Laptop Specifications

St. Mark’s implemented a laptop requirement beginning with the 2015-16 school year (also known as Bring Your Own Device or BYOD).

There are common area computers and printers available for student use in the Library and the Student Resource Room. These are shared resources and can be congested at times and are only available when the spaces are open.

Our network and academic programs are designed to support either Mac or PC/Windows platforms. The decision on which platform to use is entirely up to individual preference.

The following should be considered minimum requirements when shopping for a new laptop. They represent the baseline performance standard for a student computer, which should provide several years use.

Apple – Mac OS

Models, Requirements & Recommendations

Models

  • MacBook
  • MacBook Pro
  • MacBook Air

Requirements

  • OS X 10.10 “Yosemite” or newer
  • 4GB of RAM

Recommendations

  • Hard drive — default size is fine, but more space is always better.
  • Wired Ethernet port adaptor (We recommend a wired ethernet connection to alleviate any potential wifi congestion.)

Other suggested peripherals

  • CD/DVD burner
  • USB Thumb Drive
  • USB External hard drive (For backing up your important data)
  • 15-pin VGA connection. You may want to be sure that the laptop you choose has a 15-pin VGA out, or purchase an adapter for use with projectors.

Standard Software

Microsoft Office

St. Marks has standardized on Microsoft Office for document creation. MS office is available for PC or Mac in the St. Mark’s bookstore for $35.

  • Office for Mac 2011 or newer

Mac Software

  • iMovie (Latest, $15 – Mac App Store)
  • GarageBand (Latest, $5 – Mac App Store)

Web Browser

Warranty Coverage

We highly recommend purchasing an extended warranty plan for your laptop.

AppleCare is available for up to 3 years and covers most issues that may arise.
Apple offers a free limited warranty for the first year, but we recommend purchasing AppleCare at the time of purchase due to the extended repair coverage.
We strongly recommend that you do not purchase an extended warranty plan through a 3rd party for apple products.

Windows-based Computers

Brands, Requirements & Recommendations

Brands

Almost any brand of PC laptop will be compatible with St. Marks resources, but major brands like HP, Dell or IBM have a stronger track-record of longevity and stronger warranty programs.

Requirements

  • Windows 7 or 8.1 or newer
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • WiFi Capability (802.11a/g/n – 802.11ac recommended)

Recommendations

  • Hard drive – default size is fine, but more space is always better.
  • Wired Ethernet port (We recommend a wired ethernet connection to alleviate any potential wifi congestion.)

Standard Software

Microsoft Office

St. Marks has standardized on Microsoft Office for document creation. MS office is available for
PC or Mac in the St. Mark’s bookstore for $35.

  • Office 2013 or newer

Windows Software

Web Browser

Warranty Coverage

We highly recommend purchasing an extended warranty for Windows based laptops.

You can consider purchasing a service plan from a third party like Best Buy or Staples, but with those plans you MUST take the equipment to the store in person for service.
St. Mark’s is currently forging a relationship with a local computer repair shop that is authorized to perform warranty service for all major brands, including HP, Dell, IBM, Sony and Apple. They would pick up and return any laptops requiring service and will work with you directly if the repairs required exceed the manufacturer’s warranty. (A limited pool of laptops are available to loan from the Library while your laptop is out for repair)

We are not aware of any manufacturers who offer accidental damage coverage for their equipment. Third party services, such as Best Buy and Staples, do offer accidental damage coverage at a premium. If you use one of these plans, you are required to take the laptop to the store in person to have it serviced. Otherwise, accidental damage is not generally covered and would require out-of-pocket expense, however, our repair vendor would pick up and return the equipment, while working with you directly to cover the service charges.

Mr. Battis has written 102 articles

Educator. Electronics. Esthetics. Easterner (who thinks he's a Westerner).

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