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CCI to expand Lenovo computer offerings

The Lenovo laptops offered by Carolina Computing Initiative next year will have a makeover, which might help them stay competitive with the increasingly popular Macs.

CCI will offer thinner, lighter Lenovos with touch-screen and tablet capabilities in addition to standard ThinkPads. It will also offer Macs with Retina display.

David Eckert, CCI dispatch services manager, said three of the four Lenovo offerings have touch-screen capabilities, and two of those are tablet-type models.

One model, the Twist Ultrabook, features a swiveling touch screen.

Eckert added that the standard 13-inch Mac will be similar to last year’s model, which was the top-selling individual model at UNC.

Thirteen- and 15-inch Macs with Retina display will also be offered.

A committee of students, faculty and staff from across the campus selects the models each year, Eckert said.

He said prices are a little higher across the board compared to last year.

“Thinner and lighter tend to be more expensive, and touch screens tend to cost more as well,” he said.

Lenovo models range from $1,339 to $2,346, while the Macs cost from $1,642 to $2,956.

Prices are determined by the specs of the models offered by vendors, and UNC negotiates prices with company representatives.

This will be the third year that CCI has offered Macs. The first year saw a split between Mac and Lenovo sales, and last year the ratio slid to three-to-two in favor of Macs.

John Gorsuch, director of Student Stores, said he is optimistic that Lenovo sales can be competitive with the revamped models.

Last year, Student Stores sold about 3,600 units. More than 3,000 computers have been sold each year for the past 13 years.

Gorsuch said he expects sales for the upcoming year to be in the same range as last year.

“I think we have a stable, solid program, so my expectations are for the sales to be pretty much the same,” he said.

Sophomore Brandon Ellis bought his Mac through CCI, but would consider the Lenovo models if he were buying a new computer.

“I’d look at the specs and see if it’s worth the price,” he said.

Contact the desk editor at university@dailytarheel.com.

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