Student computers and PC/laptop recommend­ations

What can I access on site?

As a student, you will have access to plenty of computers and laptops on site. There are over 3000 devices (including PCs and Apple Macs) to use throughout our libraries and labs and there are around 250 short-term (4-hour) and long-term (2-week) loan laptops that you can borrow. You will be able to access these throughout your time as a student.

There are also plenty of specialist software that you will also have access to, both on site and online:

Can I borrow a laptop to use for my studies?

During your studies, you will be able to borrow a laptop for short-term use whilst on site (4-hour loan) or long-term use for a period of two weeks. You can collect a laptop at one of our University libraries at Kedleston Road, Chesterfield, and Buxton and Leek College. Please note that short-term laptop loans will not come with a charging cable. 

Long-term laptops can be borrowed for a period of up to two weeks. On taking out a laptop, you will consent to the University of Derby's Laptop Loans terms and conditions (T&Cs):

Long-term laptop loan T&Cs

I want to use my own device, is that possible?

If you already have a PC or laptop that you want to bring with you to University, it is very likely you’ll be able to use this for your studies. We would advise you to check the specifications of your device against the information in the table below.

I want to buy a device for University, what do you recommend?

If you’d like to bring your own device rather than using a University device, we recommend a portable device, such as a laptop. This will enable you to move it easily between study locations, your accommodation, and the library. 

Please note that it is completely optional for you to buy a device. The University does have plenty of PCs and laptops on site.

We have produced the following tables to give you specifications that you should ensure your device either has or they match the device you are looking to buy.

PLEASE NOTE – Chromebooks are not advised due lack of support for applications and the limited functionality, such as Office 365 products which cannot be installed and ONLY accessed online.

Minimum specification

This specification is the minimum spec that you will need to ensure your device either has before you bring it to University or before you buy a device.

Specification levelTechnical require­mentsApproxi­mate cost
  • PC/Laptop
  • Windows 10 (not S version)
  • i3 Intel or AMD Ryzen 5 Chipset
  • 4GB RAM
  • 128GB SSD
  • Integrated/​​external webcam and mic

Recommended specification

This specification will cover most programmes (excluding uses for which we recommend higher specialist and Apple specification).

With extra memory and better processor, this spec offers you the flexibility and speed to handle multiple applications, such as Office 365 and University online services.

Specification levelTechnical require­mentsApproxi­mate cost
  • Windows 10 (not S version)
  • i5 Intel or AMD Ryzen 5 Chipset
  • 8GB RAM
  • 250GB SSD
  • Integrated/​external webcam and mic

Specialist specification

This specification will cover (but is not limited to) the following programme areas:

Specification levelTechnical require­mentsApproxi­mate cost
  • Windows 10 (not S version)
  • i7 or Ryzen 7 above
  • 16GB RAM or above
  • 512GB SSD up to 1TB SSD
  • Graphics card similar to Nvidia Geforce RTX 2060 6GB or above
  • Integrated/​external webcam and mic

Apple specification

This specification will cover (but is not limited to) the following programme areas:

PLEASE NOTE – If you are purchasing a MacBook with M1 processor, ensure you have checked software compatibility to make sure all applications you would require would be supported.

Specification levelTechnical require­mentsApproxi­mate cost
  • Macbook Pro 13inch
  • macOS Big Sur
  • 2.0GHz quad-core 10th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz
  • 13-inch Retina display with True Tone
  • Intel Iris Plus Graphics
  • 16GB 3733MHz LPDDR4X memory
  • 512GB SSD storage

Do I need to buy anything else?

These aren't essential but could help improve your comfort and engagement while studying:

Where can I find discounts?

There are several places where, as a student, you will be able to find offers on new devices if you do wish to buy one. We recommend the following:

What are the Internet recommendations?

 A stable internet connection is required when in a blended learning environment, to ensure you have a good internet connection see the following recommendations and tips;

If your wireless signal is simply too weak in the location you need to work from, consider the option of Powerline Extenders, these devices allow you to connect your internet router via an ethernet cable to the device which you plug into your electrical wall socket and then the corresponding device into another electrical wall socket at the location you are working.  While some extenders require you to connect an ethernet cable from the Powerline Extender into your PC/Laptop, some also offer wireless connectivity.

Who can I ask for help with a PC, laptop or internet question that is not covered here? 

If you’d like to ask an IT related question, our award winning IT Services is available for you to contact.