Buying a department computer recommendations


Buying a department computer.


  • Faculty
  • Staff


2022 - 2023 Recommendations

Business-class computers are required for K-State departments.

  • They last longer and have fewer technical issues in the long run.
  • They have higher quality parts that will be cheaper and easier to replace as well as available longer. 

The following business-class computers are from manufacturers for whom K-State is an authorized service center:

  • Dell Desktops: OptiPlex, Precision
  • Dell Laptops or Notebooks: Latitude, Precision
  • Lenovo Desktops: ThinkCentre, ThinkStation
  • Lenovo Laptops or Notebooks: ThinkPad
  • Apple Desktops: iMac, Mac Pro
  • Apple Laptops or Notebooks: MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air

Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office is available for free to K-State students, faculty, and staff. There is no need to purchase Microsoft Office for work or personal computers.

  • Check with your department IT staff on licensing information.

Warranty Recommendations

Dell, Lenovo, or HP

  • Purchasing the "Pro Support Plus" warranty is recommended.  K-State is a Dell authorized service center.
  • The "keep your hard drive" option should be purchased with all computers. This allows K-State to keep the hard drive from a computer should it fail, and provide for proper disposal to ensure data security. For more information on hard drive, disposal sees the University's media sanitization policy.
  • Purchasing accidental damage protection for laptops and notebooks is encouraged.
  • When purchasing a new computer, peripherals purchased on the same quote may not be covered by the same warranty as the computer.


  • Purchasing the AppleCare warranty on parts and labor is recommended on all Apple products. This extends the warranty terms and allows K-State to repair computers under warranty beyond the initial year. AppleCare warranties are also good at any Apple store worldwide, should there be a need for support while traveling.

Operating system

  • Windows 10 or 11
  • Mac OS X 10.15 or newer

Trusted Platform Module (TPM)

  • Windows 11 requires a TPM 2.0 chip be on all devices. The TPM handles some security and encryption tasks for the computer and is recommended for Windows 10 machines as well. 

Processor (CPU)

  • PC: Intel i5 8th Generation or better
  • Mac: Intel i5 8th Generation or better OR Apple M1 or better. Be aware that not all applications are currently compatible with M1 processors. Check software specifications to confirm it will work with an M1 processor. 

Monitor and video card

  • Laptop: LCD 1280x800 resolution or higher, monitor out capability.
  • Desktop: 20" monitor or larger, dual-monitor capable video card.

    If doing a lot of 3D rendering or other graphic processing-intensive tasks, dedicated video memory is recommended.


  • 256 gigabytes or larger solid-state drives.

Memory (RAM)

  • 16 gigabytes or more.

Removable Storage

  • The external hard drive meets or exceeds your hard drive capacity (for backups).
  • USB flash drive (requires USB port).


  • Microsoft Office is available for free to K-State students, faculty, and staff. There is no need to purchase Microsoft Office for work or personal computers. Check with your department IT staff on licensing information.
  • Antivirus Software: The University uses Windows Defender for PCs and Traps for Apple computers. See for more information. 
  • For more software recommendations go to


At least one of the following is required:

  • Ethernet port: for wired network access
  • Wireless card: 802.11n/Wifi 4 or better recommended for wireless access. (A card that supports both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz wireless bands is preferred)


  • Built-in speakers, microphones, and webcam are recommended for laptops. 
  • Desktops will require external speakers, microphones, and a webcam for video teleconferencing.

Other recommendations

  • Netbooks and tablet computing devices do not have the computing power of a normal laptop or desktop computer, for this reason, they are not recommended for use as a primary computer.

  • Check the device has the right number and type of connection ports to use all of your peripherals.

  • Ensure you have everything needed to connect and use your systems, including power cables, USB cables, and Ethernet cables. 
  • Purchase a surge protector or uninterruptible power supply.

  • Add an extended warranty to cover the length of your planned life cycle for the computer. 

  • Double check price quotes as sometimes prices don't include a keyboard, mouse, monitor, or the recommended operating system.


Contact information



Article ID: 128
Thu 5/26/22 5:09 PM
Tue 8/30/22 8:35 AM