Laptop Requirements and Internet Access for Learning

Please prepare your laptop before admission since there will be many occasions when you are required to use it after admission.

Be sure to check the minimum recommended specifications below for laptop and internet environments. However, please note that even if your current laptop does not meet the minimum specifications, it is not necessary to purchase a new one. Please consider the laptop usage situation after enrollment first, and then you can decide whether to purchase the new one if it is necessary.

(a) Recommend Notebook Computer Specifications

Considering the use of your laptop on campus where classrooms vary from class to class, self-study outside of class hours, and attending online classes, we advise that you have laptops that are easily portable, have fast boot-up speed and power-saving features, and also that are strong enough to be able to survive from turbulence knock on your commute to the campus by bicycle or other means.

Component Recommended Specifications
OS Windows 11 (or higher) or macOS 12.0 (or higher) (*1)
CPU Intel Core-i5 (or higher), AMD Ryzen 5 (or higher), or Apple M1 (or higher)
Memory 8GB or more
Storage device SSD 256GB or more (*2)
Display Diagonal 10 inches or more
Wireless LAN IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (ax is also available)
Battery drive time 8 hours or more (*3)
Input device Need keyboard (detachable 2 in 1 type etc. is possible) (*4)
Screen output HDMI output (*5)
Audio input/output Microphone input terminal (stereo), audio output terminal (stereo) (However, it is acceptable in case that it can be supported by a conversion adapter or Bluetooth connection.)
USB USB 3.1 Type-A/Type-C ×1 or more
Anti-virus software If Windows Defender is enabled as a standard feature of Windows, you do not necessarily need to install separate antivirus software. Some security software is available at academic prices at Kyoto University CO-OP.
Office Apps Microsoft Office [Word, Excel, and PowerPoint must be useable (*6)]
Kyoto University has a comprehensive agreement with Microsoft, and provides free licenses for individual use to KU students while they are enrolled at the university, so there is no need to purchase a license.
For the detail, please refer to the website of the Institute for Information Management and Communication (IIMC).
For online classes Camera, headphones with microphone (Bluetooth connection, etc. is also acceptable), it does not have to be built in.
  • The unsupported version by the manufacturer will no longer receive software updates. Windows 10 is also acceptable, but since extended support for Windows 10 is scheduled to end on October 14, 2025, it would be preferable to have the one upgradeable to Windows 11.
  • Although more expensive than hard disk drives (HDDs), they are designed for startup speed and power savings for use within KU campus, where classrooms change from class to class, and for fault tolerance when commuting to and from school by bicycle or other means.
  • Since there are no charging facilities on campus, we take into account that the batteries can be recharged at home and used throughout the day.
  • Tablet-type terminals without keyboards are not suitable for study use, such as report writing, because they require the use of a software keyboard and have a narrower screen.
  • It does not matter if it can be handled by a conversion adapter or other means.
  • It also has a web version that runs on a web browser, but this recommended specification requires that you be able to use the PC version that runs by installing it on a laptop.

1 Important Note in Each Faculty

  • Faculty of Engineering (Department of Architecture)
    From the first semester of the first year, students in the Department of Architecture use their own PCs for exercises in the lecture rooms and drafting rooms. The above minimum specifications required by KU meet our minimum standards, but the following considerations will help make the exercises more comfortable and economical.
    Do I need to purchase a new laptop?】
    If you have no problems with your current laptop for daily use, please take classes with it for the time being. It is not too late to purchase a new one after you enter KU and consult with the faculty members.
    【Windows or Mac ?】
    Since some engineering software packages only run on Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Windows laptop is recommended in this regard. Students who opt for a Mac are responsible for researching what they can do on a Mac, or installing Windows Operating software such as Parallels to operate Windows-based software on a Mac.
    【Graphics Board】
    In the department's exercises, students operate CAD, create 3DCG, and edit images or videos. In such cases, laptops with graphics board offer a higher processing speed and make you feel less stressed. A graphics board is hardware, for example, described as “NVIDIA GeForce RTX” or “AMD Radeon”. It is not built into the CPU and is often installed in products in the “Gaming Laptop” category. It is possible to work on exercises on a lap-top without a graphics board, but a laptop pre-loaded with a graphics board is highly recommended. Computers which provide sufficient graphics performance are available at the same cost as the recommended specifications noted above.
    【Computer Mouse】
    For 3D operation, it is recommended to use a computer mouse that has multiple buttons and a scroll wheel.
    It is not necessarily required to have a printer to take classes, as you can print at convenience stores. However, the use of your own printer makes it easier for you to create drawings, models, etc. and it extends your range of expression. While A4 printers are comparatively reasonable and easily available. A3 printers are generally used in the field of architectural design, and some students have one from the viewpoint that the greater serves for the lesser.

2 Purchasing a Laptop

Recommended laptops that meet the minimum specifications are available at the Kyoto University CO-OP.

3 Notes on the Use of Laptop

  • Please note that students are required to take the Information security e-Learning.
  • Be sure to charge your laptop at home.
  • On your commute to the campus, especially when placing your laptop in a bicycle basket, take care not to damage your laptop by dropping it and etc…
  • Beware of theft, both on and off campus when carrying a laptop.
  • To prevent information leakage in the event of theft or loss, please set strong passwords on your laptop computer and encrypt the internal drive as much as possible.
  • Do not use non-authorized software (pirated software, unauthorized licenses, etc.). Otherwise, it may violate copyright laws and the user himself/herself or the university may be held legally responsible. There is also a possibility of virus contamination.

⒝ Recommended Internet Environment

If you want to use the internet on campus, you can use the Wi-Fi connection service called KUINS-Air (Wireless LAN) for free. On the other hand, when using the internet at home, in student dormitories, boarding houses, apartments, etc., you will need to sign up for internet service. You can also use the tethering function of your smartphone or other cell phones to connect your laptop to the internet, but please note that cell phones have a limited data communication contract capacity. Online classes sometimes use videos and slide images, which can consume several hundred megabytes in a 90-minute class. For this reason, it is strongly recommended that you have an internet connection (such as an optical fiber line) that does not have limited data communication contract capacity.