Best MacBook for Students in 2024

Danielle Kim By Danielle Kim - updated February 15th, 2024
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As students prepare to head back to school, it can be difficult deciding which device would match your needs. If you’re wondering what the best MacBook would be, we help breakdown the different models, what they have to offer and what they would be best suited for.

Best Performance: MacBook Pro 16-inch

The MacBook Pro 16” stands out as the epitome of performance in Apple's laptop lineup. Sporting the latest Apple Silicon chips, such as the M3 Pro or M3 Max, it delivers superior processing and graphics capabilities. For many students, however, this may be a bit overkill and a MacBook Pro 16" with an M1 chip will be more than enough to get you through your studies, without as steep of a price point (while M2 chip versions are available, they're very close in price to the M3 chips). The MacBook Pro 16” has an expansive display and advanced thermal architecture that make it ideal for demanding tasks like video editing or 3D modeling. While the price tag is substantial, the investment is justified for students engaged in high-end creative or technical work.

Best Budget-Friendly: MacBook Air 13-inch

If you don't need top-tier power and performance and place higher value on portability and price, the MacBook Air is for you. The most recent MacBook Air model equipped with the M2 chip is a game-changer for students. The M2 chip takes energy efficiency and performance to new heights, allowing for a fanless design and a lightweight form factor. With notable improvements in battery life and processing power, it's a robust choice for university and study. It retains its reputation for portability while offering a more compelling performance level than ever before. Of course, for an even more budget-conscious option, you can opt for a MacBook Air with an M1 Chip - a highly rated model amongst students. 

Best for Portability and Power: MacBook Pro 14"

The MacBook Pro 14-inch with the M3 chip strikes the perfect equilibrium between the ultra-portable MacBook Air and the powerhouse 16-inch Pro. This machine incorporates advanced active cooling systems which enable top-tier, sustained performance for those heavyweight software suites—ideal for students tackling an intense curriculum demanding high-power computing. The retina display adorned with True Tone technology and a more expansive colour gamut brings a vivid and accurate visual canvas to the table, catering brilliantly to all manners of content creation and media consumption. For students who would love to reserve their MacBook’s portability while having additional power and battery life, the MacBook Pro 13-inch is the one for you.

Best Overall: MacBook Air 13-inch or 15-inch (M2)

For the vast majority of students, the MacBook Air is a must-have. The MacBook Air is lightweight which makes it suitable to carry around campus. It provides over 12-hours of battery life which is more than enough for a full day of classes. With up to 16GB of RAM available, it can tackle a variety of tasks from document editing to graphic design. It's unlikely students will run into any issues carrying out tasks with the MacBook Air as with the M2 chip, it's a highly capable device that will be able to operate majority of applications and platforms the MacBook Pro would be able to perform. The sleek device provides two USB-C ports and on top of a Thunderbolt 2 port that enables more options to use with other electronics if necessary. Available in two screen sizes - 13" and 15" to suit a a range of needs. 

Check out the Mac range at PB Tech! Or if you're after something different, see our full laptop range.

Written By

Danielle Kim

Obsessed with all the latest tech!

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