Laptop Recommendation

The undergraduate laptop recommendation for the future school year 2023-2024 has not been published yet. Please wait to purchase your laptop until closer to the beginning of the 2023-2024 school year. We will publish an updated recommendation early in the summer.

2022–23 Laptop Recommendation and Orientation Information

The 2022-2023 SAIC recommended model is an Apple MacBook Pro M1 Pro 14in with 8-core CPU, 14-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine, 16GB of Unified Memory, 512GB SSD storage,, and three-year AppleCare+ for Mac (AppleCare+ needs to be purchased within 60 days of the laptop purchase date). The recommendation that is listed highlights what we think you will need to move seamlessly between departments at SAIC and meet all your technology needs during your time here. You can purchase it with a student discount from any Apple Store, or online while in the U.S. by visiting the Apple Store for Education. You may also purchase the MacBook Pro  from any Apple-authorized retailer of your choice by bringing your student ID or other proof of enrollment. Since Apple frequently releases new products, we recommend that before you buy, you check for up-to-date information on our Laptop FAQ page. A note on purchasing a new laptop: *DUE TO POSSIBLE* supply chain issues and delays with shipping. SAIC highly suggests that if you are buying a new laptop before the Fall 2022 term, that you purchase a laptop as soon as you can and not wait till right before the next school term begins.

PLEASE NOTE: At this time Bootcamp/Windows is not developed or compatible for laptops built with the M1 and M2 chips. Currently the software industry is playing catchup with Apple’s new M1 and M2 processors which are utilized in Apple’s newest laptop models. Some software may not yet be compatible with the newest processor. Additionally, some third party software is not yet optimized for the M1 and M2 processors and uses Rosetta 2 to run on the newest Mac models. You can find a detailed list here listing the software that is compatible with the new M1 and M2 chips. The CRIT Help desk will update our community as compatibility changes in the future.

Later in the summer you will be invited to the New Student Orientation Canvas course. In the New Student Orientation Canvas course, students will have the opportunity to review technology best practices, gain access to software and hear a little more about who CRIT is and what we offer to the SAIC community. The course will help the students get better acclimated to the school's technology prior to the beginning of the term.

If You Already Own an Apple Laptop

If you currently own a laptop and would like to know if it meets SAIC’s minimum laptop requirement for the 2022-2023 school year, please email with the serial number of your laptop and your SAIC ID number. We will respond to your email and verify that your laptop meets SAIC'S minimum laptop specifications and can access all the resources SAIC has to offer.

SAIC Technology Requirement

For more than 150 years, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) has been committed to providing the best and most innovative art education possible. SAIC seeks to ensure that, when you graduate, you are fully conversant with the tools that technology can provide. In order to ensure an integrated curricular technology and equal access to a wide range of software, technical support, and training, SAIC has instituted a technology requirement consisting of two parts: a school-wide minimum laptop requirement and a technology fee.

Technology Fee

All students enrolled for six or more degree credit hours are charged a technology fee. This fee enables a student to access wireless and wired networking, curricular software in computer classrooms and labs, and CRIT Help Desk support and training. In addition, students with a qualifying laptop computer can access curricular software both on and off campus. The 2022-2023 technology fee is $335 per semester.