Computer Specifications

Typically most new computers are sufficient. The most important aspect is that you have Microsoft Office (which is free through Viterbo—see info below).

Generally these are good options:
  • Hard Drive: Solid State Drives (SSD) are faster and quickly replacing the standard hard drive.   
    • MINIMUM for a hard drive, is 128GB. Any less than that and you risk running out of space, and won't be able to do updates (Windows needs 8GB free for updates). There are some inexpensive ($200) laptops that have only a 32GB SSD. Windows takes up 20GB, Microsoft Office takes 3 to 4GB. So before you even have any files on the computer, you already don't have enough space left to update Windows.
    • Typically the average drive now is a 250GB SSD. However the standard is often 500GB to 1TB (depends on how much you plan to save—photos/videos).
    • If purchasing a 250GB SSD, you can always save to online applications to off load files from the PC (i.e., OneDrive, Drop Box, Google Drive, etc). 
  • RAM: 4GB to 16GB (8GB is the standard, you can always upgrade this later on most models).
  • Wireless and Bluetooth is now standard in all laptops. Windows 10 is standard as well.
  • Microsoft Office: As long as you are enrolled at Viterbo University, you can take advantage of up to five free downloads of Microsoft Office for your personal devices. That includes the newest version of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc. and is called Office 365 Pro Plus, and is part of the school email account which is on Office 365. This works for Mac and PC. 
    • Microsoft Office is now standard across most platforms and runs on all Windows and iOS enabled Devices.

Viterbo has a discount with Dell. We aren't recommending that you purchase a Dell. You can use the Dell site as a starting point compare costs. The best advice is to go to a technology-store that sells laptops and literally handle the demos. Find what you like regarding size and weight. You can compare it with the Dell site to be sure you aren’t being overcharged for the hard drive, processor, RAM, etc.

 Apple ( has an education section (very bottom of the webpage) and sometimes will have small education discounts on Mac Devices.

ChromeBook's do NOT all support Microsoft Office. Be sure to check on the model of ChromeBook to determine whether it supports running Microsoft Office.

Dell Discount Information:
Shop at:
or call: 1-800-695-8133
Member ID: US126614630