Northwestern Information Technology (NUIT) provides hardware recommendations for computers and mobile devices: https://www.it.northwestern.edu/hardware/index.html
The Department of Statistics and Data Science recommends students looking for information on laptop hardware requirements follow the NUIT minimum hardware guidelines when purchasing a laptop.
The NUIT laptop recommendations are found here:
PC laptop: https://www.it.northwestern.edu/hardware/pc/pc-laptop.html
MAC laptop: https://www.it.northwestern.edu/hardware/mac/mac-laptop.html
A laptop meeting at least the minimum requirements will allow students to participate fully in STAT courses including the courses for the Data Science major or minor.
Screen size is a matter of personal preference and there is no preference between Mac (Apple) and PC laptops for department courses.
Going with the power user recommendations is significantly more than students need for STAT classes, but the performance gains would certainly be noticeable. If students are looking for performance improvements that go beyond the minimum recommendations without going all the way to the power user recommendations, then upgrading the processor would be a good place to start.We also suggest students be thoughtful about memory. If they will be saving a lot of photos and videos directly to the laptop (not to a cloud service), then upgrading the laptop memory from 256 gigabyte solid state drive to a 512 gigabyte solid state drive could be a good investment.
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