Computer Recommendations & Infrastructure

IT Use at Thomas

At Thomas, information technology (IT) is an important tool in education. IT is incorporated into much of the academic curriculum, as well as into many administrative, research, and extra-curricular activities.

Thomas primarily uses one platform; Microsoft Windows, but we also support all major systems. Almost all faculty and staff at Thomas College use Windows on a daily basis. After personal contact, e-mail is the primary method of communication for many of our students, faculty, and staff.

Computer Recommendations

We recommend a notebook/laptop computer with Windows 11, with specifications below. We recommend Windows computers because 95+% of businesses use them. We encourage our students to learn Windows while a student rather than when they start working full-time. Thomas College purchases commercial-grade Dell Latitude 5550 laptops for its faculty, staff, and student sign-out computers with the following specifications. We recommend the same device for personal purchases. The computer specified below is typically around $995, but can be customized to a different price point by changing the amount of RAM, disk space or CPU. A 24-inch monitor, keyboard, mouse and docking station may be helpful in a res. hall room or at home. Additionally, we recommend an Apple iPad tablet (about $330) as a second device (unless you already have an iPhone). Elementary Education students may also want to consider an Apple MacBook Air ($999 or higher). We do not recommend Chromebooks as students often have many problems with them.

Our recommended Dell Latitude 5550 includes:

  • Intel Core Ultra 5 125H (18 MB cache, 14 cores, 18 threads, up to 4.5 GHz)
  • Intel graphics for Intel Core Ultra 5 125H processor
  • 15.6 inch (1920 x 1080) antiglare, non-touch, screen display with camera and microphone
  • 16Gb DDR 5 RAM
  • 256Gb M.2 TLC, Gen 4 PCIe NVMe solid state drive (SSD)
  • 802.11ax WiFi 6E wireless with 5Ghz connection (Do not get a 2.4Ghz-only WiFi adapter.)
  • 4 USB ports (2 USB-A and 2 USB-C)
  • Wired network port
  • 3 year next-business-day onsite Dell warranty
  • (for theft insurance, please add this to your homeowner’s policy and/or purchase Absolute DDS (Data and Device Security for $25+ per year)

Microsoft Apps 365 for Enterprise (formerly called Microsoft Office) is included in your tuition and technology fee. Other software may be rented at a low student rate through our partner web sites or can be used in College computer labs and the library.

For special Dell pricing for Thomas students, faculty, and staff, go to (during checkout; enter Thomas College for company name).

Thomas’s Academic Technology Facilities

The College provides many information technology services to enhance learning and living on-campus including state-of-the-art facilities, cloud-based services, Internet and Internet2 connections, and Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), e-mail, storage, web-based collaboration systems, e-portfolio systems, smart HD-equipped interactive classrooms, a learning management system, video production and editing systems, a variety of software, 250+ workstations, sign-out equipment, dozens of servers and a secure video conferencing system with dial-in phone and recording capabilities.

Each student is assigned an account giving single-sign-on access to Office 365, Google Apps, Adobe Creative Cloud, Apple iCloud, e-mail, Intranet, and Canvas. A web-based student information system (MyThomas) provides access to class schedules, student grades, student bills, and other information. A Microsoft Campus Agreement allows undergraduate and graduate students to upgrade to the latest version of Windows 11, download/install Office 365 and use Office 365 cloud services (including OneDrive, SharePoint, Teams, Office Web Apps and Office Mobile for iPhone/Android/iPad) on five devices for no additional cost while taking courses at the College. Internet and Internet2 access is provided by a 10G connection.

The computer labs and clusters at Thomas are comprised of Windows 11 computers running the latest version. Students have access to printers and computers 24×7 in our academic and residence hall buildings. Technical assistance, training and sign-out equipment is available from our Service Desk in the center of the Alfond Academic Center. Microsoft Office 365 (Outlook, Word, Excel, Teams, PowerPoint, Access, Publisher), Adobe Creative Cloud, Visual Studio, Project, Visio, Minitab, QuickBooks and many programming languages are available campus-wide.

Information Services, a combined IT Services and Library Services department, is staffed by 8 full-time staff and 17 work-study students. The facilities are generally open Monday through Thursday from 7:30am to 11:00pm, Friday 7:30am to 4:30pm, Saturday noon to 5:00pm and Sunday 1:00pm to 11:00pm. The GPH, Hinman, Bartlett, and Townhouse labs and clusters are accessible 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Student access from off-campus is also available.