Process for purchasing laptops

We hope your son’s year is progressing well and we look forward to welcoming him and you to the College. As you are aware, we are a “laptop school” and these pages are to inform you of the arrangements for laptops.

Until 2021 laptops were only introduced mid-year of Grade 8 to allow the boys to get used to their new environment and to connect with each other without the added pressure or possible distraction from technology. However, with the current need for occasional remote learning and teaching, laptops will be introduced at the beginning of Term 1 next year.

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 is not sold or configured by the school but by an independent supplier(s) that chosen by parents. Details about procurement will be communicated as the findings of the committee progress.

We invite you to volunteer to serve on the committee and participate in this process. To do so please email

Kindly click on the decision tree link to understand the selection process.


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 attracts an educational discount that must be directly linked to a scholar.

May I purchase the recommended machine via my own supplier?

No. From 2016, it is no longer 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 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. This is a Bishops College Council decision that has been clearly communicated to all parents. One problem laptop can disrupt an entire class and compromise the classroom experience for the boys and teachers. In exceptional circumstances, e.g. disability, deviations from the model of prescribed machine will be handled on a case by case basis.

May I purchase an Apple from anywhere other than Digicape?

No. Digicape are our preferred supplier because they offer the best academic support service for Apple in Cape Town. They offer preferential turn around on repairs and loan units. Their pricing includes the prescribed Windows setup and the prescribed minimum warranties.

Why offer a reconditioned laptop?

  • Introducing a reconditioned machine option is an affordable way to provide a laptop that is suitable for the school environment and can still be supported by the onsite helpdesk.
  • The motivation for considering this option was the very significant price increase in the new Dell Latitude machines caused by both the weakness in the exchange rate and the release of a new Latitude series by Dell.
  • The reconditioned machine is a similar machine to the light option offered in previous years which has shown to be a well-liked and highly durable machine.
  • The performance of the machine is satisfactory and when benchmarked against our recommended option for this year showed a performance level in general use conditions at 89% of the recommended machine.

Universe Direct have provided a very attractive service and support proposition which includes:

  • 3 Year parts warranty
  • 1 times accidental damage replacement - this does not include theft
  • In Year 4 or Year 5, the option to trade in and upgrade to a Dell Latitude 7490 at additional cost. This must be done in January of that year.
  • An earlier upgrade could be possible with discussion with Universe Direct but this would not necessarily be at the advertised upgrade price. For further information on the buy back process please contact Universe Direct at

What is the consequence if I do not participate in 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. If parents do not participate in the bulk order process they will still be required to purchase a selected machine through a selected supplier but it is likely that this will be significantly more expensive that what has been negotiated for bulk order participants.