Student Computer Options
Brown does not have a computer ownership requirement for students. Students have three options for computer access: purchase a computer when you arrive at Brown; purchase a computer before you arrive at Brown; or use computers in Brown's student accessible computer facilities.
Option 1: Purchase a new computer at Brown
Students who plan to purchase a new computer are strongly encouraged to purchase a Brown recommended model from Dell or Apple.
The Brown Computer Store sells both Apple and Dell computers. Students may purchase on-line from the store's website, over the phone or in person.
Students may also order directly from Dell and take advantage of Brown's discount pricing through the Brown University Premier Page for personal purchases.
What are some of the differences?
- Computer Store:
The Brown Computer Store carries the full line of Apple and Dell products including Brown's standard configurations of Dell desktops and laptops, and is an authorized service center for Dell and Apple. Note that when purchasing a computer from the Computer Store, CIS suggests that your purchase meet recommended hardware requirements.
- Dell Premier:
You can build your own Dell from Brown's Personal Purchase Dell Premier Page, but the best pricing is on standard configurations which are designed to work well in Brown's networked computing environment. Brown's standard configurations are based on Dell's Optiplex (desktop) and Latitude (laptop) platforms, which have longer component life cycles than those found in the Dimension or Inspiron platforms. Brown's standard configurations from Dell include a 3 year on-site warranty in the purchase price. They have also been tested by CIS staff and have proven performance in Brown's environment.
Option 2: Purchase your computer before you arrive
If you plan on purchasing a computer before you arrive at Brown, make sure that it meets recommended computer specifications suggested by CIS staff. These specifications were chosen to meet projected needs for an average student term and to provide optimum operation in Brown's computing environment.
For those who have already purchased a computer, on the same page you will find the minimum configurations for existing computers. Please note that while lesser configurations may work in the existing Brown computing environment, they may not in the future. Also, those not meeting these minimum requirements may be unable to use available software and may not qualify for full support from the Help Desk.
Option 3: Don't purchase a computer; use Brown's
CIS maintains public computing facilities for the use of Brown students, faculty and staff. The computing clusters in the CIT building (at the corner of Brook and Waterman Streets) are available 24 hours a day most of the time. There are also public clusters in the Science and Rockefeller libraries, which are open extended hours. In addition, computing classrooms (also in the CIT) are available for student use when not reserved for courses.
CIS provides access to a large variety of software applications in the computing clusters. In addition to software from the software distribution page, the cluster computers offer a number of course-specific applications.