Computer Requirement

Fall 2024 / Spring & Summer 2025

All undergraduate and transfer students, except for those majoring in Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science (BACS), at the J. B. Speed School of Engineering are required to have a mobile computer with an active digital pen that meets the minimum tablet specification listed on this site. Graduate students should have a laptop with the capability to fulfill their program requirements with a functional camera, microphone and speakers. BACS students may refer to the BACS Computer Requirement page for more details of their requirement. 

Students must provide their own device – Speed School will not provide one for you.

Speed School Requires Professional Class Computers.Learn More.

We provide recommendations for devices we’ve tested, which meet the requirements to help you succeed during your time at the J.B. Speed School of Engineering. You may easily purchase one of the recommended device bundles from our preferred technology partner by clicking the “How to Purchase” button. For students who are interested in picking out their own device, or determining if an existing device works, we provide detailed requirements below our recommendations.  

A Tablet for your Speed School Career

Please review the following short summaries of the Speed School recommended devices. More detailed information about them can be found on our tablet evaluation page. The recommendations below include a 4 year warranty with accidental damage protection; while not required, having a warranty provides students with an immediate backup plan if a failure does occur. Students with warrantied devices are eligible for one of our loaner laptops until the device is fixed.

Speed School Recommended Devices

The Standard – What do we think? A business class tablet that will meet all of the requirements of speed school. It easily runs all required engineering software, but won’t break the bank.

The StandardLenovo ThinkPad Yoga L13 Gen 4 i7
OSWindows 11
PC ProcessorIntel Core i7 13th gen
Memory (RAM)16 GB
Storage Drive512 GB Solid State Drive
A Lenovo Yoga L13 Tablet

The Overachiever – What do we think? With an upgraded processor, it will easily handle engineering applications for all majors, but bio and mechanical majors will appreciate the extra power during upper-level coursework. Comes with better quality audio and display options when compared to The Standard.

The OverachieverLenovo ThinkPad Yoga X13 Gen 4 i7
OSWindows 11
PC ProcessorIntel Core i7 13th gen
Memory (RAM)16 GB
Storage Drive512 GB Solid State Drive
A Lenovo Yoga X13 Tablet

The $$ Saver – What do we think? For those looking for the most affordable option this is the choice for you. We worked with Dell to build a heavily discounted unit. This Dell 2-in-1 device performed very well in our benchmark tests. It has a slightly larger display than the other devices we recommend and weights a bit more. There is no internal storage for the pen and it does not ship with the pen included; you must purchase it separately. This device converts to a tablet just like the Lenovo Yoga.

The $$ SaverDell Inspiron 14 2-in-1
OSWindows 11
PC ProcessorIntel Core i7
Memory (RAM)16 GB
Storage Drive512 GB Solid State Drive
Purchase Separately4 Year Accidental Damage Extended Warranty,
Dell Active Pen – PN5122W (or comparable)
A Dell Inspiron 2-in-1 laptop

The Surface – What do we think? While desirable for its stylish design and ultra-slim profile, we find the lack of a notebook mode, rigid keyboard, and external ports frustrating. The Yoga is a notebook that converts to a tablet, where the Surface is a tablet that tries to be a laptop notebook. Beyond these limitations, this model has the power and features you need for Speed School. Surface models with an ARM-based processor will NOT run engineering software. The purchasing link from our technology partner, Connection, will ensure you the proper tablet with the Intel Core i5 or i7 Processor.

The SurfaceMicrosoft Surface Pro 9 Bundle
OSWindows 11
PC ProcessorIntel Core i7
Memory (RAM)16 GB
Storage Drive512 GB Solid State Drive
Bundle IncludesExtended warranty,
Surface Pro Signature Keyboard with Slim Pen 2
A Microsoft Surface Pro

Want to build your own device?

Minimum tablet specifications

ComponentMinimum Requirement
OSWindows 10 or Windows 11
PC ProcessorIntel Core i5 or i7
Memory (RAM)16 GB or greater
Storage Drive512 GB or larger Hard Drive (Solid State Drive recommended)
Wireless802.11n dual band or better
Input DeviceIntel, Wacom, or similar active stylus that supports digital inking. The active stylus is not required but recommended. If you choose to purchase a laptop without an active stylus, refer to the Companion Devices page as you will need to carry both a laptop and a tablet.
CommunicationCamera, microphone and speakers
Detailed Tablet Requirements

In addition, the following are recommended:

  • 4-year warranty with Accident Damage Protection
  • A USB hard drive or cloud backup option
  • Purchase a business grade rather than consumer grade tablet  (ie. ThinkPad Yoga instead of the Yoga)

The following types of devices are not acceptable for use as your primary computer at Speed:

  • iPad, any Apple computer or device running an Apple Operating System
  • Chromebooks
  • Android tablets or any devices running an Android based operating system
  • Microsoft Surface devices with an ARM-based processor. This includes but is not limited to The Surface Pro X, devices running Windows RT, Windows 10 Home S Mode or mobile operating system
  • Devices running the Linux or Unix operating system