Engineering lab receives new batch of computers

March 29, 2024 — by William Cao and Eric Shi
Photo by Eric Shi
The board ordered a fresh new set of more powerful Lenovo Laptops to improve the workflow efficiency of the Engineering Lab.
The LGSUHSD Board approved funding 72 upgraded Lenovo Laptops.

The district board recently approved funding 72 upgraded Lenovo laptops for the school’s engineering program. 36 of those laptops will go towards the SHS engineering program and the other 36 will go towards the Los Gatos High engineering program.

The new computers — which arrived on March 28 — cost $165,240 along with a $360 recycling fee, for a total of $180,884.

The old laptops were Lenovo P51 models that had been in use for the past five years. No formal plans have been set on where these retired laptops will go after they are moved out, but there have been requests by both teachers at SHS and Los Gatos High to use some of these laptops for their classes, according to senior computer specialist Larry Jens. 

The new Lenovo P1 G6 I7 laptops sport a more powerful GPU and CPU while also hosting a far larger display — with a 16-inch screen and a refresh rate of 165 hertz, compared to the old P51 models’ 15.6-inch screen and 60 hertz refresh rate — meaning these new computers can display moving objects on-screen more smoothly. 

Engineering teacher Audrey Warmuth expressed her excitement for the equipment upgrade, emphasizing the importance of having a set of more powerful computers than traditional classrooms have. 

“We have been very lucky in the engineering lab to always have these nice computers, which are completely different from the sets in other classrooms,” Warmuth said. “The board is accommodating us with new equipment, a better graphics card and a larger screen, which my students need to run their projects.”

Warmuth has noticed a variety of problems in the old laptops, such as keys falling off the keyboard and poor battery life. She reiterated that the upgrade will be crucial in allowing her engineering students to continue working on their projects, which include 3D modeling, arduino coding and conducting CNC simulations.

In particular, the Digital Electronics course cannot function smoothly without strong PCs due to software application limitations.

Many students have reacted positively to the district board’s decision. Sophomore engineering student Lucius Ko voiced support, noting how students will benefit from improved processing speed.

“I’m excited for these changes,” Ko said. “Having a better computer would make everything more streamlined. It would make coding faster and make uploading projects easier as well.” 

In class, he observed that many students are coding the VEX Robotics software, and having a more efficient computer can improve their project development experience.

“It takes at least three minutes to start up a computer. With these new computers, it’ll be much easier and more efficient,” Ko said. “It will let different students have more modern technology so they can achieve what they need to do more easily.”

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