Computer Recommendations

ⓘ Beginning Fall 2022, all cadets will be required to own a laptop computer.


Cadets are authorized to bring only laptop computers to VMI, desktop computers are not permitted. Purchasing IT-approved, recommended laptop models is not required but will ensure prompt priority support and quick turn-around time for any parts ordered. In addition, these models include a warranty that allows the unit to stay on-site for any repairs (with a few exceptions including but not limited to water damage).

2022-2023 Recommended Minimum System Requirements for Incoming Cadets 

*NOTE: Engineering cadets MUST PURCHASE A WINDOWS OS Unit. MAC units are not compatible with required software.

RequirementWindows PC
Platform Laptop
Operating System  Windows 10 or 11 (64- Bit) 
Processor Intel Core i7-series (11th Gen)
Memory (RAM) 16 GB or higher
Storage Minimum 1TB SSD (Solid State Drive)
Video Integrated
Webcam Built-in or external with built in microphone (headset/earbuds recommended)
Wireless Wireless NIC included 
Warranty 4 Year on-site service support with accident damage coverage
Software * Download Microsoft Office

RequirementMAC
Platform Laptop
Operating System  macOS 12 (or higher) 
Processor Apple M1 chip
Memory (RAM) 16 GB or higher
Storage Minimum 1TB SSD (Solid State Drive)
Video Integrated
Webcam Built-in or external with built in microphone (headset/earbuds recommended)
Wireless 802.11ac Wi-Fi (802.11ax recommended) Wireless NIC included  
Warranty 3 Year on-site service support, AppleCare (4 Year is highly recommended - available through certain vendors)
Software * Download Microsoft Office


RequirementWindows PC
Platform Laptop
Operating System  Windows 10 or 11 (64- Bit) 
Processor Intel Core i7-series (11th Gen)
Memory (RAM) 16 GB or higher
Storage Minimum 1TB SSD (Solid State Drive)
Video NVIDIA® Quadro Series
Webcam Built-in or external with built in microphone (headset/earbuds recommended)
Wireless Wireless NIC included 
Warranty 4 Year on-site service support with accident damage coverage
Software * Download Microsoft Office


Recommended PC Dell Laptops (Includes 4-year on-site warranty. With Dell onsite coverage, laptops may be serviced by VMI certified Dell technicians). Dell is giving a $200 gift card with the Dell purchase, so you may want to use that for purchasing your Dell accessories (to be used after purchase is made of the laptop. Arrives in 10-20 days and carries a 90-day expiration).

For assistance ordering a laptop, contact the Barracks Help Desk at (540) 464-7888 or help@vmi.edu.

When purchasing a recommended model, a loaner laptop is available to users who experience equipment issues. Loaner laptops are provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

Technical Support

The Barracks Help Desk provides technical support for cadets including password assistance, troubleshooting, and repair of cadet-owned computers.

VMI provides public computers for cadet use in academic buildings, the Barracks study room and computer lab (available 24/7). Barracks rooms are configured to allow access to the VMI network and the Internet via a wired and wireless connection. We recommend purchasing a CAT.5E or CAT.6 network cable (5-7 feet long). DO NOT purchase and/or bring any wireless extender/router devices as they are NOT allowed.

ⓘ Important: Microsoft Office is available for download to all Cadets (Windows or Mac).

Cadets may customize laptops according to their needs.