If you have an older laptop (pre-2017) we strongly urge you to purchase a new laptop. Any new computer will meet the minimum requirements and should support you through your three years. If you are planning on using an older laptop, it should have Windows 10 64-bit, with at least 8 GB of RAM. For Macbook Airs/Macbook Pros, we recommend 8GB of RAM and Mac OS X 11 (Big Sur) or later.
The majority of student laptops at YLS are Apple MacBook Airs or MacBook Pros. We strongly recommend purchasing an AppleCare+ warranty or some other warranty coverage (such as Squaretrade) which will extend coverage to a total of three years. In-warranty Macs are serviced on-site at YLS or at the on-campus Apple Store. There is an additional service fee for accidental damage (spills and drops) with Apple computers, though if you purchase your Apple laptop through the Student Technology Purchase Program, there are no additional service fees for accidental damage. We also support Boot Camp installation of Windows on Macs so you don't have to leave the world of Windows behind.
If you decide to use a PC, we strongly encourage you to purchase a Lenovo laptop through GovConnection, which has significantly discounted pricing available to Yale affiliates. These computers come with an excellent four year onsite warranty that covers all repairs, including accidental damage, as well as the ability to keep your hard drive if for any reason it fails. We have certified techs on staff and can better assist you should your laptop need repair.
If you choose to purchase a different brand, buy one with a three-year warranty from a major manufacturer such as HP, Dell, or Toshiba. When comparing notebook computers, ask about the turn-around time for warranty repairs. Many students find it very difficult to be without a computer for a week or more while waiting for a repair to be completed. You may also wish to inquire about what the warranty covers. Some standard laptop warranties exclude the LCD display and a broken display can be quite costly to repair (up to $1,000.00).