Laptop Program: Non-Recommended Unsupported Laptops
Updated: 14 August 2017 10:57 AM
Laptop Program
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Note: This page outlines the laptops you should not buy.

What if I already have a Laptop?

If you already have a laptop, we recommend that it meet the following system requirements:

  • Less than 3 years old
  • Intel Core i5 Processor
  • 8 Gigs of RAM
  • Minimum 1280 x 800 display
  • Minimum 256 GB HDD or SSD
  • Discrete NVidia Graphics card or Intel Iris Graphics

If your computer meets these requirements, 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 Laptop Help Desk.

Do you recommend I purchase some other brand PC Laptop?

No. The only PC Laptop that OCAD University recommends currently is the Microsoft Surface series, Dell XPS 13, Dell XPS 15, Dell Precision 5520: they are powerful, well-built and supportedWe recommend you purchase the recommended Microsoft Surface, Dell or Apple MacBook Pro.

Best Laptop Brands


We strongly recommend you speak to the Laptop Help Desk before considering buying a cheap PC or something other than the recommended Microsoft or Dell models. We've seen a lot of cheap PC laptops that are hopelessly underpowered, poorly constructed and bad value for money overall. If your system is not a recommended system we offer no support for it:

  • We cannot image your laptop
  • We cannot install any operating system (Windows) on your laptop
  • We do not troubleshoot any kind of issue with your computer
  • Unless it's an Apple there is no repair support. The Dell models are "return to depot" warranties. If you purchase a Microsoft warranty, the Microsoft Store at the Eaton Centre can assist you.
  • You will be required to manually install all of your software.
  • Sometimes, the software does not install at all and we cannot be responsible for any issues relating to unsupported computers.

This often results in students wasting large amounts of valuable time: your time is more valuable than the money you save buying a cheap laptop. Please purchase a recommended configuration for your program.

Installing Software on Insert-Your-Brand PC Laptops

Please read our knowledgbase article on How Do I Install Software on My Unsupported PC Laptop? 

MacBook (2015)

The MacBook (2015) is not currently supported, and not recommended for anyone at OCAD U. Why?

MacBook Air

The MacBook Air is supported, but not recommended. Students need an Apple laptop model that has a minimum 256GB SSD.

Some users may be not 100% satisified with the performance of these machines, the graphics cards, and the small SSD adds additional complexity with the additional space requirements that Bootcamp support demands: students need a model that has a 256GB SSD minimum.

Why not check out the MacBook Pro instead?


iPads and Android Tablets don't run Adobe Creative Cloud. Enough said.