Technology @ St. X

Bring Your Own Laptop (BYOL) Information

As you look to make a laptop purchase for your son, we’ve created these guidelines to help you purchase a quality device that will not only be able to perform all the tasks your son will need to complete for school, but will also last over time. Please read through the FAQ, as we hope this will make your purchasing process easier.

Please note that some of the devices you’ll see in the market are called "2 in 1," as they can also function as tablets. While a traditional laptop with touch screen capabilities is acceptable, the benefit to a “2 in 1” device is that it will allow your son to lay the device flat while writing and solving equations.  Our hope is that these devices will be able to last your son throughout his time at St. Xavier. Purchasing an extended warranty/insurance will help ensure that the device can last.

Minimum Requirements:

  • Processor: Intel Core i5 minimum
  • Memory: 4GB minimum; 8GB recommended
  • Hard Drive: 128 GB or more
  • Display type: Touchscreen LED (must work with a stylus)
  • Wireless Networking: 802.11ac
  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Ports: USB 3.0 | Headphone | HDMI or Display Port
  • Camera
  • Microphone
  • Physical keyboard (either attached or Bluetooth)
  • Battery: 8 hours after a full charge

General Recommendations:

  • Consider purchasing an extended warranty/accidental damage protection for the times when something is broken.
  • When your son begins at St. Xavier, he will create an Office 365 account. This will allow him to download Microsoft Office for free. Please do not buy this in the stores.
  • At this time, our requirement for touch screen capability excludes Apple laptops for consideration. Should Apple release laptops with that capability, they will be considered for addition to the list.

Bring Your Own Laptop FAQ

1. What is the difference between a laptop, tablet and 2-in-1?
Right now, there are three different types of devices on the market:

Laptop: The traditional option, the laptop has a keyboard permanently attached to the screen and can come with touch screen capabilities.

2-in-1: This device looks like a traditional laptop, however the keyboard is attached to the screen with hinges, allowing the screen to removed (based on model) and rotated to fit the needs of the user. This picture shows the various ways that a 2 in 1 device can be used.

Tablet: The tablet is a fully functioning computer that is sold without a keyboard. All of the necessary ports (USB, power, etc) are located on the side of the screen. Keyboards can be purchased separately to make this device feel more like a laptop. A good example of this is the Microsoft Surface Pro 4.

2. Should I buy a laptop, 2-in-1, or tablet?
To be honest, all three will be acceptable at St. X. If you do buy a laptop, please make sure that it is a touchscreen, as that is an important requirement. With that said, your son might prefer a 2-in-1 over a laptop. Many of our teachers will have the students use the device to write notes and solve equations with a stylus. He might find it easier to be able to lay the device flat to complete his schoolwork.

3. Can I purchase an Apple laptop?
It is important to our faculty that these devices have touchscreens. Unfortunately, Apple does not offer any laptops with touch capabilities. Should they ever release one, we will certainly allow them.  It’s important to note that an Apple iPad (including the iPad Pro) is not acceptable, as they are unable to run full versions of important software, including the Microsoft Office Suite.

4. What is the difference between 8GB and 4GB of RAM?
When you are shopping for a computer, a higher amount of RAM greatly increases the speed of the device. A device with 4GB will be sufficient for the normal computing tasks your son will do – writing, researching, presentations, etc. A computer with 8GB of RAM will be helpful if your son ever ventures into more advanced computing tasks like photo editing, movie making, etc.

5. What is the rationale behind recommending an i5 or i7 processor?
While there are certainly cheaper processors on the market, our goal with this recommendation is for your son to have a device that will still function effectively as time passes. We’ve all used computers where the function and speed degrades over time. Often that is due to a combination of slow processors and memory not being able to keep up with the demands of the programs used. By purchasing a higher-powered processor, your son’s device will still function well over the years. While you could certainly buy a device with a lower-end processor, we fear your son would need a new device within a couple of years.

6. What models do you recommend?
It is hard to recommend a specific model because computer manufacturers make unique models for different stores. Therefore, we can’t recommend one model that you’ll find at all stores. With that said, below we’ve recommended some product lines. These product lines come in various configurations (hard drive, RAM, etc.), and can be located at Best Buy, Microcenter, and the Microsoft store.

Dell Inspiron (5000 or 7000)

  • Can be purchased as a laptop or 2 in 1
  • Please pay close attention, as the Inspiron series can be purchased with or without touchscreen.
  • Likewise, the Inspiron series comes with a variety of processors. Please be sure to get the correct processor.

Microsoft Surface Pro

  • Please be sure to buy the keyboard.

Microsoft Surface Laptop

  • This is a Surface Pro that comes with a physical keyboard, thus more resembling a traditional laptop.
  • This device cannot lay flat.
  • Please be sure you purchase this with Windows 10 PRO, not Windows 10S.

ASUS Touch Screen Laptop


HP Pavilion

  • Can be purchased as a laptop or 2-in-1.
  • Pay attention to processor type, as this line offers many different variations. Be sure to purchase one with an Intel i5 or i7.

7. Should I get insurance?
Worth Avenue Group is a third party company that has offered a discount to St. Xavier students on insurance policies for devices. Worth will cover cracked screens, loss, damage and theft, and you will have the ability to select your deductible amount. For more information please follow this link:

8. What accessories should I purchase?

  • If your device does not come with a keyboard, please be sure to purchase a keyboard. This is vital to effective productivity at school.
  • It is important that your son have a way to protect the device, whether through a separate laptop bag, or in a protected pocket of his book bag.
  • A stylus will most likely help your son with his coursework, but please be sure the device supports the stylus before purchasing.

9. Are there discounts available?
The Microsoft Store in the Kenwood Mall is willing to extend a 10% discount on all devices and accessories (not valid with other promotions). To use this discount, you’ll need to purchase in the store. Please either print or show on your phone the BYOL letter sent by Terry Tyrrell. Many stores offer education discounts, so be sure to ask.

10. Do I need to buy any additional software?

  • Please do not purchase Microsoft Office. When your son begins at St. X, he will create a Microsoft account, which will permit him to download Microsoft Office for free on his computer.
  • Windows 10 comes with a built in anti-virus/anti-malware program called “Windows Defender.” This should be sufficient, so long as it is updated regularly. Should you wish to add extra protection, your son’s Microsoft account will allow him to purchase Norton anti-virus at a significantly discounted price.

11. Will the St. Xavier IT Department service my son's laptop?

Our IT department will do the best that they can to help your son access all of the technologies at St. Xavier. If your son brings your laptop to us, we will diagnose the issue, and if it’s a software issue, we will gladly help as best we can. However, if it is a hardware issue, we will not be able to help and will ask that you take the device back to the point of purchase. Performing hardware services on devices would void your warranty.  We thank you for your understanding of this separation.

12. Does the St. Xavier IT Department provide loaner laptops?

Our IT department does not maintain any loaner devices. Should a student find himself without a device, the library maintains a bank of desktop computers for student use.

13. When does my son need to have this device?

If your son will be participating in any of the summer offerings (i.e., Study Skills), then he will need the device for the first day of summer classes. If he is not participating in summer courses, then he will need the device by Prep Week in August.