PC Recommendations

Many new students ask what computer they should purchase before coming to Dominican.  Below are some of our recommendations on what to purchase.


  • We recommend purchasing a laptop when this is financially viable. Portable computers are more expensive, usually about $500 to $1,000 more for comparable hardware, but they can be brought to the library for work and if there are problems, they are easier to bring to a service center for repair than a desktop computer.
  • For those on a budget, we have found that Windows-based computers are better for more students than Mac based computers. If you are an art student, or working on a teaching credential, Macs are better as Macs are mostly used by graphic artists and elementary and high schools. If you are not an artist or working on a teaching credential, a Windows PC is probably sufficient for you. To get special education discounts on Mac computers, browse to the apple store at  https://www.apple.com/us-hed/shop, or   http://store.apple.com then click on education store (bottom of page) and then search for Dominican University of California or use our ZIP - 94901. 
  • If you elect to go with a Windows-based computer, we love Dell.  Dell's pricing is competitive and their service and support is consistently the best. Additionally, you can receive a discount as a Dominican student that ranges between 2% and 12% depending upon the model and configuration. If you select Dell we recommend purchasing the 3 year warranty. Here is a link to a special Dell providing discounts on Dell hardware to Dominican students, faculty and staff. website: http://www.dell.com/DellU/Dominican
  • If you decide upon a portable (laptop) computer make sure that it includes a wireless network card as well as a normal network port AND an internal modem. Most portable computers now come with these by default but beware of any 'special deals'. Such deals may often not include a wireless network card. With the wireless network card you will be able to access the Internet from Dominican's various wireless access points.
  • We recommend purchasing a computer with a CD and/or DVD burner if possible. Many laptops do not come with these optical drives, and if you need one external CD/DVD drives are inexpensive. 
  • We STRONGLY recommend purchasing a USB drive. With an external USB drive or  CD/DVD burner you can backup your documents and school work so that when, not if, your computer dies your work is not lost!
  • Whether you select a Windows or Apple computer, here are some of the technical specifications we recommend:
    • Make sure to get 4 (GB) Gigabytes or more of RAM (computer memory). The more memory your computer has the nicer it will run.
    • Don't purchase the fastest CPU available. The fastest computers usually have a $200 premium for a relatively small boost in performance.  We recommend getting the 2nd or 3rd fastest CPU for the computer model that you select.
    • If you do not plan on downloading music and using your computer as a stereo a 256 GB hard drive should be sufficient. If you are doing graphic work or plan on playing a lot of music you should get a minimum of a 500 GB or 1 TB (Terabyte) hard drive.


Hardware and Software Discounts

Recommendations for Student Discounts on Computer Hardware and Software (Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Cloud) see here.