Laptop Requirements

LCAD New Student Laptop Requirements

If you’re coming to LCAD, you are required to have a laptop.

Major Minimum Requirement Recommended Requirement
Drawing + Painting 2019 or Newer iPad Pro w/ Apple Pencil 2 2021 MacBook Pro 13″
Entertainment Design 2019 or newer MacBook Pro
or
PC with i5 processor, 16GB ram
2021 MacBook Pro 16″
or
2021 Razer Blade Stealth 15
or
Assus ROG Strix G15
Illustration 2019 or newer MacBook Pro
or
PC with i5 processor, 16GB ram
2021 MacBook Pro 16″
or
2021 Razer Blade Stealth 15
or
Assus ROG Strix G15
Animation 2019 or newer 15″ MacBook Pro i7, 16 GB ram
or
comparable PC
2021 MacBook Pro 16″ i9 CPU 32GB Ram, 1TB internal SSD, and 2-6 TB External Drive
or
2021 Razer Blade Stealth 15
or
Assus ROG Strix G15 w/ similar specs as above
Graphic Design + Digital Media 2019 or newer 15″ MacBook Pro i7, 16 GB RAM
or
comparable PC with NVIDIA GPU
2021 MacBook Pro 16″ i9 CPU 32GB Ram, 1TB internal SSD, and 2-6 TB External Drive
Game Art 2019 or newer 15″ MacBook Pro i7, 16 GB ram
or
comparable PC
2021 Razer Blade Stealth 15
or
2021 Assus ROG Strix G15 15.6” 300Hz IPS Type FHD Display, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070, AMD Ryzen R9-5900HX, 16GB DDR4, 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD
MFA Game Art 2019 or newer 15″ MacBook Pro i7, 16 GB ram
or
comparable PC
2021 Razer Blade Stealth 15
or
2021 Assus ROG Strix G15 15.6” 300Hz IPS Type FHD Display, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070, AMD Ryzen R9-5900HX, 16GB DDR4, 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD
MFA Drawing + Painting 2019 or newer PC or Mac capable of running Office 365 and Zoom 2021 MacBook Pro 13″

  1. You buy a laptop, preferably an LCAD recommend laptop (see below), or use the laptop you already own if it meets our minimum requirements.
  2. We provide Microsoft Office suite software for students. Each class syllabus will include a list of software that is required for that class.
  3. We provide support for you through the IT Help Desk, including troubleshooting, software installation, minor data recovery, virus removal, and on-campus support.

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

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 you will need to purchase one.

If you need to buy a laptop, you have a variety of purchasing options with educational discounts. We recommend the Apple MacBook Pro, Razer Blade Stealth series, Dell Alienware M15 R1 series or iPad Pro.

  • If you are in the Game Art major (Undergrad or Graduate program) 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 option is the non-Touch Bar model. It ships with the 7th Generation dual-care i5 processors. The Touch Bar model ships with the Intel 8th Generation quad-core processors.

That's great! We recommend you take a look at our specific recommendation chart for the various recommended systems to ensure it meets the minimum requirement.

If you already have a laptop that is less than 3 years old, and meets the following minimum System Requirements:

  • Intel Core i7 Processor (Dual or Quad processor: 6th Gen Skylake or newer)
  • 8 GB RAM or better
  • 256GB SSD or better (or 7200rpm HDD)
  • NVidia GeForce or Quadro Graphics, AMD Radeon Graphics

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 or have questions if your current laptop is compatible please email the IT Helpdesk at support@lcad.edu with an screenshot of your current laptop specs and we will evaluate if it is applicable or not.

We might recommend you wait until the back to school specials are announced later in the summer. If you're buying a new laptop this September, please make sure you purchase AppleCare, RazerCare Essential or Dell’s extended warranty. If any warranties that offer protection from accidental damage, we recommend you purchase this warranty.

We can't say whether another brand laptop may or may not be a good deal or good hardware to use. We evaluate all the computers we recommend and listen carefully to each individual major. We keep in mind that you will have this computer for three to four years.

We've seen a lot of cheap PC laptops that are hopelessly underpowered, poorly constructed and bad value for money overall, and we recommend you talk to the Help Desk before buying a machine.

-Surface Pro X

LCAD does not recommend the Surface Pro X.

-MacBook (2015)

The MacBook (2015) is not currently supported, and not recommended for anyone at LCAD.

Why?

  • It has a significantly less powerful processor than the Macbook Pro: it ships with an Intel Core M processor at 1.1GHz.
  • It requires a proprietary adapter to display video on a projector.
  • It costs just as much as a MacBook Pro, which is a far more capable computer.

 

-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% satisfied 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.

Tablets

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

Cintiq Companion

LCAD does not recommend the Cintiq companion.