Computing Equipment Specs and Purchasing for Staff/Instructors | Information Technology | University of Pittsburgh
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Computing Equipment Specs and Purchasing for Staff/Instructors

Computer Options | Setting Up a Device | Standard Software, Settings, Warranty | 
Monitor OptionsAccessories & Peripherals

The Computing Equipment Purchasing and Standardization Program enables University units to purchase pre-configured PCs and peripherals at significant savings. When it’s time to purchase new computing equipment, simply contact your department’s IT support or purchasing administrator to buy the devices through PantherExpress. It can be sent directly to an employee's home or campus address. 

Most of the items listed below include additional negotiated discounts beyond our standard PantherExpress discount. To get the lowest price, place your order from the Standard Configurations page on Dell’s site.  This will be the first page you see when you go to the Dell Punch Out.

This Computing Equipment Purchasing and Standardization Program is designed for department-purchased and owned devices for professional use by staff and instructors. (Faculty, staff, or students looking to purchase a recommended PC at a discount can do so through the Member Purchase Program.) Note: Instructors are encouraged, but not required, to participate.

NOTE: Due to global supply chain issues, some devices may take longer than normal to ship. Ship times are rapidly changing; please note the ship time when ordering. Dell recommends ordering as soon as possible for fastest delivery.

Purchase Through PantherExpress

Device Consistency Offers Many Benefits:

  • Streamlined purchasing and ship-to-home process, plus significant cost savings
  • More effective technical support and security, with enterprise device management
  • Set up right out of the box, without departmental IT assistance—standard University software is pre-loaded
  • All devices can run standard productivity applications from any location, either through the cloud or installed locally
  • All recommended peripherals are designed to work seamlessly with recommended PCs
  • Virtual desktops can be leveraged for specialty or demanding apps

Computer Options for Use by Departmental Staff and Instructors

Options include lower-cost minimal devices for working in the cloud, mid-range machines for mainstream users, highly-portable models for those who travel on or off campus frequently, and more powerful laptops for resource-intensive applications. All devices come standard with Wi-Fi capability, an integrated webcam and microphone, and a 3-year warranty (excluding Chromebooks) that includes coverage for accidental damage.

User Profile:

Minimum Recommended
Low-Cost Cloud Laptop

Mainstream Laptop

Mainstream Laptop Plus

Highly Mobile 2-in-1 Hybrid

Highly Mobile 2-in-1 Hybrid

Power User

Power User Plus High End

Device

Dell Chromebook 3100

Dell Latitude 5420

Dell Latitude 5420

Dell Latitude 7320
Detachable with Pen

Microsoft Surface Pro 7+

Dell Latitude 7420

Dell Latitude 7420 Dell Mobile Precision 3561

Screen Size

11"

14"

14"

13"

12.3"

14"

14" 15.6"

Battery Life

14 hours

8 hours

8 hours

11 hours

11 hours

13 hours

13 hours 13 hours

Weight

2.85 lbs.

3.09 lbs.

3.09 lbs.

1.7 lbs.

1.7 lbs.

2.6 lbs.

2.6 lbs. 4 lbs.

Operating System

Chrome OS

Windows Education 64-bit

Windows Education 64-bit

Windows Education 64-bit

Windows Education 64-bit

Windows Education 64-bit

Windows Education 64-bit Windows Education 64-bit

Processor

Celeron 

Intel i5 

Intel i5 

Intel i5 

Intel i5 

Intel i7 

Intel i7  Intel i7 

Memory (RAM)

4 GB 

8 GB 

16 GB 

8 GB 

8 GB 

16 GB 

32 GB  32 GB 

Hard Drive

32 GB SSD 

256 GB SSD 

256 GB SSD 

256 GB SSD 

256 GB SSD 

512 GB SSD 

512 GB SSD  1 TB SSD

Webcam and Microphone

Included 

Included

Included 

Included 

Included

Included

Included Included

Wireless Card

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes Yes Yes
Wired Port

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes Yes
Graphics Processing Unit Integrated Graphics Integrated Graphics Integrated Graphics Integrated Graphics Integrated Graphics Integrated Graphics Integrated Graphics Dedicated Graphics Card (NVIDIA T600 4GB)

Est. Price*

~$365
(currently backordered)

~$850

~$888

~1,422

~1,424

~$1,185

~$1,444 ~$1,722
  Purchase Now

Purchase Now

Purchase Now Purchase Now Purchase Now Purchase Now Purchase Now Purchase Now

Last updated: May 14, 2021

* Pending availability. Contact Pitt IT regarding equivalent options.
The low-cost laptop represents the minimum recommended configuration for use at the University of Pittsburgh. It is intended to be used along with a virtual desktop and cloud-based applications.

Due to global supply chain issues, some devices are taking longer than normal to ship. Ship times are rapidly changing; please note the ship time when ordering. Dell recommends ordering as soon as possible for fastest delivery.

Setup Instructions for Computers

  • Standard laptops are pre-configured right out of the box—just plug it in, log in with your Pitt credentials, let the start-up process complete, and begin using it from any location.
  • The device will automatically be configured for the Pitt environment and will be loaded with standard Pitt software, including Office 365, Zoom, Pitt Password Manager, antivirus protection, PittNet VPN, and more.
  • Departmental IT support/Pitt IT does not need to set up your laptop (i.e., they do not re-image the computer), though they can provide assistance if you experience a technical difficulty.
  • If you need additional software, contact your IT support team to install the application, or—if you have permissions to install software—install it yourself.
  • The computer will automatically be registered with Pitt IT’s enterprise device management service, so when updates and patches are deployed, your device will be updated automatically

Detailed Instructions

  1. Just power on the laptop, select your geographic region and keyboard layout, and connect to Wi-Fi. 
  2. You will then be presented with Welcome to University of Pittsburgh screen and will be asked to sign in with your University Computing Account email address. A screenshot of a cell phoneDescription automatically generated
  3. On the Pitt Passport login screen, log in with your University Computing Account username and password.
    A screenshot of a cell phoneDescription automatically generated
  4. The Setting up your device is displayed while the computer completes the setup process.  Pitt IT recommends remaining at your computer until setup is complete.
  5. Once Device setup section is completed, the Windows login screen is presented. Enter your University email address to complete the login process.
    Note: If you see any error messages, just click the Continue anyway button and the device configuration will complete in the background once logged into Windows.

Standard Software Applications

The following software applications are installed on devices purchased through the Standard Computer Purchasing Program.

Productivity and Connectivity

  • Acrobat Reader DC
  • Microsoft Office 365 Semi-Annual Channel (including Teams)
  • Microsoft OneNote for Windows 10
  • PittNet VPN (Pulse Secure) - preconfigured for sremote.pitt.edu
  • Zoom Videoconferencing

Web Browsers

  • Microsoft Edge for Windows 10
  • Google Chrome
  • Mozilla Firefox ESR

Security

  • Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection
  • Pitt Password Manager (LastPass)

IT Management

  • Microsoft Intune Company Portal
  • Microsoft SCCM Client

Standard Security and Windows Settings

The following security and windows settings are configured on devices purchased through the Standard Computer Purchasing Program.

Endpoint Security and Protection Settings

  • Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection with Antivirus: Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection with Antivirus is enabled.
  • Disk Encryption: Microsoft BitLocker full disk encryption is enabled.
  • Windows Firewall: Microsoft Windows Firewall is enabled.
  • Additional Security: Customers are informed of the appropriate use of University computer services and user account control is enabled to prevent harmful programs from making changes to the computer.

Other Settings

  • Certificates: Several certificates are installed, such as InCommon for Wireless, University's Root for Client Communication to resources such as Microsoft SCCM.
  • Microsoft OneDrive: Microsoft OneDrive is enabled and automatically configured to save documents, desktops, and pictures.
  • Windows Start Menu: The start menu has quick access to Microsoft Office 365 and web browser applications.
  • Windows: Every computer is automatically upgraded to Windows 10 Education.

Warranty and Support

All Dell Windows devices obtained through the Computer Purchasing and Standardization Program come with three years of ProSupport Plus warranty protection, which includes accidental damage protection and on-site support. ProSupport Plus customers also have access to a dedicated support line that provides rapid service when problems arise.

Key Features of ProSupport and ProSupport Plus for Tablets and PCs

Dell Support Matrix image

Contacting ProSupport Plus for Microsoft Surface Devices

The Microsoft Surface ProSupport number is 1-800-642-7676 (1-800 Microsoft). When calling, choose or say the following menu options:

  1. Technical Support
  2. Business
  3. Surface

All Microsoft Surface Pros purchased through this program include three years of Microsoft Complete for Business Plus warranty, which includes accidental damage protection. In lieu of on-site support, Microsoft will ship a replacement device, if needed.


Monitor Options

Recommended monitors are designed to work with standard laptops or other devices that support video and charging over USB-C. They all have docking capability and an HD screen display. This solution has many advantages:

  • One Cable Connectivity: Power/charge* your laptop, connect another screen and other USB peripherals; and eliminate the need for a dedicated dock.
  • USB Connectivity: Displays include four (4) USB ports for connecting peripherals, with the ability to daisy-chain multiple monitors.
  • Integrated Features: Various models includes an integrated wired ethernet card (NIC) and/or integrated webcam, mic, and speakers.
  • Saves Time and Money: Deeply discounted beyond standard PantherExpress prices, and utilizes fewer cables and devices to set up.

Recommended laptops, monitors, and accessories are designed to work together, but are compatible with many other devices. If you are using existing equipment and are unsure of their compatibility, contact the Pitt IT 24/7 Help Desk.

*Note: The High End laptop consumes more power than the docking monitor throughput can accommodate; it should be connected to a dedicated charger to maintain a full charge.

Recommended Setup for Typical Users

A dual monitor system is strongly recommended for all users, whether you purchase two monitors or use an existing screen with a DisplayPort input. Different users and environments will have different needs:

  • Dedicated Office: Someone who has a private University office or who works from a dedicated home office doesn't need to worry about background noise. They can participate in video meetings and calls without a headset, so a monitor-integrated or external webcam and mic is ideal. They generally have access to a wired Ethernet port. 
  • Open Office / Shared Space: In a shared (hoteling) space or open office (cubicle) environment, calls or video meetings need to happen over a headset for privacy, confidentiality, and noise reduction. A headset provides audio, while a laptop's built-in camera or a separate webcam provides video. They generally have access to a wired Ethernet port. 
  • Work From Home/Wireless Only: For those working primarily from home or in an office with wireless connectivity only, a basic docking monitor that also functions as a USB hub is sufficient. Their laptop's built-in camera, mic, and speaker or a headset and/or external webcam can provide audio and video.
  • Dual Display Monitor: A basic docking monitor can also function as a second screen. Its four USB ports can connect and charge additional devices and accessories.

Recommended Monitors

Note: External webcams and/or headsets are sold separately. See below in Accessories.

Model Description User Price Data Sheet  
P2422HE Dell 24 USB-C Hub Monitor with NIC All Users (with
​appropriate accessories)
~$241 Data Sheet Purchase Now
P2419HC Dell 24 USB-C Monitor with USB Hub Home/Wireless ~176 Data Sheet Purchase Now
P2722HE Dell 27 USB-C Hub Monitor, 1080P Home/Wireless ~$290 Data Sheet Purchase Now
U2722DE Dell UltraSharp 27 USB-C Hub with NIC Monitor Shared/Open Space,
Home/Wireless
~$354 Data Sheet Purchase Now
P3221D

Dell 32 USB-C Monitor (Note: does not support daisy chaining to second monitor)

Home/Wireless ~$390 Data Sheet Purchase Now

Due to global supply chain issues, some devices are taking longer than normal to ship. Ship times are rapidly changing; please note the ship time when ordering. Dell recommends ordering as soon as possible for fastest delivery.