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 20H2
(No Beta or insider preview versions)
macOS Big Sur (11.4)
Processor 1 GHz or faster Apple M1 chip (8-core CPU and 7-core GPU)
Memory 8 GB (minimum, 16 GB optimal) DDR4 or newer 8 GB (minimum, 16 GB optimal)
Hard Drive 256 GB SSD
Graphics Adapter DirectX 9 or later with WDDM (Windows Display Driver Model) 1.0 or later Standard
Display Resolution 1920 x 1080 or better 2560 x 1600
Communications Webcam with microphone
Wireless Adapter 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 wireless networking (IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac compatible)
Bluetooth 5.0 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 12 Monterey, the successor to macOS Big Sur, in Fall 2021. If history is a guide, Extegrity will not release a supported version of Exam4 for the new macOS in time for Fall 2021 exams. Consequently, we recommend students do not upgrade to Monterey or purchase a new Mac with Monterey pre-installed until Extegrity announces Exam4 support for it, likely in early Spring 2022.