RFP: Laptops

By Anne Chen  |  Posted 2006-07-31

RFP: Laptops

When it comes to purchasing laptops, three things should top IT managers list of evaluation points: size, weight and battery life. Ultimately, the type of laptop that is purchased (and from where) will depend on a companys hardware contracts and the needs of the companys users and IT staff.

There is currently a plethora of processors to choose from. IT managers will get good bang for the buck with Advanced Micro Devices processors, but not all vendors are offering laptops based on AMD chips. IT managers looking at notebooks with Intel chip sets also will have to decide whether they should pay a premium for processors that are ultra-low-voltage and more energy-efficient.

IT managers should be keeping Microsofts Windows Vista in their sights, especially if they lease their systems: If plans are in place to move to Vista within a laptops lease period, then IT managers should ensure that the laptops they procure now will support Vista later.

Following are some questions designed to provide a foundation for a laptop RFP.

Form Factor

* Describe the laptop:

• Height

• Minimum weight

• Width

• Maximum weight

• Depth

* What operating system comes preloaded by default?

• Windows XP Professional

• Windows XP Home

• Windows Professional 2000

• Other (please name)

* Which operating systems are supported?

• Windows XP Professional

• Windows XP Home

• Windows Professional 2000

• Other (please name)

* Is the laptop Vista-ready?

* Will the laptop run Vista Aero Glass?

Display and Video

* What is the display size?

* Does the display have light technology (such as Xbrite, Ultrabite and so on)?

* What is the resolution of the display?

* What kind of video graphics are available?



* Which processors are available with the laptop? (Check all that apply.)

• Intel Core Duo T2700

• Intel Core Duo T2600

• Intel Core Duo T2500

• Intel Core Duo T2400

• Intel Core Duo T2300

• Intel Core Duo T2300E

• Intel Core Duo Ultra Low Voltage U2500

• Intel Core Solo Ultra Low Voltage U1400

• Intel Core Solo Ultra Low Voltage U1300

• Intel Core Solo T1300

• Intel Core Solo T1400

• Intel Core 2 Duo

• AMD Turion 64

• AMD Turion 64 X2

While not yet released by Intel at press time, the Intel Core 2 Duo processor is the chip makers next--generation energy-efficient mobile processor.


* What is the standard memory?

* What is the maximum memory?

Hard Disk Drive

* What is the standard hard drive?

* What is the maximum hard drive?

Battery and Power

* What is the standard battery?

* What is the standard battery life?

* How many cells does each battery option have?

* Does the laptop have an optional extended-life battery?

* How many hours of battery life does the extended-life battery offer?

* Can the power adapter be used with other laptop models from the same vendor?

Oftentimes, a laptop vendor will make its AC adapters universal across a specific business line of laptops. This allows an IT manager to easily replace an adapter should a user break or lose one.

Next Page: Media drives, integrated communications, ports, security, keyboard and mouse, slots, included software, management, warranty and support, pricing and support.


Media Drives

* What types of optical drives can be included?

• CD-RW/DVD combo

• Multiburner DVD recordable

Integrated Communications

* What types of radios or NICs can be integrated in the laptop?

• Modem

• Gigabit Ethernet

• Intel Pro/Wireless ABG

• Bluetooth

* Can the laptop be equipped with embedded WWAN (wireless WAN) capabilities? If yes, which service does the laptop use?

• Cingular HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access)

• Verizon EvDO (Evolution Data Optimized)

• Either


* Please check all the ports available on the laptop:

• Infrared

• Expansion bus

• External display

• AC adapter

• RJ-11

• RJ-45

• Audio

• Headphone/line-out

• External microphone

• USB ports

* How many USB ports does the laptop support?

* Are the ports USB 1.0 or 2.0?


* Does the laptop support TPM (Trusted Platform Module)?

TPM is an integrated security component that allows users to create and store encryption keys. Microsofts forthcoming Vista operating system will use TPM technology as part of its BitLocker Drive Encryption feature. BitLocker will encrypt a computers entire volume for security. Laptops are at high risk for theft and loss, and pushing security down to the hardware level via TPM can be a much better solution than a simple BIOS password.

* Does the laptop have/support an integrated fingerprint reader?

* List and explain the client security solutions that are supported.

Keyboard and Mouse

* Is the keyboard full-sized? If not, what is reduced?

* Is there a TrackPoint mouse device?

* Is there a touch-pad mouse?

* Is a port replicator available? If so, how much is the port replicator?


* Which of the following slots does the laptop have?

• Type I/II PC Card

• Secure Digital

• Multimedia card reader

* If the laptop has a multimedia card reader, how many cards does the reader support?

Included Software

* In addition to the operating system, what software comes preloaded on the laptop? (Check all that apply.)

• Adobe Systems

• Diskeepers Diskeeper Acrobat Reader Lite

• Google

• Google Toolbar

• Google Desktop

• Googles Picasa

• Anti-virus software

• Power utilities

• Hard drive protection

• Multimedia software and applications


* When imaging the laptop, can an IT manager use the same image across all laptops purchased?

* What management tools, if any, come with the laptop?

Warranty and Support

* What is the warranty on? (Check all that apply.)

• The system

• The battery

• The port replicator (if included)

* How much does support cost?


* What is the price of a fully loaded machine? (List the components included at this price.)

* What is the price of a standard build? (List the components included at this price.)

* What is the price of a minimum build? (List the components included at this price.)

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