Knowledgebase
Computer purchasing guidance for student device requirement based upon area of study
Posted by Aaron Klein on 17 April 2014 02:39 PM

In the fall of 2014 Bridgewater College is implementing a device requirement for students.  Depending on the students declared major the student may be best served with particular kinds of devices better than other devices.  In general, students may satisfy this device requirement by having a tablet or laptop but some areas of study will be better suited to a laptop. NOTE: Google Chromebooks are not considered a laptop and should not be used as the students primary computing device.  Chromebooks to not have full operating system and as such applications like Microsoft Office can not be installed on them.


The table below lists many of the popular majors at BC and if the student in that major would be better served with a laptop over a tablet.  In many instances a laptop will be needed if students will be expected connect their device to lab equipment.  In these instances iOS and Android tablets would have issues with device compatibility with this equipment.

Department

Specific Need

Device 

Art

 

Tablet or Laptop

Biology

 

Laptop

Business and Economics 

Software from textbooks

Laptop

Chemistry

USB for lab connections

Laptop

Communications Studies 

USB, audio mixing

Laptop

Education

 

Tablet or Laptop

English

 

Tablet or Laptop

Foreign Language

 

Tablet or Laptop

Health and Human Sciences

 

Tablet or Laptop

History and Political Science

 

Tablet or Laptop

Math and Computer Science

Software installation for compilers

Laptop

Music

 

Tablet or Laptop

Philosophy and Religion

 

Tablet or Laptop

Physics

USB for lab connections

Laptop

Psychology

 

Tablet or Laptop

Sociology

 

Tablet or Laptop

Deciding

 

 Laptop

 

General purchasing guidance:


Tablet

  • Screen size of 10” or larger
  • Operating system: iOS or Android or Windows 8 or newer
  • Minimum storage: 32GB (ideally with additional storage via SD or some other external media)
  • Physical keyboard (Bluetooth is fine)
  • Case or cover that permits the tablet to stand on its own

Laptop

  • Screen size of 11” or larger
  • Operating system: Windows 8 or newer for Windows computers or osX 10.9 or newer for Apple systems
  • Memory (RAM): 6GB or more
  • Hard drive (Storage): 256GB or larger
  • Wireless: dual band 802.11n (802.11ac preferred)
  • Antimalware software

 

Optional but strongly recommended

  • Accidental damage protection (drops, liquid spills, etc)
  • Multiyear warranty


We have an article answering many FAQ related to the device requirement.

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