Laptop Recommendations for Current and Perspective Students

Resources for: Students Visitors

As students begin their college journey, technology will play a key role in that experience. A reliable, capable laptop computer can play a significant role in helping you achieve success. With many options available in all different price ranges, it can be daunting to select the right one. Below are general guidelines to follow. Please keep in mind that as technology changes, it is also advisable to visit the developer of any specific software you plan to use heavily and check their recommended requirements.

General Studies

Laptops from reputable companies will be capable of handling the computer needs for most coursework.

Windows Computers

Below are recommended specifications for Windows 10 based laptops for general use.

Budget Mainstream High-End
CPU Intel Core i3 or AMD Ryzen 3 Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 7
Hard Drive 250GB or higher 256GB SSD or higher 512GB SSD or higher
Graphics Integrated Integrated Dedicated
Memory 8GB or higher 8GB or higher 16GB or higher 

Note

Chromebooks are not recommended due to hardware and software limitations.

While not required, a system with a camera and microphone are recommended.

Apple Mac

Apple laptops vary greatly in price, but below are two starting options are below to base your choice upon:

CPU MacBook Pro 13″ with Apple M1MacBook Pro 16″ with Intel Core i7
Hard Drive 256GB SSD or higher 512GB SSD or higher
Graphics Integrated Dedicated
Memory 8GB or higher 16GB or higher

Multimedia, Engineering, & Video Programs

Multimedia and Engineering students rely heavily on graphics and processor intensive software. Due to this, specifications for the laptops below are higher to satisfy the needs of such demanding software titles.

Windows Apple
CPU Intel 8th Gen Core i5 (or better) 
AMD 3rd Gen Ryzen 5 (or better) 
Intel 8th-gen Core i5 (or better) 
Intel 8th-gen Core i7 recommended for AutoCAD use 
Hard Drive 512GB SSD or higher 512GB SSD or higher
Graphics Dedicated video card with 2GB of video memory (or higher)
(4GB recommended for extensive Premiere Pro or AutoCAD use
Dedicated video card with 2GB of video memory (or higher)
(4GB recommended for extensive Premiere Pro or AutoCAD use
Memory 8GB Minimum
16GB Recommended for HD Video Editing and Adobe After Effects use
32GB Recommended for 4k Editing
8GB Minimum
16GB Recommended for HD Video Editing and Adobe After Effects use
32GB Recommended for 4k Editing
Display 1440 x 900 / 1280 x 1080 (or better)
1920 x 1080 Recommended for AutoCAD use
1440 x 900 / 1280 x 1080 (or better)
1920 x 1080 Recommended for AutoCAD use

Note

Autodesk 3DS Max is no longer supported on Apple Devices.

If you are in a specialized academic program and unsure of what hardware will meet your technical needs, please speak with your academic advisor, or reach out to the UTAC (University Technical Assistance Center) at (973)-443-8822 and open a ticket to discuss your needs.

Computer Discount Programs

Fairleigh Dickinson University students are eligible for discounts on laptops from certain manufacturers.

Last Modified: February 17, 2021 icon icon Copy Link