Personally Owned Computers

There are no formal laptop requirements for undergraduate students at Culverhouse.  Students may purchase whatever model and brand they would like or they can rely on the Bashinsky Computer Labs.  The lab has all of the software that is needed for Culverhouse courses.
Faculty and staff at Culverhouse use either Dell or Apple computers.  All of the labs are outfitted with Dell computers but there are many Apples on campus.
The decision should really depend on whichever system you feel most comfortable.

A few notes:

  • The University Supply Store is an authorized Apple reseller.
  • An Apple can give you a bit more flexibility because you can buy a copy of Windows and install it on the Mac.  You can then choose to boot into either operating system.  There is an additional  cost of around $100 for Windows 10 and you must do the install yourself or pay a qualified technician.
  • A Dell can be purchased with Accidental Damage coverage.  This may be worth the cost if you are particularly hard on your equipment.
  • Apple has a 3 year extended warranty (AppleCare) but it generally does not cover accidents
  • The version of EXCEL that Windows runs is capable of running macros.  These won’t run on the Mac version of Excel.  The macros are used primarily in finance courses.  Students that have Apples can either come to the lab to do the work or load a copy of Windows and Office onto their laptops (see the above note about an additional cost).  Most students (regardless of whether they have a Mac or a Windows laptop) seem to just go to the lab anyway for this.
  • The University now provides students with access to Office 365.
  • The best piece of advice for purchasing a notebook computer is to spend as much as you can reasonably afford up front. You should focus your spending on the fastest processor (at least an i5), the most memory (at least 8GB), and the largest hard drive. Spending money to buy a better video card can also provide you with better performance but may not be worth it for you.  SSD drives are typically smaller capacity than traditional drives but offer very good performance and reliability.
  • A 13″ screen would be the minimum size we would recommend.  A 15″ screen is going to make for a larger and heavier computer but it will arguably be better for typing papers and using spreadsheets.

If you want to purchase a Dell, consider the XPS line.  Purchasing information is below


For more information or to purchase, contact Dell directly at 1-888-987-3355. Mention the University’s contract number and get up to 12% off. The contract number is US20715755. You may also reach Dell via the internet, just click here.

If you want to purchase an Apple, consider the MacBook Air 13″ or a 15″ MacBook Pro.  Purchasing information is below


The University Supply Store stocks and can order Apple Computers.  You can also visit an Apple store near you.  Or you may purchase online at Apple’s Store for Education.  Let Apple know you are a student and you should receive a discount.