Recommended PC Laptop Hardware

NUIT offers software at a significant discount or free for download. Please check the software web pages before finalizing your hardware purchases.

NUIT establishes minimum hardware guidelines to assist in purchasing a computer for use at Northwestern. Check with your individual school for additional requirements.

Laptop — Minimum

*NOTE* In order to comply with NUIT's encryption policy, please turn on TPM (Trusted Platform Module) upon set up of your computer. This module allows the computer to be encrypted with Bitlocker, which is Northwestern IT's encryption solution.

Expect to use the computer for basic productivity, running multiple applications such as e-mail, web browsing, word processing, music and video players, and photo organization.

Category Description
Processor 5th Generation Intel® Core™ i5 Processor
Memory 4GB 1,600MHz DDR3 SDRAM
Storage 128GB Solid State hard disk (SSD)
Optical drive Optional
Network Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/b/g/n wireless, Bluetooth 4.0
Graphics Integrated graphics
Ports USB 3.0, HDMI, Mini DiplayPort
Battery 6-cell Li-ion battery
Operating system Windows 8.1 64-bit Professional 
Warranty 3 year onsite next business day

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Laptop — Power User

In addition to the tasks above, expect to resource intensive programs for audio/video editing, graphic design, running multiple operating systems, storing large multimedia files and playing games.

Category Description
Processor 5th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 Processor
Memory 8 GB 1,666MHz DDR3 SDRAM
Storage 512GB Solid State hard disk (SSD)
Optical drive Optional
Network Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/b/g/n wireless, Bluetooth 4.0
Graphics 1 GB Dedicated Video Card
Ports 3 USB 3.0 ports, 1 HDMI port
Battery 9-cell Li-ion battery
Operating system Windows 8.1 64-bit Professional
Warranty 3 year onsite next business day

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Support Contacts

Support Contact:

IT Support Center
Central service desk for students, faculty, and staff.
847-491-4357 (1-HELP)
Submit a Support Request