A picture of the technology including demonstration tables that feature Apple products, inlcuding IPad 2's and MacBook Pro Air

The Spartan Bookstore recently renovated its Technology Center to feature a larger, more visually appealing demo space (photo courtesy of Spartan Bookstore).

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

While books usually get all the attention, SJSU students, faculty and staff now have another reason to visit the Spartan Bookstore: the chance to get their hands on the latest technology.

The Spartan Bookstore, working under a 10-year contract with Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, renovated its Technology Center last August to include more demo space and visual appeal for customers, according to Bookstore Director Ryland Metzinger.

“The goal is to provide the same, if not better customer service as the Apple or Windows store,” Metzinger said.

Employees that work in the technology center are required to have a working knowledge of the Apple products offered, including the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and iPad2. They also have to complete a two-day training session by Apple.

“The training is very intensive and time consuming but it’s worth it,” Metzinger said. “It allows the people working in the technology center to educate customers about the benefits of buying a MacBook Pro versus a PC.”

Students get to enjoy the same discount they get in the Apple store or online, according to store Computer Department Manager Ryan Chiangi, ’07 Finance. Discounts include 80 percent off of software for Adobe Suite and lower-than-retail prices for Microsoft Office for students.

Faculty and staff can purchase the faculty version of Office for around $20. The bookstore also plans seasonal promotions for end-of-life computers (with hardware and software that is no longer manufactured).

“A good portion of what I do is answer questions for students and faculty, troubleshoot, and help customers make purchasing decisions,” Chiangi said.

A separate demo station is also available for the Nook Color and Nook Tablet, both released this past December. Customers have access to over 2.5 million digital books. Students can buy or rent digital textbooks and can save 30 percent to 60 percent off retail prices.

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