Recommendations - Student Macintosh Laptop | Office of Information Technology

Recommendations - Student Macintosh Laptop

Last Updated: 05/27/2016


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 with i5 processor
  • MacBook
  • MacBook Pro with i7 processor
  • 8 GB
  • 16 GB
Hard Drive
  • 256 GB Flash Storage
  • 512 GB or more Flash Storage
  • USB 3.0
  • Thunderbolt
  • 3 years, AppleCare

Operating System, Software, and Additional Recommendations

Type of Technology Recommendation
Operating System
  • Mac OS X 10.11 (El Capitan)
Productivity Tools
  • Office 2016 for Mac
Web Browser
  • Firefox
  • Safari
  • Chrome
Email Programs
  • Google Mail
  • Apple Mail
  • Outlook 2016
Virus/Anti-spyware Protection
External Storage
Laptop Physical Security
  • Learn more about OIT's campus printing locations
  • OIT recommends USB wired printers. Wireless printers are not recommended for on-campus use.


Student Mac Considerations

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

  • Purchasing Computers and Software at Educational Prices
    • Computers and software meeting these recommendations can be purchased at the CU Bookstore for an educational discount.
  • Used Computers
  • AppleCare
    • When purchasing an Apple product, it is 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 encouraged that you backup your files to university provided cloud storage or an external hard drive.