Laptop Recommendations

Looking for a new computer? Read our hardware and operating system recommendations for both PCs and Macs.

Brandeis School of Law's IT Department offers these hardware and software recommendations to Fall 2020 entering students and returning students shopping for a new laptop. Be sure to review the notes below about compatibility with Exam4.

Based on data gathered during the 2017-18 academic year, the majority of Brandeis School of Law students are Mac users.

Graph: Operating Systems
Graph: Mac Operating Systems
Graph: Windows Operating Systems

Hardware and Operating System (OS)

PC Mac
Operating System Windows 10 version 2004
(No Beta or insider preview versions)
MacOS Catalina (OS 10.15)
Processor Intel Core i5 or i7 (7th generation or newer) or
AMD Ryzen Mobile 5 or newer
2.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
Memory 8 GB (minimum, 16 GB optimal) DDR4 and newer 8 GB (minimum, 16 GB optimal) 1866 MHz LPDDR3
Hard Drive 256 GB SSD or equivalent HDD 256GB PCIe-based onboard SSD
Graphics Adapter 2GB and higher graphics adapter Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640
Display Resolution 1920 x 1080 or better 2560 x 1600 or better
Communications Webcam with microphone
Wireless Adapter 802.11ac Wi-Fi wireless networking (IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n compatible)
Bluetooth 4.2 wireless technology
Hardware Warranty 3 Year Enhanced Protection
(Spills, Drops and Accidental Damage Protection)
3 Year AppleCare Protection Plan
Accessories USB-C to USB Adapter or equivalent

Productivity Software

All UofL students receive a Microsoft Office 365 subscription, which includes the option to download and install Microsoft Office 2019 on up to five (5) devices.

Exam4 Support

Read complete, up-to-date information about Exam4's operating system requirements.

Apple will release macOS Big Sur (10.16), the successor to macOS Catalina, in Fall 2020. If history is a guide, Extegrity will not release a supported version of Exam4 for the new macOS in time for Fall 2020 exams. Consequently, we recommend students do not upgrade to Big Sur or purchase a new Mac with Big Sur pre-installed until Extegrity announces Exam4 support for it, likely in Spring 2021.