Melbourne-based reseller Fed IT has won the contract to supply and service 800 Fujitsu notebooks to the city's Methodist Ladies' College (MLC).
The government and education specialist beat off competition from previous incumbent Acer and Toshiba to secure the $3 million three-year deal, its biggest education success to date.
"It was very tough competition but we were able to put a package together that suited their requirements. Acer is normally very competitive because it goes direct," said Andrew Scagliarini, national education director of Fed IT.
"The education sector wants extremely light notebooks and the Fujitsu LifeBook S6110 weighs less than 2kgs. It has no floppy drive so the students use USB keys instead."
As part of the deal, Fed IT will have a representative on site to conduct running repairs and issue spares to any students experiencing problems with their machines.
MLC first introduced personal notebooks back in 1991 and already operates a fleet of almost 2,200 for its students and staff.
Under the latest contract, each machine supplied by Fed IT has been personalised for individual students and is supplied with a 40GB hard disk, internal CD-ROM drive and built-in wireless card. All notebooks at MLC will be wireless capable by 2005.
"The opening of wireless technology has significantly changed their [education leaders'] attitudes towards the equipment. We will see a lot of desktops replaced by notebooks, especially with the advent of Tablet PCs," predicted Scagliarini.
Fed IT was recently ranked second choice after Toshiba in a bid for a similar-sized project at Wesley College, Melbourne.
"Education is a tough market but we will continue to put in for every contract out there," he added.