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IT Support

Buying a new device for your studies

If you are considering purchasing a new device for University, there are two main considerations – performance and the type of software you are looking to use.

Tablet vs Laptop

Modern tablets are powerful devices that compare favourably with laptops in many regards, but the range of software available and can be accessed from tablets is limited.

They can be used well for notetaking and accessing online resources. They also have scaled-back versions of Microsoft Office which will allow you to carry out most tasks. They however will not allow you to install or access specialist software required for many courses.

MacBook vs Windows

For most courses and purposes there is little difference between a Mac or a Windows device and it comes down to personal preference, but there are some key software applications that will not work on an Apple device – for example NX which is a drawing package heavily used in Engineering Schools.

We recommend that if you are studying an engineering course you have a Windows PC.

Recommendations - Operating systems and performance spec

It is important that your device must have a current, supported, updated and licenced operating system:

  • Microsoft Windows 10
  • Android 10.0 and newer
  • Apple MacOS 10.15.7 and newer
  • Apple iOS 14 and newer

If your version or Mac OS or Windows is out of date you may have issues connecting to eduroam, the campus Wi-Fi network, or installing course-specific software.

The minimum performance specification we recommend is:

  • An i3 or Ryzen 3 processor
  • 8GB Ram
  • *256GB hard drive (preferably a solid-state drive)
  • Webcam and Microphone (either built-in or externally connected)

This will allow you to use Microsoft Office applications effectively and will allow you to access online and other teaching resources.

*Whilst this is a minimum specification, we would recommend increased RAM and a larger capacity SSD (at least 500GB) if possible.

Engineering, Computer Science, or Design courses: For courses that have more demanding software requirements, we recommended the following

  • An i5 or Ryzen 5 processor
  • 16GB Ram

Additional accessories


You will require a set of headphones (with mic) to participate effectively in online and on-demand sessions.

Ethernet capability

You will get better network performance using a wired connection in your hall room. So, if possible, make sure you have either a built-in Ethernet connection or a USB network device (dongle).

A Free Ethernet cable is available to collect from Hall reception areas or from the PC Clinic in the Library.

Personal printers

We do not support personal printers on our wireless network, but you will not need one.

Self-service printers are available around campus, charged on a per-page basis, and can be accessed from your own Mac or Windows computer.

If you do bring a printer, it is recommended to connect to your printer via a USB cable. This allows you to print directly from your computer/laptop without the requirement for an internet connection. Please refer to your device manual for instructions to enable USB connection.


Student discounts

Dell Advantage for Students offers discount on a range of systems and electronics. For further information, please visit: