Process for purchasing laptops

We are a 'laptop school' and these pages are to inform you of the arrangements for laptops.

Every boy is required to bring one of the prescribed laptops to school every day as described in the following pages. Each year a committee of parent and school representatives choose the preferred supplier(s) and a small range of machines from which to choose. Please note that purchasing an alternative make/model of laptop from an alternate supplier is not an option and we ask parents to respect this decision. A great deal of work goes in to finding the most robust and suitable make and model that can be supported within the school structure. The prescribed machine(s) is not sold or configured by the school but by an independent supplier(s), chosen by the parent committee.

Parents are invited to volunteer to serve on the committee and to participate in the procurement process by emailing

Details about procurement are communicated before and during the committee process.

There are a prescribed choice of both Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac machines from which to choose.


May I purchase a laptop other than one of the prescribed ones?

Please note that purchasing your own make/model of laptop is not an option. No other laptop, other than one of the recommended options, will meet the school requirements in terms of robustness, warranty and support. Buying a recommended machine, through one of the recommended suppliers, is communciated to parents and is also part of the condition of place.

May I purchase a laptop through my company?

Please remember that the South African Income Tax Act requires that a company may only claim VAT for individuals employed by the company. Minimum age for employment in South Africa is 16.

Apple purchases require proof of the academic institution because their offer includes an educational discount that must be directly linked to a student.

May I purchase the recommended machine via my own supplier?

No. It is not possible to buy anything but a prescribed machine from a prescribed supplier, simply because of the additional overhead of managing and supporting these machines. The parent laptop committee ensures that favourable pricing and service levels are procured.

Your support of school policy ensures the ability to secure a comprehensive service agreement from the bulk supplier.

May I purchase a non-recommended machine via my own supplier?

No. Laptop procurement is a Bishops College Council decision that is clearly communicated to all parents, prior to acceptance of place. One problem laptop can disrupt an entire class and compromise the classroom experience for the boys and teachers. Deviations from the model of prescribed machine may be possible in exceptional circumstances only and will be handled on a case by case basis by emailing

May I purchase an Apple Machine?

In past years we have been able to offer an Apple device option as part of the range. Apple devices were not included as an option in the list of recommended machines for 2022 due to the M1 chip not being able to operate Windows under a dual booting setup. From 2023 Apple devices are included as an option in the list of recommended machines as there is no a longer a requirement to run a Windows operating system. Most software is now cloud-based.

Note that Apple devices will not be suitable for students who intend to take Information Technology as a Matric Subject as they will require a Windows machine.

Any student who qualifies for a Laptop as an exam concession will need access to specific software called Exam Portal which is purely Windows based. An Apple machine would therefore not be an option.

Apple machines will also have a 5 year warranty but will need to be taken to the Digicape repair centre in Pinelands by the parent in the event of an issue.

What are the advantages of the bulk order?

The bulk order allows the selected suppliers to benefit from the scale of the order size and therefore pass the savings on to parents. In addition, the advantages of scale allow the school to put pressure on a supplier should the need arise.