How to Choose the Best Apple Laptop for College

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There are very few people in the world who do not want to get their hands on an Apple product. Apple products come with a host of features and perks that make the lives of entrepreneurs, students and artists easier than ever. These also offer durability that’s built to last and much better resale value than most laptops.

Many students might have second thoughts about investing in a MacBook, because all things said, a MacBook costs a fortune and is not something you can purchase on a whim. It requires careful research on the demands of your profession, situation and financial constraints before splurging and taking the dive with this kind of investment.  

The above said, Apple laptops and MacBooks could serve as one of the best investments for students, especially those pursuing higher studies or courses that require impeccable editing skills and artistic output. Therefore, without further ado, let us look at how to choose the best Apple laptop for college including all the things that students should know before investing in a MacBook.

Macbook Air vs vs Macbook Pro for Students

The very first thing that you must know is that Apple has two lines for laptop models. They are the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro, and each of them has several unique features to bring to the table. The screen size and the portability that these laptop lines offer are very different. The first decision that you need to make is which type of Macbook suits you best, before digging into the best suited screen size and hardware configuration within that range.

Macbook Air – Portability Over Power

As a student, you might need to carry your laptop to your University every day or a few times a week. For most students who don’t require using any advanced photo or video editing applications or any other kind of rendering applications the Macbook Air is probably your top choice. It offers enough power to easily handle basic document editing and web browsing coupled with exceptional portability and battery life.

Macbook Air models are also some of the cheapest Apple laptops on the market, making them an attractive choice for most students on a budget. After all, it’s important that you check the weight and size of your laptop to make sure you’ll be comfortable carrying your laptop around.

Macbook Pro – More Power Higher Cost

Macbook Pros are best suited for students who may need additional processing power that the Macbook Air range lacks. These include photo editing students, video editing students, engineering students, 3D design students and, in many cases, programming students.

In most cases, there is no point dishing out a large sum of amount of money on a Macbook Pro unless you need the extra processing power. If you are a heavy internet user who uses a lot of browser tabs or are a gamer, then the Macbook Pros extra power will come in handy regardless of the degree you are studying. That said, most students aren’t heavy power users so for many it simply won’t be worth the extra investment.

Hardware Configurations

It is vital to understand that Mac, at present, does not allow users to swap or exchange parts outside of what already come with the model. As there are a number of different configurations for each Apple laptop model, choosing the right one is also an important decision to make.

Screen Size

Apple laptops come in many different screen sizes, and choosing the right size usually comes down to both budget constraints, portability, and the size of the screen you’ll need for the kind of school work you’ll be doing. Naturally, students studying visually oriented courses such as graphic design, video editing, or even visual arts will probably want as large a screen as possible for their work in the 15-inch or higher range.

Students who are more focused on basic document editing and web browsing will have the option of opting for a cheaper 13-inch or 11-inch model with the added benefit of extra portability. Always keep in mind the larger the screen size the larger the price tag, so if you need a Macbook with a larger screen be prepared to fork out a little bit more.

Processor Speed, RAM and Graphics

The more demanding the needs of your school and personal laptop usage, the better processor speed and more RAM you’ll need. Some courses such as video editing or 3D graphic design will also require a graphics card which is an added piece to the puzzle. You might have to pay an additional $200 or more depending on the hardware configuration you’ll need. That said, it is essential that you understand your situation and demands well.

Students who want a MacBook for tasks like writing, making notes and proofreading might not need to invest much in the processor and the RAM. However, if you are into editing, Photoshop and creative work that need you to use an advanced Adobe product, you might want to opt for a bigger and better processor.

Hard Drive Storage Space

Always ensure that your MacBook has sufficient storage space before you purchase a model. The amount of storage space determines how much you data will be able to save on your laptop. It is important that you opt for a hard drive size that will allow you to hold all the applications you need as well as any personal files you might want to store on it.

Cloud computing has made it easy for people to store and save their work without making them dependent on onboard storage. That said, many applications require a lot of storage and if you don’t want the hassle of an extra hard drive to store things such as media and games, then a larger hard drive might be a great option based on your own personal laptop usage outside of school.

Regardless of the course you are doing it is important that you opt for a storage configuration that serves your situation well. If you opt for a storage configuration that is too small, you may eventually end up needing to factory reset your Macbook Pro to get it working again. A storage space of 256GB might not be enough for most students, and a storage space of over 1TB might be too much for most people and not worth the extra money. Decide on this important factor wisely.

Student Discounts

Apple provides lucrative student discounts to those pursuing higher education, and also to parents purchasing for their wards. It’s definitely in your best interests to research and learn about these student discounts so that you do not have to settle for the towering retail price of a MacBook if possible. Apple has also started offering free goodies like AirPods and schemes like 20 per cent off on AppleCare+ on your purchases, especially if you qualify as a student. Be sure to research possible student discounts in depth before buying a MacBook so that you can get your hands on the best model while saving up your money.

Summing Up

Purchasing a MacBook might just be the best tech decision you make in your career, especially if you are a student or have a business with robust security needs. However, ensure that you have done proper research, looked at your budget constraints and only then make your final decision. If you need further guidance on the top recommended Macbooks, or if you are still considering a Windows based alternative, be sure to check out guide to the best laptops for college students for more ideas.

By LaptopNinja Editorial Team

The LaptopNinja editorial team is dedicated to helping you choose the right laptop for your needs and spreading knowledge about everything tech. Founded in 2012, the LaptopNinja team of motley tech specialists spend countless hours every week scouring the best deals across the web to help save you time and money based on more than half a decade of experience researching and recommended the top value for money and high performing laptops on the planet.

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