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Technology Recommendations for New Students

This document covers the recommended specifications for incoming freshman or any student looking to purchase a new computer.

The following are the minimum recommended specifications for both Windows PCs and Macs for general personal use:

Windows Logo
Windows PC recommended specifications:
- Intel Core i3, i5, i7, m3, m5, or m7 processor
- 4 GB or more of RAM
- 128 GB or more of Hard Drive (HDD) or Solid State Drive (SSD) storage (Note: Solid State Drives are more stable and quicker, but come at a higher price)
- Windows 10
- Dual Band Wireless (5 GHz) for Optimal Wireless Connections is STRONGLY RECOMENDED

Mac Logo
Macintosh recommended specifications:
- Intel Core i5 processor or greater
- 4 GB or more of RAM
- 128 GB or more of Hard Drive (HDD) or Solid State Drive (SSD) storage (Note: Solid State Drives are more stable and quicker, but come at a higher price)
- Mac OS X 10.10.5 or greater
- MacBook Pro 13" with Retina is a good all around choice for a laptop, but if you want a larger screen the 15" model will also be a faster computer

Choosing between a Mac or PC?
Both the Mac and PC have merits to their functionality and feature set. Both can have Microsoft Office installed, and both can use all of our online materials via D2L, SIS, and Outlook Web Access. However, the Mac version of Microsoft Office does NOT include Access or Publisher. They are Windows only applications, and do not work on the Mac unless the Mac is dual booted to also have Windows on it (Note: Dual booting the Mac requires the purchase of a copy of Windows as well as a Windows based copy of Microsoft Office). Consult your advisor about what software you will need for your major or program of study. That will be the best way of deciding on a Mac or PC to best fit you.

A note on Tablets and Chromebooks:
Tablets and Chromebooks are a great way to browse the web and check e-mail. However, they can not be used as a computer replacement just yet. Campus e-mail can be fully accessed on most tablets (iPads, Google Nexus, and Windows 8 tablets), however other online campus services (online class content) do not always work with their full feature sets on tablets.

A note on Streaming Devices and SmartTVs:
Many students also bring a streaming device or smart tv for their dorm. These can be added to the NetReg wireless system on campus (directions on that found here: However, devices like the Roku 3, 4, and streaming stick use Wi-Fi direct which causes interference with our wireless network.  Here is a list of the recommended streaming devices to use on campus:
- Apple TV
- Amazon Fire TV
- PS3
- PS4
- Roku 2
- Smart TVs
- Wii
- Wii U
- Xbox 360
- Xbox One

We do not support Epson printers in the residence halls.  They interfere with the wireless network and we ask that you do not bring or use them.  If you want to use a wireless printer, we ask that you register them to the NetReg network.  Otherwise we offer free USB cables to use them without the wireless. 

Keywords:fresh, men, freshmen, new, student, incoming, computer, laptop, desktop, tablet, mac, apple, hp, dell, recommendation   Doc ID:36675
Owner:Kim M.Group:UW Green Bay
Created:2014-01-27 09:18 CDTUpdated:2020-03-16 11:46 CDT
Sites:UW Green Bay
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