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Laptop Purchasing Advice

                               Updated  May 2016

Buy for 3 years OF use
You may be tempted to buy the cheapest laptop you can find; however, be aware that over the life of the laptop, this seeming price advantage could easily be offset and exceeded by wasted time, money, and inconvenience spent on repairs.

The configuration below does not necessarily reflect the current configurations available to be purchased from a retailer; use it as a guide to help you purchase a good laptop that will adequately serve your law school needs for the next three years with as few problems as possible. 

Purchase adequate warranty coverage
Laptop repairs tend to be very expensive.  We urge you to purchase a 3-year service contract to last you through your law school tenure, preferably complete care with screen replacement.  Think about how long you can afford to be without your laptop during the semester or during exams. Also find out where you can get the laptop fixed and what the turn-around time is for warranty repairs. For instance, do you need to mail it back to the manufacturer or can it be serviced locally in Ann Arbor.

The Computer Showcase Computer Support and Repair Service has information on available computer repair services on campus.

Shop around
Please note: there is no obligation to purchase hardware/software from the University's Computer Showcase; links to products are provided simply as a courtesy.

Check out prices both online and in stores for laptop deals. Be sure to include the  Computer Showcase in your search, as it offers attractive laptop prices for registered students. Computer Showcase discounts are available to incoming law students in May and August. When you contact the store be certain to tell them you are an admitted law student.


  • To fully use the Law School's network resources, we strongly recommend that your computer have either Windows 7 or higher, or Mac OSX 10.7 or higher. 
  • The Computer Showcase offers software at deeply discounted prices for enrolled students. View their software catalog.
  • Microsoft offers Office 365 Education to University of Michigan students at no cost. Learn more.

Recommended Laptop Configuration

[Use as a Guide]
Features Windows MAC  1
Operating System

Windows 7 - 10
(Windows 8 RT has not been tested at the Law School)

Mac OSX 10.8 - 10.11.x  

(computer speed)
Dual-core or higher
Min 4 GB
Hard Drive
(storage space)
Min 128 GB
Removable Storage USB Flash drive  2
IEEE 802.11 a/g/n
Virus Protection Visit the University's Safe Computing site for product recommendations and download information
Warranty 3 3-yr labor & parts (complete care)
Printer 4 Laserjet or Inkjet

1 Students considering eventually joining one of the student law journals should be advised that a Windows-based laptop will be more compatible with the software and processes used by the Journals.

2 A large flash drive is recommended for backing up your important data unless you prefer a cloud service such as Google Drive or M+Box.

3 The Computer Showcase Support and Repair Service provides full warranty and out-of-warranty hardware and software repairs on Apple, Dell and HP computers. See their repair page for information about other computer brands.

4 If you print often, we recommend that you have a personal printer to supplement the Law School printers.
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