LTU upgrading student laptops, wireless network

Release Date: July 10, 2018

Lawrence Technological University is in the midst of a $2.5 million laptop upgrade for about 1,300 of its students. The laptops, on average, include $70,000 worth of software per student.

Aging, 4-year-old MacBooks and Lenovo Yoga laptops will be replaced with upgraded MacBook Pros and Fujitsu Lifebooks.

LTU student laptops also come pre-loaded with software customized for each student’s individual program in LTU’s Colleges of Architecture, Arts and Sciences, Business and Information Technology, and Engineering.

Tim Chavis, LTU CIO, said the software LTU provides would cost each student on average about $75,000 if purchased on the open market.

All computers feature the latest and fastest chips and running speeds. The MacBook Pros feature a 2.8-gigahertz quad-core Intel processor, 16 GB of RAM, and a 512-GB solid state hard drive. The Lifebooks offer an Intel Core i7 processor, 16 GB of RAM, a 512-GB solid state hard drive, and a rotatable display with pen and touch support.

LTU pioneered the practice of giving all full-time undergraduate students and Master of Architecture students a high-end laptop computer in August 2000. The laptops have been upgraded on a rolling basis since then.

Chavis said LTU has also recently upgraded its campus network infrastructure from a 1-GB backbone to a 10-GB backbone. As a practical matter, he said, that means students and staff now enjoy wireless connection speeds of between 100 and 200 MB most of the time.

Fall semester classes at LTU begin Monday, Aug. 27.

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