Due to recent global events, in cases the university may direct employees to work remotely. Our Work Remotely page will assist you with helpful resources.

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) AND UBC'S RESPONSE: Find the latest updates here for students faculty and staff.

Buy a Computer


Before you purchase a computer, please consider the options that are available to you as an employee of UBC. Not only will you be eligible for certain discounts, you will also receive the benefits of volume discounts. The Faculty of Applied Science currently receives the benefits of a UBC and British Columbia higher education partnership with Dell Canada to offer desktop computers and laptops at an educational discount to UBC faculty and staff for departmental purchases. Current employees are also eligible to receive discounts one home purchases through the Dell Canada Member Purchase Program.

Office Computing

Some users may have minimal performance requirements, such as administrative staff. For those that primarily use Microsoft Office and a web browser, please review our UBC IT Hardware Catalogue. We generally recommend laptop computers.

3D, CAD, Development, Analysis, and Media Production

Additional performance is often needed if needed for 3D, CAD, computer programming and development, qualitative or quantitative analysis, or graphics and media production. Please see larger form factor business desktop or workstation class desktop computers on our UBC IT hardware catalogue.


Users that travel or attend meetings often will require a laptop. In addition to knowing the applications you plan to use, you must also consider how mobile you pla n to be. The dimensions, weight, and any usability requirements that you may have are important to understand. When you contact the IT Help Desk, they can assist you with finding out which of the Lenovo ThinkPad laptops that are currently availble in our hardware catalogue may work best for you. Another consideration when purchasing a laptop is, what laptop will provide the best experience when encrypted according to current UBC policies? Please contact the IT Help Desk to discuss what options are available to you and what kind of questions you should be asking before making a purchase.

Apple Products

Apple products are available for purchase through the IT Help Desk. You may review the lastest pricing and discounts from Apple. Please note that taxes and fees may apply. Before purchasing Apple laptops and desktops, please ensure that the software that you intend to run is compatible with Apple macOS. All new desktops, laptops, and iMacs from Apple support encryption to comply with current UBC policy: UBC Information Security Standard #05. If you have an old or new Apple computer and you are not sure if you are encrypted or not, please contact the IT Help Desk for more information.

Inventory Planning

If you are a faculty or staff member responsible for computer purchasing for your unit, the IT Help Desk can create inventories of your current computers and make suggestions for purchasing based on hardware lifecycle or 'evergreen' best practices. Upon request we can ensure that your computers are encrypted.

Special Considerations


When purchasing a computer to use that has the Windows operating system, the IT Help Desk will ensure that any purchases are compatible with the campus encryption solution. Many consumer desktops and laptops available on the market do not have the necessary hardware for proper whole disk encryption, which can leave your computer unprotected if lost or stolen. For this reason, UBC has created UBC Information Security Standard #05 which is an official policy that requires computers as well as storage devices to be encrypted in many use cases. You can learn more about encryption at UBC by visting Privacy Matters.

Data Sanitization of Retired Storage Devices

Nearly all computers have storage devices that may contain private data. It is important to consider the proper disposal of retired computer equipment when purchasing. Disposal of computer equipment through the IT Help Desk will ensure that data is sanitized from storage devices by erasure or physical destruction.

Gifting or Selling a Computer

While you will work with your unit's finance team to transfer ownership of an asset, please contact the IT Help Desk prior to selling or gifting a computer outside of your department, including to Engineering Design Teams and inter UBC departmental transfers. Data storage devices need to be sanitized, software removed to ensure licensing compliance, responisibilities need to be properly transferred to someone else for management of the computer, and asset management records needs to be updated.

Computer Purchases from Outside of UBC IT

  • Please put in a ticket with our IT Help Desk prior to purchasing any computer. We will review the hardware and make recommendations or alternate suggestions.
  • If you do not consult our IT Help Desk prior to purchasing, we may recommend returning the computer if it doesn't meet our requirements for support.
  • All warranty services will be managed by the purchaser of the computer, not by IT.
  • If you are interested in used computers, computers need to be in good working order, from a company that provides certified refurbished computers.
  • Please see Support my Computer for more information on what our requirements are for our IT team to support. We still ask you to check with us prior to purchasing of course.

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UBC IT Hardware Catalogue   Buy a Computer