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Shopper's Guide

This article provides advice on shopping for a new computer.

Overview

Although not required, owning your own computer enables you to easily take advantage of Temple's state-of-the-art technology resources for coursework, research and communication. 

If you are looking to purchase a computer, here are some things to consider:

OWLtech

OWLtech is Temple's technology store on Main Campus.

Located in Pearson Hall, the store houses brands, such as Apple and Dell in one, convenient location and offers selections from computers, laptops, tablets and accessories to provide the right technology solution for you.

Educational discounts are also available on certain products. 

Software

Microsoft Office 365 provides current students, faculty and staff with access to the latest version of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and more at no charge. Students can download the software on up to five PCs and/or Macs at no charge through TUportal. For details, see the ITS Microsoft Office page.  

Adobe Creative Cloud is also available for current students, faculty and staff at no charge. Creative Cloud includes all of the Adobe Creative Suite apps (i.e. Photoshop, Acrobat, InDesign, Illustrator and more). For more details on what apps are included, and how to subscribe to the software, see the ITS Adobe Creative Cloud page

Software offerings are subject to change. 

Temple students can purchase a variety of software online including Adobe programs through ThinkEdu. For some software, you can save up to 80% off regular prices.

Supported Platforms
For a list of software supported by Temple, see Supported Platforms.

Discounts

Several major computer companies offer educational discounts, as well as special discounts for Temple students. To learn more, see the Information Technology Services Educational Discounts for Computer Equipment and Software page.

Also, see each manufacturer's website for academic or educational sections. In addition, major discount retail stores offer sale prices that may compete with educational offers.

Finally, the Computer Recycling Center (CRC) sells refurbished computers and flat-panel monitors

School & College Requirements and Recommendations

Information Technology Services suggests that you first check with your particular school or college to see if a specific configuration is recommended. For example, the following schools have posted information on their websites:

If no particular configuration is needed, you can use the recommendations below as a guide. You can also purchase an extended warranty with your system. When considering whether to buy an extended warranty, it’s a good idea to check with your credit card company to see if additional coverage is automatically provided.

Recommendations

Below are suggested minimum recommendations for Macs and PCs. The purchasing decision is yours, but we suggest that you check with your particular school or college to see if a specific platform is recommended before you make your purchase.

Temple does not endorse a particular brand or type, but it’s best to select a name-brand manufacturer, such as Apple, Dell, HP, Lenovo or Microsoft. These manufacturers generally use name-brand components and offer reliable customer support.

Please note that technical assistance is not available for custom-built computers.

Laptops (Windows, Mac)

  Minimum Recommended
Processor Intel i3 or AMD Ryzen 3* 6th generation Intel i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 or higher

Memory

8GB 16GB
Storage 256GB SSD** 256GB SSD**
Graphics Mac: Intel Iris Plus Graphics
Windows: Integrated Intel HD
Mac: Intel Iris Plus Graphics
Windows:  Integrated Intel HD
Wireless  Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac
Operating System Mac: macOS Mojave (10.14)
Windows: 10 Education or Home
Mac: macOS Catalina (10.15)
Windows: 10 Education or Home
Miscellaneous Webcam, Microphone and Speaker   Webcam, Microphone and Speaker (headset recommended)
Price Range*** $549.99 - $999 $900 +
Warranty 1-year hardware warranty 3-year hardware warranty with additional damage protection

* Intel i3 will not support the Zoom virtual background.
**If you are planning on installing a second operating system with Boot Camp on a Mac, we recommend at least 512GB SSD.
***Ranges are meant as a guideline for what you can expect to pay.

Desktop (Windows, Mac) 

  Minimum Recommended
Processor Intel i3 or AMD Ryzen 3* 6th generation Intel i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 and higher
Memory 8GB 16GB
Storage 256GB SSD  256GB SSD**
Graphics MAC:  Intel UHD Graphics 630
Windows: Integrated Intel HD
MAC: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640
Windows: Integrated Intel HD
Wireless  Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac **** Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac****
Operating System Mac: macOS Mojave (10.14)
Windows: 10 Education or Home
Mac: macOS Catalina (10.15)
Windows: 10 Education or Home
Miscellaneous Webcam, Microphone and Speaker Webcam, Microphone and Speaker (headset recommended)
Price Range*** $499 - $599 $1000+
Warranty 1-year hardware warranty 3-year hardware warranty with additional damage protection

*Intel i3 will not support the Zoom virtual background.
** If you are planning on installing a second operating system with Boot Camp on a Mac, we recommend at least 512GB SSD.
***Ranges are meant as a guideline for what you can expect to pay.
****USB wireless adaptor or built in wireless card. 

Chromebooks and Tablets

While Chromebooks, iPads and Android tablets are innovative and have many uses, including convenient web browsing, they are still not a replacement for a PC or Mac. Before purchasing, you should consult with your specific college IT department to determine if the device is compatible with the course requirements.

Chromebooks are a viable option, however, for the College of Education and they do work with Proctorio. For more details, see the College of Education Computer Purchase Recommendations page.

  Minimum
Memory 4 GB
Storage 32 GB
Wireless Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac
Operating System Chrome OS 81.0

Printers

At most campuses, each Temple student is allotted a quota of up to 300 double-sided pages for printing papers in the computer labs. Temple also offers Print on the Go, which allows students to submit print requests wirelessly and pick up their documents at any Print on the Go print station location. 

If you would like to buy a printer, a name-brand ink jet printer is a good choice because of low-cost and versatility. Temple does not endorse a particular printer brand. When purchasing a printer, take into consideration the cost of the ink cartridges.

If you will be living in a Temple residence hall, make sure your printer is USB compatible, as wireless printing is not supported. It is also a good idea to include a USB-to-printer cable as part of your purchase.