Drexel University Introduces The MacBook Vending Machine Kiosk

Attention prospective students: the staggering tuition at Drexel might just be worth it. The university recently introduced a 24-hour, self-service vending machine located in the W. W. Hagerty Library that will dispense MacBooks for use by students, faculty and staff. Drexel is the third university on the East Coast to introduce the kiosk, which holds up to 12 MacBooks that could be checked out free by anyone with a Drexel ID for five hours. Essentially, it's a 24-hour machine that'll pop out a machine to get last-minute assignments done when crunch time approaches.

Omer Hashmi, a student, actually requested that something of the sort be installed, and lo and behold, a wish was granted. "Hashmi explained that he was hesitant to carry his personal laptop to and from campus from his off-campus residence because it was both burdensome and posed a security risk." A dozen 15" MacBooks were installed, working in concert with a West Coast vendor, LaptopsAnytime, to enable circulation of the machines. In fact, admins at the school are already pondering the addition of iPads to the machine.

Of course, borrowing comes with responsibilities. Students must remain in the library while using the MacBooks, which are equipped with security sensors. They are limited to a five-hour use beyond which a late fee of $5 per hour for each additional hour applies. All information is wiped clean once the MacBook is inserted back into a slot at the kiosk. The MacBook’s battery is also charged while the laptop is in the kiosk.

Years ago, 5 hours probably wouldn't have cut it, but in the era of cloud computing, a few sign-ons could have students looking up previously saved iCloud documents and perhaps even accessing a cloud version of Photoshop. Who says we aren't living in the future?