Buying a Computer FAQs for PSU internal purchases
Posted by , Last modified by Melinda Barnsley on 15 March 2019 10:21 AM

What kind of computer should I buy?

All institutional computer purchases are standardized on Lenovos, with Macs as an option for faculty and a select number of other areas where there is a demonstrated need and prior approval from the division principal administrator. However, it is important that department heads and budget managers understand the following parameters in order to make an informed decision about which platform/model to choose.
The current PSU computer life-cycle replacement for PCs is 4 years and Macs is 5 years.
  • The Lenovos computers include a 3-year basic warranty. An additional 3-year complete care warranty to cover accidental damage and a 3-year battery replacement warranty is also included on Lenovos laptops.
  • Macintosh offers only a basic 3-year warranty and no accidental damage or extended battery warranty is available. Departments with faculty/staff members who choose a Mac must be willing to bear the cost of repair due to accidental damage, worn batteries, etc.

Should I buy a desktop or laptop computer?

Either a desktop or laptop computer is acceptable, but you should base your decision on the model that best suits your needs. Desktop models are typically less expensive, more expandable, and often more comfortable to use than laptops. On the other hand, they are designed for stationary locations, so they take up more space than a laptop.
Laptops have major advantages. They are mobile, compact, and ideal for taking advantage of the wireless internet throughout campus. Laptops, however, are vulnerable to theft and damage, more expensive to buy and repair, and have a smaller screen and keyboard than a desktop model.
If you would like to bring your computer with you into the classroom or to meetings, you might consider buying a laptop. If you prefer to work primarily in your office, you might consider purchasing a desktop model.

Computer shopping is confusing. How do I know what to buy?

Each year, ITS establishes technology standards governing the selection and purchase of equipment for both academic and administrative departments. The current technology standards can be found on our Buying Guidelines page.

What kind of printer should I buy?

Although an HP color ink jet printer is a good choice because of the low up-front investment and versatility, the cost of ink can be costly and difficult to keep track of — models often change and most models require a special ink cartridge. Networked laser printers are built to handle an increased workload and can be shared by members of a workgroup, office or even and entire department.

Does PSU offer discounts on computer and software for employee personal purchases?

PSU does not sell computers or software for personal use; however employees are encouraged to take advantage of our PSU contracts with both Dell and Apple computer and with e-Academy (our exclusive software vendor) who all offer an educational discounts to PSU students, faculty and staff.

What about Software?

PSU has a site license for the full Microsoft Office suite which is included in the standard image installed on every institutionally owned computer.
In addition, there are many other software applications that the institution either owns a site license for or has the application available for use via the network. Therefore, all institutional software purchases (regardless of cost) must be pre-approved by Information Technology prior to purchase and/or download.
Departmental Purchasing Cards (p-cards) may not be used to purchase any software without prior approval by ITS and the departmental P-card administrator. For auditing purposes, the p-card user will be responsible for attaching ITS software approval documentation to their purchasing records. ITS Desktop Support technicians may also require access to this documentation before they install the software in order to insure that the software in being installed in accordance with the license.

How do I purchase printer toner, ink and other technology supplies and accessories?

Departmental Purchasing Cards (p-cards) may be used to purchase computer peripheral devices and accessories priced at $250 (each) or less, such as USB thumb-drives, laptop cases, PowerPoint clickers, blank CDs and DVDs, and printer toner/ink cartridges. The current office supply vendor has many of these items at discounted rate.

How do I place an order?

To start the order process for employee computer purchases — desktops, laptops, servers, networked printers, scanners and LCD projectors – please email your request information to

How does the Ordering Process Work?

The following process will be followed for all acquisitions for new technology, upgrades to existing technology or requests for software purchase.
1. The department requestor sends an email outlining the details of his/her equipment request to or calls x52929.
2. A ticket is created for a consultation with the Desktop Support Team. Someone from the Desktop Support team will meet with the requestor and create a quote based on the requestor's needs.
3. Once the details have been worked out between the requestor and IT; a request for funding confirmation will be sent to the department budget manager/Finance Service Center with a cc to the requestor.
4. Upon final confirmation and budget manager/Finance Service Center approval, IT will process the order and have the equipment delivered to the Desktop Support Team who will contact the requestor to arrange a time for delivery and installation of the equipment.
5. Once the equipment has been delivered and set-up, the department’s FOAPAL will be charged via the Banner Finance system.

How do I pay?

All institutional computer/technology equipment purchases will be charged against the FOAPAL provided by the Department Budget Manager. An invoice showing this charge and any related expenses will be sent to the Department Budget Manager/Finance Service Center. For auditing purposes, we are not able to take payment by cash, check or credit card.
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