Most Windows and Apple computers that are four years or age or less will be sufficient for coursework in Nursing. If purchasing a new computer, we recommend these minimum specs as of Fall 2021:
- Windows or Mac operating system (Chromebooks are not recommended)
- i5 (Windows) or M1 (Mac) CPU
- 8 GB RAM or greater
- SSD (Solid State) hard drive of 256GB or greater capacity
The "sweet spot" for purchasing a new computer is generally mid-range. If you are on a budget, you may actually be better off purchasing a refurbished computer that meets the specs above rather than buying a budget computer that will be slow today and even slower tomorrow. Likewise, keep in mind that unless you are a gamer, there's no need to spend $2,000 on the fastest computer available.
Windows or Mac?
Apple makes excellent computers but in general they will cost more for the same level of performance. When purchasing a new computer, we recommend that you stick with the platform that is the most familiar and comfortable for you. Generally speaking, a Windows computer may be less expensive and compatible with more software but either platform will work well for academic purposes.
While it is possible to complete most coursework using a Chromebook for web-based assignments, faculty may require other software including the full version of MS Office or SPSS which do not run on Chromebooks. If you live in the Chattanooga area, borrowing a laptop from the UTC Library on those occasions may make it possible for you to complete your assignments without purchasing a new computer.