Bring a Laptop
It is simply not possible to purchase a laptop now that will last all four years in terms of the software used for engineering courses. More importantly, it is generally too expensive for students to purchase personal versions of most of our software, so even the latest and greatest laptop will primarily be for general use (word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, e-mail).
Given the primary use of the laptop, we recommend investing in a laptop that is well made and has decent specifications. We emphasize that "rugged" or "durability" is more important than "high-tech" because laptops are hard to repair. Beyond being "rugged", pick a laptop that has a screen size and weight to suit your desire.
Spend your money on quality, not on technology. That way, there's a good chance the laptop will probably last for four years in terms of normal student work.
Special stuff? We recommend a media card reader (think digital camera memory cards) and a Blu-Ray reader or burner.
Here are some specific recomendations ENS has for laptop hardware on this web page.