Laptop Requirements

RRC Polytech has set minimum laptop standards to support students in successfully meeting requirements of their program. These standards represent the minimum requirements, and unless specifically noted, higher capacity, speed and versions are acceptable, if not encouraged.

These standards are offered as guidelines for students to support your decision regarding this important investment.

General Requirements

These minimum standards are required by all devices:

  • Laptop
  • High-speed wireless Internet connection (Wi-Fi 6 802.11 ax)
  • Webcam (built-in is recommended, external acceptable)
  • Built-in speakers and microphone

NOTE: Chromebooks, iPads and other similar tablet-style devices are not recommended as a primary device as they do not offer enough capability to support all program and learning requirements.

General Recommendations

These minimum standards are recommended but not required by all devices.

  • 15” screen or external display(s)
  • 512 GB recommended (256 GB minimum) solid-state drive (SSD) storage
  • External headset with microphone (a headset/headphones are required if audio is used on campus).

Laptop Standard Specifications

The majority of RRC Polytech programs where laptops are required will fall under one of two levels of specification – Type A Device: Standard or Type B Device: Power. Standard (Type A) devices will meet the requirements for most programs, except those that focus on engineering or applied computer education, where Power (Type B) devices or a customized laptop are required.

For any questions regarding laptop requirements for your program, please contact your program area.

Type A Device: Standard

Recommended device that will meet the requirements for most courses and programs.

For courses that typically use a variety of common business and lightweight graphics application sets. These devices would not be typically suitable for CAD or rendering operations.

Examples of installed applications: Office 365 ProPlus, QuickBooks, Visio 2019, Visual Studio

Type A Windows Device

Minimum Standard
Operating SystemWindows 10 / Windows 11
Processor (CPU)Intel Core i5 / AMD Ryzen 3
Memory (RAM)8GB
GraphicsIntel Iris/UHD or Radeon integrated graphics

Type A Mac Device

Minimum Standard
Operating SystemBig Sur 11.0 or newer
Processor (CPU)Intel Core i5
Memory (RAM)8GB
GraphicsIntel HD Graphics, Intel UHD Graphics

Type B Device: Power

For courses that typically use specialized applications or have more demanding graphical or mathematical workloads. These devices may be required to render 3D graphics or video content.

Examples of installed applications: AutoCAD, Inventor, SolidWorks, multiple Hypervisor sessions

Type B Windows Device

Minimum Standard
Operating SystemWindows 10 / Windows 11
Processor (CPU)Intel Core i7 / AMD Ryzen 7
Memory (RAM)16GB
GraphicsDedicated discrete graphics with Nvidia RTX or Quadro RTX series and above or AMD Radeon 6000M series with 4G or more of VRAM

Type B Mac Device

Minimum Standard
Operating SystemBig Sur 11.0 or newer
Processor (CPU)Apple M1 Pro / Intel Core i7
Memory (RAM)16GB
GraphicsIntel UHD Graphics 630, AMD Radeon Pro 5300M, 5500M, 5600M or Apple GPU 16 cores

Note: the following programs do not fall under the new laptop standards:

Creative Arts: Communication Design, Communication Management, Creative Communications, Digital Media Design, Digital Media Design – Interaction Design and Development, Digital Media Design – Video and Motion Graphics, and Graphic Design

Engineering Technology: CNC Machinist Technician, CNC Machining and Advanced Technology, Manufacturing Computer Aided Drafting, and Mechanical Engineering Technology

Students in these programs are contacted by their program area about program-specific laptop requirements.

Laptop Loan Program

The Library and Academic Success Centre has a limited number of laptops available free of charge for loan. These devices are meant to support students in the short term, with a maximum loan period of four weeks. Note that students are financially responsible in the case of loss or damage to College devices. Learn more about the laptop loan program ›

Software and Online Applications

Online technologies are an important tool for accessing your course materials, participating in collaborative learning environments, and building technological skills inside and outside of the classroom.

RRC Polytech provides all students with:

  • Microsoft Office 365 (including Word, Excel and PowerPoint)
  • Student email
  • Access to College resources such as our online learning environment, LEARN
  • Kurzweil 3000 – assistive technology supporting students with reading, comprehension, writing and study skills

Your specific program may provide access to other required software. Please contact your program area directly for more information.

Acceptable Use Policy

Any use of RRC Polytech’s information technology infrastructure, including Microsoft 365, online learning, and network, including Wi-Fi and internet access from campus, is subject to the College’s Acceptable Use Policy.

NOTE: RRC Polytech does not assist or support with physical hardware repair on computers. It is the student’s responsibility to make arrangements with a third-party vendor.

RRC Polytech does not offer recommendations on where or which brand of laptop to purchase. Laptops may be purchased online or through any retail store/outlet, as long as the minimum specifications are met.