Recommended Computers, Software & Peripherals

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Recommended Laptops for Notre Dame Law Students

The Law School recommends that you have access to a reliable laptop for your studies and for taking Final Exams. If you have questions about your computer needs at NDLS, feel free to call Eric McCartney, Student Computing Manager, at (574)631-9793 or email mccartney@nd.edu.

You are welcome to purchase any laptop you feel comfortable using. Please understand that the Law School does not have the same level of resources available to provide support for Mac as it does Windows systems. If you are interested in purchasing a computer, you will find discounts available through the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore.

If you are interested in a Mac, we recommend you choose a laptop in the MacBook family that includes at least 4GB of memory and also consider purchasing the three-year AppleCare Protection Plan. The Law School only supports laptops running MAC OS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or higher.

Below you will find a guide for recommended minimum specifications for Windows laptops. Computers that don’t meet our recommended specifications may seem more affordable now, but you might notice a need for increased repairs during your three years in Law School.

Note: Tablet computers have become increasingly popular. However, they currently serve as a supplement to your laptop. Our exam software will not run on tablet computers including Apple’s iPad and Microsoft’s Surface series.

Operating System Windows 7 Business
or Ultimate
(Home Editions are not supported on campus)
Home Editions can make connecting to our network more problematic. We cannot repair Windows XP Home, Windows Vista/7 Home Basic, and Windows Vista/7 Home Premium installations. NOTE: It may be cheaper for you to purchase a laptop with Windows 7 Home Premium on it and upgrade to Windows 7 Ultimate purchased from the Notre Dame Computer Store.
Processor Intel Core Duo (any speed) Any dual core processor produces less heat than earlier processors, and allows batteries to last longer.
Memory 4GB Memory is the most important component of your computer; buy as much as you can afford. Having 1 DIMM enables you to upgrade memory at a lower price.
Hard Disk 160 GB Hard Drive Students who save pictures, music, and videos will need a larger hard drive.
Network Wireless 802.11agn Wireless is a convenient and easily accessible connection to the Internet. 802.11b is no longer supported on campus.
Optical Drive Many laptops no longer offer Optical drives Software installations can be performed via a Web download or USB drive.
Warranty 3 Years; Accidental Damage Some parts cost $600-$900 to replace. You want your laptop to last your entire career in Law School. Accidental Damage means not having to worry about spilling soda on your computer, having your laptop fall out of your bag, or many other types of accidents common to Law School.

Windows Home Editions do not work well in university networks such as Notre Dame. We also do not have the resources or utilities to repair problems with Home Edition Operating Systems. Therefore, we only support Windows 7 Business, and Windows 7 Ultimate.

The useful life of most laptops is generally three to four years. We strongly encourage a complete three-year warranty to cover parts, labor, and accidental damage.


Software

The Notre Dame Computer Store offers CDs of Microsoft Office 2013 Enterprise for Windows, Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac, and Windows 7 Ultimate or Windows 8 Pro 32 or 64-bit operating system $60 each.


Peripherals

NDLS has partnered with GovConnection to extend a discount on technology products to the Notre Dame Law School faculty, staff, and students. GovConnection has over 150,000 items in their on-line catalog including printers, laptop cases, USB flash drives, monitors and external hard drive for backing up data — just to name a few. GovConnection includes free ground shipping – no minimum purchase required!

Other retailers that can be used for price comparison include, Amazon, BestBuy, TigerDirect, Buy.com, and Office Depot. We recommend you price compare new equipment as some of these retailers offer refurbished products. Don’t forget to include an all-inclusive 3-year warranty when you do your price comparison on new laptops.