MHS Computer Recommendations

MHS Computer Recommendations

MHS strongly recommends that all students bring a new or recent laptop running Microsoft Windows or Apple Mac OS X.
Windows laptops should be less than 4 years old and running Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10. It is recommended that Windows laptops contain an Intel Core i3 or faster processor and a minimum of 4GB of RAM. Note: Windows XP is no longer supported by Microsoft and is considered a security risk.
Apple laptops must be running Mac OS X 10.8 or higher (10.10 is recommended). The MacBook Air is one of the most popular computers on campus and may be purchased at a discounted MHS rate from Apple at the following URL: Note: iPads are not a suitable substitute for a laptop.
Chromebooks support much, but not all of the software used at the School. Therefore, they are not recommended as a student’s main computer. Specifically, they don’t support the TI Nspire calculator software used in math classes.
What if I have a computer that does not meet the specifications, or no computer at all?
The MHS Technology Department provides high level service for computers meeting the recommended specifications. While we do not perform hardware repair or replacement, we can assist with many other problems, including removing viruses and spyware, network connectivity, printing issues, and software related problems. Because computers not meeting the specifications generally suffer from performance and reliability issues, and because out-of-date operating systems often do not have features needed to function in our environment, we are unable to provide comprehensive support for these computers.
For those that don’t bring a laptop, there are currently 16 desktop computers available for student use in the library, and desktop computers are available for short-term use in other locations on campus based on class enrollment and schedules. These computers are for school related work only and are not to be used for social media or recreation.

Recommended Specifications for New Laptop Computers

Minimum Recommended Specifications
Operating system
Mac OS X 10.8 or newer
- or -
Windows 7 or newer
The decision between Mac or Windows comes down to personal preference. Both are fully compatible with the MHS network.
Intel Core i3 or i5
Apple, Lenovo, and HP offer models with these processors.
Memory (RAM)
Some computers don’t allow you to upgrade the RAM in the future (Apple MacBook Air), so you may want to order it with 8GB of RAM
Hard drive
You may want to pick a laptop with a SSD (solid state) hard drive. SSDs offer a significant performance improvement and are less susceptible to failure.
Display size
Personal preference
Most students pick a 13” or 14” display, but it’s all a matter of preference.
Wireless networking
802.11N or AC
Wireless networking is available throughout the school. Wireless AC is the faster standard, but wireless N is fully supported and sufficient.
DVD drive
Typically not needed
Unless a student wants to watch DVDs on their computer, there usually isn’t a need for a DVD drive.
Antivirus software
All computers must have up to date antivirus software installed. We recommend the free version of Avast Antivirus, which is available to students. This can be downloaded at
Other software
Optional: Microsoft Office
Each student is issued a Google Apps account, which includes Google Docs and Sheets, Google’s Office Suite. Because of this, Microsoft Office is no longer necessary unless the student prefers it.
492 Holmes Road • Pittsfield, MA 01201  (413) 443-6401

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Located in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts, Miss Hall's School is an all girls private, college preparatory boarding and day high school for grades 9-12.
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