Computer Center


Student Computer Specifications

computer photo

In order to promote a successful collegiate experience, Clarke University students are required to have a laptop computer. The following list is the minimal criteria needed to ensure the laptop will work well with the university's IT infrastructure. The Clarke Dell and Apple websites have several packages that meet or exceed the Clarke hardware requirements.

  • Size: Minimum 13” screen (tablet or netbook not recommended)
  • Battery: Minimum 2 hour span
  • Processor: 64 bit Multi-core
  • Memory: 4 GB although we recommend that you install as much memory as affordable at the time of purchase
  • Primary Hard Drive: 128GB solid state drive or 500GB hard disk drive
  • Networking: Wireless 802.11n capable
  • Software:Windows 7 or 8, or Mac OS X 10.7 or higher - either will need:
    • Operating System
    • Data Backup
    • Security: anti-virus and anti-spyware
    • Word Processor, Spreadsheet, and Presentation Software

  Recommended Additions 

  • Warranty: Extended three year warranty
  • Insurance: Accidental damage
  • Backup Device or Service: For local backup, an external hard drive with double the size of the internal hard drive or a subscription to a cloud based backup solution like Dropbox
  • Recovery: all computers include a recovery partition or recovery utility that allows quick restoration of the factory image should a re-installation be necessary. If such recovery utilities came on DVD, the student should have those disks with them at Clarke.
  • Accessories: 
    • An external DVD writer
    • USB flash drive
    • Ethernet cable – Length should be 10’ – 25’
    • An external webcam may also be useful for some applications, as well as a USB microphone and headphones
    • Dongles for connecting to an external display or projection device

If you have questions, feel free to contact the Clarke University Help Desk at 563-588-6390 or

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