Laptop Requirement & Recommendations
Computer technology changes daily. As a result, we recommend that you get price quotes from several different vendors or stores. The MSU computer store including Dell, Gateway, HP, Compaq, IBM, Toshiba and Mac. Students who choose to purchase through the Computer Store will be given the option of paying for the computer at the time of order or having their student account billed for Financial Aid. You should take into account the following when purchasing your laptop:
- Use the recommended specifications as a guide.
- Look for reviews regarding service and reliability.
- If you are not going to buy your laptop for a few months, remember that laptop prices change almost daily. By the time you are actually ready to purchase your laptop, prices will have probably dropped and technology will have improved.
- If offered seriously consider a 3 year full “accidental” coverage. We see many computers where liquids are spilled on them and the user does not have accidental coverage.
- Find out where you can get the laptop serviced if it needs repairs. (Do you need to mail it to the vendor or can you get it repaired locally?)
- Apple's MacBook with the Intel chip can run Trial Director software with Windows loaded. Trial Director software is NOT a law school requirement but if you do take the class you will need Windows
- Examsoft will run native on Mac (Leopard) beginning Fall Semester 2010. NO WINDOWS OPERATING SYSTEM WILL BE REQUIRED ON YOUR MAC IN ORDER TO TAKE AN EXAM
- If you decide to run Windows on your Mac however, in order to take an Exam you must have installed Windows using BootCamp. Examsoft CANNOT run on a system installed using Parallels etc.
If you are buying a new laptop use the recommended specifications as a guide. If you already own a laptop, make sure it meets the minimum specifications.
|Recommended for PC:||Minimum:|
|Processor at 2.0 GHz or faster*||Processor at 1.2 GHz or faster|
|4 GB RAM or more||2 GB RAM|
|80 GB Hard drive or larger||40 GB Hard drive or larger|
|Microsoft Windows 7||Windows XP Pro|
|128 MB Video RAM||at least 64 MB of video RAM**|
|802.11g/n wireless||802.11g wireless|
|Minimum requirements for MAC:
Mac OS x 10.6 or later
|Warranty - 3 years, parts, on-site labor, and accidental damage coverage if available|
*The speeds above are based on Intel chip, AMD processors would work too.
Q: What version of Windows do I need?
A: If you purchase a MAC computer you will not need Windows. Otherwise, any version of Windows XP, Vista or 7 will work.
Q: Can I use one of the new Apple MacBook laptops that run on the Intel chip?
Q: What other software will I need?
A: You will need some form of word processing software, we recommend Microsoft Word but any software, such as Corel WordPerfect or OpenOffice (free), or NeoOffice (free) that works with Word files would be fine. Most students find the full version of Adobe Acrobat Professional helpful to have. Some students use note taking software, such as Microsoft OneNote, or flow chart software, such as Microsoft Visio. The MSU Computer Store has software available to students at a significant discount.
Q: What wireless network card will work with the Law College’s network?
A: Any 802.11g or n will work. We recommend 802.11n. An 802.11A card will not work with our network. Most newer laptops have the wireless card built-in, older laptops may need an upgrade removable card, both will work fine with the network.
Q: Is financial assistance available to help cover the cost of the laptop?
A: Yes, see http://www.law.msu.edu/finaid/comp_reqs.html for more information.