The University of Otago recommends that you have your own computer with a Windows or Mac operating system 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, enquire with your department about whether a University-owned device can be provided to you.

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

The University provides study spaces with desktop computers (Windows and Mac) for students to use on campus. As a distance student, you will need your own device.

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.

Mac OS 12 (Monterey)
Windows 10 (support ending October 2024)
Mac OS 13 (Ventura) or OS 14 (Sonoma)
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 a requirement to have antivirus software on your laptop. As a University of 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.

It is recommended to have a two- or three-year manufacturer's warranty with support. Do not purchase additional store warranties as the Consumer Guarantees Act provides you with protection for faults.

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

If you have any questions, contact AskOtago

Further information

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