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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 and 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
  • Flash drive: 4GB+

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, or other data due to a drive failure.
  • Consider an online backup tool: offers a 50% discount for college students. There are many other online backup services available and prices are improving. It can cost more than $1000 to recover data from a failed hard drive.
  • 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. Simmons provides free antivirus software to students. To find out more, and to download the software, visit We recommend you avoid paying $50-$70 a year for an antivirus suite you may forget to update or renew. We can help you uninstall your current antivirus suite and install Sophos at the Technology Desk located on the first floor of the Library.

Reviewed: Aug 12, 2014

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