Laptop purchase recommendation
Not recommending Macs or Chromebooks, because most of the engineering software does not run in them. AutoCAD, Matlab and Mathematica work in Macs, the other software will have to run from My.Apps. All applications will have to be accessed from My.Apps when using a Chromebook.
The Virtual Private Network (VPN) is needed from home to connect to some software. The VPN has a time-out of less than an hour, so save your work regularly.
Optionally you can use one of these executables to install the VPN in your computer.
Microsoft Office for your personal computer is available here for a minimal cost of $9.75. Connect using your MINERS login/password.
The Microsoft Operating System and other Microsoft software are available for free.
Apple software such as Mac OS, iLife, and iWork available at no cost to UTEP owned and faculty/staff owned computers.