What Kind of Computer Should I Bring?

Students are not required to buy their own computer at WPI as the campus is equipped with many computer labs, and computers to loan within the Library and Campus Center.

Supply Chain Delays
Due to supply chain shortages, orders for new computers may be delayed. If you will be purchasing a new device for A Term, we recommend ordering it as soon as possible to ensure you receive it in time for the start of classes.

Planning to purchase a computer?

The following configuration should meet your needs at WPI:

  • Current generation Intel or AMD Processor with an Integrated Nvidia or Radeon Graphics Card*
  • 8GB of RAM minimum, 16GB of RAM recommended*
  • 500GB Solid State or 1TB Hard Drive
  • Gigabit Ethernet Adapter
  • Dual Band Wireless Adapter
    • Recommended: 802.11ac
    • Minimum: 802.11n
  • Windows 10 (64-bit) or OSX (10.15 or higher)
  • External Hard Drive approximately twice the size of computer hard drive (for backup)
  • DVD+/-RW or Blu-Ray Optical Drive (optional)

*Additional RAM and a Dedicated Graphics Card may better serve your needs if your major will require graphic intensive software.

Not sure what to get? Try our interactive Laptop Recommendation Tool

Laptop Recommendation Tool

Should I bundle Microsoft Office and/or a printer into my purchase?

There is no need to bundle Microsoft Office as WPI Students are provided an Office 365 subscription for the duration of their time at WPI. Public printers are available across campus but many students appreciate the convenience a personal printer offers. A cable is required to use a personal printer in a residence hall.

Deciding between a Mac or Windows PC?

Price is often a factor in this decision making process. Most WPI students opt for a Windows-based PC because it is cost-effective and compatible with most academic software. For students choosing Apple/Mac systems, remote access servers enable use of a wide variety of academic software.

Deciding between a laptop or tablet?

A laptop computer or convertible tablet can be used for most work at WPI. It is important to consider the price of a laptop/tablet versus a desktop for the same performance. If a laptop/tablet lacks the resources needed for a particular project, computers are available in the public labs. In general, desktops are cheaper and easier to upgrade. Mobile tablets are not recommended as primary computing devices because most academic software is not designed for these devices. Many WPI students use a tablet or other mobile device to supplement a laptop/desktop.

Computer and Software Purchase

Discount programs for computer purchases are available through the following companies:


Extended Warranty

WPI Information Technology Services (ITS) does not offer hardware repair services. We recommend students purchase an extended warranty and on-site coverage with accidental damage. For most students, this purchase is a four-year investment.

Software Available through WPI

Academic software is available on campus at no cost via WPI's network, including Microsoft Office. Check out the Software Library for a list of all available Software.

Software Library

Registered students are eligible to login to WPI's online store to shop for and install discounted products such as Microsoft Office, Windows Upgrades, Adobe, and others.

Online Store
  • Windows 10: All 32-bit and 64-bit editions are supported by WPI ITS. Where software vendors are still updating academic applications for Windows 10, the applications will be available in campus labs or via remote terminal servers.
  • Macintosh OSX 10.13 or Greater: Because some academic software is not available for the Mac OSX platform, WPI makes software available via remote terminal servers. Mac OSX upgrades for personally owned machines are not available through ITS.
  • Microsoft Office: WPI ITS supports Microsoft Office O365 for all active student accounts on all platforms. Office 365 is available on public computers throughout campus. Your WPI account allows you to install Microsoft O365 on up to 5 personal devices.