Buying your own device


What information do you need to think about when purchasing your own devices for your course?

We are unable to supply a definitive list of devices students should or shouldn't buy. This is because there are now so many devices and operating systems on the market we aren't able to test them all. Students should ensure that any device they bring onto the university network (via our UHI WiFi) has up to date anti virus software and that updates are regularly applied (please see the Acceptable use policy for more details). We are able to supply some software for current students under our license agreements, this includes Microsoft Office 365.  See our Software Downloads pages for more details.

When making a technology purchase everyone needs to consider their personal budget and what else they might use the device for. When buying a device for your university work there may be some additional considerations:

The type of course you are doing and the format of your assessments;

  • Some devices are more suited to working with a lot of text, other devices are better for dealing with creative software applications. Some courses may require the use of very specialist software or devices, your course tutor will be able to advise on the format of your assessments and course materials which may help you make a decision.
  • Your course tutor will also be able to advise on the medium that your course will be taught through. If it is going to be taught via Brightspace or VC you should ensure that the device you purchase is able to run the required components for those applications. Brightspace system check is useful for checking compatibility.
  • Many of the applications the university provides are available from the MyUHI service, without having to install applications on your own machine.
  • The university uses Office365 for student and staff email, there are certain browsers and operating systems that work best with this. You can check what is supported this via the Microsoft Website.
  • Information on VC software is also available from within this site.
  • You may be required to use multiple different internet browsers dependent on your course delivery method.

How comfortable you are with using technology;

  • Devices which are common or that have a standard operating systems will generally have more information available from a number of sources should you run into difficulties.

If you are not buying a new device you should make sure that any device you are using meets the specifications and that browser and plug-in versions are those noted as supported for Brightspace and Office365 use.

Recommended minimum computer specifications

If your course requires that you have your own computer, the minimum required specifications are listed below. If your computer doesn't meet the specifications you may be able to upgrade it.

A desktop or laptop computer is recommended over tablet use. Although many of our services can be accessed via tablet devices, the user experience can be diminished, and full functionality me not be available.

Where laptop specs differ from desktop specs, laptop specs are provided immediately below the desktop specs.

UHI minimum system requirements
  Windows Mac
Operating system Windows 10 Mac OS 10.10.x or newer
Processor 1.5GHz or better
Graphics OpenGL version 1.2 or later compatible
RAM 4GB or more (the more the better)
Monitor 17" or larger (the bigger the better)
(Laptop: 15" or larger screen)
Microphone / headphones USB headset with microphone
Webcam Built-in or external (it is easier to adjust the camera angle with an external)
Broadband Reliable connection required
You may be required to have an optical drive - please check with your tutor


At this time Chromebooks are not compatible with UHI softwares and services.  We are also unable to provide remote support onto these devices.

Brightspacesystem check

Use the Brightspace system check for testing whether Brightspace supports your browser and operating system.

Broadband speed test

Your experience with some of our services may be less efficient with a poor connection. Use our connection speed checker. To get accurate results make sure you're not using your internet connection for anything else while the test runs.