Hardware Standards

Hardware standards are set for the benefit of the college community. For standard systems (hardware and software), Technology & Innovation (T&I) guarantees compatibility of software applications, operating systems, and network connectivity. The equipment listed here has been used and tested by T&I.

If non-standard equipment or software are used, T&I will make a best-guess effort to resolve any problems. There is no guarantee, however, of successful resolution.

As new products become available we evaluate them for our environment, so this list is updated regularly. Please contact the Support Center for the latest information on Windows and Mac products.


We recommend Dell and Apple computers.


We recommend HP network printers and HP personal printers. Only select models are available. All shared printers must be Ethernet-ready (no external network print devices) and must be purchased through T&I. For personal printer recommendations, please contact the T&I Support Center by emailing ti@davidson.edu.


Ethernet cards are included in all recommended configurations. The Dell Optiplex and Latitude come with gigabit Ethernet. Gigabit Ethernet is built-in on Apple Mac Pro and MacBook Pro lines, while the iMac and MacBook come with 10/100 Ethernet.

Backup Devices

We recommend Western Digital MyBook external USB Drives for Dell computers, and Western Digital My Book external FireWire drives for Macintosh computers. A MyBook drive is included with all new computers.

Surge Suppression

All systems should have a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) or Belkin Surgemaster or equivalent surge suppressor, not just a power strip. Power strips simply split one outlet into multiple outlets, offering no protection.