No doubt you may already have a computer, but if you don't, choosing the right one is crucial for anyone attending classes online. Yes, you could use a library or other public computer, but this isn't too handy when trying to complete and prosper in your classes online.
Here's a story from CNET on computers for students, both online and off:
Computer makers are gearing up for the back-to-school season with packages targeting college students, though the choices included in many of those packages differ from what campus IT departments would prefer. This year's student-focused computer deals lean heavily on multimedia tools and performance. Features such as DVD burners, Microsoft's Windows Media Center Edition operating system, TV tuners, and high-definition audio tools are common in this season's offerings. Colleges and universities tend to be more conservative in their computer specifications, however, preferring operating systems such as Windows XP or Mac OS X, for example. Although few schools have strict requirements for student computers, many have arrangements with
particular vendors that offer discounts on their systems. In terms of design, laptops now represent a greater portion of computer sales than desktops. Despite the price advantage of desktops, laptops are hard to turn down for students going from building to building across campus.