Most students will look at laptops, and should be aiming for at least 16GB of RAM and 250GB of hard-drive space. That said, you should maximize those as your budget allows (buy the biggest HD/most RAM you can afford).
Additionally, it’s a good idea to plan on some extra money for:
- Backup hard-drive: 1TB or larger – this should be in addition to a good cloud-based backup service (iCloud, Carbonite, Backblaze).
- A larger monitor for dorm/home: Especially if your primary computer is a laptop. Apple recommends the LG UltraFine 4k series (https://www.lg.com/us/ultrafine-monitors) which are great options, but you can find similarly spec’d monitors from Dell (https://www.dell.com/si/business/p/dell-u2718q-monitor/pd), Asus (https://www.asus.com/Monitors/ProArt-PA32UC-K/) and other vendors. Look for high resolution and color accuracy, and check connection options as you may need an adapter to connect your laptop.
- A good desk and office chair: You’ll be more comfortable and be able to work more quickly.
- A personal printer: Access to printing services will vary for individuals and critical review of printed work will still be necessary for many courses. A color inkjet printer should be adequate for these demands, and many provide scanning and other functionality as well. Epson (https://epson.com/For-Home/Printers/Inkjet/Epson-Expression-Home-XP-4100-Small-in-One-Printer/p/C11CG33201) and HP (https://store.hp.com/us/en/pdp/hp-deskjet-3755/) along with other manufacturers have offerings in the $100 range.
- Whether your DSGN class is online or not, you will have access to the computer labs in the College of Business. It may be a good option for you to set up and work (during class or whenever the Business building is open) where each station is set up with an Apple Cinema display, an extended keyboard and mouse. You’ll need an adapter to use the monitors in our labs (https://www.apple.com/shop/product/MMEL2AM/A/thunderbolt-3-usb-c-to-thunderbolt-2-adapter).
Be sure to sanitize your station before working, and follow all posted social distancing protocols!
As for software, the main tools we use here are the Adobe Creative Cloud suite (https://www.adobe.com/creativecloud/buy/students.html) which offers student pricing for access to all of Adobe’s applications. The other tool we use a lot is Sketch, which is priced at a 50% discount for students (https://www.sketch.com/store/edu/).