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Electronic Engineering laptop recommendations

Electronic Engineering Laptop recommendations

Recommended Minimum spec for buying a new laptop



Windows 10 Pro

As a TCD student you can install Windows 10 Pro for free. See FAQs below for comment on Mac OSX


4 Core CPU

10th gen Intel i3, 8th gen

Intel i5, or AMD equivalent




256 SSD

SSDs are much faster than conventional HDDs




At least 8 hours

Some tutorial spaces on Campus may not have

power sockets for students


At least a 13” in size. Minimum 1920x1080 resolution


USB-A ports required for external hardware

Adaptors from USB-C to USB-A are available; factor this into the overall cost of

the laptop purchase


Do I need a laptop?

Given the current COVID-19 situation, all engineering students will be expected to have access to a laptop to engage with online lectures and to complete laboratory assignments & projects.

Can I share a laptop with others in my household?

Probably not. In practice, the Engineering timetable requires many hours of contact time per day and sharing a laptop is unlikely to be suitable.

Will a tablet/iPad suffice?

In short, no. A tablet may be suitable to engage with online lectures, however some of the engineering software packages required for labs will only run on a Windows based PC.

I already own a laptop that doesn’t meet the recommended specifications, do I need to upgrade?

Any relatively modern laptop running Windows 10 should run all the required software. The recommended minimum spec is advice for purchasers of new laptops, to ensure what they buy will have a decent performance level. Laptops that don’t meet the above spec may provide a poorer/slower experience, but may well suffice.

What about Apple Macs?

While many engineering software packages do have versions for Mac OS X, there are some that will only run on Windows. As a result, we do not recommend or provide support for running engineering software on Apple Macs.

I already own a MacBook, are you telling me I can’t use it?

Some engineering software, as well as some external hardware is not compatible with OS X or OS 11. You are welcome to try workarounds like installing Windows 10 on a Mac via bootcamp but this can be a tricky process and there is no guarantee of success. Some FPGA boards might not work with Windows 10 on a Mac. Macbooks containing Apple CPUs (M1) are likely to be less compatible with engineering tools than those with Intel CPUs.

What type of internet connection will I need at home?

Ideally you should have at least a 10Mb broadband connection per user.