Recommended Computer Specifications for Students

Your Choice

AU primarily deals with Windows machines for faculty and staff, but it is a personal choice for students to choose between Windows, Apple, or a Chromebook. Any option will work fine on AU's network. Two pieces of advice when picking a computer:

  • Those studying in Graphics Design and other media-related coursework may prefer a MacBook (laptop). It's always best to consult the academic department for your major to understand what will work best.
  • Those studying in fields that will include the use of Microsoft Excel (accounting, statistics, etc.) should know that Chromebooks cannot download the full version of Microsoft Office products. Microsoft Excel is available in the computer labs on campus should you need to use Excel and are unable to install it.

Computer Specifications

The Basics

  • Operating system:
    • PC: Windows 10 or 11 (earlier versions of Windows are not allowed on the AU network)
    • Macintosh: The lastest version of MacOs
    • We are not able to provide support for the Linux operating system
  • Processor:
    • PC: minimum of 12th or 13th gen Intel Core i5/i7 or AMD Ryzen 5000 or 6000 series
    • Macintosh: Apple M1 or M2 Chip
  • RAM:  minimum of 16GB RAM
    • 512 MB or more dedicated video RAM (recommended)
  • Storage: 256 GB SSD or greater
  • Accidental damage warranty coverage: 3 or 4 years (ITS does not repair student computers)

Descriptive Keywords that Our Techs Like

  • full size keyboard
  • back lit keys
  • lightweight
  • good battery life
  • spill resistant
  • drop resistant

Recommended accessories

  • Webcam: integrated or external
  • Headset: wired via USB cable or wireless via Bluetooth

Additional Items to Consider

  • Google Drive is available through your university account for cloud backups.
  • Students have a $15 per semester printing allowance for using university Printer, Scanner, and Copiers. If you want to bring a printer it must be one with a USB cable because wireless printers are not allowed on the university network
  • Students can download a free copy of the Microsoft Office suite for Windows and Mac machines. Licenses are issued to new students automatically a week prior to the start of classes. After logging in to the Okta dashboard (, click on the Office 365 tile and look for the Download button.

Educational Discounts

As a university student, we recommend you always ask about an educational discount when purchasing technology. In a lot of cases, a university email or ID card is all you need to get a discount. Here are a couple specific links for educational discounts:

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Article ID: 81938
Fri 6/28/19 8:09 AM
Mon 5/13/24 12:28 PM