During the year the Library and Student IT Advice team talk to lots of students who have problems with the devices they own. We're not saying you have to buy a specific device whilst you study here at Leeds Beckett University, but we thought it would be helpful to give you an idea of what to think about before buying something.
If you're coming to university with a single device our recommendation would always be to purchase a Windows 11 laptop. These devices are the most flexible in terms of installing general software such as Office 365, alongside specialist software such as SPSS and the Adobe Creative Suite.
Windows 11 laptops will be different to the PCs you might use in the Library and University social learning spaces as we are still using Windows 10. However, we do still recommend getting the latest operating system when you buy a new laptop.
Many students come to University with a MacBook. Although these are the preferred device for some courses, such as in the School of Arts, for others it's more of a personal preference. However, feedback from many of these students is that, given their time again, they wouldn't have bought one. Our recommendation to you is only buy a MacBook if you have used them in the past and/or your course delivers its content using Macs. You should also be cautious of buying a Chromebook as if your course includes online exams you won't be able to install the required software on it.
Whilst the specification of your device is a personal choice and may depend on what else you want to do with it (e.g. are you a PC gamer), there are some minimum requirements we would recommend looking for in the device you buy solely for University use:
There are some courses, such as social sciences and arts, that use specialist software in teaching and assessment. We would always recommend checking with course teams if you think there may be software specific to your course that may have technical requirements in addition to those above. You may also need to think about the type of work you will be doing, if your course invovles a lot of video or music production you will probably want to consider more storage.
Whilst Chromebooks and the newer Windows 10 S laptops are often cheaper, we don't recommend buying one as your only device.
They are very restrictive in allowing software to be installed, with many of the apps you can install offering less functionality than standard desktop versions. You should also be cautious of buying a Chromebook as if your course includes online exams you won't be able to install the required software on it.
However, if you're looking for a second device that lets you take notes and browse the web whilst on campus, a Chromebook or the newer Windows 10 S laptops which include app-based versions of Microsoft 365 are a good choice.
As well as your new device there are some extra bits you need to get the best experience whilst studying with us.
If you need any further help then please use the "Contact Us" buttons on the right to get in touch 24/7 with the Library and Student IT advice team.