- The 2022 MacBook Air stands out thanks to the presence of its M2-gen processor, an 8-core CPU, and 18 hours of battery life.
- For outstanding performance, students need look no further than the 16-Inch MacBook Pro which comes with a 10-core CPU and which can last for up to 21 hours when used for light tasks.
- For students on a budget, the 13.6-Inch MacBook Air which also comes with a Liquid Retina Display, an M2 chip, and 18 hours of battery life, can function as the perfect study companion.
The MacBook is Apple’s premium laptop computer and is generally viewed as the most suitable laptop for students. Macs have the reputation of being more stable than other laptop brands, have excellent security, are simple to use, and are also very aesthetically pleasing. So if you’re thinking about going back to school this year and will be bringing your own computer with you instead of using school-issued devices, then buying a new MacBook probably isn’t a bad idea. In addition to studying in general, as a student, you will need your computer to help with research papers, assignments, and projects. Your MacBook will be an essential part of your school life.
MacBooks for students exemplify efficiency, they are lightweight, have sophisticated processors and bright screens, and are cost-efficient. However, with so many different models to choose from, it can be challenging when trying to choose the perfect MacBook for students.
In today’s article, we’ve ranked the best MacBooks for students and reviewed them in detail so you can find the one that’s right for you. This review looks at the top-rated options based on performance, flexibility, power, and affordability. Below are our rankings for the best of the best.
- Best Overall MacBook for students: MacBook Air (M2, 2022)
- Best for Performance: 16-Inch MacBook Pro (M1 Pro Chip, 2021)
- Best MacBook for Power: 16-inch MacBook Pro (M1, 2021)
- Best Budget MacBook for Students: 13.6-Inch MacBook Air (M2, 2022)
- Best Durable MacBook for Students: 14-Inch MacBook Pro (M1, 2021)
Best Overall MacBook for Students: MacBook Air (M2, 2022)
- Extremely thin and lightweight (only weighs 2.7lb)
- Features Apple's M2 chip that has a CPU with 8 cores, a GPU with 10 cores, and a total of 24GB of memory.
- Battery life: 18 hours
- Screen: 13.6 inches, Liquid retina type, 500 nits brightness
The 2022 MacBook Air is our overall best MacBook for students, considering its budget, exceptional features, and excellent performance. The first outstanding feature of this MacBook is that it is the first that Apple Inc. incorporated the second M2-gen processor. The unique processor supports 24GB of Unified memory, a 10-core GPU, and an 8-core CPU, which speeds up the processing process.
The 2.7 lbs (1.2 kg) makes this MacBook the lightest Mac from Apple. Interestingly, despite the lightweight of the M2, its screen size remained the same as the original MacBook Air. Another incredible feature that made us rank the M2 as the best MacBook for students is its Touch ID sensor and Magic Keyboard. When fully charged, the battery can last up to 18 hours, which is way above other laptops within the same price range.
The only major downside of the M2 MacBook is its speakers produce less sound quality.
- Long battery life.
- High portability.
- Unique second-generation M2 processor.
- Fewer Thunderbolt 3 ports.
Check out the MacBook Air on Amazon.
Best for Performance: 16-Inch MacBook Pro (M1 Pro Chip, 2021)
- Apple M1 Pro chip
- 10-core CPU and 32-core GPU
- 16-core Neural Engine for up to 5x faster machine learning performance
- Longer battery life (up to 21 hours)
Every feature in the M1 Pro Chip makes the 16-Inch MacBook Pro the right choice for performance fanatics. In terms of battery life, the M1 Pro Chip is the real deal. The M1 Pro Chip MacBook can stay with power for 21 hours while performing light duties, and 18 hours while performing heavy duties like gaming.
The M1 Pro chip is also a huge boost to the MacBook’s GPU, CPU, and machine learning performance. Besides, the 10-core CPU and 32-core GPU boost the MacBook’s performance by 2× and 4×, respectively. The 16-core Neutral Engine is a huge addition to the MacBook’s Machine Learning and makes the MacBook perform 5× faster than other PCs. Given these features, it is easy to edit 8K videos, compile codes in programming, and make 3D images and videos, which are all crucial to students.
Another outstanding feature of the M1 Pro Chip MacBook is the audio and video quality, which is a crucial aspect of performance. The 1080p FaceTime HD camera, studio-quality mic array, and six-speaker sound system work seamlessly, making it easy for students to attend online classes and virtual group discussions.
Finally, the MacBook’s storage capacity is another feature that makes it ideal for students. For instance, 64GB Unified memory makes data processing fast and seamless, while the 512GB hard disk can be expanded to 8TB SSD.
- Superfast performance.
- Long battery life.
- It is pricey.
Check out the 16-Inch MacBook Pro on Amazon.
Best MacBook for Power: 16-inch MacBook Pro (M1, 2021)
Every feature in the 16-inch MacBook Pro shows that it was meant for power, which is especially perfect for IT students. Apple gave its all when designing the MacBook’s GPU, CPU, and machine learning, making it a workhorse for heavy tasks. First, the 32GB RAM and 512GB hard disk capacity make the MacBook execute heavy tasks without worries of it crashing.
Second, the 16-core Neutral Engine makes the MacBook perform 5× faster in machine learning, while the 10-core CPU makes it perform 2× faster than other PCs. Additionally, the 16-core GPU supports 4× faster performance and efficiency. Another unique feature of the MacBook is that it can run for hours without lagging, which is a common setback for other laptops.
The MacBook’s battery can run for 21 hours, depending on the task under execution. The long battery life makes the 16-Inch MacBook Pro ideal for students who work in remote areas.
The only downside with this MacBook is that the camera notch can be distractive, especially for new mac users.
- Flexible storage up to 8TB.
- Irresistible clear display.
- Long battery life (up to 21 hours).
- The camera notch might be distractive.
Check out the 16-inch MacBook Pro on Amazon.
Best Affordable MacBook for Students: 13.6-Inch MacBook Air (M2, 2022)
- More portable than ever and weighs just 2.7 pounds
- Next-generation 8-core CPU, up to 10-core GPU, and up to 24GB of unified memory
- Up to 18 hours of battery life thanks to the power-efficient performance of the Apple M2 chip
- The 13.6-inch Liquid Retina display features over 500 nits of brightness, P3 wide color, and support for 1 billion colors for vibrant images and incredible detail
- Look sharp and sound great with a 1080p FaceTime HD camera, three-mic array, and four-speaker sound system with Spatial Audio
The 13.6-Inch MacBook Air M2 is the ideal choice for any student on a limited budget. The first striking feature of this budget laptop is its thin and sleek design, weighing just 2.7 lbs (1.2 kg). When it comes to performance, the 13.6-inch MacBook Air delivers with the M2 chip, 10-core GPU, 24GB Unified memory, and 8-core CPU. The battery can run for 18 hours when performing light duties like streaming movies or typing documents.
The second incredible feature of the MacBook is the top-notch audio system and clear webcam, which makes it ideal for attending online classes. The 1080p FaceTime HD camera and four-speaker sound system are essential features that a student might require when attending virtual discussions and online classes.
The final admirable feature of the MacBook is the huge and impressive display. It is easy to adjust the brightness levels without getting eye strain, which is a huge feat, given its low price.
The only downside of this MacBook model is that it does not support several external screens.
- Long battery life.
- Fast and impressive performance.
- Quality camera and audio.
- It cannot support numerous external screens.
Check out the 13.6-Inch MacBook Air on Amazon.
Best Durable MacBook for Students: 14-Inch MacBook Pro (M1, 2021)
- M1 Pro chip with 10-core CPU and 16-core GPU
- 16-core Neural Engine for up to 11x faster machine learning performance
- Longer battery life (up to 17 hours)
Apple has always had a reputation for making durable computers, and the 14-Inch MacBook Pro is a shining example. The 14-inch MacBook Pro is more of a statement of intent — and perhaps an admission — from Apple that it needed to make a machine that the Pro users would look at and not even think of any other laptop. The 14-Inch MacBook Pro has everything that a student could ask for. The battery life is unparalleled, the display is gorgeous to look at, the performance is excellent, and the speaker system remains the best. You will have to spend a lot of money to buy it but there’s very little chance that you will have to buy another laptop for the next five years.
Another outstanding feature of the MacBook is its 1080p FaceTime HD camera, which makes virtual meetings more interactive. The 32-core GPU and 10-core CPU makes the MacBook perform 13× and 4× faster respectively. With a 64GB Unified memory and 8TB superfast SSD storage, students can be assured of fast operations and enough memory.
- High-quality sound and camera specs.
- High storage capacity.
- High overall performance.
- Some buyers experienced low data transfer speeds.
Check out the 14-Inch MacBook Pro on Amazon.
How to Pick the Best MacBooks for Students: Step-by-Step
Choosing the right MacBook as a student can be hectic, especially if you have limited knowledge of laptops. How do you choose the right MacBook as a student when so many models are on the market? Here are some of the things to consider when buying a MacBook as a student:
- Screen size
- Processor Speed
The MacBook screen size depends on whether it is MacBook Air or MacBook Pro. Each model comes with different screen sizes, which you can choose from. The Air model comes in a 13.6-inch screen, while the Pro model comes in three screen sizes; 13.3-inch, 14-inch, and 14.6-inch.
Different MacBooks are priced differently, depending on their features. Apple offers an incredible discount to higher-education students who buy the MacBooks. Before buying MacBooks, the buyer should disclose whether they are higher-education students or buying for higher-education students to get the amazing discounts.
MacBooks come with different speeds, from as low as 1.4GHZ to as high as 2.8 GHz. Apple does not allow people to swap its processors and upgrading the processor can be $200 or more. If you want a laptop that performs light duties like typing docs, you can settle for a laptop with a low processing speed. On the other hand, complex tasks like gaming and video editing require you to have a laptop with high processor power.
As a student, you should consider the MacBook’s storage before purchasing. Some MacBook models only have 256GB, while others can have as much as 2TB of storage. Besides the storage, you should consider the MacBook’s RAM since it determines the efficacy of carrying out tasks.
What to Know Before Buying MacBook for Students
Buying a MacBook for Students can be overwhelming, especially due to the numerous offers on the market. The first thing that a buyer should check is whether Apple is offering discounts to students. The second thing a buyer should know is whether the seller offers a warranty on the MacBook. Products with a warranty are more likely to be reliable than ones without one.
Using MacBook for Students: What it’s Like
After testing several MacBooks for students, we found that their processing speed was above average compared to other brands with the same specs. Another outstanding feature is that the MacBooks did not heat up after performing heavy tasks, unlike other laptop brands.
Interested in more product reviews? Click on the links provided below:
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The image featured at the top of this post is ©Alim Yakubov/Shutterstock.com.