Laptop Recommendations

The College of Engineering recommends that all incoming freshman have easy access to computers to support their academic success as an engineering student. We recommend the following.


  • Operating System: Windows 10, 64 bit
  • Processor: Intel i5 processor above 2GHz min. Recommended: i7 processor.
  • Memory: 16 GB RAM minimum
  • Hard Drive: 500GB SSD. If students purchase a computer with a mechanical hard drive, choose one with 7200rpm or better. Also, an SSD is preferable because it is much faster.
  • Wireless: Minimum WiFi 4 or above
  • Video Card: Discrete video card with 2GB video RAM (DDR3 or 4 is fine, DDR5 is better but more expensive). Stay away from products that market themselves as “integrated” as those feature video on the motherboard which negatively impacts performance.
  • Display: 14” minimum
  • Warranty: Extended - students can be hard on their laptops!


We recommend waiting until the semester starts as your professors will let you what software you will need. Software can be purchased/downloaded through MyAkron, the university’s web portal. Many are free or at reduced costs

Software installation support is available at Bierce Library or call IT Support at 330-972-6888.

  • Microsoft Office: All students can install MS Office programs for free with their UANet ID 
  • Google Drive: Provides unlimited storage for students using their UANet ID email account

Computer Resources

Engineering Computer Labs

  • Five engineering computer labs available to students on campus
  • Software varies by lab, but students will have access to MS Office, MATLAB, Solidworks, Abaqus, COMSOL, CREO, ChemCAD, AutoCAD, Polymath, Minitab, Arduino IDE, and many others

The Computer Store

  • Located on campus, a great resource for students to purchase a new desktop or laptop computer

The University of Akron Virtual Lab

  • Free 24/7 access
  • Access to: Solidworks, AutoCAD, ESRI, ArcGIS, Minitab, SPSS, SAS, and other programs
  • Can use the Virtual Lab anywhere there's an internet connection

MATLAB - available on the Virtual Lab

  • A programming environment used by engineers and scientists worldwide to make new products and discoveries
  • Allows students to do homework, conduct research, and develop programming skills


Douglas Noble
College of Engineering Senior Technology Specialist