Many engineering courses expect students to have and use laptop computers, connected to the wireless network, in both the classroom and laboratories.
A laptop, coupled with the wireless network available in all engineering buildings, allows students to access web-based course materials anywhere. The technology is used to improve teaching and learning and provide anytime/anywhere communications between faculty and students.
2016 LAPTOP SPECIFICATIONS FOR THE COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING
- Both Windows-based PCs and Macs are acceptable
- Note: a few engineering applications only run in a Windows environment. If a Mac is purchased, then the student would need to boot into Windows using Boot Camp or a run a virtual Windows machine via Parallels Desktop, VMware Fusion or VirtualBox.
- Operating System
- Windows – Windows 8.1 or higher
- Mac – OS X, Yosemite (10.10) or higher
- Either Intel or AMD, recommend an Intel Core i5 or higher, or the AMD equivalent
- Minimum – 6 GB of RAM for Windows, 4 GB of RAM for Mac
- Consider – 8 GB of RAM or more for both Windows and Mac
- Hard Disk
- Minimum – 128 GB of storage
- Consider – 256 GB of storage or higher, flash drive storage
- UA provides a free cloud-based storage environment for all students, faculty and staff
- No fixed requirements as this is a personal preference. Larger screen implies larger visible image and greater laptop size and greater weight
- Optical Drive
- Either built-in drive or external drive with capability to burn both CDs and DVDs
- Minimum – provides wireless network support (802.11 b/g/n/ac)
- Consider – wired Ethernet LAN port, either built-in or external USB connection
- USB Ports
- At least two available ports
- Minimum – one-year parts and labor
- Consider – multi-year warranty, “complete care” that covers accidental damage
- Acrobat Reader (free)
- Anti-virus, UA maintains a site license for antivirus software for Windows and Mac that covers all UA computers as well as computers owned by UA faculty, staff and students
- Microsoft Office – obtain a four year license with upgrades for $80 from Microsoft
- Other software may be required by specific courses as you progress through the curriculum
Laptop computers have a finite lifetime. Given this, students who already have a functional laptop might consider delaying the purchase of a new laptop since the existing laptop should be adequate in the first year or two at UA. Students should consider purchasing a new laptop, with the latest technology, when they begin upper-division courses in engineering or computer science.