Laptop Requirement

Note: due to the reality of remote coursework brought on by the COVID-19 crisis, it is now more important than ever for Lindner students to have a relatively fast, trustworthy laptop that meets all the requirements laid out on this site, including a working webcam (either built-in, or a USB-attached webcam) to participate in class discussions.

All Lindner College of Business students are required to have a laptop computer that meets certain hardware standards. Because all software used in LCB coursework is Windows-based, we strongly recommend that your laptop is Windows-based as well. Students with Apple computers can use Windows software by accessing UCVLabs or by installing Boot Camp or VMWare on their Apple computer.  However, keep in mind that if your system is not Windows-based, it is your responsibility to purchase and install any additional software and/or access what is available on UCVlabs.

Frequently asked questions

Why require laptops?

  • Students and study groups will have the ability to work from nearly anyplace or at anytime with dedicated access to specialized software and tools, alleviating the demand for capacity and time constrained lab computers.
  • Professors and students will have the ability to integrate real world simulations or live input in the classroom; thus, providing for a more interactive learning experience.
  • Accommodates the scheduling and work requirements of our students who are full-time working professionals.
  • Access to the College printing resources will be facilitated via direct access from your personal laptop.
  • Students can participate in online-based classes and take advantage of more flexibly scheduled courses.
  • There will be more classroom space for Lindner College of Business classes.

What are the minimum requirements for a laptop?

Processor: Intel Core i5/i7
Memory (RAM): 8.0 GB minimum, 16.0 GB preferred
Hard drive size: 256 GB
Display/resolution: User's preference
Operating system: Windows 10 or higher (PC), OS X 10.9 or higher (Mac)
Warranty: User's preference, four years suggested
Webcam: Required; either built-in or USB-attached
Backup drive: Strongly recommended
Headset: Strongly recommended for remote coursework. To include over-ear headphones and attached microphone.

For more details, see the full list of requirements.

Where can I purchase a laptop?

Most laptops purchased from the UC bookstore will cover the requirements set by Lindner for most needed programs. Please visit the UC bookstore to see their offerings. You may also want to inquire about their warranty options. 

Do I have to purchase my laptop through a Lindner approved program?

The Lindner College of Business (LCB) offers as a service to our students options to purchase laptops at the UC bookstore. However, students are not required to purchase a laptop through that program as long as the equipment the student brings meets or exceeds the requirements the College has set. 

Can I use my existing laptop?

Students can use their existing laptop or mobile workstation as long as it meets the minimum specifications set by the College and is able to run any software required by the program. The key benefit of purchasing a recommended model through a program is the support structure. The University Bookstore may will be able to help facilitate a depot return for repair if the laptop was purchased through their program. This will eliminate the student needing to go off campus to a costly repair center or sending their hardware back to the manufacturer for repair.

I'm a Mac person. Can I use my Macbook in my coursework at LCB?

Lindner IT strongly suggests the use of a Windows-based laptop in your coursework at LCB.

In the corporate world, Windows is far and away the most commonly used operating system. Subsequently, some business-oriented software packages are written only for Windows.  Some other applications have both Windows and Mac versions, but they are not identical and the Mac version is missing key features that are included in the Windows version. A good example is Microsoft Excel, which is used heavily in many Lindner courses.

Moreover, our students, upon entering the corporate world, are generally going to be given a Windows computer to work with, and we want our students to be as prepared as possible for the environment they will likely face after graduation.

That being established, if you already have a MacBook or are dead-set against purchasing a Windows computer, you can use a MacBook in your coursework. However, this may require additional steps and/or purchasing additional software. For example, you may use Boot Camp to make your Apple computer run the Windows OS in addition to Mac OS, or VMWare Fusion to run a Windows virtual machine on top of the Mac OS. There is also the option to use UCVLabs, a virtual Windows environment we provide for our students.

Again, the choice is up to you. Many people have strong and valid reasons for wanting to use a Mac in their studies at LCB, which is why we make it possible for you to do so. However, we do want to make sure that you are aware of the limitations and the extra steps you may need to take to successfully do so.

Can I use an iPad instead of purchasing a laptop?

The Lindner College of Business does not support the use of an iPad in place of a laptop. While we feel the iPad is an excellent device to use complimentary to your laptop, it has large disadvantages if being used as your only device.

  • iPads do not have the processing power of a traditional machine.
  • The iPad doesn't give you direct access to its file system making it sometimes impossible to access your files when network access isn't available.
  • The iPad has a limitation on software compatibility. While apps are available through Apple's App Store, many required business applications are not. This leaves you at a huge disadvantage when daily course work requires these applications.
  • There is no USB port, making it difficult to transfer materials from one device to another.
  • iPads lack a keyboard which make it very difficult to write long research papers.

Why buy a business class laptop rather than a consumer-grade model?

College students use their laptops almost constantly; use them in a wide variety of physical environments; move them around quite a bit; and subject them to a large amount of physical stress.  Even the most careful student will generally subject their laptop to lots of bumping and impact merely by the constant movement of the laptop into and out of backpacks, onto desks, etc. Lindner I.T. therefore recommends purchasing a business class, rather than a consumer class, laptop for use in your studies.

Most major manufacturers sell both types. For example, Dell has the Optiplex and Latitude lines which are business class laptops, and the Inspiron, XPS, Studio, and Alienware lines, which are consumer class models.

Consider this example: two Dell laptops, one an Optiplex model, and the other an Inspiron model, both have the same processor, the same amount of RAM, and the same size hard drive. In this example, the business class laptop will cost more. Why? Mainly because they are physically built to withstand more jostling and movement, but there are other reasons as well. The following resources provide additional information on the differences between the two kinds of laptops.

Where can I purchase the required software?

Faculty, Staff and Students at the University of Cincinnati (UC) can purchase software from the UC Bookstore at a discounted rate. The bookstore's computer department is located on the 3rd level of the Tangeman University Center on UC's west campus. Please visit the bookstore website for more information.

Does the Lindner College of Business offer any financial assistance for purchasing the laptop?

Since a laptop is required by the Lindner College of Business, students may be able to include this cost in their financial aid needs. For system costs, we recommend consulting the UC Bookstore Program which provides purchase options that meet the college requirements. For more information about the financial aid process, please visit the Student Financial Aid website, or call 513-556-1000. The only financial aid application needed at the University of Cincinnati is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

What kind of technical support does the Lindner College of Business offer?

In the event that your system needs repair, a student can check out a loaner laptop during the repair period provided that inventory is available.

Any equipment purchased will be supported with respect to connecting to the network, printing to the labs and software assistance. If a system needs hardware support, it is up to them to seek out assistance. UC's ResNet program may be of assistance. Please visit the ResNet page for more information.

Under no circumstance will the LCB Service Desk be responsible for backing up any data on a student laptop. The backup process will remain the responsibility of each individual student. The LCB Service Desk does provide documentation and will offer advice to help students understand the steps that need to be taken for secure and complete data backup of their device.