Cadet Personal Computers

SpiralPilots

New Member
I have a few questions regarding the Laptops issued to cadets. I am an incoming freshman, and at the summer seminar last year my cadre informed me that the school issued laptops (respectfully) sucked, and that I was better off purchasing my own as long is it was a windows computer and had a smart card reader. Can anyone give me some details on what machines cadets are issued, and if they are changing the school issued laptops this year? And if I purchase my own what should I look for, and do you have any recommendations? Thank you
 

raimius

10-Year Member
You could do that, but once all the USAF-mandated programs are installed on your computer (required, if you want to use the USAFA network), it will run relatively poorly, too. The issued computers are generally OK. You won't be running the latest PC games on them, but they are fine for general use.
 

wildblueyonder

USAFA '19
The laptops themselves are great, IMHO. Like raimius said, it's the security/Internet/network configuration that causes the performance issues cadets tend to complain about. There's really no way around that, regardless of which computer you use. I would avoid purchasing a new laptop and save the $$ for Parents' Weekend instead, if I were you. :D
 

Stealth_81

Super Moderator
10-Year Member
Founding Member
I guess everyone has their own opinion of the issued computers, but I will say that my son loved his. In fact, 9 years after it was issued he still uses it as his main computer for home and work. It is a Fujitsu convertible tablet and I believe that is still what is being issued.

Stealth_81
 

usafa12

Member
Yep mine just stopped working a few months ago and it was the same laptop I was issued in 2008. It worked just fine for usafa for me. I never carried it to class unless required so I'm sure it got a few less bruises and drops than most though.
 

SpiralPilots

New Member
Hey thanks everyone for getting back to this thread so quickly, I have one question regarding costs. I know the money for laptops comes out of your stipend and isn't a single payment, but how much do the computers come out to, and is it a better option to buy a newer machine like a mil-spec lenovo p50 for around $1,500? I remember hearing that the issued fujitsu machines cost a ridiculous amount over four years?
 

Stealth_81

Super Moderator
10-Year Member
Founding Member
There really is no option. You will purchase the Fujitsu package regardless as part of your issued items. If you really want another computer you can purchase it yourself, but you will still buy the issued computer. If I remember right it's about $1800 and includes the docking station, external keyboard, and some other peripherals.

Stealth_81
 

wildblueyonder

USAFA '19
I'm pretty sure 2019's was just about exactly $2000. Like Stealth said, you get a bunch of extra stuff with it, though. It's quite expensive, but you have the opportunity to insure it for something like $50/yr (assuming you are not an international student) and in all honesty it is actually a pretty decent computer. The only problems I've had with it were due to the security software and Internet--nothing to do with the computer itself.
 

Cerberi

Member
Does USAFA allow you to attach personal devices to their network? If you would take you own computer/tablet/phone for gaming or other such things - can you leverage the USAFA network
 

Capt MJ

10-Year Member
Does USAFA allow you to attach personal devices to their network? If you would take you own computer/tablet/phone for gaming or other such things - can you leverage the USAFA network
Think like a cyber warfare pro. Would you want to allow 4000+ personal devices access to a Govt network? Throw in several hundred staff and faculty? Though I am only familiar with DON rules, which include USNA, use of personal devices directly connected are not permitted, unless the exceptions where Govt security software is loaded. I would expect USAFA to be equally restrictive, and I will be interested in comments from those who know.
 

Cerberi

Member
On most 'college campus' all devices are welcome. I didn't think USAFA or any SA would allow it, but if any military installation allowed it - I would think it would be the 'academic' ones

Was just curious
 

Sneak

Member
Think like a cyber warfare pro. Would you want to allow 4000+ personal devices access to a Govt network? Throw in several hundred staff and faculty? Though I am only familiar with DON rules, which include USNA, use of personal devices directly connected are not permitted, unless the exceptions where Govt security software is loaded. I would expect USAFA to be equally restrictive, and I will be interested in comments from those who know.
This makes sense, except don't cadets have to do an extensive background check for security clearance purposes? So why restrict personal devices if you've already cleared everybody who will be using the network?
 

afmom2020

Member
Does USAFA allow you to attach personal devices to their network? If you would take you own computer/tablet/phone for gaming or other such things - can you leverage the USAFA network
Short answer is no. There is talk of public wifi that could be made available. When and how much is still a mystery.
 

Cerberi

Member
Regarding the background check and security clearance - they complete the SF-86 and must be able to obtain a Secret clearance. Extensive ? Not really especially after getting this far in the process - for comparison purposes

The SF86 is in the USNA Permit to Report packet

There just isn't much of a background to check when you are 17/18
 

raimius

10-Year Member
Haha, the threat isn't that the cadet in question is trying to insert malicious code (well, not a big threat). The issue is what that cadet can access on the network without normal firewall/security. One click on an infected file...
Also, some devices are loaded with code without the user knowing. That is why you don't get to connect personal electronics to the .gov network, unless you go through the communications squadron to get it scanned and security software installed.
 

MD2020

Member
The only devices that can access the wi-if network are usafa issued devices. My DD went from using 2 gbs of data at home to now using 10 gbs. She said that they are trying to get "public" wifi but does not know when that will be.
 

Texas11

New Member
SpiralPilots,

I am a 2020 appointee for USAFA and in the "Instructions to Appointees" booklet on the portal it says you may NOT bring your own personal computer.

Now to answer your question on the computer we will be getting, I asked my brother who is currently at the academy as an upperclassman. The C/O 2019 started a switch to Fujitsu Tablet style computers with dettachable keyboards. Before that the previous classes were using T-model Fujitsu laptops.
 

Usafa2017

2017Cadet
5-Year Member
I use my own computer with the USAFA image loaded on it, but honestly the issued computers work just fine. There is no civilian WiFi (yet) that you can connect your own computers or phones to. It is supposed to be here in the fall, but who knows if that will happen...

These are the computer specs for 2019; 2020's will probably be very similar.
Specifications:

· Fujitsu Q775 tablet computer with detachable slate/screen

· 5th Generation Intel I5-5300U vPro

· 8GB DDR3 1600 MHz

· 256 GB Solid State Drive (SSD) + 500GB external USB 3.0 drive

· 13.3 inch, 1920x1080, multi-touch screen, Intel HD5500 chipset

· No DVD or CD drive included (first year dropped as requirement)

· Port replicator with 2nd power charger

· Integrated cameras, front/back

· Integrated smart Card Reader

· Integrated 10/100/1000 Ethernet

· Wireless 802.11a/b/g/n + Bluetooth v4.0

· External Mouse and Keyboard

· 4 years parts-only warranty (includes batteries)
 
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