I am planning to attend Cairn. What computer should I get?
Posted by Sali Kaceli, Last modified by Sali Kaceli on 07/26/2018 1:05 PM
In most cases all Cairn services are available over the web and most recent computers will work for your studies while at Cairn. If you are an online student, then see these minimum technology requirements

Recommended Specifications 

If you are planning to purchase a new computer then here are three recommended specifications you should consider getting: 
  • Processor: Intel i5 or i7 (Not AMD processors)
  • Memory (RAM): 8GB or more
  • Hard drive: 256GB Solid State (These run much faster and really help the computer performance). 512GB is recommended if you have a lot of files and video or you could consider File Stream from Google. 
  • Wireless AC radio

The rest of the specifications are up to you such as the weight and the screen size. Through the years, we have found that most users prefer the lightweight laptops. Sometimes they get a heavy large screen one only later to regret it. Note that if you get a lightweight laptop, you can also get an inexpensive external monitor and have a dual screen option while at your desk. 

Vendor Preferences

Most students are really happy with a MacBook if you can afford it. Other recommended vendors are: Dell (the XPS series) or Lenovo (Thinkpad or Yoga) series. From my experience, HPs and other lesser known brands are not very reliable and the support is not great. Typically with computers, you get what you pay.  


You can currently get Microsoft Office for free by using your Cairn email address here

File Storage and Backup

Now that you are a student at Cairn, you have unlimited storage and backup through Google Drive. We strongly recommend that you backup your files using Google Drive

What about Chromebooks?

You could get by for regular school work and they are very inexpensive. However, when using a Chromebook, you will need to create the files and papers on Google Docs etc. Then you will also need to download the paper manually and then upload it to eLearning. Most faculty expect you to submit your paper in Microsoft Word. Note that Chromebooks do not meet the requirements for online courses. 

Have other questions? Email ts@cairn.edu or initiate a live chat from eLearning. 

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