Student's Guide to Purchasing a Computer

Student's Guide to Purchasing a Computer
Fall 2021

We strongly recommend that you bring your own laptop to help ensure your success as a Wellesley student. Most courses will require daily online access to course resources in Sakai, Google, and other online systems. Computing workstations and printers are available in several locations, while high-end laboratories provide opportunities for developing skills with advanced software.

Recommended Specifications:

  • Windows 10 64-bit, or macOS Big Sur (v11).

  • 8GB or more of RAM.

  • Intel Core i5 or i7 processor.

  • 500GB or larger hard drive, or 256GB or larger SSD.

  • Wireless (WiFi), 802.11n and/or 802.11ac, dual band (2.4Ghz & 5Ghz).

  • A complete backup solution for your entire computer.

    • An external hard drive for a complete backup of your computer that is at least twice the size of your computer’s internal drive, to be used with programs such as Time Machine on Mac OS.

    • Or a subscription to an online cloud backup service, such as Apple iCloud, Carbonite, or Backblaze.

    • Your free Wellesley College Google Drive account can be used to store important files such as documents, photos, and videos, but it is not a replacement for a complete backup solution.

  • Four year warranty that covers both manufacturer and accidental damage.

  • Microsoft Office 365 University -- a free annual subscription through the MyWellesley Software Store.

What to bring with your computer:

  • All documentation and software license information for your computer.

  • Case or sleeve to protect your laptop.

  • Surge protector.

What NOT to bring:

  • Internet of Things (IoT) devices, such as video & audio streaming boxes and remote-controlled lights, typically do not work on our campus WiFi network.
  • Wireless printers and routers will not work with our WiFi network.
    • 24/7 printing is available in the Stone-Davis, Tower, Bates, and Shafer Residence Halls, and printers are also available in Clapp Library, the Science Center, and Pendleton Hall.
    • If you want to bring a personal printer, you will need to connect it to your computer with a USB cable.

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, Monday - Friday 8:30am - 4:30pm.