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Choosing a Laptop

There is no one perfect laptop. ITG provides support for both Windows and Apple computers. The choice of which laptop is the right one for you is a highly personal one:

  • Do you want a lightweight model with the longest possible battery life?
  • Would you trade-off slightly heavier weight for more functionality?
  • Is it important for you to have a larger keyboard and display?

We suggest that you purchase a computer with abilities beyond your need, keeping in mind that your needs will change over time. Generally, we recommend laptops targeted towards business professionals that tend to emphasize performance and durability:

  • Apple's MacBook Pro
  • Dell's Latitude
  • HP's ProBook or EliteBook
  • Lenovo's ThinkPad

Frequently Asked Questions

No. Microsoft Office is provided to you free of charge.

Yes. Please see the Useful Downloads link on your left.

Incoming students, please see the Orientation Information link on your left. Continuing students can stop in to ITG anytime -- there is no specific time to drop off the computer and no appointments are necessary.

Support Eligibility

During your time at the Business School, the Information Technology Group (ITG) will provide a valuable service by supporting you with the School’s core technology, your accounts, and laptop computer. However, this support is not the School's core business, and the support we provide has to scale over 2,700 MS, MBA & EMBA students. Some of Columbia's peers address this challenge by limiting their School's IT support to a single model of laptop, with a specific software image applied to it. When something goes wrong with your computer that is not solvable within 15 minutes, your computer's hard drive is reformatted, and the software image reapplied. ITG does not subscribe to this model and prefers to allow you an extremely wide latitude in your choice of laptops. However, in order to receive optimal laptop support from ITG, your laptop has to meet a few minimum requirements that relate to both software and hardware. Please see the "Hardware and Software Requirements" link on the left for supported configurations.

If your laptop does not meet the laptop minimum requirements, but comes close to them, you might still be able to do most tasks at the Business School. The School has a standard infrastructure, and the School's applications are all accessible via a web browser. However, you will not have access to ITG Support Specialists, who are key to getting your computer configured for the School's network and keeping it correctly configured when you encounter problems. In addition, if your laptop is stolen or has to be returned for hardware repairs, you will not be eligible to participate in our loaner program unless the laptop you own meets all of the minimum requirements.

Faculty Support

Hours of Operation:
Mon - Fri: 8:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Phone: (212) 854-6097
(ext. 4-6097 on campus)


Administrative Staff Support

Hours of Operation:
Mon - Fri: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Phone: (212) 854-2960
(ext. 7-6067 on campus)


Student Support

Hours of Operation:

Uris Hall, Room 202:
Mon - Wed: 8:00 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Thurs - Fri : 8:00 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Sat: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Watson Library, West Side:
Mon - Fri: Noon - 5 p.m.
Sun: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Warren Hall, Room 402:
Mon - Fri: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
(8 a.m. - 4 p.m. when EMBA is in session, including Saturdays)

Phone: (212) 854-3730
(ext. 4-3730 on campus)

Multimedia Support

Hours of Operation:
Mon - Fri: 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Sat: 8 - 6 p.m. (flexible, depending on EMBA and event schedules)

Sun: Staffed only when requested for EMBA or special event support.

Phone: (212) 854-3695
(ext. 4-3695 on campus)

Classroom EMERGENCY Phone Support ONLY: (212) 854-6094