The Best MacBook For Students In 2023

Are you a college student looking for the perfect laptop to accompany you through your academic journey? Look no further! Apple has you covered with its latest MacBook lineup, offering a blend of power, style, and functionality. We’ll guide you through the best MacBook options for students and help you make an informed decision for the ultimate productivity machine.

We’ll dive into the features and performance of the top MacBook choices, helping you choose the best Mac for your major.

Short Summary

  • The top MacBook choices for college students in 2023 include the 13″ MacBook Air and 14″ MacBook Pro. Other options include the newly released affordable 15″ MacBook Air, and the powerful 16″ MacBook Pro.
  • Apple laptops offer superior performance and features such as Retina Displays, long battery life, powerful Apple Silicon and extended warranty with AppleCare+ insurance.
  • The laptop you want will depend on the needs you have in your chosen major. We break down the needs of some majors below.

Top MacBook Choices for College Students

Apple has a reputation for producing high-quality laptops that cater to various needs, and college students are no exception. Apple laptops offer unparalleled battery life making them the ideal companions for your academic endeavors.

The first step in deciding what computer to get is to think about the requirements of your chosen major. Some majors will require you to use a powerful computer (like a video production major), while other majors don’t require a lot of power at all (like a history major).

Majors where a powerful computer is useful

When a powerful computer is needed, it is recommended to go with the Apple MacBook Pro lineup. The MacBook Pro is designed for professionals and students who require a desktop-class workstation that can be conveniently transported, making it an ideal choice for power users. This powerhouse laptop offers exceptional performance and the best battery life, easily handling the requirements of most creative software.

The larger screen on the 16″ MacBook Pro can be really helpful in these majors, but they are not as portable as the 14″ MacBook Pros. Deciding how much you want to carry around with you will help you decide on the best computer for you. Either the 14″ or 16″ can be configured to handle the workload you require.

Computer Science: As the name suggests, this major involves programming, software development, and computer system analysis. Students in this field often work with resource-intensive development environments, compilers, and virtual machines that require a powerful computer to handle complex coding tasks.

Engineering (various disciplines): Engineering majors, such as Mechanical, Electrical, Civil, or Chemical Engineering, often involve working with computationally intensive simulations, CAD (Computer-Aided Design) software, and data analysis tools. A powerful computer is necessary to handle these demanding applications efficiently.

Graphic Design/Visual Arts: Graphic design and visual arts majors frequently use software like Adobe Creative Suite (e.g., Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign) for digital image editing, illustration, and layout design. These applications require substantial processing power to handle high-resolution files and complex visual effects.

Film/Video Production: Students studying film or video production often work with editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, or Avid Media Composer. These programs require a robust computer to process and render high-definition or 4K video files effectively.

Architecture: Architecture majors utilize computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) software, such as AutoCAD or Revit, for 3D modeling, rendering, and architectural documentation. These applications demand a powerful computer to handle complex architectural designs and renderings.

Data Science/Analytics: Majors in data science or analytics involve processing and analyzing large datasets using tools like Python, R, or statistical software such as SAS or SPSS. Handling big data and running complex algorithms can require a powerful computer with ample processing power and memory.

Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality Development: Students studying VR/AR development need powerful computers capable of running demanding 3D modeling and rendering software. These applications require substantial computing power to create immersive virtual or augmented reality experiences.

Gaming: Game development majors often work with game engines like Unity or Unreal Engine, which require a powerful computer to handle real-time rendering, physics simulations, and complex game mechanics.

Cheapest MacBook Pro Options

If you’re a student on a budget, check out our selection of gently used Macs for sale! All of our computers are tested and refurbished by us, your local techs. We even offer a 1-year limited device warranty!

Although these more affordable MacBook options may not offer the same level of performance or features as their higher-priced counterparts, they are still an excellent choice for students who want the latest Apple technology without exceeding their budget. With the right balance between price and performance, these budget-friendly MacBooks will help you excel in your college life.

Majors where a powerful computer is not necessary

There are some majors that just don’t require a lot of computing power. In these cases we recommend going with a MacBook Air. The MacBook Air has an excellent battery life and is extremely portable. It has plenty of power to complete the standard tasks that these majors require:

English Literature: English literature majors primarily focus on reading, analyzing, and interpreting literary texts. Most of the coursework involves reading physical books, writing essays, and participating in class discussions, which can be done on a standard MacBook Air.

History: History majors primarily engage in research, reading, and writing about historical events and topics. The coursework involves studying texts, analyzing primary sources, and writing research papers, which do not typically require a powerful computer.

Philosophy: Philosophy majors engage in critical thinking, analysis, and written discourse about various philosophical theories and concepts. Their coursework mainly involves reading philosophical texts, writing essays, and engaging in philosophical discussions, which can be easily done on a MacBook Air.

Sociology: Sociology majors study social behavior, society, and its structures. Their coursework includes reading sociological texts, conducting research, and writing reports or essays. While some data analysis may be involved, it is usually not computationally intensive and can be handled by a MacBook Air computer.

Psychology: Psychology majors study the human mind, behavior, and mental processes. Their coursework primarily involves reading textbooks, conducting research studies, and writing reports or essays. While data analysis may be involved, it can typically be done on a MacBook Air using statistical software like SPSS or R.

Foreign Languages: Majors in foreign languages, such as Spanish, French, or Chinese, focus on language acquisition, cultural studies, and literature. The coursework mainly involves reading, writing, listening, and speaking in the target language, which can be done on a MacBook Air computer.

Political Science: Political science majors study political systems, theories, and policies. Their coursework involves reading political texts, conducting research, and writing papers or reports. While some data analysis may be involved, it is usually not computationally intensive.

Anthropology: Anthropology majors study human societies, cultures, and their development. Their coursework involves reading anthropological texts, conducting fieldwork, and writing research papers. While data analysis may be involved, it is typically not computationally intensive.

Cheapest MacBook Air Options

If you’re a student on a budget, check out our selection of gently used Macs for sale! All of our computers are tested and refurbished by us, your local techs. We even offer a 1-year limited device warranty!

While these budget-friendly MacBook options may not provide the same level of performance or advanced features as their higher-priced counterparts, they still present an exceptional choice for students seeking the latest Apple technology while staying within their budget. Striking the right balance between affordability and functionality, these MacBooks will empower you to succeed throughout your college journey.

Apple’s latest release, the 15″ MacBook Air

If you are somebody that is helped by having a larger display, check out Apple’s new MacBook Air 15″. It is an excellent choice for students that do not mind carrying around a slightly larger Mac and do not require it the heavy processing power of the MacBook Pro.

Apple Laptops: Performance and Features

When you are looking for a laptop, there are all these terms and phrases that you may or may not understand. Here we will cover some of the more important computer jargon that you will encounter when shopping for a computer.

Central Processing Unit (CPU): The CPU, often referred to as the processor, is the brain of the computer. It performs calculations, executes instructions, and handles the overall processing power of the system. A faster and more powerful CPU allows for quicker task execution and smoother multitasking.

Random Access Memory (RAM): RAM (commonly called Memory) is the temporary storage that the computer uses to hold data that is actively being processed. It provides quick access to data for the CPU, allowing programs and applications to run smoothly. Higher RAM capacity enables better multitasking and the ability to work with more demanding software.

Storage Drive: Macs use solid-state drives (SSDs) for storage. SSDs are faster and more reliable than traditional hard disk drives (HDDs). They store the operating system, applications, files, and data on the computer. Storage capacity determines how much data you can store on your Mac.

Graphics Processing Unit (GPU): The GPU, also known as the graphics card or graphics chipset, is responsible for rendering images, videos, and animations. It accelerates graphic-intensive tasks and provides smoother visuals in games, video editing, and other graphics-intensive applications.

Display: The display is the screen that allows you to interact with your Mac. Macs offer high-resolution Retina displays with vibrant colors, sharp text, and excellent clarity. The display size and resolution can vary depending on the specific Mac model.

Ports: Macs come with various ports to connect peripherals and external devices. Common ports include USB-C/Thunderbolt, USB-A, HDMI, and audio ports. These ports allow you to connect external storage, displays, printers, and other devices. Most MacBooks only come with Thunderbolt ports currently. These thunderbolt ports usually are the same as USB 3 ports and they are compatible with your USB 3 devices.

Operating System: Mac computers run on macOS, the proprietary operating system developed by Apple. The operating system provides the user interface, manages hardware resources, and allows you to run applications and software on your Mac. The latest OS in 2023 is Ventura, but Apple has announced that their next operating system, called Sonoma, will be available this fall.

Maximizing Your MacBook Experience

To get the most out of your MacBook, it’s essential to know how to maximize its potential by utilizing the right applications, settings, and hardware upgrades. In this section, we’ll share some tips on how to make the most of your MacBook experience by exploring a few applications that students find useful.

These apps will not only enhance your productivity, but also ensure that you have the best possible experience with your MacBook.

MS Office

Microsoft Office

MacBooks are highly compatible with Microsoft Office applications such as Outlook, Word, and Excel, making them the perfect devices for students who need to work with these applications on a daily basis. Apple also provides its own productivity suite, including Pages for document management, Numbers for spreadsheets, and Keynote for presentations.

With the compatibility of both Microsoft Office and Apple’s productivity suite, you can easily collaborate and share documents with your peers, regardless of the platform they are using.

Notes App Built-In

Apple has been working on its Notes app that is built into their MacBook operating system as well as their iPhones and iPads. With its new capabilities, it is an excellent choice for taking notes in class.

Reminders or Todoist

Apple has a built-in reminders app which is an excellent choice. Most people will find reminders plenty powerful for any school needs. If you are looking for something even more robust, check out Todoist.


Grammarly runs on Mac, so you can double-check that everything is up to par before you submit your paper or hit send on that email.

Student Discounts and Promotions

As a student, saving money is always a priority. In the following sections, we’ll explore the different discounts and promotions available for students, and how you can make the most of them to get the best deals on your favorite Apple products.

Savings on Macs 

Apple offers education pricing for students, which includes discounts on Macs and iPads, as well as a gift card up to $150 and 20% off AppleCare+. If you are looking for even more savings, check out our shop where we sell gently used Macs.


In conclusion, Apple’s MacBook lineup offers a range of powerful and stylish laptops that cater to the diverse needs of college students. From the MacBook Air to the MacBook Pro, impressive features such as the Liquid Retina display, fast processors, and long battery life ensures that you have the best tools for your academic journey.

Now that you’re equipped with the knowledge of the best MacBook options, their performance, and features, as well as how to maximize your MacBook experience and take advantage of student discounts and promotions, you’re ready to make an informed decision and invest in the perfect MacBook for your college life. With the right MacBook in hand, you can confidently tackle your academic challenges and succeed in your studies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a MacBook good for a student?

MacBooks provide a great value for students, combining power and portability at a reasonable price. With macOS offering a powerful set of built-in apps, a MacBook is an ideal choice for students.

Which MacBook is the best for college students?

For a cost-effective, yet powerful laptop, college students should consider the MacBook Air. If you require more processing power, the MacBook Pro is the way to go! Both options offer excellent performance and reliability, making them great choices for those attending college.

How do I connect to Wi-Fi on my Mac?

To connect to Wi-Fi on your Mac, click on the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar, select your network from the list, and enter the password if required.

Can I run Windows software on a Mac?

Yes, you can run Windows software on a Mac by using virtualization software like Parallels Desktop or by dual-booting with Boot Camp.

How do I take a screenshot on a Mac?

To capture a screenshot on a Mac, press Command + Shift + 3 to capture the whole screen or Command + Shift + 4 to select a specific area. Screenshots are saved on the desktop by default.

How do I transfer files between Mac and other devices?

You can transfer files between Mac and other devices using various methods such as AirDrop, USB connections, cloud storage services like iCloud or Dropbox, or by connecting external drives.

Can I use Microsoft Office on a Mac?

Yes, Microsoft Office is available for Mac. You can download and use applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook on your Mac.

How do I update software on my Mac?

To update software on your Mac, click on the Apple menu, go to System Preferences, and select Software Update. The Mac will check for available updates, and you can install them from there.

How do I back up my Mac?

You can back up your Mac using the built-in Time Machine feature, which allows you to connect an external hard drive and automatically back up your files and system regularly.

How do I uninstall applications on a Mac?

To uninstall applications on a Mac, simply drag the application from the Applications folder to the Trash. You can also use third-party uninstaller apps or the Launchpad to manage applications.