Technology is a critical part of students’ life at Oberlin. Having a computer that is well-supported on our campus network can make students’ academic and personal lives fun, easier, more convenient and more productive.

Students planning to buy a new computer or other technology devices and accessories are strongly encouraged to purchase from the Oberlin Technology Store, part of the college's Center for Information Technology (CIT). The Store is an authorized sales and service provider for Apple and Hewlett Packard (HP) professional model computers, and also sells a wide variety of technology products, accessories and adapters from manufacturers such as Logitech, Belkin, Sandisk, Sony and more. We also stock a wide variety of iPhone accessories. Purchasing through the Store gives students a number of advantages:

  • Peace of mind: If something goes wrong, we do our best to make it right, providing Peace of Mind, Guarenteed.
  • Free on-site tech support services: The Technology Store provides customers with loaners, a lemon policy, and unique extended warranties that cover accidental damage. If you purchase from us, we do not charge labor for most repairs.
  • Below educational pricing: We negotiate for the best pricing from our vendors and pass the savings to you.
  • Try before you buy: Get hands-on experience with our demos before you make a purchase decision.
  • Support technology at Oberlin: Buying from us supports techology initiatives at Oberlin College.

The Technology Store Back to School Sale

Because technology changes so frequently, students are advised to purchase computers as close to the start of the semester as possible. The Technology Store holds its annual Back to School (BTS) Sale from June through September. The Store negotiates with the vendors for the best pricing on the latest technology and pass the savings on to students. Also, vendors often offer special promotions at this time. For example, last year Apple offered a free set of wireless Beats Solo 2 headphones with the purchase of a Mac computer, Safeware included free a Tech Support Card with the purchase of their Protection Plan, and HP printers were discounted $30 with the purchase of a computer or tablet.

Our sale features recommended laptop systems and important accessories such as printers, protective sleeves, security kits, surge suppressors, external drives, etc. Details on the sale’s offerings will be posted on our web site by early July.

No payment is due with your BTS order, but payment is due in full when you pick up your system during Orientation in August. If you are on campus earlier, you can purchase your system then provided we have it in stock.

Note that the Technology Store carries a variety of models, not just those that are part of the BTS sale. They can also be ordered for pickup when you arrive on campus. See our Price List  for details. We can also order custom configurations.

If you have questions, contact us at techstore@oberlin.edu or 440-775-8628 during our hours of 12-4:30pm weekdays. E-mail is preferred.

Why purchase our professional models?

  • The MacBook Pro features a thin, light-weight eco-friendly construction, faster performance, and brighter screen.
  • The Retina display provides crisp clear text and graphics, and the SSD storage fast reliable performance.
  • We offer an optional exclusive 4-year warranty that includes coverage against accidental damage such as drops and spills.
  • A leading consumer magazine consistently ranks Apple as the best in customer service and support.
  • The HP Professional EliteBook Line features top quality components, including alloy magnesium casing, spill resistant technology, SSD storage and more.
  • They have a 3-year manufacturer's warranty. Most consumer models are only warrantied for 1 year.
  • We can service them here on campus. (CIT is unable to service HP Pavilion models or models from other manufacturers.)
  • A dedicated video card provides faster performance for Java, Flash, and other video and graphics applications.
  • While other retailers may offer similar consumer line models for less, their greater repair frequency and decreased performance offset any savings.

Macintosh or Windows?

The Oberlin College Center for Information Technology supports both Macintosh and Windows. Please note that Macs are generally much less prone to viruses, worms, bots, spyware and other software malfunctions than Windows machines. You will be responsible for installing and maintaining system patches, anti-virus software and anti-spyware software on your machine. If you fail to do this on a Windows OS system, you can expect software problems such as slowdowns, failure to run applications, or failure to boot properly. Note that many problems with Windows OS which appear to be hardware-related are actually due to spyware and/or viruses.

What about other devices?

The Technology Store sells Apple products, including iPads, iPods and a variety of accessories for those devices. While iPads are increasing in popularity and utility, they may not be adequate as a primary machine. An iPad however is a great secondary device, lightweight and powerful for on the go and classroom use. We are happy to discuss with you the features of these devices, and help you make an appropriate choice to meet your needs and your budget. Note Apple does not allow us to sell the iPhone or Apple Watch, however these can be purchased online through our Brands Available page.

Software

All computers now come with the necessary software to connect to the internet, do e-mail, etc. The CIT strongly recommends Windows users install Microsoft Security Essentials for virus and malware protection.

The standard productivity software on campus is Microsoft Office (Word, Excel and PowerPoint). Students may obtain Office 365  free for up to 5 computers and/or mobile devices; log in with your ObieID credentials.

An alternative for Apple Mac and iOS users is the free iWork suite, which includes Pages, Numbers and Keynote. These are pre-installed on all Macs, and can open and save files in Microsoft Office format.

Many students also use the free Google suite of software.

Other Computer Resources on Campus

Oberlin’s Center for Information Technology (CIT) provides help with technology resources including assistance with accounts, malfunctioning systems, getting connected to the campus network, and hardware repair. Help can be obtained by visiting the CIT Help Desk on Main Level of Mudd Library, or by e-mailing cit@oberlin.edu. CIT also provides both Macintosh and Windows computers in several computer labs around campus. These computer facilities are sometimes reserved for classes. Students can use these computers when specialized hardware or software is required for coursework. Also, short-term loaner laptops are available from the Libraries on campus. Students receive a set amount of free printing each semester on lab and library printers.

Connecting to Resnet in the Residence Halls

Oberlin’s Residential Computer Network (Resnet) provides wired high-speed and wireless (Wi-Fi) Internet connections in every residence hall room on campus. In addition, Wi-Fi is available throughout campus. We are continually upgrading the networking infrastructure to provide better service to our community.

It is inadvisable to bring a computer more than two or three years old to campus. Older systems may work on the campus network, but they likely will not run the most recent web browsers, and other software may run too slowly. Specifically, operating systems such as Mac OS 10.8.x and Windows XP will NOT work on our network. Mac OS 10.9 or higher and Windows 7 or higher are strongly recommended. 

IMPORTANT: Use of campus computing and network resources assumes acceptance of and compliance with our Acceptable Use Policy and understanding of and compliance with copyright regulations.

For more information on technology resources at Oberlin, including How-To’s and FAQs, visit our wiki