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Shopper's Guide

This article provides advice on shopping for a new computer or printer.

Overview

Computer technology plays an essential role on college campuses for coursework, research and communication. A computer is an important tool that enables you to take advantage of Temple's state-of-the-art technology resources. These resources have earned Temple national recognition, including the 2013 AMX Innovation Award for using technology to improve the classroom experience and, for seven consecutive years, as one of the “Best Places to Work in IT” (Computerworld).

Do I need to own a computer?

Temple does not require students to own a computer. The University has over 100 computer labs throughout the campuses with over 4,000 workstations, including 600 computers and the latest software in the state-of-the-art TECH Center. Students use the resources in the labs to work and collaborate on papers, perform research and access the internet and email.

While not required, Temple recommends that you consider buying your own computer, if possible. A recent survey found that 95% of Temple students own computers. Owning your computer can prove to be indispensable in meeting course requirements on your own schedule and taking advantage of Temple’s technology resources.

Desktop, Laptop, or Tablet

A laptop is preferable because it is mobile, compact and ideal for taking advantage of Temple's free wireless Internet locations throughout campus. The vast majority of students purchase them.  Laptops, however, are vulnerable to theft and/or damage, so renters insurance might be something you’ll want to consider.  If you need a large screen for your major, you may want to consider a desktop for use in your room instead of a laptop.

While iPads, Chromebooks or other type of tablets are innovative and have many uses, including convenient web browsing, they are still not a replacement for a PC or Mac

Mac vs. Windows

The purchasing decision is yours, but we suggest that you check with your particular school or college to see if a specific platform is recommended before you make your purchase.

Brands

Temple does not endorse a particular brand or type, but it’s best to select a name-brand manufacturer, such as Apple, Dell, HP or Lenovo. These manufacturers generally use name-brand components and offer reliable customer support. 

Software

Microsoft Office 365 provides students with access to the latest version of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and more. Students can download the software on up to five PCs and/or Macs at no charge. This offering is only available to currently enrolled students and is subject to change. 

Through the Computer Services antivirus program, residence hall students receive Temple's required version of Symantec Endpoint Protection at no charge. Students may also purchase this software for home use at very low cost.

Depending on your major, you may need additional software as well. Temple students can purchase a variety of software online including Adobe programs through ThinkEdu. For some software, you can save up to 80% off regular prices.

Discounts

Temple does not sell computers, but several major computer companies offer educational discounts. Some companies offer discounts for Temple students. To learn more, see the Computer Services Educational Discounts for Computer Equipment and Software page.

Also, see each manufacturer's website for academic or educational sections. In addition, major discount retail stores offer sale prices that may compete with educational offers.

Finally, the Computer Recycling Center (CRC) sells refurbished computers and flat-panel monitors

Minimum Requirements

Computer Services suggests that you first check with your particular school or college to see if a specific configuration is recommended. You can purchase an extended warranty with your system. When considering whether to buy an extended warranty, it’s a good idea to check with your credit card company to see if additional coverage is automatically provided. Below are suggested minimum requirements for PCs and Macs:

APPLE MAC WINDOWS PC
STANDARD LAPTOP STANDARD LAPTOP
  • 2.5GHz 13” (MacBook Pro) 1.4GHz (MacBook Air) processor
  • 8GB RAM
  • 500GB hard drive
  • 2.7GHz Intel i3 (or higher) processor or AMD equivalent
  • 8GB RAM
  • 500GB hard drive
  • DVD-RW
  • Intel HD Graphics 4000/AMD Radeon R4 graphics
  • 14” display
  • 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi compatible wireless capability
HIGHER-END LAPTOP HIGHER-END LAPTOP
  • 2.2GHz processor 15” MacBook Pro w/Retina Display
  • 16GB RAM
  • 256GB PCIe-based flash storage drive
  • 3.1GHz Intel i7 processor or AMD equivalent
  • 8GB RAM
  • 500GB hard drive or 256GB Solid State Drive
  • DVD-RW
  • 1GB video card
  • 15” display
  • 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi compatible wireless capability
STANDARD DESKTOP STANDARD DESKTOP
  • iMac 21.5” display, 1.4 GHz processor
  • 8GB RAM
  • 500GB hard drive
  • 3.5GHz Intel i3 (or higher) processor or AMD equivalent
  • 8GB RAM
  • 500GB hard drive
  • DVD-RW
  • 256MB video card
  • 19” or higher display

 

Printers

At most campuses, each Temple student is allotted a quota of up to 300 double-sided pages for printing papers in the computer labs. Temple also offers Print on the Go, which allows students to submit print requests wirelessly and pick up their documents at any Print on the Go print station location. 

If you would like to buy a printer, a name-brand ink jet printer is a good choice because of low-cost and versatility. Temple does not endorse a particular printer brand. When purchasing a printer, take into consideration the cost of the ink cartridges. If you will be living in a Temple residence hall, it is a good idea to also include a USB-to-printer cable as part of your purchase.

Email Address and Internet Connection

Temple provides you with a free @temple.edu TU Gmail account that you will use for email and coursework. In fact, Temple’s official means to communicate with students is to send email to their @temple.edu address.

Wireless internet access is available throughout campus, including university-owned residence halls. You can also access Temple’s computer resources from home using an Internet connection.