At the Kendall Campus bookstore’s Shark Tech Center, located in the 8000 building, customers can save anywhere from $50 to $150 on regular retail prices on iMacs, MacBooks, iPods, iPads and Apple TVs.
Students, faculty and staff from all campuses can purchase Apple products at a discount by showing their Miami Dade College ID card. In addition, the Shark Tech Center offers trade-ins, trainings and repairs to all Apple products as well as Dell and Lenovo laptops.
“The staff was incredible helpful. They would sit there and answer every single question,” said Julianna Sanchez, 19, a political science major at Kendall Campus, who bought a MacBook Pro. “No complaints. We bought the Applecare they offer for three years. The process was painless compared to the Apple Store [where] you have to wait in a massive line.”
The bookstore also sells Lenovo and Dell laptops, as well as Samsung Tablets, Microsoft Surface and other tablets. However, there is no discount available on those products.
The negotiations to sell Apple products took two years and the Shark Tech Center opened last fall as an Apple Authorized Service Provider.
“Apple is very strict,” said Juan Hernandez, the computer department manager at the store. “We had to close over the summer to remodel the bookstore because Apple wants their products displayed in a certain way.”
The Shark Tech Center partnered with the South Florida Educational Federal Credit Union, a 10-minute car ride from campus, offering computer financing to MDC students and employees. Those interested need to provide a summary sheet to the bank, found in the bookstore, where the model, description and price of the computer to be purchased are listed. Then the Federal Credit Union can provide a waiver to buy the computer.
The products are available online at www.mdckendallshop.com, and can be shipped or picked up from the store. For faculty and staff, purchases can also be delivered to their offices. The Shark Tech Center staff can suggest applications to enhance the Apple experience given the customer’s preferences.
On the bookstore website, under the technology tab, the Trade-In Devices option allows students to exchange old iPods, cellphones, tablets, MacBooks and iMacs for store credit. For example, an iPad 2 can be worth anywhere from $16 to $66, depending on the condition of device.
The center also provides training sessions throughout the semester with the purpose of teaching students the key features in the iOS operating system. The schedule has not been set yet.
“The trainings show some of the ways it could improve your education,” Hernandez said. “Some people say Apple is so hard to use but with the proper tools and knowledge they can do wonders.”
One of the main characteristics of the iOS operating system is the Force Touch in the MacBooks, which works similarly to the 3D Touch in iPhones. After selecting a word and applying more pressure in the trackpad, options such as a dictionary and Wikipedia are only one click away.
“Students can save a lot of time. Instead of having to copy and paste and then search in Google the meaning of the word, their answer can be accessed quicker,” Hernandez said.
Regardless of where an Apple product or Dell Laptop is bought, the Shark Tech Center accepts it for repairs. If the devices still have a warranty the repair can be completed at no cost by a certified technician of each company. If the device is out of warranty the prices range from $25 for diagnostics, $40 for data migration, $35 for OS installment, $35 for data backup and more than $40 for hardware repairs
Currently, the Kendall Campus bookstore is the only certified Apple vendor at MDC. However, the plan is to expand to Wolfson and North Campuses in the future.
“It’s great because you can actually have good quality products for a better price,” said Rachel Rosal, 20, a business administration major at the Honors College at Kendall Campus. “Being on a student budget without a job, it really does make all the difference in the world.”