What should I bring?

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 versus 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 note taking and accessing online resources. They also have scaled-back versions of Microsoft Office which will allow you to carry out most tasks.

Note: Chromebooks
Chromebooks are intended primarily for online use and generally have lower hardware specification. They do not install software in the traditional manner and as such we do not recommend them due to limitations in their functionality.

MacOS versus 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.


Operating systems and performance spec:

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

  • Microsoft Windows 10 or 11
  • Android 11.0 and newer
  • Apple MacOS 11 and newer
  • Apple iOS 15 and newer

If your version of Mac OS or Windows is out of date you may have issues connecting to eduroam, the campus Wi-Fi network, or installing course-specific software.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



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

Ethernet capability

You will get better network performance using a wired connection - if possible, make sure you have either a built-in network connection or a USB network device.


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

There are multiple printers available around campus, charged on a per page basis and can be accessed from your own MacOS/Windows computer.

Please visit Campus Printing  https://www.lboro.ac.uk/services/creative-print/print-post/campus-printing/.

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 a USB connection.

Student discounts

HP Advantage for Students offers discount on a range of systems and electronics. For further information, please visit: https://www.hp.com/gb-en/shop/offer.aspx?p=students-offers

Free software

All students have access to the Microsoft Office 365 package to install on up to 5 devices and a range of specialist software to download on their personal devices.