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Frequently Asked Questions

 

Do we have to have the College issued laptop, even if we already have an Apple MacBook?

New students joining the College may be able to use an Apple laptop that they already own subject to various conditions. For complete details of the restrictions please refer to the full policy here. Existing students must use the College issued laptop. The only exception is if a student is due a new laptop at the start of Grade 12. For full details of this exception in Grade 12 please see the the full policy here.

Does the laptop have the Apple warranty (Apple Care)?

Yes, the laptop has the full three year, worldwide Apple Care Protection warranty. The warranty is tied to the serial number of the computer, so you can take the laptop to any official Apple repair centre, anywhere in the world, and they will check it under the warranty. If you are in Singapore you should always bring the laptop to the IT Support desk in College (there is one on each campus.) See below for details of how to check the warranty status of your laptop.

How do I check the warranty status of my laptop?

Please click here for step by step instructions on how to check the warranty status online of your laptop.

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Is the laptop insured?

Yes, the laptop has a three year worldwide insurance coverage against theft from a locked location (from a locked room, locker or car boot) or accidental damage. The insurance covers a maximum of $2,100 or the original retail purchase price, whichever is lower. It has an excess of $250 payable by parents in the event of a successful claim. The College will make the claim in the event that one is necessary. The start point in the event of any issue is to make a report to the IT Support Desk on either campus. In the event of theft, a police report is required to make any claim. For a summary of the policy coverage, please click here.

What is the specification of the standard College laptop?

From August 2015 the laptop will be a 13" MacBook Air with:
  • 2.2GHz Intel Dual Core i7 Processor
  • Intel HD6000 Graphics
  • 8GB 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM
  • 256GB Solid State Drive (SSD) Flash Storage
  • OSX 10.10 aka Yosemite
In August 2014 the laptop was the 13" MacBook Air with:
  • 1.7GHz Intel Dual Core i5 Processor
  • Intel HD5000 Graphics
  • 8GB 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM
  • 256GB Solid State Drive (SSD) Flash Storage
  • OSX 10.9 aka Mavericks
In August 2013 the laptop was the 13" MacBook Air with:
  • 1.3GHz Intel Dual Core i5 "Haswell" Processor
  • Intel HD5000 Graphics
  • 8GB 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM
  • 256GB Solid State Drive (SSD) Flash Storage
  • OSX 10.8 aka Mountain Lion
Last Updated: June 2015


What is the standard software list provided on the laptop?

The standard software currently provided for Middle School Students includes: 
  • iMovie, iPhoto
  • Pages, Numbers, Keynote
  • Adobe Creative Cloud Web & Design Suite
  • Autograph
  • MathType
  • Geometer Sketchpad
  • ActivInspire
  • Adobe AIR
  • Caffeine
  • Calibre
  • Evernote
  • Chrome
  • Flash Player
  • Concentrate
  • Logger Pro Drivers
  • Logger Pro Software
  • OmmWriter
  • College Printer Drivers
  • Seashore
  • Silverlight
  • Google Drive
  • VLC
  • GapMinder Desktop
  • Google Earth
  • Sketchup
  • Handbrake
  • RescueTime

All High School students also receive Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac as standard.

High School students in certain subjects also receive additional software. For example, Music students receive Logic Pro X and Sibelius, whilst Film Studies students receive Final Cut Pro.

Please note that software provided under a College site licence can only be used whilst children remain students of the College, once they leave or graduate software licensed under a College site license should be removed. This list includes Microsoft Office, Photoshop, Autograph, Geometer Sketchpad, EndNote, Sibelius, Logic Pro and Final Cut. The IT Department will assist with this process.

Why do parents have to attend the Out of the Box laptop collection session?

The purpose of the Out of the Box session is to:
  • handover the College laptop to you, for you to hand it to your child. This process will help your child to understand that you have the final say over how the laptop is used at home.
  • allow the College to collect the signed student and parent agreements
  • establish the main expectations around the care and use of the laptop at school
  • help parents and students develop a positive environment for use of the laptop at home
  • perform the basic set-up of the laptop and check that it is functioning correctly
A significant aspect of the session is ensuring that both parents and students hear the same messages, so that there is no confusion over what is expected. There are also some important discussions around establishing good habits for the use of digital devices. For all of these reasons it is therefore essential that one parent attends with their child. The overwhelming feedback from parents is that they find this a useful session.

How is the laptop paid for?

The cost of the iLearn initiative, including the laptop and all the necessary software is built in to the normal tuition fees. So there is no additional cost, on top of the fees, to receive the laptop. The current cost of the laptop is S$2,100 and this is paid off over three years of fee payments. After three years the original laptop becomes the property of the parents and the College will issue a new laptop.  

In the event that a student leaves the College before the years life span of the laptop is complete, than the laptop must be bought out by the parents at a pro-rata cost. The pro-rated computation will be based on 9 terms (3 academic years). So if a student leaves after two years, there is a S$700 buy-out cost. Students may leave due to withdrawal or when graduating from Grade 12. For grade 12 students the pro-rata amount will be billed as a separate line item (called "technology fee") in the term three invoice, issued in November of their final academic year.

What is the lifespan of the laptop?

The laptop has a three year life cycle, there a number of reasons for this including:
  • three years is a commonly accepted life span for a laptop in both education and business. Although a device will often work beyond this, the failure rate of devices rises significantly after this point
  • the battery performance in particular will decline to the point where running the laptop on battery power becomes untenable
  • the manufacturer warranty and insurance last for three years, so after that the old laptops will no longer have either coverage - so there is no safety net in the event of any issues
  • technology moves on - after three years the improvements will normally provide a significant upgrade over previous models at the same price point. So for example, the new laptops are 13" MacBook Airs, these are significantly lighter, faster and have a much longer battery life compared to the previous MacBook Pro's.
As the cost of the laptop is built in to the fees paid over a three year period, then the old laptop will belong to the family after three years and there is no upfront cost for the new laptop.

What happens with the laptop when we leave?

In the event that a student leaves the College before the three years life span of the laptop is complete, than the laptop must be bought out by the parents at a pro-rata cost. The current cost of the laptop is S$2,100 and this is paid off over three years of fee payments. So if a student leaves after two years, there is a S$700 buy-out cost.

After three years the original laptop becomes the property of the parents and the College will issue a new laptop.

Software licensed under College Site licensed should be removed from laptops no longer in use at the College. The IT Department will assist with this process.

What happens if I receive a new laptop before the three year life-cycle is up? 

If you receive a new laptop outside of the normal three year cycle, for example following the loss of a laptop or replacement due to catastrophic damage, then several things are re-set:
  • the new laptop will come with a new three year warranty and a new three year insurance plan. Both the warranty and insurance are specific to the laptop, not the student.
  • the issue date of the laptop used to determine the pro-rata buy-out cost is taken as the issue date of the new laptop, not the issue date of the original laptop.
  • the replacement date of the new laptop will become three years after its issue date, not the issue date of the original laptop.
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Can I upgrade the standard laptop at all?

The MacBook Pro can be upgraded, there are three parts that can be upgraded without voiding the overall warranty, these are the system memory and the hard drive. Potential upgrades include increasing the RAM to 8GB or installing a larger hard drive. 

The MacBook Pro battery may also be replaced by the user. New batteries can be ordered from the Apple online store and then easily installed by the user. 

The MacBook Air Solid State State hard-drive may be upgradable.

Please note though that upgrading these parts yourself does void the Apple warranty on the specific part upgraded. You can pay an Apple Repair centre to do these upgrades, but that is generally very expensive. The upgrades are relatively straightforward and detailed instructions can be found online on how to do the upgrade yourself. In either case make sure that you fully back-up your computer before upgrading.