Recommended Student Laptop


  • Do I need a computer at Bowdoin?
  • What type of computer is recommended for classes at Bowdoin?
  • What type of computer do I need to do my school work?
  • Bowdoin is providing an iPad Pro, do I still need a computer?


While Bowdoin does have more almost 500 computers available across campus for student use, and each admitted student is provided with an iPad Pro during Orientation, it is still recommended to bring a laptop computer if possible. Some classes use applications that are not available on portable devices such as the iPad, or if they do, such as Microsoft Word, students may find it easier to run these applications on a more traditional laptop.

Bowdoin fully supports students who prefer Macs and PCs with the prevalent platform by the student population being macOS. Below are some recommended specs for both platform types.

NOTE: The specifications are only recommendations. We have students with laptops that have lesser specs and higher specs and are able to complete their work.

Apple / macOS

  • MacBook Pro (including the M1 MacBook Pro) or MacBook Air (only comes with the M1 chip)
  • 16 GB RAM
  • Upgraded video, if available
  • AppleCare+ is recommended

Purchase a Mac at the Apple Education Store for a discounted price.

Dell / Windows 10*

  • Inspiron or XPS laptop
  • Windows 10 Professional
  • Minimum of 8 GB RAM, 16 GB recommended
  • Upgraded video, if available
  • 4-year ProSupport Plus recommended

Purchase a recommended Dell laptop at Bowdoin's Dell Education Store.

*While we work with Dell to provide discounted and bundled pricing, any Windows machine with similar specs will work.


Bowdoin also provides Microsoft 365 to all enrolled students. This includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel for macOS, Windows and iPadOS/iOS/Android.

Students are also provided 1 TB of online storage with Microsoft OneDrive, and access to nearly all of the Microsoft 365 suite of tools.

Antivirus is not provided by the college, Windows 10 comes with Defender at no cost, but macOS does not have a built-in antivirus application. See the links under the Related Articles section for more information on Avast antivirus for macOS.

If you need further assistance, please contact the Bowdoin College Service Desk


Article ID: 130211
Mon 3/15/21 12:05 PM
Mon 3/15/21 12:09 PM