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Laptop Purchasing Advice

                                    Reviewed July 2020

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
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 Tech Shop (formerly Computer Showcase) Computer Support and Repair Service has information on available computer repair services on campus.


Chromebook laptops cannot run Windows or macOS, and are therefore not compatible with printing and some other services at the Law School.

Shop around
Please note: there is no obligation to purchase hardware/software from the University's Tech Shop; 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 Tech Shop in your search, as it offers attractive laptop prices for registered students. 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 Windows 8.1, 10 or macOS 10.13 - 10.15. 
  • The Tech Shop offers software at deeply discounted prices for enrolled students. View their software catalog.
  • Microsoft offers both Windows 10 and Office 365 to current University of Michigan students at no cost. Office 365 is available for Windows and macOS users.
  • Adobe Creative Cloud is now available for all current students at no cost.  This includes programs such as Acrobat Pro, and Photoshop. 

Recommended Laptop Configuration

[Use as a Guide]            


MAC  1

Operating System Windows 8.1 or 10

macOS 10.13 - 10.15

(computer speed)
Dual-core or higher
4 GB (minimum)
Hard Drive
(storage space)
128 GB (minimum, Solid State Drives (SSDs) are recommended)
Removable StorageUSB Flash drive or hard drive  2
Virus ProtectionVisit the University's Safe Computing site for product recommendations and download information
Productivity SoftwareMicrosoft Office is recommended.  Learn more about obtaining it at no cost.
Warranty 33-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 or USB hard drive is recommended for backing up your important data unless you prefer a cloud service such as Google Drive, U-M Box, or U-M Dropbox.

3 The ITS Tech Repair Service provides full warranty and out-of-warranty hardware and software repairs on many popular brands of computers. See their repair page for details.

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