University Mac Purchases

Is a Mac for me?

Mac systems are perceived as stylish, versatile and easy to use. However, they are not the best choice of a work computer for everyone. Support for Macs at the University is likely to continue with the ethos remaining one of enabling users to help themselves as much as possible. Consequently, our suggestion is that you should already be a proficient Mac user and, additionally, your computer-based work should fall into at least 1 of the 3 categories below:

  • You need to use software that is not available for Windows PCs.
  • Your workflow has in the past, and continues to, revolve around the use of a Mac.
  • You need to take advantage of the command line facilities or development tools that are only available on macOS.

Furthermore, unlike the standard Windows computers that we offer, Apple computers are only supplied with 3 years "return to supplier" warranty as standard. If you make use of a standard warranty and experience a hardware malfunction after that time, the expectation is that you will fund the repair up until the 5 year expected lifetime of University computers.

Additional warranty options are available. Please see Types of Warranty for more information.

Note: We do not support "Bootcamp"-installed Windows on University Macs. Mac laptops are unsuitable for running a secure installation of Windows due to their inability to utilise Microsoft's Bitlocker encryption technology, and IT Services do not currently possess the infrastructure to maintain a secure, managed virtual Windows installation on desktop computers. Therefore, please consider carefully whether a Mac computer is for you - if you are used to using a piece of software that will only run on Windows, you will need a different computer.Remote Desktop software will enable you to connect to the Staff Remote Desktop to run a standard range of software that is not available for Mac.


Who pays for the Mac?

IT Services will normally supply one general purpose computer per contracted member of staff and postgraduate researcher. If a Mac is to be your main device, IT Services will process the purchase and contribute an amount equivalent to our entry-level standard Windows device including VAT.

Please also see the IT Services Hardware Purchasing Advice Page.


Which type of Mac is suitable for me?

For ease of support and purchase turn-around time, IT Services have identified 4 example models based on staff purchase history. These models feature enhanced pricing when compared to Apple and other suppliers' Educational discounts. You may review and submit a purchase request for one of these models via our Mac Purchasing Form.

If you are unsure which model is most appropriate or would like to purchase other models/accessories, please contact your Zonal Support Team via the IT Service Desk.


Device considerations

As of June 2016, Apple no longer manufacture the Thunderbolt Display. If an external display is required, IT Services advise a model from our recommended Dell range.

In late 2016, Apple introduced a new range of MacBook Pros. These devices can be ordered by IT Services. However, the following should be taken into account when determining which device is most suitable for your work:

  • Unlike our recommended models, IT Services cannot guarantee favourable pricing or lead times.
  • Relative cost to specification is not competitive with our recommended Mac models​, or with our recommended Dell desktops and laptops.
  • The late 2016 MacBook Pros continue Apple's usage of non-removable RAM and storage. These devices therefore cannot be upgraded at a later date. When combined with the previous point, it is worth noting that these machines cannot be guaranteed as future proofed against increasing computational demands.
  • External connectivity available on all iterations of the late 2016 MacBook Pro is limited to USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 only. If you wish to connect external devices to your Mac, such as USB drives, SD cards, a phone or a projector, you will need to purchase a suitable USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 adapters or desktop dock.

IT Services do not recommend the 12" MacBook. The reasons for this are:

  • The device features a very low powered processor, unsuitable for most modern applications.
  • The device features a single USB-C port. This means that you cannot connect more than one external device to this MacBook at a time. For example, you cannot connect a USB drive and your power supply simultaneously. If you need to make use of more than one external device (USB drive, external HDD, mobile phone, power supply), further peripherals must be purchased.
  • Therefore, if your primary requirement is for a light, portable device, IT Services recommend the MacBook Air.

Types of warranty

There are 3 types of warranty available to UoB Mac purchases:

  • 4 year (1 year manufacturer's warranty + 3 years additional "collect and return" supplier warranty). This is included at no extra cost on all purchases.
  • 5 year (1 year manufacturer's warranty + 4 years additional "collect and return" supplier warranty). This costs 69.00.

If you wish to upgrade your warranty to 4 or 5 years, you may request this during the ordering process via our Mac Purchasing Form.

Users who expect to spend extended periods abroad should consider purchasing AppleCare during the first year of use at additional but Education reduced cost. This varies by model so please ask for details for the model you are considering to purchase, or are currently using.