Oregon State University urges students to have a laptop powerful enough for the computational requirements necessary for coursework and a successful learning experience. These are not requirements. These recommendations are a baseline and do not replace recommendations (or requirements) made by specific colleges.

Please note that if you are purchasing a new lower-cost laptop, or if you have an existing laptop, you may wish to upgrade the hardware to meet these recommendations. Please consult the OSU Computer Helpdesk if you have questions about purchasing equipment or upgrading an existing laptop.

  • Processor: 2 Ghz (Intel Core i5 or i7 / AMD A8 or AMD A10 APU)
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Hard drive: 7200 RPM or Solid State
  • Wireless adapter: 5 Ghz-capable, often labeled as 802.11a/n, 802.11abgn, or dual-band
  • Battery: 9 cell battery for 8-12 hours of battery life
  • Display: 1366 x 768 minimum; design-heavy coursework can require 1920 x 1080
  • Warranty: Three year warranty is recommended

Thoughts on Mobile Devices

While tablets and smartphones are not currently integral in most learning environments, their use in learning is increasing daily. They are also integral to student life. They are not, however, typically a suitable replacement for a traditional computer or laptop. If you do purchase a mobile device, a device with good battery life and support for 5 GHz wireless will enhance your experience at OSU.