Laptop Policy

From ideas to action.

We recognize that laptops are a considerable expense. However, we strongly believe they are essential tools for professional artists and designers. To help defray the cost, students can purchase laptops and software using educational pricing. Students can also fold the cost of the laptop into their financial aid package. 

WHAT KIND SHOULD I GET?

An Apple MacBook Pro laptop is highly recommended for the Art + Extended Media and Graphic + Media Design programs. Although Windows laptops can also work in these areas, we teach from Macs and our systems are set up to support Macs. Students who wish to use Windows computers should understand that they will be responsible for any configuration issues that may arise.

Based on your program of interest, we recommend one of the following. In general, the 15 or 16-inch Macbook Pro will provide the most powerful, flexible choice for Art + Extended Media and Graphic + Media Design students. For Interior + Spatial Design students, a Windows laptop with a dual-core processor and NVIDIA graphics driver is required.

MacBook Pro laptops can be purchased online through Apple.com or locally at the Apple Store. Either way, be sure to get the educational discount, which helps save money. 

RECOMMENDATIONS

Art + Extended Media
MacBook Pro 15 or 16-inch; 16GB RAM; 512GB hard drive
MacBook Pro 13" (Useable, but far less powerful).

Graphic + Media Design
MacBook Pro 15 or 16-inch; 16GB RAM; 512GB hard drive

Interior + Spatial Design
Windows dual-core, NVIDIA graphics; 16GB RAM; 512GB hard drive

The Technology Center provides a wide range of services and equipment to the students and faculty within the Department. Located on the first floor of the Art + Design building, the Tech Center boasts a Mac lab, complete with small and large format archival ink-jet printers, Wacom Cintiq displays, scanners, a vacuum former, and a 3-D printer.

The Tech Center also provides audio, video, and pen tablets for digital drawing for check-out. Come by anytime. We’re happy to help!

Karen Conway, Lecturer in the Interior + Spatial Design program, will be serving as the interim Coordinator for the 2020-21 academic year and can be reached at [email protected]. Sage students serve as Tech Center coordinators and can be reached through [email protected].

ADDITIONAL ITEMS
In addition to the laptop we also recommend the following:

AppleCare PROTECTION PLAN
Although extended warranties are generally a bad idea, we highly recommend the AppleCare Protection plan. Laptops can be subjected to much more wear and tear than a desktop computer and working in a collaborative environment, such as school, accidents can easily happen. Considering the large cost of most laptop repairs, we have found this program to be a worthwhile investment.

EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE
An external hard drive is an essential purchase along with a laptop. It will allow weekly backups all of the important data (aka: homework) from your laptop and keep it in a secure location. Look for a hard drive that has at least double (preferably triple) the capacity of the hard drive on your laptop. Currently, a 1TB external drive can be purchased online at many places for under $100.

LAPTOP BAG
Since you will be carrying your laptop to and from classes every day, look for a bag that will allow you to carry all your peripherals (power supply, cables) and will provide padded protection for the computer.

ADOBE SOFTWARE
All Art + Design students are responsible for purchasing an annual subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud, which provides access to the entire Adobe software suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, After Effects, Premiere, etc.) Students also receive educational discounts when purchasing Adobe Creative Cloud.

INTERIOR + SPATIAL DESIGN
In addition to an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, Interior + Spatial Design students will need the latest version of AutoCad and REVIT through AutoDesk.com as well as SketchUp.

PURCHASING SOFTWARE
We recommend purchasing software through an educational software vendor like JourneyEd or Academic Superstore, as the cost savings can be enormous. 

Frequently Asked Questions

WHY DO YOU REQUIRE LAPTOPS?
Because the computer is such an important part of our curriculum, we feel it essential for our students to have access to their tools at all times. Laptops literally allow students to carry their studios with them, making it much easier to share ideas, work collaboratively, and for faculty to consult on specific technical issues. Owning a computer allows students to become proficient with the technology at a level simply not possible working in a shared computer lab. Plus, the laptops give the students the most essential tool they will need to begin work as a professional once they leave the program.

CAN FINANCIAL AID BE USED TO HELP COVER THE COST OF A LAPTOP?
Yes. The cost of a laptop can be folded into your cost of attendance. Talk to the financial aid department for details on how to do this.

I ALREADY HAVE A LAPTOP. DO I HAVE TO BUY A NEW ONE?
As long as your laptop meets the basic configurations listed above, you should be all set. If not, it may still be possible to upgrade individual components to meet the specifications.

I HAVE A WINDOWS LAPTOP. CAN I USE THAT INSTEAD?
Aside from Interior + Spatial Design, programs within the Art + Design department at Sage are Mac-based and we teach from the Mac versions of software. While all the required software is available in identical Windows versions, you may run into difficulties with things like exchanging files across platforms, working with fonts, etc. Please realize that if you choose to work on the Windows platform, all such configuration issues will be your responsibility. If you are an Interior + Spatial Design student and already own a Windows laptop, it will need to meet the basic configurations listed above for Interior + Spatial Design.

WHERE DO I GO FOR SUPPORT? WHAT IF IT BREAKS?
Apple laptops come with a one-year warranty. We recommend you purchase an extended warranty for three years (Apple Care – see above) when you purchase your laptop. Repairs can be handled through the Apple Store at Crossgates Mall in Albany.

WHAT IF IT GETS LOST OR STOLEN? IS IT COVERED BY INSURANCE?
Most likely your laptop will be covered by your homeowner's insurance policy, although you may have to add a separate rider for it. Talk to your insurance agent for details.