Personal computers are recommended for undertaking a university education. Chromebooks and other devices, such as tablets and iPads, will not suffice as your main device. This is especially relevant when it comes to completing online assessments. 

The below specification will enable you to use fundamental applications, such as Microsoft Office and Teams. You will also have the computational power necessary for your coursework, watching class videos, and accessing Lincoln University's main systems. 

A laptop is advised for on-campus use due to its portability and practical application. Additionally, there are full-featured desktop PCs in the labs and library. These desktop computers run Windows and are often more powerful than laptop computers.

It is important to choose a laptop that is reliable, lightweight, and durable, preferably with a supplementary mouse and travelling case. Keep It lightweight—weight counts. 

To minimize downtime in case something goes awry, students are strongly recommended to save all work into the provided cloud storage, which is Microsoft OneDrive. This also means that you do not need a lot of storage space on your main device, and your files will be accessible from multiple devices. 

In consideration of use case above, these are the minimum specifications:  

Operating system 

Windows 10 or Windows 11 (NOT in “S” mode)

Mac OS 11 Big Sur (or higher)  


Intel i5 Processor or AMD Ryzen 5 equivalent 


8GB RAM Essential or 16GB RAM Recommended 


256GB + Solid State Drive Essential 

(1000GB cloud storage is provided free for the duration of your study) 


13 inches +

(The bigger the screen, the more weight)




1 x USB-C 3.0 port

(Used for docking into Hot Desk)


Built-in Camera

Built-in mic or Headphones with mic

(Required for some online assessments and class collaboration) 

Battery life 

6-8 hours from one charge

Graphics card 

Not required

IMPORTANTRecommended specifications are for the typical student use case. Some courses may include work that requires additional capability and resource on your computer, such as landscape and design. For a complete list of requirements, please contact your faculty, programme, or course advisor and see the course outline.  

How do I find a laptop?

Consider finding a reliable laptop that fits your needs and budget. We advise looking for laptops that fit the above requirements on websites containing a wide range of computers and specification filters.

You can choose one and conduct independent research on its availability in New Zealand and consider user reviews. Many retailers in New Zealand, such as PBTech, offer refurbished models that are guaranteed and significantly cheaper than brand new. PBTech can offers small discounts to Lincoln University staff and students.

It's important to choose a device and operating system that you are familiar with. If you are a Windows user, then your first year of university is probably not the ideal time to ‘try’ a Mac and struggle with a whole new way of doing things.

Generally, there should be no need to purchase ‘expensive’ devices. These may have superior specifications, but this will mean increased power consumption and weight. Also, many of the more expensive devices will have unnecessary capabilities over-and-above what are required for much of your university work.

Quick tips
  • Mind the store. If something does go awry with the device, having had purchased it from a store allows for quick warranty repairs and replacements
  • Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA) gives you the right to seek a remedy if the device isn't fit for purpose even after the warranty period has expired. Considering your device is well looked after.
  • Shop in-store allows the user to experience the product, discern the quality and take advantage of in-store-only discounts (many student discounts are only available in-store)
Understand Device Security (Antivirus) 

A computer virus is a type of malicious software that, when executed, replicates itself by modifying other computer programs and inserting its own code.

Ultimately the best antivirus software is you, nothing is failproof. Learn to look out for suspicious links, emails, downloaded files and type of websites to not browse. 

Devices with Windows 10 and 11 include Windows Security, which provides the latest antivirus protection. Your device will be actively protected from the moment you start Windows. Windows Security continually scans for malware (malicious software), viruses, and security threats.

Apple’s modern operating system (macOS 10.15 or later) have multi-layered security and privacy protections designed into the system called XProtect.

Quick Tips
  • Protect yourself from phishing - Microsoft Support
  • Securely browse the web in Microsoft Edge - Microsoft Support
  • More isn't always better

    Running multiple anti-malware apps at the same time can cause your system to be slow or unstable. If you install an anti-malware app from a different company. In windows, Microsoft Defender will automatically turn itself off. If you install two anti-malware apps from other companies, however, they might both try to run at the same time.

  • If you're unsure about something, do not assume and initiate an action requested by your computer 
Microsoft 365 Application 

A Lincoln University Microsoft 365 subscription is free for the duration of your study. This includes Office 365 for the web, along with popular apps like Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote and Teams.  

You will be expected to submit university work in Microsoft compatible formats, and Teams is Lincoln University’s designated video conference, meeting, and teaching platform. 

Your device should be capable of installing Office 365 applications and the continued updates. If your device comes with an unlicensed copy of Office 365, you don’t need to purchase a subscription. You will be able to license it with your Lincoln University email address.   

ITHELP Software Download 

There is more software available that you might utilise while studying. Some of these applications are course or Faculty specific, others are ‘extra’ or for more advanced use, such as reference and citation management. These applications are accessible through ITHelp Software Downloads and you will be advised by Faculty if any of these are required.