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New machine entitlement

If you are a new teaching or research active staff member joining WBS then welcome from the WBS IT group (WBS eSolutions)! Here you can find out about the choice of new computer you can make to support your work.

If you are a current teaching or research active staff member then here you can find information on what computer you can receive the next time yours is due to be replaced.

All administrative members of staff are issued with a standard desktop, any additional reqests need to be funded from group funds.

We aim to provide you with a range of computers to best support your work. All our computers are from either the Dell Enterprise range or Apple. We use Windows 10 (64 bit) or the latest version of Mac OS. The first GBP1200 (inc VAT) is paid out of central funds. Should you wish to purchase something more expensive then you have the option of funding this from your Research Support Allowance. Please note that staff on a 50% + contract receive the full computing provision, below 50% are entiled to a tapered provision.

Can I keep my old computer when I receive a new one?

No, the school only funds one computer per staff member. If the school pays for, or contributes towards, a new computer then the old device will need to be returned. Conversely if you purchase an additional machine entirely from your research support allowance for similar then it is treated as an additional device and you can keep both it the centrally-funded device?

Old machines are cleaned (that is all the data is removed) and then either redeployed, used for testing or sent for secure disposal.

Your primary decisions are likely to be:

Desktop or Laptop – Laptops clearly give you the benefit of portability while desktops tend to be more powerful and reliable. If you select a Dell laptop then we aim to improve the working setup by providing a docking station, external monitor, full-size keyboard and mouse. This gives you the portability of a laptop when you are out of the office and the convenience of a desktop when you are in the office, see . If you select an Apple laptop then we provide a full-size external keyboard, mouse and laptop riser.

PC or Apple Mac – The choice here is likely largely based on the system with which you are most comfortable and the software you need to use. If you have always used PCs it is probably quite hard to switch to a Mac and vice-versa. *If* you select an Apple Mac please note the following:

  • Not all academic software is available on the Mac although this is improving over time
  • Macs do not have a full docking station option. To ensure your safe working we provide an external keyboard, mouse and a laptop riser as part of the order
  • Should you need to work with sensitive data this might not be permitted on a Mac due to its lack of central management. In this case we would provide you with a Windows virtual machine at no cost.

Please let us know which of the following you would like as your primary WBS computer. If you wish to discuss your options further please contact Dene Statham ( – 024 765 28214).

Desktop PC – Dell Optiplex 7050 SFF

  • 24” LCD screen or dual 20” screens
  • 8GB RAM
  • 256GB SSD
  • Intel core i5 quad core (3.2GHz)

Key advantages:

  • Compact, thus freeing up desk space
  • Quiet
  • Entirely funded by WBS

Dell Optiplex 7040


Laptop – Dell E7490

  • Comes with docking station, 24” LCD screen, full-size external keyboard and mouse
  • Internal 14.1” screen
  • 8GB RAM
  • 256GB SSD
  • Intel core i5
  • Weight from 1.5 kg

Key advantages:

  • A good compromise between power and portability
  • Usually costs under the WBS-funded limit


Shown without its docking station

Tablet/laptop - Microsoft Surface Pro

  • Internal 12.3" touch screen
  • 8GB RAM
  • 256GB SSD
  • Intel core i5 cpu
  • Keyboard cover
  • Pen for use on screen
  • Weight 770g+cover

Can be used with a dock to connect external screen

Some additional funding is normally required depending on specification


High powered workstation – Precision Tower 3620

  • Ideal for staff running simulations or other computationally-intensive tasks
  • upto i7 or Xeon quad core
  • upto 32GB RAM

Key advantages:

  • Faster and more powerful than the other options

Dell T1700

Actual screen size differs from image

Apple Macs

  • Full range of Macbooks and Mac desktops available
  • Some software covered by University licence (e.g. Office)

Key considerations:

  • For laptops we provide an external keyboard, mouse and a riser to promote a safe working environment
  • Any spending over the centrally-funded portion must be met from Research Support Allowances or similar
  • While we try to offer support the lack of management of these devices does mean they are expected largely to be self-supported

Mac family

Full range of Mac devices available


Access to our Research Computing cluster

As well as providing a client computing system on the desktop in your office we also provide a cluster of additional computer power for researchers who may be doing more computationally-intensive tasks. If you wish to access this or would like to find out more, email us on help at wbs dot ac dot uk or visit