Student's Guide to Purchasing a Computer

Student's Guide to Purchasing a Computer

Fall 2014

We strongly recommend that you bring your own laptop to help ensure your success as a Wellesley student. By doing so, you will be able to take advantage of the secure wireless network access available in all campus buildings, including the residential halls.   Computing workstations and printers are available in several locations, while high-end laboratories provide opportunities for developing skills with advanced software.

Recommended Specifications:

  • Operating system: Windows 7 or 8.1, 64-bit; or Mac OS X 10.9
  • Memory: 8 GB or more of RAM
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 or i7
  • Hard drive: 500 GB (or larger) hard drive, or 256GB (or larger) SSD
  • Wireless (WiFi): 802.11n, dual band (2.4Ghz & 5Ghz)
  • Data Backups: External hard drive or cloud storage. Your Wellesley Google Drive account includes 30GB of free cloud storage space.
  • Warranty: Four year warranty that covers both manufacturer and accidental damage
  • Microsoft Office: Microsoft Office 365 University (2013 for Windows, 2011 for Macs).

What else to bring:

  • All documentation and discs that came with your computer. The College can not provide these if your computer has to be reset to factory settings. Many computers come with factory restore software on the hard drive.
  • Laptop case or sleeve for protection
  • Cable lock to secure laptop to a table or desk
  • Surge protector

What not to bring:

  • Wireless router or access point. Wireless access is provided in all buildings on campus, and personal routers or access points cause interference.
  • Wireless printer.  If you wish to bring a personal printer, connect it to your computer with a USB cable.  Wireless printers can cause interference with the College's wireless network. Student printing via PaperCut is available in all libraries and select academic buildings.

Get connected with more campus technology resources

Where can I ask questions about campus technology?

  • E-mail your questions to
  • Call the Computing Help Desk at (781) 283-7777, Mon-Fri 8:30am-4:30pm.
  • Click here to download a PDF version of this guide.

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