Purchases and Repair
Appropriate Computers for Engineering Students
Students often ask us what kind of computer they should have as an engineering student or potential engineering student. Any of the computers offered for sale by Dartmouth should work fine for you, but if you want to run heavy-duty engineering applications on your own computer, you may want to steer away from a MacBook Air. Whether you get a Mac or Windows computer is a matter of personal preference and cost. Some engineering software only runs on Windows, but we have a Virtual Computer Lab you can use to run Windows applications on a Mac.
We have labs with powerful Windows computers and also offer network compute servers that you can use if you don't want to use the Virtual Computer Lab or if you have needs that exceed the computer you purchase for yourself.
Computer Warranty and Repair: All computers purchased with Thayer Computing Services funds are covered for a minimum with a 3 year on-site warranty, and should be brought to M126 MacLean for repair. You should not attempt to do the repairs yourself for this will void the warranty.
For repair of personally owned computers, contact The Computer Store.
Purchasing Computer Hardware
When purchasing a computer for academic research or academic office use with Thayer School or Research funds, please contact User Support in M126 MacLean. We can help you configure and buy computers. We recommend you purchase a recommended brand/model (HP desktop/workstation, Lenovo laptop, or Mac) so we can better support the computer. You may be able to find a cheaper model or better price elsewhere, but keep in mind that our prices include 3 or 4 years extended warranty and in some cases also include accidental damage protection. Please do not attempt to order directly from Apple, HP, or Lenovo either by account number or with your own funds thinking you will get reimbursed. Doing so generally leads to hassles and delays.
We highly recommend, and Dartmouth frequently requires, purchasing a minimum of an extended 3 year on-site warranty. Apple offers equivalent extended coverage through their AppleCare program. For Lenovo laptops we strongly encourage including Accidental Damage Coverage.
Loaner Notebook Computers
For special circumstances (such as while your computer is being repaired) we have Loaner Laptops available for limited time spans. Engineering students can get one for up to a week, staff for up to two weeks, and faculty for up to a month. See our user support personnel in M126 MacLean if you wish to get a loaner notebook.