‘future proofing’ your machine. More information on RAM can be found here.
The CPU, also called the processor, is the brains of your computer. Intel is the main manufacture of mobile CPUs with the other being AMD. Celerons and Pentiums are Intel’s budget range of processors. Celerons are best avoided as they can be a little slow. Pentiums will be sufficient however you might find you get a longer life out of you device by getting something a bit more powerful. You can find more information on processor models here. Sites such as this are useful to compare performance between CPU models.
Laptops should have a minimum of 64GB of storage. This is where the operating system and all your files and folders are stored. There are a few different types of storage in laptops these days and you can read more about them here. Solid State Drives (SSDs) are the fastest form of storage. We strongly recommend a laptop with a 120GB or higher SSD rather than a traditional hard drive as they make a big difference in performance. Laptops might sometimes be advertised as having SSDs but use a slower type of memory called eMMC, this is usually the case in laptops with 64GB or less of storage. Generally laptops with 120GB of storage or higher are the faster type, however, it is worth double checking as sometimes they also use the slower eMMC storage.
Laptops should be brought to school fully charged ensuring a battery life of at least 5-6 hours so they last the school day. In accordance with our Work Health Safety Policy students are not to bring a 240v power supply connection to the College. More details on the College’s charger policy can be found here.
Choosing a Laptop
If you find the choice of laptops overwhelming a good way to narrow them down is to start by looking at laptops with 120GB or higher SSDs. Many Window laptops still come with slower hard drives so limiting your search to laptops with a decent SSD narrows the choice considerably.
At the time of writing Officeworks, JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman and Dell online all had laptops with a Pentium Processor, 4GB of RAM and a 120GB SSD in the $500-$600 range. This would be a good starting point for a sound machine and from here you could consider faster processors or more RAM depending on your budget and requirements. Cheaper machines in line with the minimum specifications above will be sufficient but you do get what you pay for and you can’t expect the same life out of them as you will get by spending a little extra.
If you need any advice on laptops you can email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do what we can to help.
No accessories are required however if you choose to purchase a mouse it should be wireless and over ear headphones are preferable to earbuds.
In most cases no additional software will need to be purchased.
We recommend students have Chrome and Firefox web browsers installed on their laptops in addition to Safari or Internet Explorer/Edge Browser that comes pre-installed on Mac and Windows laptops. These are both free downloads.
The College’s Learning Management System, Fides, is accessed via a web browser as is the Google Suite of apps which students have access to through their College Gmail account.
Free Microsoft Office subscriptions are available to students but you must register using your College email account in order to be eligible. It is available on both Windows and Mac, you can register here. Details on creating an Office account can be found through the Student ICT portal on Fides.
Both Mac and Window laptops should have up to date anti-virus installed. Windows 10 includes Windows defender which can be used and other options available on both Windows and Mac are Avast and AVG (both of these have free versions that are as effective as the paid versions, it is not necessary to spend large amounts of money for anti-virus software).
Laptops should be kept up to date with the latest Windows or MacOS updates as these often include important security updates.
Note: A limited number of College loan laptops are available on application for families in financial hardship. Applications can be made by obtaining the required documentation from the College.
College Liability Statement
Students bring their personal ICT devices (laptop) to use at St Aloysius Catholic College at their own risk.
Students are expected to act responsibly with regards to their own device as well as respect the ownership of the ICT devices (laptops) of all other students and of staff.
It is the student’s duty to be responsible for the upkeep, safe keeping and protection of their ICT devices (laptop).
St Aloysius Catholic College is in no way responsible or financially liable for:
• Personal devices that are damaged or broken whilst at school or during school-sponsored activities.
• Any data lost on personal devices.
• Personal devices that are lost or stolen at school or during school-sponsored activities.
• Maintenance or upkeep of any device (keeping it charged, installing updates or upgrades,
fixing any software or hardware issues).
• It is strongly recommend that Parents ensure they have their own adequate insurance cover in place to cover the cost of repair/replacement of a personal ICT device (laptop) in the event of loss/damage to the device.