Laptops and Technologies

We encourage parents to consider purchasing an Apple MacBook for their child’s secondary education. The College has negotiated with JB Hi-Fi Education and Winthrop Australia to provide MacBooks at a discounted price. Students are required to bring their MacBook to school each day to use in classes as directed by their teachers.

Parents can purchase online via the Winthrop Australia Portal or JB Hi-Fi Education Portal. You may choose to purchase a MacBook from another company, but it must be an Apple MacBook Air, MacBook or MacBook Pro. These are the only devices currently supported by Butler College. For more information, please read the FAQs below, contact Brian Lowry (Manager ICT Services) or Ryan Ware (IT Services) on 9561 4200, or read the IT Information letter. Select an icon to be directed to the portal:

JB Hi-Fi Education Portal
Winthrop Australia Portal


Why Apple MacBook?  The decision to use Apple as our platform came after extensive consultation with educators, universities, international education specialists and platform providers. Apple MacBooks are considered the best choice for the College's BYOD program. Strengths of the MacBook include a rich library of free software, long battery life, superior build quality/durability and a more than sufficient level of performance for educational usage.

The educational benefits outweigh other platforms; focussing on one platform allows better management of issues, providing students with a more confident experience. Students with special needs have a richer experience as the 'accessibility' controls offer many options, as well as parental controls allowing parents to manage their child's use of the computer.  In addition, we work with local primary schools to assist in the implementation of iPad focused technology programs,  promoting a smooth transition from iPad use in primary school to MacBook use at Butler College.

Is a MacBook mandatory for my child to attend Butler College?  No, but it is highly recommended.

Can my child use a tablet or a Windows laptop?  No, Apple MacBooks are the only device supported at Butler College.

Will you price match any price we can find from another retailer?  No. We have no control or influence over the pricing available through our portals. We encourage you to find the best deal you can!

I have purchased a MacBook through the JB Hi-Fi Education portal, what next?  JB Hi-Fi will contact you when your MacBook is ready to be collected from your nominated store. See below for details on getting the MacBook configured for use at Butler College.

I have purchased a MacBook through the Winthrop Education portal, what next?  Your MacBook will be delivered to Butler College by Winthrop Australia. We are unable to track the delivery of your MacBook. When we have received your MacBook, the IT team will configure it and contact you when it is ready for collection (approximately 1-2 business days). If you do not want us to configure the MacBook, please contact us at

I have purchased a MacBook outside of the available portals, what next?  See below for details on getting the MacBook configured for use at Butler College.

I have a MacBook - how do I get it configured for use on the Butler College network?

  1. Prior to the end of the school year (for the following school year) - bring the MacBook to Butler College Administration during school hours (8:00am – 3:45pm). The IT department will configure the MacBook and contact you when it is ready for collection (approximately 1-2 business days).
  2. From 24-28 January 2022 (excluding 26 Jan Australia Day) - the IT department will be accepting MacBooks for configuration between 8am and 3:45pm. Please visit Administration and leave your MacBook including contact details, student name and login info if already set up. The IT department will configure the MacBook and contact you when it is ready for collection (approximately 1-2 business days).
  3. At the start of the new school year and during school terms – send your child to school with their MacBook and ask them to visit the IT Department before school or during break times. We will configure the MacBook, and ask your child to return to the IT department at the end of the school day. We are extremely busy during this period, so a longer time may be required. MacBooks are configured on a 'first in first served' basis (approximately 1-4 business days).

If I purchase a MacBook from a JB Hi-Fi store, am I still eligible for onsite warranty and insurance?  No, this is only available when purchasing through the JB Hi-Fi education portal under the Butler College BYOD program. If you purchase a MacBook directly from a JB Hi-Fi store, your warranty agreement will exist between yourself and JB Hi-Fi.

Which portal should I purchase my child’s MacBook through? This is completely up to you. Each portal has different prices, finance and delivery options. You should consider the one which suits your needs best. The MacBooks will be identical and the optional products will be very similar, if not identical.

Do I need to purchase any additional software for my child’s MacBook?  No. As a school we endeavour to use only free software combined with the free Microsoft Office licence provided by the WA Department of Education for the duration of your child’s education.

Which MacBook Air option should I buy? Whichever best fits your budget. The latest model MacBook Air comes in two options, 256GB and 512GB of storage – this is how much space is available to store files (photos, documents, music files, applications, games, etc) on the MacBook.

What is the difference between the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro?  Aside from the size, shape and colour differences, the MacBook Pro has a higher quality display, and more powerful hardware. The MacBook Pro is aimed at professionals, whereas the MacBook Air is aimed at every day users.

Should we get a protective cover, what about a carry case?  The hard protective cover such as the STM Dux provides protection when your child is using the MacBook and accidentally drops it, knocks it off a table or other similar accidents. The carry case provides padding and protection for the MacBook when your child is transporting the MacBook (usually in their school bag).  We have seen MacBook’s badly damaged in situations which may have been avoided or reduced if the MacBook was in an appropriate case at the time. We highly recommend purchasing and (most importantly) using a protective cover in conjunction with a padded carry case.

What about backups?  We recommend that your child keeps a backup of their schoolwork. We recommend using either OneDrive, iCloud, or Time Machine to a portable hard drive (which is kept at safely at home). The Butler College IT department can help your child to configure backups.

Do we need a portable hard drive (HDD)?  You do not need a portable hard drive; but we recommend having one available to back up your child’s data. In addition, if your child decides to take a subject such as Digital Media or Photography, they can use the storage space to store large media files that they work on in these subjects.

AppleCare+  AppleCare+ offers an additional 1 year of warranty and limited coverage for accidental damage, as well as access to Apple phone support. We recommend that you have some form of accidental damage cover – either MacBook specific insurance, coverage via your Home/Contents insurance, or AppleCare+. Which one of these is best for you depends on your personal circumstances.

Can we purchase a second-hand MacBook?  Yes. However, we recommend that it be no more than 3 years old, so it lasts most of the school life of a student. We are unable support a MacBook older than 5 years due to software compatibility.

Do we have to purchase a MacBook through one of the portals?  No. You can purchase a MacBook from wherever suits you, but you will not have access to our onsite warranty and insurance services.

Can my child use their iPad, PC Laptop or other non-MacBook device at the school?  No.

Do we need to purchase insurance with our MacBook?  While insurance is not mandatory, many students have had their MacBook repaired or replaced under an insurance policy due to accidental damage which can occur even through regular and responsible use. Another option you may have is to insure the MacBook through your home contents insurance.

Is there any option to lease/rent/finance/purchase interest free?  This is dependent on the individual portal you decide to purchase through. We typically advise parents to avoid leasing or renting MacBook’s as the value for money is low and the duration of the lease contract often does not match up with the duration your child will be at school. Interest free options are available through each portal, JB Hi-Fi currently offers 12 months interest free, and Winthrop offers 6 months interest free – both of which are subject to the usual finance checks.