Following are The University of Montana's recommendations on computing device ownership for students. Devices include desktop, laptop, notebook and netbook computers. More specific information and resources are available in the Resource section to the right.
Student ownership of a computing device is not required, but highly recommended. The University of Montana is committed to providing access to computing resources for students who do not own their own computer. However, students benefit greatly from the ability to work and access online information and services at any time and from any place.
Considerations when selecting a computing device
The University of Montana does not maintain a list of supported computer vendors and specifications to guide student computer purchases since such recommendations are typically out of date upon publication. Students can get specific campus support information at the time of purchase by contacting the IT Central help desk at
(406) 243-HELP (4357).
The University is committed to platform independence, focusing support on technologies like web-based applications and wireless network services that ensure access and usability for a broad range of computers and operating systems. In most cases, any reasonably up-to-date computer running any reasonably current version of Microsoft Windows, Apple MacOS or Linux operating system will meet a student's needs.
- Students should expect to own multiple computing devices during their academic career that reflect increasingly specialized requirements of their field of study as well as general technological advances.
- Students considering a computer purchase for advanced work in a particular field should consult with the academic department of their major field for specific recommendations prior to purchase.
- Students should consider portability in device selection. Laptop, notebook and netbook computers allow more portability than desktop computers, but with decreasing levels of functionality. Students may find it beneficial to own a combination of computing devices to satisfy demands for both functionality and mobility.