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Computer Recommendations

These recommendations apply to personally-owned computers that will be used to access Cornell services. Faculty and staff using university-owned computers should work with their unit's technical support and business office.

Some otherwise useful technologies don't function well in our residence halls, academic buildings, and administrative offices. With many people in close proximity, these devices tend to interfere with one another. See our Unsuitable Technologies page for details.

Some colleges, schools, and departments have specific recommendations for their students:

Most computers purchased within the past few years and running a recent version of Windows or Mac OS X will be able to handle Cornell-related tasks. See the links in the left sidebar for compatibility charts for specific operating systems.

If you are purchasing a computer, we recommend ordering through the Tech Connection at The Cornell Store (either in person or online at They offer a number of competitively-priced Dell and Apple computers in standard configurations, along with links to custom-configured Apple, Dell, and HP (Hewlett-Packard) products with Cornell's discount.

If you choose to purchase your computer somewhere else, it's still worth looking at the standard configurations at The Cornell Store to get a sense of what specifications you should shop for.

Related information...

The Technology Connection has partnered with The Computing Center to provide service for Apple, Dell, and HP computers, along with HP and Xerox printers, both in and out of warranty, regardless of where you purchased your equipment.

The IT Service Desk provides assistance in using campus network services such as Wi-Fi, as well as other information technology services.

The links below (in the footer of this page) cover a variety of the most-used topics on this site, including email, NetID, and other services.