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Selecting a Computer

boston college computer replacement


What Type of Computer will I Receive?

Staff: Each eligible staff member is allocated a Windows (Dell) standard desktop. Other requests will incur a variance to be covered by department funds. 

Faculty: Each eligible faculty member may choose any standard computer (Dell or Apple, desktop or laptop).


Computer Offerings

Note: Configuration and variance details are subject to change.

The variance is the cost between the model the person is eligible to receive and the model they selected. 

Note: To view Adobe Reader® (PDF) formatted files, download the free Adobe Reader.


Selecting a computer model

Desktop tower

Desktop or Laptop?

Laptop graphic
  • Mobility: If you use your computer mostly at your desk, a laptop may not be necessary. However, if your job requires that you move around frequently, a laptop might be the better choice.
  • Tablets/iPads: If your department has already purchased an iPad or tablet for you, then you may find that you don’t need a laptop.
  • Screen Size: Desktops typically use 21-27” displays. Laptops only have 13-15” screens.
  • Costs: Departments must cover additional costs if non-faculty members choose laptop computers. Additional department funding is also needed for laptop docking stations, keyboards and mice for faculty and staff.


Apple logo

Apple or Dell?

Dell Logo
  • Costs: Dell computers are considerably less expensive than Apple computers, with comparable computer graphics, memory, and hard drive space. 
  • Graphic Design: Although Apple computers are generally the industry preference for graphic/web design, Adobe Creative Suite can run on both Windows and Apple computers. You do not need an Apple computer in order to collaborate with others on Apple computers.
  • Need both Mac and Windows OS?  Windows can be run on an Apple computer along with the Mac OS, but the Mac OS cannot be run on a Dell computer.
  • Ease of Use: Go with what you know! There is a learning curve if you switch from Mac to PC, or PC to Mac.


Standard or High-End?

Industry norms indicate that the standard computer models are suitable for most users for the next four years.

  • Memory: All high-end models come with 16GB of memory, which you may need if you work with large media files, data sets, or other memory-intensive files.
  • Costs: High-end models will require additional funding from your department or the Provost Office.