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Office of Information Technology (OIT)

UT Arlington
OIT: Office of Information Technology

helpdesk@uta.edu ·  Work Order · 817-272-2208 · System Status

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Student Laptop Recommendations

At this time, the University of Texas at Arlington does not require students to purchase computers, except as specified below in "Individual College and Degree Program Requirements and Recommendations".  While UT Arlington does offer access to computers through college computing labs, a student may find it more convenient to bring his/her own computer to campus. UT Arlington offers the following guidelines for those who choose to bring a computer to campus.

For the freshman and sophomore years, basic computing functions can be provided by most of the currently available standard computers. A student computer configuration should include the Microsoft Office suite and anti-virus software. Students can purchase Office Suite media at a low cost please contact the UTA Bookstore for inquires about licensed software products - 817-272-2785..  Forefront Client Security anti-virus is free for students to download.

Computer vendors offer special educational promotions to UT Arlington students. The University does not endorse any of the commercial providers or their products, but is pleased to pass on information regarding educational discounts. Please contact the UTA Bookstore for inquires about licensed software products - 817-272-2785. for more information.  It is wise to compare these prices to those in your area.

Please check the hardware notes listed at the end of this section.

Students who already own a laptop are encouraged to check it against the "Minimum Standards for Existing Machines" section.  Laptops which do not meet these standards may not be suited for course work at UT Arlington.

Student Laptop Hardware Recommendations


Minimum Standards for a Machine You Own
Standard Laptop (minimum recommendations if purchasing new) High-End Laptop (minimum recommendations if purchasing new)
Processor Intel Pentium 4 2 GHz / AMD Athlon 2.1 GHz
Intel Core 2 Duo 2.1 GHz or better or
AMD Turion X2 2.0 GHz or better
Intel Core 2 Duo 2.1 GHz or better or
AMD Turion X2 2.0 GHz or better
Memory 512 MB or higher 1 GB (2 GB recommended) 2 GB (4 GB recommended)
Hard Drive 40 GB or more (5400 RPM) 160 GB or more
250 GB or more (7200 RPM)
Optical Drive DVD-ROM/CD-RW DVD-ROM/CD-RW DVD-RW/CD-RW
Video 1024x768 Resolution or higher 1280x800 or higher
1440x900 or higher (256 MB to 512 MB dedicated memory)
Screen 14" or higher 15" or higher 15" or higher
Sound Headphone and Mic inputs
Network Ethernet and Wireless Capable (Modem for off-campus dial-in use)

Student Laptop Hardware Recommendations -- Apple

See Hardware Note 4!

Minimum Standards for a Machine You Own
Standard Laptop (minimum recommendations if purchasing new) High-End Laptop (minimum recommendations if purchasing new)
Processor 1.5GHz PowerPC G4 Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0 GHz or higher Intel Core 2 Duo 2.5 GHz or higher
Memory 512 MB or higher 2 GB 2 GB (4 GB recommended)
Hard Drive 80 GB or more 160 GB or more 250 GB or more (7200 RPM)
Optical Drive DVD-ROM/CD-RW DVD-RW/CD-RW DVD-RW/CD-RW
Video 1280x854 1280x800 1440x900 or higher (256 MB to 512 MB dedicated memory)
Screen 15" 13.3" 15"
Sound Headphone and Mic inputs Headphone and Mic Inputs Headphone and Mic Inputs
Network Ethernet and Wireless Capable Built-in wireless and gigabit Ethernet. Built in wireless and gigabit Ethernet.


HARDWARE NOTES:

  1. Hardware changes at a rapid pace and any machine purchased may not meet the needs of a student through the entire four years.
  2. Due to desk sizes and the need to carry laptops, screen sizes greater than 15" are not recommended without specific need, see "Individual College and Degree Program Requirements and Recommendations" below.
  3. Any computer owner needs to perform backups. Saving data should be done frequently. CD's and DVD's are a very popular way to back up larger amounts of data. Some larger backup systems, such as an external hard drive, can save a copy of the entire hard disk. 
  4. Windows-based computers are the dominant choice in most UT Arlington academic programs. Students considering purchasing a Macintosh should carefully examine the requirements and recommendations of their academic programs.

Campus Software Standards

Specific software packages are used in many colleges and departments across campus. While other packages can provide the same functions, there are significant convenience advantages to using one of the standard packages. In many courses in which assignments are submitted in digital format, it is expected that the files submitted will conform to these standards.  Recommendations for software used by students is the same as that recommended for the University-owned computers. These include:
  • Virus Software -- Forefront Client Security is free to students.
  • Microsoft Office 2007 For Windows / Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac. Learn
  • World Wide Web Browser --  Microsoft Internet Explorer (preferred) or Firefox.
  • E-mail -- MavMail is the campus standard for e-mail. MavMail is a full featured mail program that allows you to send, read, file, and delete mail all from your web browser. No special software is required and mail accounts are available for free from the University.
Registered students please contact the UTA Bookstore for inquires about licensed software products - 817-272-2785.  Other software is available for student download.

Individual College and Degree Program Requirements and Recommendations

The hardware requirements are met by the configurations listed above, except where noted below. Some colleges have additional software requirements or recommendations. See their web pages for that information. Check the following individual college and degree program requirements carefully. You are responsible to meet the requirements of your chosen college.

  • College of Architecture
  • College of Business - Please consult with department for special upper level and graduate course needs
  • College of Education
  • College of Engineering
  • Honors College
  • College of Liberal Arts
    • Communication - Please consult with department for special upper level and graduate course needs
  • School of Nursing
  • College of Science
  • School of Social Work
  • School of Urban and Public Affairs