Laptop FAQs

Frequently asked questions about the new university-wide laptop requirement:

Which laptops will be the most useful for Mechanical Engineering students?  Recommended computer options for engineering students (including mechanical engineers) are listed on the College of Engineering website:   The “Economical” options will allow you get your work done in lower-level classes, but may be slow for advanced CAD classes.  Two computers from the “Recommended” options that will work well are the Dell XPS 13 and Dell XPS 15 are both good options; of these two, the Del XPS 15 will give better performance because it has a dedicated graphics card, and a larger screen – which are both important for advanced CAD.

By when will mechanical engineering students be expected to have laptops?  Mechanical Engineering students taking ME 160, 170, 270, 415, and 466 will be expected to bring their laptops to class on the first day.   Make sure that your laptop is fully charged each morning, since classrooms do not have plugs at each desk.

Can I get financial assistance to purchase a laptop?   Please contact the Iowa State Financial Aid Office to determine if you are eligible