Technology Recommendations for New Students

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

For information on discounts offered by the University, visit this page.  

Chromebooks and iPads are not acceptable substitutes for a laptop.

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

Windows Logo

Windows recommended specifications:
- An Intel Core i5 or 17 is strongly recommended; an m5, or m7 processor (8th gen or newer) or AMD Ryzen 3000 or 4000 series (or newer) are also acceptable.
- 8 GB of RAM is the bare minimum; for design/graphics students, we recommend 16 GB of RAM.
- 256 GB or more Solid State Drive (SSD) storage
- Windows 10, 1903 or above.  Windows 8 is not acceptable.
- Dual Band Wireless (5 GHz) for Optimal Wireless Connections on campus is STRONGLY RECOMENDED

Mac recommended specifications:
- Intel Core i5 quad core processor or better
- 8 GB of RAM is the bare minimum; for design/graphics students, we recommend 16 GB of RAM.
- 256 GB or more Solid State Drive (SSD) storage

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 Canvas, 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 email. However, they can not be used as a computer replacement just yet. Campus email 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 through the following link: How to Connect Your Device to UWGB-NetReg ). 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
- Nintendo Switch
- Wii (requires ethernet adapter and must use wired network)
- 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.