How-To Articles

Can't find the topic you're looking for? Tell us what you’d like to see and we’ll create a new article for it.

Purchasing a New Computer: Minimum Suggested Guidelines
Article Reference NumberAA-02153

When purchasing a new personal computer for campus, you are encouraged to keep the following guidelines in mind:

Important Features to Consider:
  • Type: Laptop (recommended)
  • Operating System: Mac or Windows
  • Memory: 4GB+ of RAM  
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 or i7
  • Storage: 250GB (or more if you plan to save music and video files)
  • Integrated Webcam (for Skype, etc.)
  • Weight: Look for a laptop that is 4lb or less
  • Wireless card: g/n class
  • Headphones/Earphones: make sure they are comfortable

Please note that Technology Discounts are available to Simmons College Students, Staff, and Faculty.

Printers: You do not need to bring a printer to Simmons. Even ‘free’ inkjet printers will require you to purchase expensive ink cartridges. Simmons Campus Print Program  

Other Recommendations:

  • If you buy a Mac, pay for AppleCare. AppleCare extends the hardware support warranty and lasts for 3 years but does not cover accidents or theft.
  • If you buy a PC, opt for an extended warranty with accidental care for as long as you would like to keep the computer and your budget permits.
  • If you do not backup your personal data to an online service, buy an external storage drive to backup your data. The number one failure on laptops is the hard drive. Don't risk losing your work, music, pictures, or other data due to a drive failure.
  • Get a lock for your laptop or desktop. Simmons is an open campus located in the heart of Boston. Laptops do get stolen on campus. One reputable type of lock is:

Antivirus:You must have up-to-date antivirus software on your laptop. Yes, even Macs need anti-virus. To find out more, and to download recommended, free, anti-virus software, visit We recommend you avoid paying $50-$70 a year for an antivirus suite you may forget to update or renew.

If you need further assistance or have questions or concerns, please contact the Service Desk at 617-521-2222 or

Reviewed 5/7/2015 - RAR

Quick Jump Menu