Computer Requirements

Central College recommends that all students bring a computer to campus, preferably a laptop that is easy to carry from place to place. While Central does provide many computer labs for student use, students’ academic work will be enhanced if they have a computer of their own.

Central also provides Microsoft Office software free of charge for students, which is needed to complete academic assignments on personally-owned computers.

Hardware Requirements

See the table for minimum requirements. Also consider how you will use the computer.  For instance, keep in mind that movies and music take up lots of hard drive space, and that games generally require a better graphics card. We do not support Linux, although our network does allow this operating system. We also suggest that users are aware of the limitations of notebooks or Chromebooks. These products often come with a small price tag and also a smaller than typical hard drive. Problems occur when students load a lot of software, pictures and music on the notebook\Chromebook. These devices can be used on campus, but we suggest using the online version of Microsoft Office, and plan on using an alternate storage area. The online version of Microsoft Office is available with each Office 365 subscription.

Central’s network does not support Windows XP or older versions of Mac OS X.

If you buy a new computer for the upcoming school year, we recommend the following configuration:

Type Laptop
Screen Size 15” or smaller for portability
Operating System Windows 7, Windows 10 or Mac OSX
Windows 7 – not recommended
Base Memory 4 GB – minimum,
8 GB – recommended
Hard Drive Storage 128 GB – minimum
256 GB – recommended
Optical Drive Optional
Network / Wireless 802.11ac Wave 2, or 802.11ax wireless – both  connect at the 802.11ac Wave 1 level, Ethernet port

Discount Options

If you elect to purchase a Dell, Lenovo or Apple computer, visit this site and determine if the academic pricing available through that link is beneficial. Prices will vary from time to time, and you may find better pricing elsewhere. An extra discount is applied by Dell if you purchase an additional warranty beyond the first year.

 Click here to visit the Central College web store, review instructions and download your copy of Microsoft Office.

Edited: 4/11/2019