Student Computer Recommendations 2020

Although Radford University does not have a computer requirement for all students, most students choose to bring a laptop computer to campus.  If you currently own a laptop, consider bringing that device with you. However, as you progress through your academic career, you may find it beneficial to upgrade and purchase a new device.

The following colleges and departments have laptop requirements for their students.  Students in these disciplines should check with their department advisor regarding specific computer recommendations.  These requirements ensure that students have the specific software they need to successfully perform in the program.

If you are bringing a currently owned computer, the minimum specs should include:

  • Windows 10 or OS X 10.13 or greater.
  • WiFi or Ethernet port.

If you plan to buy a new computer (Windows or Mac), the following are recommended specs:

  • Laptop for mobility and ease of support.
  • Have 8GB RAM (minimum 4GB).
  • Have i5/i7 processor.
  • Have Windows 10 or Mac OS X 10.15.
  • Have WiFi.

Additional Recommendations:

  • Use theft deterrence options like a security cable or Lo-Jack for laptops
  • Use a high capacity battery if available for portable devices (laptops, etc.)
  • Be prepared to protect data with an external hard drive or an online backup service
  • Consider the purchase of an accidental damage protection plan  

What else should I know about technology on campus?

  • Radford University provides WiFi connectivity in all campus residence halls.  Two Ethernet ports are available in each residence hall room, but most students prefer to use wireless connectivity.
  • A TV with a CLEAR QAM tuner and a coaxial cable is required to connect to the all-digital cable TV system.
  • Your Radford University user account will provide you with internet access in all residence halls, classrooms and computer labs, an email account and access to MyRU.  Visit
  • We recommend residence halls students connect their printer directly to their computer through a USB cable.  Although wireless printers can be configured, anyone in the building may be able to print to them.
  • Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus is available free of charge.  Visit
  • Antivirus Software.   Windows users should be sure they have the free Windows Defender anti-virus software that comes with Windows enabled or another anti-virus software package installed.   
NOTE:   Devices such as ChromeBooks, iPads, and Android tablets and Netbooks can provide basic computer functionality, but often do not meet the full computing needs of students.   
For additional information, please contact the Technology Assistance Center by calling (540) 831-7500.