IS&T assists the MIT community with computing needs analysis and purchasing advice. Laptop computers running the Windows or macOS operating system (OS) are strongly recommended for Institute faculty and staff since they provide the maximum flexibility needed to work anywhere on campus.
Before making an Institute purchase, please check with your department. If it is not already, your department may want to take advantage of IS&T's DLC Direct support services. Laptops procured through the DLC Direct program meet all recommendations listed here, and include on-demand remote support from IS&T.
If your department will be making the purchase, they should be done through MIT Buy2Pay (B2P). Note that Apple, Dell, and Lenovo are MIT's preferred hardware vendors. There is also a list of vendor contact information available (Touchstone Authentication required).
If at any point you have questions or need help, contact the IS&T Service Desk 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
In general, when buying a computer, IS&T recommends that you purchase hardware that supports the latest operating systems and includes the fastest processor speed and as much memory as your budget will allow.
|Laptop attribute||Minimum requirements|
macOS 13.2 (Ventura)
Intel Core i7
AMD Ryzen 7
|Storage||500GB hard/solid disk drive|
|Warranty||3-year extended warranty with accident coverage with walk-in repairs|
Other aspects to consider when choosing a laptop are:
- Size and weight: You’ll want something that isn’t a burden to carry around.
- Number and types of ports: You should have enough to support the type and number of peripherals you will be using.
- Battery life: Make sure the battery can be expected to hold its charge long enough for you to use it during meetings, classes, etc.
- Camera placement: You should be able to work on your computer while working remotely.
Protect your laptop
As mentioned above, IS&T strongly recommends purchasing a 3-year extended warranty to cover manufacturer defects and accidental damage (spilled liquids, drops, etc.) that allow for walk-in repairs. Some warranties only allow mail-in repairs, which could mean being without your laptop for a longer period of time.
Once you've received your new laptop, take these additional steps to protect it from theft and visit MIT's Information Protection website for guidance on safeguarding Institute information and data on your machine.
MIT employees can take advantage of discount pricing from several suppliers. The Office of the Vice President for Finance has more information on discounts for MIT community members.
Before making a personal hardware purchase, review the following guidelines:
- You may not use the Institute’s tax-exempt number when making personal purchases—in fact, use of an institutional tax-exempt number to make personal purchases is prohibited under Massachusetts law.
- You may not add personal items to a purchase order that includes official MIT purchases. For example, you cannot purchase 10 reams of paper for personal use included with an MIT order of 50 cases.
- You may not charge personal items to the MIT ProCard.