Recommended Laptop Models for 2024

Please talk to your advisor on which computer they recommend for your degree.
When it comes to computers, there are a lot of different options out there. If you are in the market for a new laptop for Fall 2023, we recommend one of these two models based on their durability, processing speed, and size/weight: 
Windows Laptop Model: Dell Latitude 5450, with the following features:
  • Intel Core Ultra 7
  • 16 GB RAM
  • 512 GB Solid State Hard Drive
Apple Laptop Model: Macbook Pro 
  • M3 Pro chip
  • 16 GB RAM
  • 512 GB Solid State Hard Drive
  • USB-C to USB Adapter
(NOTE: we always recommend at least a 3-year warranty. Your laptop will go through a lot during the next four years. If the unthinkable happens, you want to be able to replace it quickly and without spending a lot of money.)
Already have a laptop and it isn't one of these models?
We will do our best to help you with basic trouble-shooting and maintenance, but please take note of the following minimum requirements (and see the disclaimers at the bottom of the page):
  • Wireless must support WPA2
  • Intel Core i5 Processor or Apple M1 chip
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 256 GB Hard Drive

Questions about student computer requirements or recommendations can be directed to Stanton Fleming, ITS User Services Team Lead, or 724-946-7282.

Required Software

Microsoft Office
Every Westminster student is required to have access to Microsoft Office products like Word and Excel. This is even true for our Mac users because our online course system, D2L, can't read .pages files. The good news is that during your time at Westminster, you can download and use the entire Office suite FOR FREE on multiple devices. Go to our Office 365 portal and login with your Westminster username and password to download the software.  Online versions of the Microsoft Office products are available through the Microsoft website.
Anti-Virus Software
Every computer that connects to the Westminster network must have up-to-date anti-virus software. It is recommended that a heuristic based anti-virus software like Sophos or Microsoft Defender should be used.  A heuristic based anti-virus software is a scanning method that looks for malware-like behavior patterns. It is commonly used to detect new or not-yet-known malware.
And While We're Talking about Protecting Yourself Online...
There are bad people out there who want to steal your personal information for their own benefit. These people often impersonate people and organizations you trust: your Facebook friends, online retailers and even Westminster College! If someone or something you trust seems to be asking you for a password or credit card number or if they give you a link and ask you to update your username and password...before you do it, call or text to ask if it's really them. If you get something that doesn't look right, you can always check with the Help Desk and we'll be happy to look into it for you.

Important Notices & Disclaimers

  • As a condition of enrollment at Westminster, all students agree to abide by the Policy for Responsible Use of Information Resources that is contained in the Handbook for Students.
  • Westminster College cannot guarantee that any particular machine will be able to connect to the campus network and/or run network applications unless it is a College-recommended model. Neither the College nor its vendors will assume any responsibility if such PCs, Macs, or other devices do not connect to the network or are unable to run network applications. This applies at the time of connection and any time thereafter.
  • Windows 10, Windows 11 and MAC OSX operating systems are supported. Linux can be connected to the Westminster network but is not supported by College staff.
  • Each student assumes full responsibility for their device and its software and operation. Adding software, changing the configuration, connecting to another internet service, or acquiring malicious data which changes machine settings so that the computer no longer works on the College network will result in limited assistance from College personnel, but ultimately each student is responsible for maintaining their devices and resolving problems with their specific machine.
  • College personnel will not perform any action on a student-owned computer or device that may void the warranty on that computer or device.
  • No equipment configured as a server, router, switch, or other network access or control device may be connected to the campus network by any method (data jack, wireless or other type of connection). Only end user devices may be connected to the Westminster network.
  • Spyware programs such as peer-to-peer file-sharing applications, should not be installed on computers. Spyware is known to decrease PC and network performance and to spread viruses and worms. It can also interfere with your network connection.
  • Personal firewalls from Microsoft or other companies may interfere with network connectivity if not configured properly. Also, settings for networks to which your computer may have been previously connected may need to be changed or removed to eliminate conflicts with the Westminster network.
  • The College provides network access as an educational tool for use by our students, and makes no implied warranty of network availability, reliability, or suitability for individual student requirements.