Laptop Recommendations

The Hartwick College Technology Resource Center (TRC) will facilitate students’ use of laptops if those laptops meet the College’s recommendations for operating system, networking, anti-virus, and other software.

The following specifications will guide you in choosing a machine which should meet your needs at Hartwick College.

Operating System Microsoft Windows 7,  8 (not RT*), or 10, or a current Macintosh OSX 
Productivity Software

Microsoft Office, or the ability to create and edit file types commonly used in Microsoft Office. Office is available for students to install at no charge from using their Hartwick College email address and network password.

Anti-Virus Software Every computer which accesses the College’s network, regardless of operating system, must be running up-to-date anti-virus software with real-time protection.
Network cable Category 6 Ethernet cable
Ports Built-in Ethernet (RJ45) or Ethernet adapter strongly recommended
Warranty The College recommends purchasing the manufacturer’s maximum extended warranty and the maximum extended accidental damage protection plan.

*Laptop or Tablet?

Tablets have a number of advantages over traditional computers (size, weight, battery life), but many tablets run on Android, iOS, Windows 8 RT, or Chrome operating systems. These tablet-specific operating systems can only install apps from their respective app stores and cannot run standard or specialized software programs that may be required for academic coursework. Tablets often have reduced processing power and storage compared to laptops. For these reasons, Hartwick College does not recommend that students plan to use tablets as their primary computers.

We cannot guarantee that every device can be made to connect reliably to the Hartwick network. If reasonable efforts fail, the student will need to arrange a different way to meet his/her computing needs—for instance, by obtaining or renting a different computer or using the computer labs.

Before bringing your laptop to college:

  • See whether your laptop can be covered under your family homeowner/rental insurance. That insurance may cover loss or theft, which are not covered under a typical warranty. Theft is rare, but it can happen.
  • Have a routine to regularly back up your important data. Use a flash drive, external hard drive, or cloud storage such as Google Drive (available with your Hartwick College Google Apps for Education account), or iCloud. For Macs, we recommend Time Machine backup. If a hard drive fails, and your data is irretrievable, or if you accidentally delete a critical file, the backup is like gold.
  • Know how to restore the laptop to factory configuration. If your computer becomes infected with a significant virus, or is affected by a major operating system software corruption, this is a very valuable option. Laptops usually either have a restore partition built into the hard drive, or they may come with system restore disks. If there are disks, you should bring them to college and keep them in a safe place. If there is a restore partition, know how to restore the machine (usually a keystroke command). The Hartwick College TRC can assist, but the process will be faster if you are prepared.
  • Be aware of your computer’s warranty status and expiration date, and make a note of any product/license keys for software you have installed, in case you need to reinstall later. Bring any operating system or other disks with you to campus and keep them in a safe place.
  • Be sure that you have run all Windows or OSX updates, and be sure that you have one working anti-virus program on your computer.
  • Have a laptop carrying case or backpack with laptop protection for transporting your computer around campus.


Contact the TRC 607-431-4357 or