All incoming undergraduate students must have a laptop.
Although all Rensselaer students are required to have a laptop, they are not required to participate in the Mobile Computing Program. However, all students who do choose to bring their own laptops to campus are strongly encouraged to follow the minimum specifications of the MCP models to ensure adequate performance. We ask incoming freshman who decide not to participate in the Program to log into the Student Information System(SIS) during the laptop-ordering period to indicate their decision.
Remember that the main advantage of participating in the Mobile Computing Program is the support you receive via the Program. Students who opt to bring their own laptop will miss out on some of the stronger features of the program, such as the laptop loaner program, the ability to reload the software image, and strong support services included as part of the Mobile Computing Program. Keep in mind that depending on the hardware and operating system you choose, there may be incompatibilities or other issues to address. Some applications require Windows and therefore Apple users may need to be prepared to run Windows as well.
Minimum Hardware Specifications
If you will be an incoming freshman or transfer student and plan to bring your own laptop to campus, your machine's hardware specifications should at least be comparable to those of the current laptop models provided through Rensselaer's Mobile Computing Program. http://www.rpi.edu/laptops
The recommended operating system is Windows 10. Microsoft Office is free to Rensselaer students through Office 365.
Software can be purchased at educational discounts through the Rensselaer Collegiate Store.
An important note to Mac users and all students who choose to bring their own laptops to campus
Mac users should keep in mind that they may be required to run the Windows operating system in order to successfully launch and run various software needed for their classes. In such cases, Mac users can partition their Mac for a Windows environment.
Dependent on your Mac system, you may be able to configure a Windows partition on it to run Windows programs. However, some windows programs will still not run as well as they would on a Windows OS device.
If you do not feel comfortable configuring this yourself, the Help Desk may be able to assist or may need to contact Apple Support for additional assistance.
Please reference this article to determine if your Mac can run a Windows partition and if so how to install Bootcamp on your Mac:
OS - BootCamp Instructions - Windows Partition for Intel-based Macs
If your Mac cannot support Bootcamp you may be able to purchase Parallels Desktop to run windows programs:
OS - Parallels Desktop Instructions - Windows Partition for M Chip Macs
Also, the computers in the lobby of the VCC has many of our enterprise licensed software installed and are available for use.
Please let us know if you need any additional assistance.
Last Reviewed: 23-Feb-2023
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