Computer Recommendations

Recommended Computer Specifications

Itasca Community College is a Windows® campus. We encourage you to bring a computer to campus and recommend one with Windows 10. Any computer capable of running Windows 10 should be adequate for general academic computing purposes. Students in programs involved in graphic intensive software applications (CADD/GIS/Engineering/Video Editing) may require faster computers with more RAM. In these cases, the Program Director should be consulted for minimum computer specifications.

When shopping for a laptop, make sure it has at least the following specifications (or better):

  • Windows 10 64Bit Operating System
  • Intel Core i5 Gen3 or better processor
  • 8 -16 GB RAM (most people will not benefit by more than 16 GB)
  • 320+ GB disk drive
  • 15" display
  • Integrated Web Cam
  • Wifi, long battery life, DisplayPort or HDMI outputs, USB3.0 port

As for brand/model, you get what you pay for in terms of reliability. Before you decide, do some research on-line and look at customer reviews. Sometimes the cheapo laptop from a big box store isn't the best long term investment. You may also find reputable companies that sell refurbished off-lease enterprise grade (highest quality available) for half the cost of new low grade computers.

A ChromeBook may be an option for some students, provided that the focus of your studies does not require any specialty software. These devices are really great at creating and consuming content from web based resources, but will not work for such things a GIS, Engineering Software, or anything that would require an installation of software.

Your Apple or Android Tablet devices are great for consuming content, but we do not recommend them as your primary computing device. You will likely tire very quickly of trying to use the on-screen keyboard for creating any significant amount of content. However, they are welcome on our network, and will likely suffice for all of your online social networking interests.


Our IT staff can provide technical support on issues related to Windows 7 and Windows 10. While Macintosh computers coexist fine on our Network, we can provide little support for end users and their Mac hardware. Other bring your own devices (BYOD) are welcome on campus, and we provide Internet access to them as well.

If you are planning to purchase a computer, make sure it will run the software you want to run on it. We cannot assure that any software used by the academic programs will be compatible on non-supported Windows versions.

If you have any questions, please call our helpdesk at 218.322.2440

Recommended Software

Web Browser: We recommend that you use Firefox, Google Chrome, or Microsoft Edge as your primary browser for our academic leaning systems and for resources that we provide to you.

Office Suite: We provide all students with online version of Microsoft Office, and you can download and install the Enterprise Version of Office to use while you are a student at ICC. Login to to get it. Instructions are on the Student Sharepoint site, or click this link for a shortcut...

Anti-virus – We recommend that you use Windows Defender to protect your computer from viruses and malware. It is built into the latest versions of Windows. For a PC running an older version of Windows 7, you can download Microsoft Security Essentials for the low, low price of free.