Best MacBook for College Students

student MacBook

College is tough, but the right technology makes it easier. While laptops used to be a luxury for students, they have now become essential. The handy devices let you take notes, follow online courses, and use key class-related software.

There are many great Windows laptops for students. However, if you’re someone who likes iOS, there are a range of fantastic Apple computers as well. In the following article, we will break down the best Macbooks for college students by explaining their different qualities and going over why they’re the perfect computer to take to your next lecture or class.

Quick Summary

  • If you’re a student who wants a light, easy-to-carry Apple laptop, it’s hard to do better than the MacBook Air. This model has plenty of processing power, a long-lasting battery life, and a bright display.
  • There are several MacBook Pro options out there, but the 13-inch MacBook Pro is the best for college students. That size makes it compact enough to take around school, but still strong enough to run all of the necessary programs.
  • Students who have a large budget and want a range of additional features will absolutely love the 16-inch MacBook Pro. This is similar to the 13-inch version but comes with a stronger processor and better screen.

Who Should Get This?

Every single college student can use the laptops in this guide. They are all sleek, lightweight, and come with enough fun features to keep you entertained when you’re taking a break or relaxing in the dorm. They have the power to run just about any program as well.

That being said, the MacBooks are specially-suited for those who want or know how to use a Mac. Apple devices, while useful, are not for everyone. Make sure you understand the macOS system before getting one. It is also important to make sure that your school’s software work with macOS.

Best Macbook for College Students: What to Consider?

Battery Life

When choosing a laptop for school you want a machine that you can take anywhere. Not only will you likely use it in your classroom or library, but you may also want to bring it over to a friend’s house or the local coffee shop. That is why a long battery life is important. Though there are usually outlets around, you never want to be tied to one spot. The longer you can work without checking for a plug, the better.

Portability

College requires a lot of walking. As such, you always want to make sure that you can carry your MacBook around. That does not mean you need to get a small model, it just means that you should get something you can take to class or onto campus that won’t be too heavy. A smaller screen size also makes the device easier to operate when lying down or sitting on the couch.

Processing Power

College is a time of study, but you can’t push yourself too hard or you’ll get burned out. For that reason, you want your MacBook to have some versatility. Good processing power allows you to run more programs and gives you the ability to both work when you need to write and play when you need some time to relax. Understand your hobbies, such as browsing the web, playing games, or watching TV, and make sure your computer can handle them.

Best MacBook for College Students: Our Picks in 2020

1. Apple MacBook Air (13-inch, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD Storage)


As the name suggests, the MacBook Air is a lightweight computer that’s easy to carry around campus. This slim machine has 12-hours of battery life, which is more than plenty for both class and the library, alongside a strong 1.8 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor. The 8GB of memory is more than enough for work and play, while the bright display makes everything you do on the machine look great.

Another bonus of the Air is the sleek design. Apple is known for making attractive products, and this one is no different. Despite the lightweight shell, this machine still manages to pack in two USB 3 ports on top of a Thunderbolt 2 port. That gives you more options and enables you to use it with your other electronics.

What We Like:

  • 1.8 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor
  • Intel HD Graphics 6000
  • 8GB memory
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Fast SSD storage
  • Bright, crisp display
  • Two USB 3 ports
  • Sleek, attractive exterior

What We Don’t Like:

  • Some people may want a sturdier device

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2. New Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch, 8GB RAM, 128GB Storage)


Students who want a good balance between portability and internal power will love the 13-inch MacBook Pro. While not as sturdy or as vibrant as larger models, this device gives college students a compact device that can still run their favorite programs and stream their favorite shows. It comes with two Thunderbolt 3 ports, an ultrafast SSD, as well a solid intel core i5 processor.

Where this MacBook shines, besides its inherent versatility, is through the brilliant retina display. This device’s 13-inch screen pops thanks to the true tone technology. It also has 10-hours of battery life, which is more than enough for both on-and-off campus excursions. Add on the regular Apple attributes, such as the touch bar and touch ID, and you have a complete machine.

What We Like:

  • Great screen
  • Portable-but-sturdy
  • Powerful core
  • Ultrafast SSD
  • Two color options
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID
  • Retina display
  • 10-hour battery life
  • Two Thunderbolt 3 ports

What We Don’t Like:

  • Not the best storage
  • No discrete GPU

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3. New Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 512GB Storage)


College students who like the features of the 13-inch MacBook Pro but who want something more, will love the 16-inch version. This machine gives you everything you would expect in the standard MacBook Pro, and then backs it up with even more processing power and a larger display. The extra screen size is fantastic, and the 16GB of RAM combines with the 512GB of storage to give you plenty of space.

One of the best features here is that the 16-inch model can be fully customized to fit exactly what you need. That includes 64GB of RAM, 8TB of storage, and an eight-core processor. Of course, such features come at a high cost, but if you don’t mind spending extra or want a premium device, this is the way to go.

What We Like:

  • Large, colorful display
  • Ninth-generation 6-core intel i7 processor
  • Touch bar
  • Touch iD
  • Ultrafast SSD
  • Six-speaker system
  • Versatile, multiple configuration options
  • Powerful, can handle any school task

What We Don’t Like:

  • Expensive
  • May be too heavy for some

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

Useful Tips and Information

There are many aspects to consider when getting a Macbook for college. Though we touch on a few in the above sections, there are many more to consider. This guide breaks down a lot of important attributes to stay on top of as you consider your purchase.

A laptop makes school easier, but the right software can take it to the next level. There are many student-friendly programs that you can use to improve your education. If you’re curious about some of the best, watch this video.

Final Words

A good MacBook is a fantastic accessory for any college student. The devices are great all-around machines, which makes them excellent for both work and play.

Every MacBook in this guide will provide you with great results both in and out of the classroom. Though they are similar, each one has unique features that separate them from the other models. Do your research and pick the one for you.

Do you use a MacBook at college? What type did you prefer and why? Let us know in the comments below.

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