Knowledgebase: Laptop Program
Laptop Program: About the Laptop Program
Updated: 24 August 2020 03:23 PM

Special Considerations for Remote Learning and the Laptop Program Fall 2020

If you're coming to OCAD U, do I need a laptop for Fall 2020?

Our usual advice is best: one of our recommended laptops with a webcam and headset is the best option for you, as it allows you learn where you learn best. You definitely need a computer with a webcam and headset with mic. You may already have a desktop computer, and if it has a webcam and you have a headset with a microphone that may well just be all the computer you need for the Fall semester, you can delay your decision-making and purchase a new laptop later for use when we're back on campus. 

  • If you're entering undergraduate studies, on-campus you will need to have a laptop and pay the mandatory fees.

  • If you are entering a graduate studies in Digital Futures, Interdisciplinary Master's in Art, Media and Design or Design for Health, you will need a laptop and pay the mandatory fees.

How are you supporting students during COVID-19

What changes are coming to Apple Laptops with Apple Silicon?

How does it work?

  1. You buy a laptop, preferably an OCAD U recommend laptop (see below), or use the laptop you already own if it meets our minimum requirements.
  2. We license the software students need (at a discount), and charge for a set of fees.
  3. We support you through the IT Help Desk, including troubleshooting, software imaging support, installation, data recovery, virus removal, and on-campus Apple repair support

Why?

Laptops go wherever you go and run professional software you will need. We know that students with laptops learn faster and perform better in university, capitalizing on your most valuable commodity: your time.

The Laptop Program provides software and support for students bringing their own laptops to OCAD University for their learning and instruction in art and design. Your laptop is the primary computer you will use on campus, in specific courses, studios and open areas between classes.

Either you already own a Laptop (or Desktop for Fall 2020) or you will need to purchase one. 

I Need a Laptop. Now What?

If you need to buy a laptop, you have a variety of purchasing options with educational discounts. Once you register, you will be able to join an on-boarding course to learn about purchasing options.

We recommend the Apple MacBook Pro, Dell Precision series, and Microsoft Surface Pro and Book.

I Already Own A Laptop

That's great! We recommend you take a look at our specific pages for the various recommended systems to ensure it meets the minimum requirements: I have some other kind of Laptop

Student Survey Results 2018

Programs & Recommended Laptops

Considering purchasing an Apple MacBook Pro?

Strong Recommendations: 

  • If you are in Industrial Design, Environmental Design, Material Art & Design, Digital Futures (Undergrad or Graduate), Integrated Media, Digital Painting and Expanded Animation or if you plan to run Windows software, we strongly recommend you consider Windows PC options.
  • If you're considering the 13" MacBook Pro, the cheaper, non-Touch Bar options ship with 7th Generation dual-core i5 processors.The Touch Bar model which ships with Intel 8th Generation quad-core processors. 
ProgramStudentsRecommended AppleRecommended PC
Minimum  BestMinimum Best

Faculty of Art

First Year Art All 13" MacBook Pro 
16" MacBook Pro

13.5" Surface Book 3 or
Dell XPS 13"

15" Microsoft Surface Book 3

Dell Precision or Alienware

Integrated Media
& Digital Painting and Expanded Animation
 
All 16" MacBook Pro 16" MacBook Pro

15" Microsoft Surface Book 3

Dell Precision or Alienware

15" Microsoft Surface Book 3

Dell Precision or Alienware

Photography All 13" MacBook Pro 
16" MacBook Pro

13.5" Surface Book 3 or
Dell XPS 13"

15" Microsoft Surface Book 3

Dell Precision or Alienware

Drawing and Painting All 13" MacBook Pro 
16" MacBook Pro

13.5" Surface Book 3 or
Dell XPS 13"

15" Microsoft Surface Book 3

Dell Precision or Alienware

Printmaking All 13" MacBook Pro 
16" MacBook Pro

13.5" Surface Book 3 or
Dell XPS 13"

15" Microsoft Surface Book 3

Dell Precision or Alienware

Criticism & Curatorial Practice All 13" MacBook Pro 
16" MacBook Pro

13.5" Surface Book 3 or
Dell XPS 13"

15" Microsoft Surface Book 3

Dell Precision or Alienware

Sculpture/Installation All 13" MacBook Pro 
16" MacBook Pro

13.5" Surface Book 3 or
Dell XPS 13"

15" Microsoft Surface Book 3

Dell Precision or Alienware

Cross-Disciplinary Art: Publications All 13" MacBook Pro 
16" MacBook Pro

13.5" Surface Book 3 or
Dell XPS 13"

15" Microsoft Surface Book 3

Dell Precision or Alienware

Cross-Disciplinary Art: Life Studies All 13" MacBook Pro 
16" MacBook Pro

13.5" Surface Book 3 or
Dell XPS 13"

15" Microsoft Surface Book 3

Dell Precision or Alienware

Faculty of Design

Advertising All 13" MacBook Pro 
16" MacBook Pro

13.5" Surface Book 3 or
Dell XPS 13"

15" Microsoft Surface Book 3

Dell Precision or Alienware

Graphic Design All 13" MacBook Pro 
16" MacBook Pro

13.5" Surface Book 3 or
Dell XPS 13"

15" Microsoft Surface Book 3

Dell Precision or Alienware

Industrial Design All 15" MacBook Pro
(Bootcamp Required)
16" MacBook Pro 
(Bootcamp Required)

15" Microsoft Surface Book 3

Dell Precision or Alienware

15" Microsoft Surface Book 3

Dell Precision or Alienware

Environmental Design All 16" MacBook Pro 
(Bootcamp Required)
16" MacBook Pro 
(Bootcamp Required)

15" Microsoft Surface Book 3

Dell Precision or Alienware

15" Microsoft Surface Book 3

Dell Precision or Alienware

Material Art & Design All 16" MacBook Pro 
(Bootcamp Required)
16" MacBook Pro 
(Bootcamp Required)

15" Microsoft Surface Book 3

Dell Precision or Alienware

15" Microsoft Surface Book 3

Dell Precision or Alienware

Illustration All 13" MacBook Pro 
16" MacBook Pro

13.5" Surface Book 3 or
Dell XPS 13"

15" Microsoft Surface Book 3

Dell Precision or Alienware

School of Interdisciplinary Studies

Digital Futures All 15" MacBook Pro
16" MacBook Pro

15" Microsoft Surface Book 3

Dell Precision or Alienware

15" Microsoft Surface Book 3 

Dell Precision or Alienware

Indigenous Visual Culture All 13" MacBook Pro 
16" MacBook Pro

13.5" Surface Book 3 or
Dell XPS 13"

15" Microsoft Surface Book 3

Dell Precision or Alienware

Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in
Visual and Critical Studies
All 13" MacBook Pro 
16" MacBook Pro

13.5" Surface Book 3 or
Dell XPS 13"

15" Microsoft Surface Book 3

Dell Precision or Alienware

Graduate Studies

Digital Futures All 16" MacBook Pro 16" MacBook Pro

15" Microsoft Surface Book 3

Dell Precision or Alienware

15" Microsoft Surface Book 3

Dell Precision or Alienware

Design for Health All 13" MacBook Pro  16" MacBook Pro

13.5" Surface Book 3 or
Dell XPS 13"

15" Microsoft Surface Book 3

Dell Precision or Alienware

Interdisciplinary Master's in
Art, Media and Design
All 16" MacBook Pro 16" MacBook Pro

13.5" Surface Book 3 or
Dell XPS 13"

15" Microsoft Surface Book 3

Dell Precision or Alienware

If you wish to enroll into the Laptop Program, please fill out a Laptop Program Opt-In Request form:

https://support-its.ocadu.ca/index.php?/Tickets/Submit 

What if I already have a laptop computer? Is it compatible?

If you already have a laptop that is less than 3 years old, and meets the minimum System Requirements on the Non-Recommended Unsupported Laptops page, then we recommend that you wear it out, and when it comes time to replace it, replace it with a model we recommend. If you're not sure, consult the IT Help Desk.

When Should I Buy a New Laptop?

We might recommend you wait until the back to school specials are announced later in the summer. Read our Purchasing Advice page.

Purchase the best warranty available

If you're buying a new laptop this September, please make sure you purchase Applecare, Dell Premium Support or Microsoft's extended warranty. If Dell and Microsoft offer warranties that offer protection from accidental damage, we recommend you purchase this warranty.

Non-Recommended Unsupported Computers

Don't have an Apple laptop? We recommend you view our knowledgebase article about Non-Recommended Unsupported Laptop

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