What is the mimimum recommended laptop I should buy?

With the changing technology, any recommendation will be obsolete before long.  Our recommendation is:

Any minimal laptop will handle your CSE classes but might be a little slow

Midrange laptops are ideal for basic course work.

Avoid netbooks, Chromebooks, tablets or any other limited devices.

Pick something that you will be comfortable using for hours on end.  Things to think about are screen size, CPU, memory, battery life and other addons, like webcam, microphone, bigger keyboard. 

Think about your level of comfort and speed.

We usually recommend Dell laptops due to the MSU/Dell agreemeent, decent prices and support services.

Which Operating System (OS) should I buy?

CSE is a mix of Windows and Linux labs.  Classes are taught on both environments.  Some classes provide or recommend virtual machines to accomodate the opposite to your OS environment. CSE has the resources and licenses for students to use VMWare or other freeware products. We recommend choosing an OS which you are comfortable with.