Traditionally the School of Computer Science and Information Technology has relied on the school’s in-house IT facilities for our labs, so a laptop was a “nice to have” rather than a “must have” item.
Covid, and the likelihood that a significant amount of teaching this year will be online, have obviously changed things. Students will need access to some form of a laptop computer for their work for at least the 2020-2021 academic year.
The UCC advice page provides good general laptop advice from university IT services that may be helpful: https://www.ucc.ie/en/sit/services/laptops/, including details on deals for students with various suppliers. Their minimum spec is a good starting point:
· i3 Processor (i5 better if budget allows)
· 8GB Ram (more is better)
· 256GB SSD Hard Drive
· 14 inch Screen or larger.
Note that for most Computer Science coursesyou will require a laptop with a full operating system (Windows 10/ Linux/MacOS). A tablet is not sufficient. Chromebooks are not recommended: while they may be adequate for some modules, they are not suitable for all.
The choice of an operating system (Windows 10/ Linux/MacOS) should primarily be determined by your personal preference; for most courses, it is not critical as common software packages are generally available on all platforms. For some courses, advanced software may be limited to a subset of platforms. If in doubt, check with your course coordinator. Windows laptops will generally receive better support if you have an issue requiring support from central IT services.
The HEA are funding a laptop loan/rental scheme for students who meet certain criteria. Various UCC offices (UCC Plus, Mature Student Office etc.) will manage this scheme locally for various cohorts. Refer to the FAQ on the UCC Covid webpage for details of how to apply.