DfE buys 500 extra Surface devices at £900 each

Written by Sam Trendall on 28 February 2019 in News
News

Department awards £444,000 contract to Computacenter

The Department for Education has splashed out almost half a million pounds on an extra 500 Microsoft Surface machines.

The DfE opted to deploy the devices two years ago, following successful trials. In early 2017, UK-headquartered IT services firm Computacenter was contracted to equip the 5,000-plus people who work at the department or one of its arm’s-length agencies with either a Surface Book or Surface Pro device. 

A newly published contract-award notice reveals that the department has now invested in another tranche of 500 additional devices. 


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Computacenter has once again been chosen to provide the technology and, earlier this month, was handed a deal worth £443,925. This equates to a total a cost-per-unit of £887.85 for each of the 500 machines. The contract was awarded on 19 February via Lot 1 of the government’s Technology Products 2 framework.

It is not specified what models the DfE requires, but the latest releases of the Surface Pro hybrid tablet retail for as much as £1,600. The Surface Book – a bigger machine that more closely resembles a traditional laptop – costs up to £2,000.

At the time the decision to roll out Microsoft hardware was first taken in 2017, then chief technology officer at the DfE Adrian Tucker said that “everything that’s on the Pro is on the Book and vice-versa, so it gave us flexibility, annotation and a tablet”.

“It was a decision based on the future, not today; it’s about efficiency, and that’s good for the taxpayer,” he added.

About the author

Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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