All Drexel students are required to bring a computer with them to campus, and for Engineering students, that computer should be a laptop. Requirements for Engineering students do not differ greatly from Drexel’s generic computer purchasing recommendations.
Processor and RAM
At a minimum, look for a relative recent Intel Core I5 or I7 (or AMD Ryzen 5 or 7) and 8GB of RAM.
We highly recommend a solid-state drive (usually listed as SSD). How much storage space you will need depends on a lot of factors, but in most cases, at least 500GB will be sufficient. All Drexel students have access to 5TB of storage space through Microsoft’s OneDrive, which can be used to offload infrequently used data.
A dedicated GPU can be an requirement/advantage for some engineering software (especially in the Civil or Mechanical fields), but generally built-in graphics performance (i.e. Intel HD graphics) is good enough for most purposes.
We would be remiss if we did not point out that laptops can and do fail (usually when you need them most!), so a business-class warranty can mean the difference between an expensive paperweight and a working computer. We rely heavily on Dell’s business class Latitude line of laptops, which carry a default 3 year on-site warranty. For student-owned computers, we would go one step further and advise upgrading that to an accidental damage warranty to cover drops, falls, and spills that the normal warranty will not cover. Most laptop manufacturers and resellers offer similar accidental damage warranties, which can usually be added on during the checkout process.