Welcome to UW-Madison! There are plenty of computer labs on campus to meet students’ computing needs, but most students choose to have their own computer and accessories for convenience and portability. Here is some of the most popular computing equipment that students need for school. Prices and availability are subject to change.

Student Computing Checklist


Laptops are a great way to bring your work anywhere on campus. Both Mac and Windows are popular and compatible with student computing needs; the choice between the two is based on personal preference. The Tech Store services manufacturers’ warranties for Dell and Apple computers.

C62599 Apple 13” Macbook Pro

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C64867 Dell laptop Search Tech Store for Dell Laptops


There are two software products that DoIT highly recommends: the MS Office Suite and antivirus software. Antivirus software is available as a free download and students get an incredible discount on MS Office through the Tech Store, which you can buy in-store or online. Other software that you may require for specific courses is available from the Tech Store, so be sure to check back as your needs grow.

wisc Search for Software



Student computer labs offer printing for a fee, but nothing beats a personal printer for last-minute papers and printing out notes right before class. Ink and paper are also available.

C62361 printer Search Tech Store for Printers and Supplies

Data storage

Backing up your files is an important step to preventing what could be a disaster (imagine losing a semester’s worth of work the week before exams.) Not only will it provide backup copies of your work, if your computer memory starts getting full, you can move older assignments and files to the external drive to free up space.

C62402 Bucky Badger USB flash drive

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Cases, cleaners, security

Your computer is an investment worth protecting. Carrying cases prevent damage and keeping your screen and keyboard clean help maintain your computer’s value. A combination lock offers protection while studying in public spaces.


C61122 laptop case Search Tech Store for Cases


Not the most exciting purchase you’ll make for your technology needs, but arguably one of the most important. Ethernet cables are a must for connecting to the Internet in University Housing or your apartment. The Tech Store has almost any cable you could need for an extremely low price – it’s one of our greatest secrets.

C61984 USB cable Search Tech Store for Cables