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!


The University of Akron has a campus-wide licensing agreement with Microsoft that allows all students to receive Microsoft Office for free. Students can install MS Office programs with their UANet ID.  

Students can purchase software through MyAkron, the university’s web portal for students, faculty, and staff. Many are free or at reduced costs. We recommend waiting until the semester starts as your professors will let you what software you will need.

Google Drive provides unlimited storage for students using their UANet ID email account.

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

Student Resources

The Computer Store at The University of Akron is a great resource for students who wish to purchase a new desktop or laptop computer. 

Students can use the computers at one of five engineering computer labs 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 University of Akron Virtual Lab provides students with free 24/7 access. This resource provides students with access to Solidworks, AutoCAD, ESRI, ArcGIS, Minitab, SPSS, SAS, among other programs. Students can use the Virtual Lab anywhere they have an internet connection.

MATLAB, a programming environment used by engineers and scientists worldwide to make new products and discoveries, is available for students on the Virtual Lab. MATLAB allows students to do homework, conduct research, and develop programming skills.