Emerson IT Help Desk

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, please stop by the IT Help Desk on the 4th floor of 120 Boylston, call us at 617-824-8080 or email helpdesk@emerson.edu, and we'll be glad to help!

Students Click Here    Faculty & Staff Click Here


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. Any software required in classroom activities will be provided in Emerson's computer labs. Students should not worry about purchasing specific high-end software until they have used it in our computer labs and know specifically what they will need.

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 that all students can take advantage of.

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 to be editing video, the more RAM and higher processor speed will be beneficial.
  • 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!
  • Windows XP and Windows 7 are no longer permitted 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

  • You can purchase directly from the Apple Store, including iPads and iPhones
  • Hardware can also be purchased in-person at physical Apple Stores with your Emerson ID

Note: The zip code for Emerson College is 02116.

Dell 

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Purchasing for Faculty & Staff

Faculty and staff of Emerson College own a wide variety of computer systems. It can sometimes be difficult to know what to purchase to make your home setup what you need. Below we are providing a listing of different personal items that our faculty and staff can purchase for themselves to help configure their home systems.

NOTE: Emerson College IT does not support home setup. The items below are suggestions, but are not guaranteed to work with your home system. The IT Department has not tested all of these items individually.

The first part of every home setup is the computer itself. Emerson College has a list of standard models that we purchase at the college for faculty and staff use. Some have found that these models are also ideal for home use. Here are the current models of computer that Emerson College uses on-campus:

Laptops:

Dell Latitude 7400

Screen_Shot_2019-10-22_at_4.51.40_PM.png

Image courtesy dell.com

  • 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-8265U
  • 16 GB DDR4 SDRAM
  • 256 Solid State Drive
  • 14" Full HD Display 1920 x 1080
  • IEEE 802.11ac and Bluetooth 5.0
  • 3.0 lbs.
  • Intel UHD Graphics 620
  • Windows 10

MacBook Pro 13"

2017_MacBook_Pro.png

Image courtesy apple.com

  • 1.4 GHz Quad-Core 8th Gen Intel Core i5 processor
  • 16 GB RAM
  • 256 GB SSD drive
  • 13.3" LED display
  • Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645
  • 2x Thunderbolt 3 ports

Note: For simultaneous power input, USB-A input and video out (HDMI), purchase the USB-C to Digital AV Multiport adapter from Apple.

Desktops

Dell OptiPlex 5070 Tower (Monitor Not Included)

          Optiplex_5050.png

Image courtesy dell.com

  • 3.0 GHz Intel Core i5-9500
  • 256 GB Solid State Drive
  • 16 GB DDR4 SDRAM
  • HDMI and Display Port
  • DVD±RW
  • Intel UHD Graphics 360
  • Windows 10
  • Includes: USB mouse, USB keyboard

Dell Optiplex All-In-One 5270

    desktop-optiplex-5260-aio-campaign-hero-504x350-ng.jpg

Image courtesy dell.com

  • 3.0 GHz Intel Core i5 9500
  • 21.5" Display Size
  • 256 GB Solid State Drive
  • 16 GB DDR4 SDRAM
  • HDMI and Display Port
  • Intel UHD Graphics 630
  • Windows 10
  • Includes: USB mouse, USB keyboard

Apple iMac 21"

2017_iMac.png

Image courtesy apple.com

  • 2.3 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5 processor
  • 16 GB RAM
  • 256GB SSD
  • Built-in 21.5" flat panel LCD
  • Intel Iris Plus graphics 640
  • 2x Thunderbolt 4 ports, 4x USB3 ports
  • 1-year warranty
  • Includes: wireless Magic Mouse, wireless keyboard

 

Monitors:

Dell 22" Monitor

P2219H Monitor

Image courtesy apple.com

  • DisplayPort & HDMI out
  • Fully articulated for 180 degrees of motion.

LG 27" USB-C Monitor 

Image courtesy b&h

  • 2x HDMI
  • DisplayPort
  • USB-C

Great for any computer with a USB-C input - it works as both a monitor and docking station. Everything runs through the USB-C.

 

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

VGA

Your monitor port will look something like this if you need a VGA cable:

Image result for what does a vga port look like

This is what a VGA cable typically looks like:

Image result for vga cable

 

Regular Setup:

If your computer has a similar looking port to the one in your monitor (pictured above) you should be able to just plug the VGA cable into both your monitor and your computer directly and create a connection.

Purchase this cable on Amazon for $8.99 here

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Adapter 1: VGA to DVI

Port looks like this:

Image result for dvi port

Adapter looks like this:

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

This can be purchased on Amazon for $5.99 here

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Adapter 2: VGA to HDMI

Port looks like this:

Image result for hdmi port

Adapter looks like this:

Purchase on Amazon for $7.99 here

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Adapter 3: VGA to DisplayPort

Port looks like this:

Image result for displayport port

Adapter looks like this:

Purchase on Amazon for $7.99 here

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Adapter 4: VGA to Mini DisplayPort (Thunderbolt 2)

Port looks like this:

Image result for mini displayport port

Adapter looks like this:

Purchase on Amazon for $13.99 here

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Adapter 5: VGA to USB-C (Thunderbolt 3)

This is the most common port on newer computers.

Port looks like this:

Image result for usb-c port

Adapter looks like this:

Purchase on Amazon for $10.95 here

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DVI

Your monitor port will look something like this if you need a DVI cable:

Image result for dvi port

This is what a DVI cable typically looks like:

 

Regular Setup:

If your computer has a similar looking port to the one in your monitor (pictured above) you should be able to just plug the DVI cable into both your monitor and your computer directly and create a connection.

Purchase it here on Amazon for $10.99

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Adapter 1: DVI to VGA

Port looks like this:

Image result for what does a vga port look like

Adapter looks like this:

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

This can be purchased on Amazon for $5.99 here

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Adapter 2: DVI to HDMI

Port looks like this:

Image result for hdmi port

Adapter looks like this:

Purchase on Amazon for $6.98 here

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Adapter 3: DVI to DisplayPort

Port looks like this:

Image result for displayport port

Adapter looks like this:

Purchase on Amazon for $7.99 here

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Adapter 4: DVI to Mini DisplayPort (Thunderbolt 2)

Port looks like this:

Image result for mini displayport port

Adapter looks like this:

Purchase on Amazon for $7.99 here

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Adapter 5: DVI to USB-C (Thunderbolt 3)

This is the most common port on newer computers.

Port looks like this:

Image result for usb-c port

Adapter looks like this:

Purchase on Amazon for $13.45 here

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DisplayPort

Your monitor port will look something like this if you need a DisplayPort cable:

Image result for displayport port

This is what a DisplayPort cable typically looks like:

 

Regular Setup:

If your computer has a similar looking port to the one in your monitor (pictured above) you should be able to just plug the DisplayPort cable into both your monitor and your computer directly and create a connection.

Purchase it here on Amazon for $7.59

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Adapter 1: DisplayPort to HDMI

Port looks like this:

Image result for hdmi port

Adapter looks like this:

Purchase on Amazon for $8.45 here

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Adapter 2: DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort (Thunderbolt 2)

Port looks like this:

Image result for mini displayport port

Adapter looks like this:

Purchase on Amazon for $9.99 here

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Adapter 3: DisplayPort to USB-C (Thunderbolt 3)

This is the most common port on newer computers.

Port looks like this:

Image result for usb-c port

Adapter looks like this:

Purchase on Amazon for $9.99 here

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

HDMI

Your monitor port will look something like this if you need a HDMI cable:

Image result for hdmi port

This is what a HDMI cable typically looks like:

Image result for hdmi cable

 

Regular Setup:

If your computer has a similar looking port to the one in your monitor (pictured above) you should be able to just plug the HDMI cable into both your monitor and your computer directly and create a connection.

Purchase it here on Amazon for $13.99

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Adapter 1: HDMI to DisplayPort

Port looks like this:

Image result for displayport port

Adapter looks like this:

Purchase on Amazon for $8.45 here

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Adapter 2: DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort (Thunderbolt 2)

Port looks like this:

Image result for mini displayport port

Adapter looks like this:

Purchase on Amazon for $7.99 here

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Adapter 3: HDMI to USB-C (Thunderbolt 3)

This is the most common port on newer computers.

Port looks like this:

Image result for usb-c port

Adapter looks like this:

Purchase on Amazon for $9.99 here

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Docking Stations

Some computers have limited ports, but users seek to use either multiple monitors or have availability 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

WD19 Docking Station

Features:

-Ethernet port, 3 USB-A 3.0 ports, DisplayPort x 2, HDMI, and USB-C x 2

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 CalDigit TS3 Plus for Mac - Thunderbolt 3 Connectivity

Features:

-SD Card reader, USB-C x 4, USB-A x 5, Ethernet, DisplayPort, Audio 3.3 mm

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