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Student Laptop Recommendations

The Law School is a very laptop friendly place with a wireless network throughout. Law students are expected to have a laptop and may use them to take exams and to participate in the first year Legal Research Workshop.

Laptop recommendations

Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing your laptop.

  • Hardware specifications
    Hardware recommendations and estimated costs are in the University’s Notebook Purchasing Guide. Also, see the Required Laptop Specifications for running SofTest, our exam software. NOTE: Not all Ultrabooks meet the SofTest minimum system requirements.
  • Operating System
    The University supports Windows and Mac systems, and both can be used for printing and taking exams at the Law School. But avoid the “Home”, “Home Premium” or “Starter” editions of Windows - they do not work with network printing. The central Penn site has more detailed recommendations.
  • It’s worth paying extra for the warranty
    Your laptop will be an important tool for you over the next three years at the Law School. We recommend a warranty that includes next business-day and on-site servicing.
  • Remember the extras!
    Certain “accessories” have became necessities…
    • A USB key gives you a way to backup and easily transfer files.
    • A laptop lock provides some security from theft (though you should not ever leave your laptop or other valuables unattended).
    • CompuTrace allows your laptop to be tracked if it is ever stolen (like “LoJack” for cars).  
    • Apple’s iCloud also offers a service that allows you to locate, track, and/or remotely delete your lost Apple devices.
    • An extra laptop battery is important since some seminar rooms do not have outlets.

Microsoft Office and Other Software

Later this summer, Microsoft Office 365 will be available to Penn Law students for free.  Students will be allowed to install Office on up to five systems or devices.  Microsoft Office 365 includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote for both Mac and PC.

Please check back later this summer for information on how to download and install this software.  In the meantime, you can view this list of the University’s recommended and support computing products.

Where to buy?

Back to School Sale

There are discounted packages available for incoming students each summer. You can place your order in June: first you’ll receive your PennKey Setup Code in the mail, then you’ll make your PennKey which you need to access the Penn Campus Express web site. You can pick up your system right on campus the week before classes.

Also, Dell and Apple laptops can be purchased at the Penn Computer Connection (requires PennKey).

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