Student Computer Recommendations

What kind of computer should students bring to Augustana?

One of the most frequently asked questions we get from students planning to attend Augustana is: "What kind of computer should I buy?"

Augustana does not require that you bring a computer. If you choose to bring a computer, we do not require a specific brand or type, but we do highly recommend purchasing your computer from a name-brand manufacturer (e.g. Apple, HP, Lenovo, Toshiba).

As a general rule, the higher the specifications of a computer, the more it will cost and the longer it will last.

You may want to consider adding an extended warranty and also accidental damage/theft protection to your computer. Some companies like Apple do not offer accidental damage/theft protection and recommend you purchase it via your homeowner's or renter's insurance policy for a few dollars per month (speak with your insurance agent about this option).

Should you purchase an Apple Mac or a Windows PC? 
Which type of computer you bring is your choice. However, if you are considering a Graphic Design or Journalism major, those departments strongly recommend that you purchase a Mac. Our Art/Journalism computer lab is set up with Apple iMac computers and specialized software.

One of the unique features of Apple computers is that they can be set up to run both Mac and Windows operating systems and software. For some students, this flexibility is very helpful.

Augustana Helpdesk Minimum Recommended Specifications:


Windows PC Systems

Operating System — Windows 7
Processor/CPU — Intel Core i5 or greater
Memory/RAM — 4 GB or greater
Hard Drive — 320 GB or greater
Wireless — 802.11 B/G/N Card
Other Drives — DVD/CD-RW

Apple Mac Systems

Note: This link will bring you to the portal ( Login to the portal and follow the link to the Apple store. Here you will find suggested models and special pricing for Augustana students. Click on "Recommended Systems". The special pricing will not show up until you place the item in your cart. The special price also requires that you purchase Apple Care (this is Apple's 3-year warranty)



Microsoft Office

Check out the Microsoft Student Store for special pricing available from Microsoft for the Microsoft Office Suite. (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access). Cost is $99.95.

You might also want to look at the Microsoft Office Home and Student version (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote). This sells for about $124 from various vendors (Amazon, OfficeMax, etc.). With this version, you can install the software on up to three computers in your household, so this can be a great deal if you need more than one copy.

What about virus protection?

You will need to have current virus protection to connect to Augustana's network. We recommend AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition or Microsoft Security Essentials. Both of these products are free and do a very good job. They also work well with our Cisco Network authentication system.

For Mac and Linux, we currently do not recommend specific software. See our Student Anti-Virus Information web page for details.


Wireless access is available in the Mikkelsen Library, the Huddle, lounges in each academic building and the main lounge in each residence hall. This year, we are recommending that students consider bringing laptop computers with integrated wireless networking (WiFi) installed along with the traditional Ethernet adapter.

If you would like more information, contact the Help Desk at 605.274.5331.