Kent State University

What kind of computer should I bring to campus? Where can I purchase a computer?

Whether you are an incoming Freshman or seasoned Graduate student, you'll most likely want a computer to use while at Kent State University. Either a PC or Mac will be fine for most computing activities, but please be aware that some courses and majors may have specialized system requirements.

Laptop or Desktop?

Always check with your department, before making a purchase. 

With prices dropping considerably within the past few years, laptops are by far the most popular type of computer these days. A laptop is equally at home with you in a group study session or checking your e-mail wirelessly while enjoying a spring day in the Student Center Plaza. We recommend a laptop for portability and use on our wireless network (FlashZone).

Some students do prefer a desktop computer. Desktop computers have historically outperformed laptops, but newer laptops can truly be considered "desktop replacements".

If your major is:

College of Architecture and Environmental Design
College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and
 Windows PC
School of Journalism and Mass Communication
School of Visual Communication Design MacBook Pro
The Fashion School
School of Art iPads for some majors

Which Brand? Which Model?

Kent State University has developed the following guidelines to assist you with purchasing a computer for use at school. These prices are higher than what you'll see in advertisements - for good reason. While the $399 laptop or desktop deal of the week may seem appealing, the recommendations below provide much more robust hardware and a longer warranty than the budget laptops and desktops advertised so heavily.


For laptops, choose a model with an model of the Intel® Core Processor, 2GB-4GB of RAM, with Wireless and DVD burning. For desktops, consider a large flat panel, along with 4GB of RAM.


A good warranty is the most important thing! We recommend a three year onsite service warranty with accidental damage protection for laptops. Warranties on budget models tend to be one year or less, often with the requirement of mailing your computer back for repair, which can take weeks.

The Tech Spot @ ResNet is the Dell and Apple Authorized Service Provider on Kent Campus. The Tech Spot @ Resnet sells AppleCare and the knowledgeable staff will service computers that are under warranty. They will also service computers that are outside of warranty with very reasonable pricing.

How to Buy

Several manufacturers, including Dell and Apple, are available to Kent State students through the Kent State Bookstore or online. Always check with your department and also compare different options before you purchase the computer.  Here are some suggestions:

The Tech Spot @ ResNet also sells laptop anti-theft protection software, hard drives, other computer components and AppleCare. You can view information about the Tech Spot at

**NOTE: These websites offer academic-rate pricing for Kent State University affiliates. The prices you will be quoted on these websites are not guaranteed to be the lowest available rates. Don't forget to compare prices among several retailers before ultimately making your purchasing decision.

Click here for information about purchasing software through Kent State's licensing agreement with Microsoft.

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Topic Information
  • Topic #: 8096-3884
  • Date Created: 9/30/2009
  • Last Modified Since: 5/1/2014
  • Viewed: 100769
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