The University of Otago highly recommends that you have your own laptop computer so that you can study flexibly and access the digital resources you will need from various locations, and at times that suit you.

If you are a postgraduate student, you may enquire in your department about whether a University-owned device can be provided to you.

The University provides study spaces with desktop computers (Mac and Windows) for students to use on campus. However if you are studying online or at a distance you will need to provide your own computer.

Study spaces on the Dunedin campus

The University recommends using a laptop computer with a Windows or Mac operating system. These operating systems are well supported and are compatible with the common software you will use at the University of Otago.

Some computer-intensive programmes/papers may have specific computing requirements—check with the department before you purchase.

As an Otago student you will have free access to Microsoft 365 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneDrive) so there is no need to buy this with a laptop:

Microsoft 365 for students

It is a requirement to have anti-virus software on your laptop. This provides valuable protection by detecting and removing malware. It can also block malicious websites to help prevent malware from being downloaded:

About anti-virus software for students

The following minimum specifications will ensure your laptop can manage the required software. This table is to be used as a guide and your particular needs will be specific to you. Some higher specifications are also provided if you want a laptop that will perform better over a longer timeframe.

macOS Big Sur (Version 11)
Windows 10 (support ending October 2024)
macOS 12 (Monterey) or macOS 13 (Ventura)
Windows 11
CPUIntel Core i5
AMD Ryzen 5
Intel Core i7
AMD Ryzen 7 or 9
Apple M1 or M2

512 GB SSD

(Your student Microsoft licence includes 2TB of cloud storage)

GraphicsAny integrated graphics card or dedicated graphics card.Dedicated graphics card (2GB GDDR5 or GDDR6), particularly if you are doing graphically intensive work. 
Screen13" or 14" screen (minimum resolution of 1920 x 1080)13"–16" screen (minimum resolution of 1920 x 1080), consider a touchscreen with stylus pen if keen on doing hand annotations and/or drawing. 
Wi-Fi (802.11ac or 802.11ax, Wi-Fi 6 and WPA2/WPA3)Wi-Fi 6 compatible (802.11ac or 802.11ax and WPA2/WPA3).
WebcamA webcam and microphone (built-in)Additionally, a headset with microphone to give a better video conferencing experience.

It is recommended to have a two or three year manufacturer's warranty with support. A warranty that provides on-site services provides better continuity of use than a warranty that requires the device to be shipped for service.

Do not purchase additional store warranties. The Consumer Guarantees Act provides you with protection for faults.

You should only use genuine versions of Windows or macOS. Although you may wish to use a Linux-based computer, this is not officially supported by the University and it is not guaranteed to work with all the software required in your study.

Financial assistance for laptop purchase

If you need help to pay for study materials (for example books, stationery, computer items), you may be able to get a StudyLink Student Loan for course-related costs. Check the StudyLink website for details including information about eligibility:

StudyLink—Student Loan course-related costs

In case of financial hardship please see the University's information regarding Pūtea Tautoko:

Pūtea Tautoko Student Relief Fund

Help or more information

If you have any questions, please contact AskOtago:

Freephone 0800 80 80 98 (within New Zealand)
Tel +64 3 479 7000