Site Home> Laptop Recommendations

Laptop Recommendations

All PCSB students should have a personal laptop for use in their classes. Minimum hardware and software recommendations are listed below.

Minimum Recommendations Suggested Configuration
256 GB SSD (solid state drive) 512 GB SSD (solid state drive)
13” display (1440×900 resolution) with HDMI port or adapter 15” display (1920×1080 resolution) with HDMI port or adapter
802.11n Wireless Adapter 802.11ac Wireless Adapter
Initial battery life of 6 hours Additional charger and optional second battery
3-year extended warranty 4-year extended warranty with accidental damage coverage
Windows 10 Home, Professional, Enterprise, or Education (Windows 10s is insufficient)
Microsoft Office 2016 (available free through Office 365)
Updated versions of Java and Flash
Updated anti-virus software

Students should have full administrative rights on their computers to allow for the installation of software.

The IT Department requires all computers connected to the campus network to have updated anti-virus software installed, along with the latest security patches for the operating system and application software.

Additional software used for courses can be accessed in computer labs on campus. If a student wishes to use that software on their own personal computer, that software must be purchased by the student.

Note for Mac users: Although we strongly recommend the purchase/use of a PC/Windows-based laptop, if a Mac is chosen, you will need Microsoft Windows installed via the use of Parallels Desktop. Windows 10 is available free of charge, and Parallels Desktop is available at a discount. Both are available here. It is recommended that you have at least 100 GB of space in your Windows VM through Parallels. You will also need the Windows version of Microsoft Office 2016, which is available free through Office 365.

Setting up Windows via Parallels Desktop can take a considerable amount of time. We suggest you do this prior to arriving on campus. The IT Help Desk will assist students to the best of their ability, but the beginning of the semester is a very busy time. If you require assistance, Best Buy’s Geek Squad also provides this service.

Additional information from the IT Department can be found here.