New laptop features
About this article
This article highlights major changes and new features introduced by the latest laptop models offered through the E-Warrior Digital Life and Learning Program. It is intended for all students and employees who are scheduled to exchange their laptops and tablets during summer 2018 or during the 2018-2019 academic year.
This year's laptops: What's new?
No internal CD-DVD drive
This is the third year that WSU is offering standard laptop models without an internal, optical CD-DVD drive. Laptop manufacturers have been moving away from optical drives for the past few years. Shedding the optical drive allows the laptop to be thinner and lighter, increases battery life, and eliminates numerous points of mechanical failure. This is also in line with recent changes in media distribution. Music, movies, and software are no longer being distributed via CD-DVD and cloud services and large-capacity external drives are replacing CDs for file storage. If you still rely on an optical drive, you can:
- Purchase an external CD-DVD drive
- Check out an external CD-DVD drive from the Technical Support Center (AskTech@winona.edu], 507-457-5240, Somsen Hall 207)
- Find your media online (e.g., Netflix, YouTube, or the Krueger Library's Films on Demand)
- Consult with TLT (firstname.lastname@example.org) on the possible conversion of your CD-DVD-based media to an online format
256 GB storage solid state drive
This is the third year that WSU is offering laptop models with a solid state drive (SSD) instead of a mechanical hard disk drive (HDD). SSDs are faster than HDDs, resulting in shorter boot times and overall faster performance. This SSD has 256 GB of storage space. Take a look at how much space you are using now, particularly multimedia files (e.g., music, video) and any large applications (e.g., Adobe Photoshop, video games, etc). If you have more than 256 GB of personal data and applications on your laptop now and have concerns about storage, please contact the Technical Support Center (AskTech@winona.edu, 507-457-5240, Somsen Hall 207).
- Checking hard drive capacity and folder size on your PC laptop
- Checking hard drive capacity and folder size on your Mac laptop
Thinner and lighter
Largely because the mechanical drives have been eliminated, the new laptop models are over a pound lighter than the models we distributed three years ago. That's a lot less weight in your backpack.
USB Port Type-C with Thunderbolt port
This year we have one USB Port Type-C on the PC and two on the Mac. This port type has quickly become the standard for external storage devices. The port can reach data transfer speeds of 10 GB/sec and can charge connected devices. Many universal docking stations use USB Type-C.
USB 3.1 ports
The PC laptop also comes equipped with two USB 3.1 ports. USB 3.1 ports are backward compatible and will accommodate older devices using the USB 2.0 and USB 1.1 standard. You should notice an increase in data transfer speed when you use your external hard drive or flash drive, particularly if that drive is designed to use USB 3.1. If you are in the market for an external drive, make sure you get one that takes advantage of USB 3.1.
This year the PC model has an HDMI port. This provides high-definition output to classroom projectors and displays.
The screen on the new HP EliteBook is touch-sensitive. The screen responds to your finger but does not rotate or respond to generic pen stylus designed for tablets. An optional HP Pen can be purchased at the Bookstore if you are in need of digital inc functionality.
Those of you exchanging old laptops should experience cleaner, faster video performance, something that will be particularly noticeable when watching movies and using graphics-intensive applications.
No network port
The MacBook Pro and HP x360 G2 are both equipped without a standard RJ45 network port. Our campus wireless network provides dependable and pervasive WiFi coverage. Note: employees interested in a dongle adapter for their device should contact the Technical Support Center (AskTech@winona.edu, 507-457-5240, Somsen Hall 207).
Operating System: What's new?
Windows 10 operating system (HP EliteBook x360 G2)
The HP EliteBoox X360 G2 will be equipped with the latest version of Windows 10. To learn more go to the following article to learn more about this operating system.
High Sierra operating system
If you are already a Mac user and have not upgraded to the new High Sierra OS, this will be pre-installed on your new MacBook Pro and does include a number of new features and functions. If this is your first Mac laptop, you will need to spend some time familiarizing yourself with the Mac operating system.
- What's new in OS X High Sierra?, Apple website
The PC and Mac both laptops come with the latest version of Microsoft Office pre-installed (e.g., Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and this software is designed to work with the online applications found in Microsoft Office 365.