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Last updated: August 5, 2021

This page provides resources and guidelines for computer purchases by students and employees of Hamilton College.  Updated for the 2020-21 academic year.

Online Computer Stores With Academic Pricing For Hamilton College

Apple Windows
Apple For Hamilton Online
Telephone: 1-800-MY-APPLE

Discounts are not available because vendor "specials"
typically exceed any discount we could offer.

Current computer configurations provided by these vendors will meet or exceed our recommended system requirements for NEW computers.

General Recommendations For Students

Word Processing

Many academic programs require the use of Microsoft Office for course work. It is therefore highly recommended that you get this software with your new computer, or that you install it on your existing computer.

Students are eligible for Office 365 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, plus additional classroom tools). All you need to get started is to use your Hamilton e-mail address when signing up and indicate that you are a student. Office 365 will be available to you for free as long as you are enrolled in Hamilton College. 

Virus Protection

All computers on the Hamilton College network are required to have up-to-date anti-virus software installed.  New computers will typically come with a preinstalled trial version of anti-virus software.  We recommend you either purchase the full version of that software, other anti-virus software of your choice, or install the free anti-virus products we fully support.  Please contact the Help Desk if you have any questions or need assistance (315-859-4181).

Backup Drive

Hamilton College provides students with a modest amount of server storage.   While the space provided is usually sufficient for storing documents, it is not sufficient for storing backup copies of music, video, photos, or exceptionally large project files.  Students may request additional space for academic purposes.  For backing up all your critical files (academic and personal) we recommend purchasing an external hard drive. When selecting a drive, please be certain to confirm it is compatible with the operating system on your computer (Windows or Macintosh).  Some external drives are designed for rugged use (they come with a protective rubberized bumper).  If the drive you are considering does not come with this level of protection, it is wise to purchase a neoprene sleeve or similar protective pouch for the drive.  Lastly, some new computers come with USB 3 and/or Thunderbolt ports.  You may want to purchase a drive that can take advantage of the faster file transfer rates these ports can deliver.


Printers are available for student use in public computing labs located on both sides of campus.  Most are located in academic buildings that are open to students until late at night or, in some cases, all night.  There are no public printers available in any of the residence halls.  


Hamilton College has secure wireless network access available in all campus buildings and most outdoor areas. Connectivity to the wireless network is supported by 802.11b or 802.11g /n wireless cards, which are available in most new Windows and Macintosh laptops. Please note that the installation of a personal wireless access point (Apple Airport Station, wireless router, etc.), is strictly prohibited on campus.

Network jacks are included in all the residence hall rooms for those who want to use a network (Ethernet) cable.  The College does not provide cables.

Microsoft Office for Employees & Students

Employees and students can sign up for Office 365 from Microsoft by using your Hamilton email address to use on your personally owned computer (non-Hamilton barcoded). Office 365 will be available to you for free as long as you are an employee or student at Hamilton College. 

Recommended NEW System Requirements

LITS recommends that new computers be configured to match or exceed the recommendations listed below. PLEASE NOTE: The minimum system requirements in the last column represent the bare minimum to connect to our network and support our standard software.

Warning: We do not recommend using Google Chromebooks or iPad/iPad Pro devices as your primary computing device due to the limitations of said devices.

Platform Recommended Minimum
  • Windows 10 Enterprise
  • Intel Core i5 or i7 processor
  • 16 GB RAM
  • 256 GB SSD
  • Dedicated graphics card
  • Windows 8.1 Pro
  • Intel Core i5 processor
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 128 GB HD
  • Integrated HD video card
  • MacOS 10.15 (Catalina)
  • Intel Core i5/i7 processor or M1 chip
  • 16 GB RAM
  • 256 GB SSD
  • MacOS 10.14 (Mojave)
  • Intel Core i3 processor
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 128 GB SSD

Recommendations for PRE-OWNED computers

If your computer is less than four years old, it should work in our network environment and support our standard software (e.g. Web browsing, document authoring).

Please keep in mind that most computers have a four-year lifespan, after which major components (e.g. hard drive, optical drive) are more likely to fail.  These components can sometimes be replaced, though they may be expensive and difficult to come by, especially in much older computers.  Also note that computers older than one year are not typically covered under warranty, making accidental damage costly to repair.

If you choose to bring a pre-owned computer to campus, please ensure the computer meets or exceeds the specifications listed below.  It is important to note that a computer that meets these specifications should not be expected to meet a student's needs for all four years.

Platform Specifications
  • 2.0 GHz Intel processor or equivalent AMD processor
  • At least 8 GB of RAM
  • Windows 8.1 Pro
  • 256 GB Hard drive or greater
  • 1.8 GHz Intel Core Duo processor or newer
  • At least 8 GB of RAM
  • OS X 10.14 or newer
  • 256 GB SSD or greater

If you have further questions about a personal computer purchase, please contact the LITS Help Desk at 315-859-4181 or by email.

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Help Desk

Office Location
Burke Library
198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323
Mon-Thu 8 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Fri 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Sat - Sun 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.

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