Can I upgrade a laptop not using recommended supplier?

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Quirky!
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I've received a report and it says I can get a laptop from recommended supplier. Problem is their quotes are overpriced and specs are not that good.

So, can I buy a laptop and pay the difference myself? I tried to ask DSA but they're useless.

Also, can I claim transport costs I paid to get to assessment centre then back? If so, how can I do this?
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balotelli12
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You can, but only from their approved suppliers.
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Knalchemist
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(Original post by Quirky!)
I've received a report and it says I can get a laptop from recommended supplier. Problem is their quotes are overpriced and specs are not that good.

So, can I buy a laptop and pay the difference myself? I tried to ask DSA but they're useless.

Also, can I claim transport costs I paid to get to assessment centre then back? If so, how can I do this?
It states on your letter from Student Finance that if you go to another supplier they won't pay.

You claim the cost back by sending the train / but receipt to the usual student finance address with a letter.
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NJones
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Provided you get approval from SFE you should be able to use any supplier you wish, however do this without their approval and they won;t reimburse any cost at all. Its best to stick with the DSA approved suppliers. Laptops meet minimum specs and are actually subsisidsed as DSA doesn't include VAT on laptops.
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username607202
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DSA just pick the cheapest most convenient laptop without actually understanding the specifications of the laptop. They are beyond useless.
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balotelli12
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No they don't, that is ignorant garbage.
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Acei
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(Original post by Wick3d)
DSA just pick the cheapest most convenient laptop without actually understanding the specifications of the laptop. They are beyond useless.
Considering most students need it for web browsing and using MS Office then ANY modern computer is appropriate. Yet the DSA usually recommends an i3, 4GB RAM etc... they could easily go cheaper if they chose to, the models they recommend are actually really good for study. If you want games with full HD resolutions or something high-demanding then that goes far beyond the scope of the DSA and is not study related.
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username607202
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(Original post by Acei)
Considering most students need it for web browsing and using MS Office then ANY modern computer is appropriate. Yet the DSA usually recommends an i3, 4GB RAM etc... they could easily go cheaper if they chose to, the models they recommend are actually really good for study. If you want games with full HD resolutions or something high-demanding then that goes far beyond the scope of the DSA and is not study related.
Laptops that degrade after 2 years? Becoming slow and the hard drives become painfully noisy. They do buy cheap laptops which use cheap parts.
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Acei
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(Original post by Wick3d)
Laptops that degrade after 2 years? Becoming slow and the hard drives become painfully noisy. They do buy cheap laptops which use cheap parts.
Most PC's are outdated in 2 years, to be honest usually after 1, especially laptop batteries since they depolarize rather fast. The DSA would have to make their own laptops to make them any better. The laptop I was supplied with was made by Samsung and uses quality components. Even after 2 years though, or 3 years or even 4 a laptop should still function and you get provided with an extended warranty which covers the length of your course. Even in 3-4 years the laptop should happily browse the web and allow you to use MS Office.

If the hard drive makes a painfully loud noise then something is faulty and the DSA has given you an extended warranty with the laptop to get it fixed.

If it becomes slow then you need to de-clutter, format, malware scan or there's a hardware fault.

In all circumstances this is not a fault by the DSA, but either a hardware fault, which is the manufacturers fault and comes under the generous extended warranty with accidental damage cover which the DSA provides, or it's being slowed down by the user installing malware.
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username607202
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(Original post by Acei)
Most PC's are outdated in 2 years, to be honest usually after 1, especially laptop batteries since they depolarize rather fast. The DSA would have to make their own laptops to make them any better. The laptop I was supplied with was made by Samsung and uses quality components. Even after 2 years though, or 3 years or even 4 a laptop should still function and you get provided with an extended warranty which covers the length of your course. Even in 3-4 years the laptop should happily browse the web and allow you to use MS Office.
Like all manufacturers except a small few, they don't. At a certain price bracket, they do. But at the prices the DSA are paying, the hardware components are actually quite cheap compared to what they are sold at. Hence the word cheap.
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username607202
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(Original post by balotelli12)
No they don't, that is ignorant garbage.
Care to discuss your point?
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GregOrganist
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Do DSA suppliers offer Apple computers? I'm only asking because I will be using Logic Pro (music software) and it isn't available for PCs.
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balotelli12
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Very very rarely and only if ESSENTIAL for your course cos you can't do it with a Windows machine.
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NJones
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(Original post by GregOrganist)
Do DSA suppliers offer Apple computers? I'm only asking because I will be using Logic Pro (music software) and it isn't available for PCs.
Only if your course runs solely on Apple computers, confirmed by the course leader, and you would be unable to access the software at university e.g. had physical disability etc. SFE are tightening down on Apple machines now.
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NJones
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The specs that DSA use are agreed by a national working party consisting of DSA assessors and suppliers, along with reps from SFE and reviewed regularly.The latest 'matrix' of specifications can be found here: http://www.practitioners.slc.co.uk/m...ion_may_13.pdf
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Quirky!
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(Original post by balotelli12)
You can, but only from their approved suppliers.
(Original post by Knalchemist)
It states on your letter from Student Finance that if you go to another supplier they won't pay.

You claim the cost back by sending the train / but receipt to the usual student finance address with a letter.
I don't have the entitlement letter yet but I'll be expecting them soon, but I'd like get everything ready before the uni since DSA is cutting it quite close.

(Original post by NJones)
Provided you get approval from SFE you should be able to use any supplier you wish, however do this without their approval and they won;t reimburse any cost at all. Its best to stick with the DSA approved suppliers. Laptops meet minimum specs and are actually subsisidsed as DSA doesn't include VAT on laptops.

Just to be clear, I can ask SFE for an approval to use any suppliers?

Or, they won't accept any suppliers even if I asked them?


(Original post by Acei)
Considering most students need it for web browsing and using MS Office then ANY modern computer is appropriate. Yet the DSA usually recommends an i3, 4GB RAM etc... they could easily go cheaper if they chose to, the models they recommend are actually really good for study. If you want games with full HD resolutions or something high-demanding then that goes far beyond the scope of the DSA and is not study related.
In my case, I do think I need slightly more powerful laptop because the course requires it. I'm willing to pay extra to upgrade through non-approved supplier but I'm not too sure how.
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Acei
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(Original post by Quirky!)
In my case, I do think I need slightly more powerful laptop because the course requires it. I'm willing to pay extra to upgrade through non-approved supplier but I'm not too sure how.
I also upgraded further as I wanted a higher spec. The process I used was to contact the recommended supplier and ask what higher spec'ed machines they had, I then was able to pay the difference between the machine cost of the original and the one I chose. It's worth noting you cannot cancel the accessories or insurance and then include it with the cost of the laptop, only the laptop cost stated can be used to bump it up to what you pay. Therefore you will receive the accessories such as bag, usb drive etc and cannot use the cost of them to offset the increased price of the upgraded laptop .
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username607202
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(Original post by Acei)
I also upgraded further as I wanted a higher spec. The process I used was to contact the recommended supplier and ask what higher spec'ed machines they had, I then was able to pay the difference between the machine cost of the original and the one I chose. It's worth noting you cannot cancel the accessories or insurance and then include it with the cost of the laptop, only the laptop cost stated can be used to bump it up to what you pay. Therefore you will receive the accessories such as bag, usb drive etc and cannot use the cost of them to offset the increased price of the upgraded laptop .
Was the price difference significant between the recommended laptop and the one you upgraded to?
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Acei
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(Original post by Wick3d)
Was the price difference significant between the recommended laptop and the one you upgraded to?
Approximately £350, it was reasonable for the improvement in the specs.
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NJones
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To quote the legislation:

144. There is currently no statutory requirement that students should purchase the DSA equipment or other support they need from a particular supplier. However, although a student is free to use a different supplier from that recommended in the DSA needs assessment report, they may only use DSA funding to purchase support which has been agreed by SLC. Students are advised to discuss potential changes of supplier ahead of putting arrangements in place. SLC will need to be satisfied that the expenditure is reasonable. Purchases made directly by students should always be supported by receipts which SLC may request under the provisions of Schedule 3 of the Student Support Regulations. If a student wishes to purchase equipment of a higher specification than that recommended, they must use their own funds to meet the extra costs. Students will not be reimbursed for any equipment or services that are not recommended in a study needs assessment.
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