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Notebook Computer Rentals: The Downside

In my university, notebook computer rentals are available through the media center; however, the situation is not as wonderful as it may seem. Sure, the “rentals” are free, paid for by my student access and technology fees, but as generally proves, “free” is not always so perfect. First of all, there are only three notebook computers available. I know that my school is not extremely large—there are probably around 9,000-10,000 undergraduates—but three computers still does not seem sufficient to meet the needs of that many people. What happens when you really need one for a presentation and count on being able to rent it but all are currently checked out?

Second, if there is one available, the rental period is only forty-eight hours. Forty-eight hours, two days, seems like an incredibly short amount of time to create a presentation and still have time left to show your presentation in class. As no renewals are allowed past this time limit, you have to schedule your rental period carefully to make it work for your needs.

The Biggest Problem with Notebook Computer Rentals

In my mind, the biggest problem with notebook computer rentals at my school is the inability to load any new software onto the computers. I know that this restriction protects the computer from viruses and other problems, but it also hinders people from accomplishing their goals.

For example, if I need to use a notebook computer to create a power point presentation showcasing my photos but need photo software loaded onto the computer in order to access the photos, a notebook computer rented from the school will not allow me to complete this task. Add this problem to the reality that many school notebook computers available for checkout have limited software options, and your difficulties increase even more. Although the intention in providing these computers is good, some changes should be made to better meet student needs.

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