We have a very capable and experienced Mac Workshop at HardSoft HQ. This means we can engineer any Apple Mac with a third party upgrade. We are now able to offer 1TB hard drive for Apple MacBook Pros. This is currently only a 5400 rpm drive and adds circa £1.25 per week over the standard 500gb units. This option is not on our website so pleaes contact us for details.
1TB option for MacBook Pro
Andrew loves computers and the way the market is evolving to a 'pay as you go' model against the old methodology of CapEx spending. A background of sourcing lease financing for Start Up businesses means he is perfectly place to provide insightful commentary on computing for new businesses.
If you are weighing up the pros and cons of leasing your computer equipment we are here to make things a little easier for you! Here are the top five advantages of renting your IT equipment.
Extended warranty and support
Renting your computer, laptop or tablet from Hardsoft gives you a free three year warranty on your product. This is substantially more cover than you get as standard with Apple’s one year warranty and saves you from having to pay for the additional ‘Apple Care’ package. In addition, if you are renting a Mac and something goes wrong we’ll loan you another one if we need to take yours in for repair.
What’s more, your three year warranty is inclusive of parts and labour costs so you don’t need to worry about being stung with a big bill should something go wrong with your equipment.
If there are any day to day issues we also offer ongoing telephone support. Our Apple certified engineers can offer remote fixes and there’s no limit to how many times you can call us. If you prefer you can also contact us via email or start a web chat right here on our website.
Inclusive accident cover for iPads
The great thing about tablets is their portability but with that comes the added risk of accidental damage when you are out and about. At Hardsoft we want to ensure that you don’t have to worry about something happening to your iPad, so we include accidental damage cover as standard with this product, as well as the standard three year warranty at no extra cost.
Change with the technology
Apple is renowned for continual improvement and while this is great for the customer who wants to constantly have new innovations, it can mean that your technology can feel outdated very quickly. If you’ve made the decision to purchase your equipment outright, and spent hundreds of pounds doing so, it’s understandable that you might be less than keen to buy something new again just a couple of years later. However, if you are leasing your equipment, you can upgrade just 24 months after the start of your rental term.
You’ll gain more tax relief from claiming the rental costs of your IT equipment through Hardsoft than you will from buying equipment outright and then claiming capital allowance. Using the example of either leasing or buying a Mac, the below image shows that you can claim almost 200% more tax relief over three years through renting your equipment than you can by buying it.
While modern portable systems pack a nice punch and feature high-end graphics solutions sometimes it’s just not enough, as Apple users know only too well. That’s where external graphics cards come into play and for all the creatives out there something exciting is happening – Sonnet has announced the release of their eGFX Breakaway Box! The eGFX Breakaway Box supports any Thunderbolt compatible PCIe card, with 40 Gbps of bandwidth and a full PCIe 3.0 x16 slot, there’s plenty of power to share giving you the flexibility to add whatever you want to boost your capability without any degradation of speed – which was an issue for the previous Sonnet box.
The Sonnet eGFX bundled with the AMD Radeon RX 580 is VR ready for new OSX High Sierra. This is the recommended spec as per the Developer Kit for AR/VR at this summers WWDC. Though Apple didn’t mention the word Sonnet by name at WWDC it was apparent from their images that this was the chosen solution. Cost is £5.50 per week when added onto your lease for a new Mac from HardSoft.
Everyone who loves Apple knows that being unable to increase your capacity can be frustrating, and in the past any attempt to add to it externally has often come at the cost of the speed of your device. But with the arrival of the latest eGFX Breakaway box you can now be free from the constraints of your in-built system and go crazy with your creativity, especially as everyone moves towards VR (Virtual Reality), or AR (Augmented Reality) as our friends at Apple like to call it.
The Breakaway Box supports every other Thunderbolt-compatible PCIe card, regardless of the card’s length or width—its single x16 PCIe 3.0 slot easily accommodates full-length cards such as the RED Rocket-X or AVID Pro Tools|HDX.
The Breakaway box connects through a single 40 Gbps Thunderbolt 3 Type-C port and whilst using a single port removes the daisy-chained setup options, it does offer the connected graphics card it’s full bandwidth. Delivering the full PCIe 3.0 x16 speeds with 2750MB/s available bandwidth. it allows you to take full advantage of the external graphics cards. It is in fact over double the performance of a Thunderbolt 2 generation.
Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box -350watt by itself at £2.80 per week in the UK to lease over three years or €3.25 to EU customers. All plus VAT
Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box -350watt- with AMD Radeon RX 580- 8GB (Part of Apple Developers kit for VR) at £5.50 per week on a three year business lease and €6.40 to EU/Irish customers.
Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box -550watt- with Geforce GTX 1080Ti -11GB at £9.70 to add to a Mac lease or €11.25 to EU and Irish leasing business customers
You can lease the Sonnet eGFX 350 with the Geforce GTX 1080TI at £9.70 per week plus VAT on a bundle offer with a three year Flexi Lease. The Geforce GTX 1080ti features 11GB of GDDR5 ram and has a blistering CPU speed of 1582GHz. It has three mini display ports and we can offer adapters for your screens. The ‘350’ version means the card can be no more powerful than 350 watts. Other Sonnet peripherals for the Mac are available to lease and prices are based on a three year lease and includes three years warranty .
If you need an even better Graphics card for your Mac then we can offer alternatives but we would need to match your choice of card and may need the 550 watt version on the eGFX box. This offers 550 watts of power to the graphics card. This box is more expensive than the 350watt version. The eGFX Breakaway Box 350 has 8-pin plus one 6-pin auxiliary power connector and supports graphics card needing 300 W or less. It provides 15W of upstream power. The eGFX Breakaway Box 550 has DUAL 8 pin power connectors supporting up to 375W of juice, and provides 87 Watts of power upstream. It could actually charge your MacBook.
So who is excited about this new arrival and the possibilities it opens up? We certainly are! If you’d like to find out more about the eGFX Breakaway Box and how it can help improve your life, get in touch with our great sales team on email@example.com or call 020 7111 1643. HardSoft offer flexible leasing of high end Mac systems to creative users and are Apple Authorise. The Sonnet eGFX fits perfectly into our portfolio and yet again the high pricing of Apple based products means leasing becomes the obvious choice to lease these.
Updated 22/8- Comments from HardSoft Technician installing the Sonnet Breakaway box with GT1070…..Scott Dickason said
Physical setup was fairly simple but there are some scripts and terminal commands required via the online manual (not listed in the boxed manual) and do require a number of restarts + upgrading the Mac to the latest version of MacOS Sierra.Initially there was some distortion on the screen but it seems to have disappeared after altering the display settings as per the manual and rebooting. Have run a couple of YouTube videos on multiple screens for a couple of hours and there does not seem to be any issues.
If you are considering buying IT equipment, such as tablets or laptops, for your school, you’ll be looking for the best deal for your funds. You may be surprised to learn that leasing is actually cheaper than buying and there are more advantages to leasing too. Such as:
- It frees up your capital – when you lease your IT you don’t have to use your capital funds as a lump sum to purchase them, or upgrading at a later date. Being able to spread the cost enables you to use your funds elsewhere and payments can be deferred to suit your needs.
- It comes with technical support – you will have access to our technical support team throughout the period of your lease. Our technicians are trained to an extremely high standard with expert authorisation and knowledge on both Apple and PC platforms. We are available to assist you with synchronising and maintaining your devices from the moment they are delivered.
- Free training is available – if you or your staff require training on your Apple iPads or laptops, or need some advice on the best apps to use in education, one of our qualified trainers will come to your school and deliver a program of training – FREE of charge – which will be tailored to your needs. This can cover iPad basics, right through to specifics of education related apps, Once your trainer has visited you, they will continue to work closely with you in order to ensure your iPads are fully utilised in the classrooms.
- Accidental Damage Insurance – each lease to a school has specialist comprehensive insurance cover. This means that any Apple iPad or Windows device you have which is accidentally damaged, will be fixed or replaced at no cost to your school. It costs around £150 to repair the screen of an iPad which has been dropped, but with our insurance you are covered and will NO excess to pay.
- You get a full 3 year warranty as standard – all Apple iPads that you lease will come with a 3 year warranty so that you’re covered. Should you have an issue with an iPad, we will swap it for a replacement to ensure you have the minimum of down time at no additional cost to your budget.
- Renewal and Upgrade at the end of lease – at the end of our normal 3 year lease term we will provide you with the option to return the iPads you have and cancel the original lease, provided that you take out a new lease on the latest iPads. You can keep the original iPads if you choose to do so, however there is a small fee payable in order to do this.
Here at HardSoft we offer operating leases to schools which are recommended by the Department for Education. When you choose to lease from HardSoft you will be benefiting from the experience an expertise of an IT company with 30 years of trading and dealing in finance.
- Organise paperwork
- Supply your equipment
- Install the equipment and train staff as necessary
- Provide expert technical support for the duration of the lease
- Manage any incidents of broken, damaged or lost equipment
If you think that leasing IT equipment would make sense for your school, give our Head Office education team a call on 020 7111 1643, they will be happy to advise and arrange a quotation for you tailored to your requirements.
If you use your MacBook Pro in the closed-clamshell mode, which allows you to drive an external display while the MacBook is closed, you may find that losing the use of your Touch Bar will be an irritation.
This can be overcome by using your iPad as an external Touch Bar via the Duet Display app. Duet can be used with an iOS device as both an external display and a Touch Bar, which offers the perfect solution to anyone using an older Mac, which doesn’t have the Touch Bar feature, or the latest model MacBook Pro in closed-clamshell mode. Duet Display is an app for iPhone and iPad which helps you to turn your iOS device into a second screen for your Mac. The 2016 update for the app also allows you to use a virtual Touch Bar with that second display, even if your Mac doesn’t have a hardware Touch Bar. And as a bonus, any app that has been updated with Touch Bar support, will work with the virtual version as well.
How does it Work?
Once you’ve downloaded Duet, you just double click the app as you would with any other app. It will then move to the Applications folder and request permission to add a graphics driver (you need the driver in order to supply the high performance display on your iPad) this will only add an additional driver for Duet’s operation and not affect your system drivers. Duet are certified by Apple to load the driver onto your Mac so it’s safe to do. Once this is all done you’ll need to restart the Mac, then you can get started. Duet’s icon will appear in the menu bar – a circle with a lowercase d – and from here you can access the duet settings which you can tweak to your preferences.
Obviously this set up is a great workable solution for anyone with a Mac that has hardware which predates the Touch Bar but it is also a really useful option when you’re running a MacBook Pro in closed-clamshell mode and can’t access your Touch bar. Macs have always been great at handling multiple monitors and with Duet Display, or any other external screen, you can choose to have your Mac’s display mirrored or you can use it to simply extend the Mac’s display, which is much more useful when you find yourself working on smaller screens. Just the same as with multi-screens on a desktop, if you connect your iPad with Duet Display running you can drag a window from your Mac’s screen over onto the iPad.
If you’re short on space or having to work somewhere which has limited space available, using an iPad with is case folded and propped up takes up decidedly less space than a MacBook Pro 13 or 15 inch does. This is why many people opt to use the closed-clamshell mode and doing this with the help of the Duet app you can also access your Touch Bar functions with your MacBook closed. Duet also allows you to have a second external display for your Mac, which gives you far more versatility than just the single display. There are down sides of course, using closed-clamshell mode will still mean you miss out on Touch ID with MacBook Pro, but you can’t have everything!
If you want to find out more about leasing the latest iPads and Macbooks for your business, give our team a call on 020 7111 1643.