This guide is intended for incoming students and parents to help make informed decisions on purchasing or bringing a computer for use on campus and in the residence halls.

General information about computing devices

Most current personal computers will connect to the SU Network wirelessly, or through the network port in your residence hall room using an Ethernet cable. Your computer should have one of the following as a minimum system configuration. Windows based computers must be running Windows 10, updated Anti-Virus and Anti-Spyware software. Macintosh computers should be running the latest version of Mac OS X and have an updated Anti-Virus and Anti-Spyware software. Microsoft Security Essentials is available for free for Windows users at BitDefender and Sophos Home are free Anti-Virus tools available for Macintosh Users.

Note that some devices (like Chromebooks) or operating systems (like Windows 10 S) only allow installation from an app store, rather than from outside sources. For these devices, many of our applications like Respondus Lockdown Browser (which is used by SU faculty to do online testing) will not be able to be installed. Please keep this consideration in mind when shopping for a new device, and how you intend to use the device.

Windows Laptops/PC  (cost generally $500 and up)

Apple Macbook/iMac (cost generally $900 and up)

**NOTE:  Students in the following programs should consider a higher end laptop (See advanced specifications recommended for these majors below)

Windows Laptops/PC-Advanced  (cost generally $1100 and up)

Apple Macbook/iMac-Advanced (cost generally $2100 and up)


Tablet computers such as the iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Amazon Fire HD, and Windows Surface can make a great complement to your laptop or desktop computer, due to their small, lightweight profile and portability. Most all of them connect easily to our SU wireless network. With the exception of the Windows Surface Pro, which runs a full version of Windows, we do not recommend using a tablet for your only computing solution. For the Windows Surface Pro, we also recommend a USB Ethernet Adapter (

What Not To Bring

Not all "network" devices are compatible with our network. Specifically, the following items are known not to work.

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