Recommendations - Student Macintosh Laptop

Last Updated: 07/30/2014

Overview

Both minimum requirements and high performance recommendations are listed below. Print out this list and take it with you when you go to buy your computer.

Model Specifications

Type of Technology Minimum Recommendation High Performance
Model Recommendation
  • MacBook Air i5
  • MacBook Pro i7
RAM
  • 8GB
  • 16GB
Hard Drive
  • 128GB
  • 256GB
Ports
  • USB 3.0
  • Thunderbolt
Network Access
  • Built-in wireless 802.11n
Warranty
  • 3 years, AppleCare

Operating System, Software, and Additional Recommendations

Type of Technology Recommendation
Operating System
  • Mac OS X 10.9
Productivity Tools
  • Office 2011 for Mac
Web Browser
  • Firefox
  • Safari
  • Chrome
Email Programs
  • Google Mail
  • Apple Mail
  • Outlook 2011
Virus/Anti-spyware Protection
External Storage Devices
  • Flash drive
  • External hard drive (minimum size double to your internal drive)
Laptop Physical Security
  • OIT recommends that laptops are registered with the CU-Boulder police department. Click here to learn more.
  • Laptop locks, which can be purchased at the CU Bookstore.
Printing
  • Learn more about OIT's campus printing locations
  • If you are bringing a printer to the residence halls and university apartments, OIT recommends USB wired printers. Wireless printers are not recommended.

 

Student Mac Considerations

Besides the minimum recommendations above it is recommended that you consider the following:

  • Check with Your College or School
    • Check with your school or college to see if they have any special requirements or recommendations before purchasing.
  • Purchasing Computers and Software at Educational Prices
    • Computers and software meeting these recommendations can be purchased at the Buffalo Chip, inside the CU Bookstore for an educational discount.
  • Used Computers
  • AppleCare
    • When purchasing an Apple product, it is highly recommended that you purchase AppleCare. AppleCare not only provides extended warranty protection, but also provides help with software questions or problems.
  • Extras
    • If you're purchasing a laptop, you may want to purchase a monitor as well for high performance use.
    • It is strongly encouraged that you backup your files to an external hard drive.