Purchasing a Personal Computer

In the market for a new personal computer? As a member of the Emerson College community, you're eligible for a discount! That includes students, staff, and faculty.

If you have any questions about a purchase, call us at 617-824-8080 or email helpdesk@emerson.edu, and we'll be glad to help!


Purchasing for Students

Unless you are enrolling in the Journalism CreativityKit program, Emerson College does not solely endorse either Windows or macOS for student use. Since both have advantages and disadvantages, Emerson IT recommends that students purchase whatever system they are most comfortable using unless directed otherwise by their academic department.

Some courses require the purchase of additional hardware, such as portable hard drives. Beyond that, Emerson IT provides 25GB of secure, cloud storage with Box, and unlimited Google Drive storage space for all students.

Below are a few general requirements for purchasing a new computer:

  • Any new computer should be Wi-Fi capable and support our wireless network. If you're bringing an older computer, you should ensure that it supports a WPA2 Enterprise wireless connection!
  • If you plan on editing videos, the more RAM and higher processor speed will be beneficial.
  • Be sure to purchase a laptop with a built-in camera and microphone, or purchase a webcam if you have a desktop computer for video conferencing.
  • If your laptop has a built-in ethernet port, you may need to purchase an ethernet adapter (usually a USB-C or Thunderbolt) to connect to a wall port, though this is usually not required. Most students connect wirelessly.
  • We no longer permit Windows XP and Windows 7 to connect to the Emerson College network!
  • Windows computers connecting to Emerson's network are required to have anti-virus software installed. Windows Defender is free and well regarded, and now comes preinstalled from Microsoft with Windows 10, 8.1, and 8 (replacing Microsoft Security Essentials for Windows 7). You can read more about Anti-Virus protection and maintenance at Basic Computer Maintenance

Where to Purchase

Students, faculty, and staff of Emerson College can purchase a full range of computer products for personal use at special academic pricing in several ways. Many companies offer an educational discount that you will qualify for.

Apple
  • Purchase online from Apple, including iPads and Laptops.
  • Visit a physical Apple Store in-person and purchase hardware with your Emerson ID.

Note: The zip code for Emerson College is 02116.

Dell
  • Purchase online from Dell.

Purchasing for Faculty & Staff - Home Use

It can sometimes be difficult to know what to purchase to make your home setup work the best for you. Below we provided a variety of suggested items that our faculty and staff can purchase for themselves to help configure their home systems.

Note: The items below are suggestions, but are not guaranteed to work with your home environment.

Laptops and Desktops

Emerson College has a list of standard models that we purchase at the college for employee use. Some have found that these models are also ideal for home use. To view the current list of standards for employees including hardware details, read Computer & Tech Purchasing for Staff & Faculty.

Laptops Desktops Monitors

 

Cables & Adapters

If you already have a monitor or multiple monitors and wish to connect them using cables or adapters, please use the guide below.

First, you need to determine the type of port/connection you have on both your computer and your monitor. Look at your computer and determine which of the ports pictured below matches your computer. Next, you'll need to determine the type of port that matches your monitor (click on the port below that matches your computer and you'll be taken to a list of possible monitor ports).

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HDMI

Image result for what does a vga port look like

VGA

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DVI

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DisplayPort

 

HDMI

If your monitor has this port... You'll need...

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HDMI

Image result for hdmi cable

An HDMI cable. Connect the HDMI cable from your computer to your monitor. You can purchase an HDMI cable on Amazon for under $15.

Image result for usb-c port

 USB-C (Thunderbolt 3)

An HDMI cable & an HDMI to USB-C (Thunderbolt 3) adapter (pictured above). Connect the HDMI cable from your computer to the adapter, and then to your monitor. You can purchase an HDMI to USB-C (Thunderbolt 3) adapter on Amazon for under $20.

Image result for displayport port

DisplayPort

An HDMI to DisplayPort adapter. Connect the adapter from your computer to your monitor. You can purchase a DisplayPort to HDMI adapter on Amazon for under $10.

Image result for mini displayport port

Mini DisplayPort (Thunderbolt 2)

An HDMI cable & an HDMI to Mini DisplayPort (Thunderbolt 2) adapter (pictured above). Connect the HDMI cable from your computer to the adapter, and then to your monitor. You can purchase a Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter on Amazon for under $10.

 

VGA

If your monitor has this port... You'll need...

Image result for what does a vga port look like

VGA connector (15-pin port)

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A VGA cable. Connect the VGA cable from your computer to your monitor. You can purchase a VGA cable on Amazon for under $10.

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DVI

DVI-D 18+1 Pin Dual Link Male to VGA 15 Pin Female Plug Adapter for LCD Monitor

A VGA cable & a VGA to DVI adapter (pictured above). Connect the VGA cable from your computer to the adapter, and then to your monitor. You can purchase a VGA to DVI adapter on Amazon for under $10.

ps4hdmiportrepairreading_47066021-4e8d-4a52-96e7-0b6bddfaad58.jpg

HDMI

A VGA cable & a VGA to HDMI adapter (pictured above). Connect the VGA cable from your computer to the adapter, and then to your monitor. You can purchase a VGA to DVI adapter on Amazon for under $10.

Image result for displayport port

DisplayPort

A VGA cable & a VGA to DisplayPort adapter (pictured above). Connect the VGA cable from your computer to the adapter, and then to your monitor. You can purchase a VGA to DVI adapter on Amazon for under $10.

Image result for mini displayport port

Mini DisplayPort (Thunderbolt 2)

A VGA cable & a VGA to Mini DisplayPort (Thunderbolt 2) adapter (pictured above). Connect the VGA cable from your computer to the adapter, and then to your monitor. You can purchase a VGA to DVI adapter on Amazon for under $10.

Image result for usb-c port

USB-C (Thunderbolt 3)

A VGA cable & a VGA to USB-C (Thunderbolt 3) adapter (pictured above). Connect the VGA cable from your computer to the adapter, and then to your monitor. You can purchase a VGA to USB-C (Thunderbolt 3) adapter on Amazon for under $15.

 

DVI

If your monitor has this port... You'll need...

Image result for dvi port

DVI

A DVI cable. Connect the DVI cable from your computer to your monitor. You can purchase a DVI cable on Amazon for under $12.

Image result for usb-c port

USB-C (Thunderbolt 3)

A DVI cable & a DVI to USB-C (Thunderbolt 3) adapter (pictured above). Connect the DVI cable from your computer to the adapter, and then to your monitor. You can purchase a DVI to USB-C (Thunderbolt 3) adapter on Amazon for under $15.

ps4hdmiportrepairreading_47066021-4e8d-4a52-96e7-0b6bddfaad58.jpg

HDMI

A DVI to HDMI adapter. Connect the adapter from your computer to your monitor. You can purchase a VGA to DVI adapter on Amazon for under $10.

Image result for displayport port

DisplayPort

A DVI cable & a DVI to DisplayPort adapter (pictured above). Connect the DVI cable from your computer to the adapter, and then to your monitor. You can purchase a DVI to DisplayPort adapter on Amazon for under $10.

Image result for mini displayport port

Mini DisplayPort (Thunderbolt 2)

A DVI cable & a DVI to Mini DisplayPort (Thunderbolt 2) adapter (pictured above). Connect the DVI cable from your computer to the adapter, and then to your monitor. You can purchase a DVI to Mini DisplayPort (Thunderbolt 2) adapter on Amazon for under $10.

 

DisplayPort

If your monitor has this port... You'll need...

Image result for displayport port

DisplayPort

A DisplayPort cable. Connect the DisplayPort cable from your computer to your monitor. You can purchase a DisplayPort cable on Amazon for under $10.

ps4hdmiportrepairreading_47066021-4e8d-4a52-96e7-0b6bddfaad58.jpg

HDMI

A DisplayPort to HDMI adapter. Connect the adapter from your computer to your monitor. You can purchase a DisplayPort to HDMI adapter on Amazon for under $10.

Image result for mini displayport port

Mini DisplayPort (Thunderbolt 2)

A DisplayPort cable & a DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort (Thunderbolt 2) adapter (pictured above). Connect the DisplayPort cable from your computer to the adapter, and then to your monitor. You can purchase a DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort (Thunderbolt 2) adapter on Amazon for under $10.

Image result for usb-c port

USB-C (Thunderbolt 3)

A DisplayPort cable & a DisplayPort to USB-C (Thunderbolt 3) adapter (pictured above). Connect the DisplayPort cable from your computer to the adapter, and then to your monitor. You can purchase a DisplayPort to USB-C (Thunderbolt 3) adapter on Amazon for under $15.

 

Docking Stations

Some computers have limited ports, but users seek to use either multiple monitors or have available ports for flash drives, wired printer connections, or other configurations. A docking station may be the way to go.

Note: Not all computers support multiple monitors. The docking stations presented are for newer model computers with USB-C ports.

Dell Docking Station WD-19

  • Ethernet port
  • (3) USB-A 3.0 ports
  • (2) DisplayPort
  • HDMI port
  • (2) USB-C ports
WD19 Docking Station

CalDigit TS3 Plus for Mac - Thunderbolt 3 Connectivity

  • SD Card reader
  • (4) USB-C ports
  • (5) USB-A ports
  • Ethernet port
  • DisplayPort
  • Audio 3.3 mm port

 

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