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  1. 2020-9-10  Best Mac laptop for work You'll get Apple's iWork apps (Office equivalents Pages, Numbers and Keynote) and lots of other software for free when you buy any new Mac laptop. So you should have.
  2. 2020-7-23  Summer 2020 is a really good time to buy a Mac, specifically a laptop. Across the line, the MacBook Air, small Pro and Big Pro are all machines with sleek designs, a performance that can scale.
  3. 2020-8-31  The best laptop: Dell XPS 13. Why should you buy this: It’s portable, fast, attractive. However, the current MacBook Air is a solid choice if you absolutely must have a new Mac laptop today.

2017-11-11  This update added a host of new features, including the ability to run iPad apps on your MacBook, which will be handy for when you start a task on your tablet and then move over to your laptop. It also heavily redesigned several key Mac apps including iTunes, which has been split up into three separate programs for music, films and TV,. 2020-9-11  Here are the best laptops to buy right now. Our pick for the best laptop overall is the Dell XPS 13, which packs speedy performance and a gorgeous bezel-less display into an incredibly slim.

Which MacBook is right for you? What's the difference between a MacBook Air and a MacBook Pro? Our expert Apple laptop guide can help.

Apple laptops aren't cheap, so it's important that you consider your MacBook options carefully before parting with your cash.

We take a look at the key differences between the MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro ranges, so you can be confident that you're buying the right Mac for you.

See also:See all of our best laptopsAnswer three questions to find the best laptop for youBest Windows 10 laptopsBest laptops for students

Which MacBook should I buy?

Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch (2020)

If you've got a big budget, you might have your eyes on a MacBook Pro. These are the most expensive Apple laptops around, and the latest model has a unique Touch Bar. This feature lives right above the keyboard, and it's a mini touchscreen that will display changing information, depending on what you're doing. If you're editing home videos in Final Cut, for example, the Touch Bar will turn into a mini timeline that lets you quickly navigate through your clips. If you're interested in the top-of-the-range model, see our review of the Apple MacBook Pro 2018 with Touch Bar.

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Apple 15-inch MacBook Pro

This Apple is at the very top of the tree in terms of power, size and price. Putting the Pro moniker to good use, this six-core laptop is designed for the most power-hungry tasks such as video editing and computer-aided design. It will surely be overkill for anybody who doesn't do those tasks on a daily basis, though. This model has now been superseded by the 16-inch model, which we have not yet tested.

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Apple Macbook Air 2020

This is the latest version of Apple's popular 13-inch laptop, which starts at under £1,000 for a model with an Intel Core i3 processor. We've testded the mid-range Core i5 model. It has a high resolution screen and a very attractive design, although keep in mind that the processor is a slower form of Core i5 than the one you'll find in the MacBook Pro.

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Last updated: July 2020

See our full collection of MacBook reviews to see how else these models differ.

Mac vs Windows vs Chromebooks

MacOS, Windows 10 and ChromeOS all have their own strengths and weaknesses. MacOS is buttery smooth and is the go-to operating system for many creative industries, but it also requires you to shell out a huge amount of money on a premium Apple device.

MacBooks run smoothly and can keep viruses at bay, but they aren't cheap.

Windows, meanwhile is available on a huge range of devices from ultra-budget to super-premium and, for many, is still the operating system they know best. But it's not without its downsides: Windows 10 updates are still a major sticking point for many people, and the fact that Windows 10 doesn't run particularly smoothly on very cheap laptops.

Apple Computers Laptops

That's where ChromeOS comes in. This operating system is little more than a fancy web browser, with web apps that work best when connected to the internet. There's a range of budget devices available, and a few premium options as well. There's no faffing with huge updates and since everything is in a browser, there shouldn't be any problems with programs crashing either.

See how MacOS stacks up against its rivals in ourMac vs Windows and Chromebookadvice guide.

What do I need to know about MacOS?

MacOS (formerly known as Mac OSX) is extra useful for people who own iPads and iPhones, with a host of clever features that lets you share and work on files seamlessly on all your devices. You can also make and receive calls on your computer; no need to reach for the phone any more. There's also the Siri voice assistant that'll let you ask questions, set reminders and issue other commands with just your voice.

The latest version of MacOS is called Catalina, which launched in Autumn 2019. This update added a host of new features, including the ability to run iPad apps on your MacBook, which will be handy for when you start a task on your tablet and then move over to your laptop. It also heavily redesigned several key Mac apps including iTunes, which has been split up into three separate programs for music, films and TV, and podcasts. Reminders, Notes and Photos have been overhauled, and you can now also use your iPad as a second screen for your MacBook. And, as ever, MacOS is arguably the best operating system to choose if you already own an iPhone; things sync and work together more seamlessly than other combinations of phones and laptops.

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Whether you’ve received your first college homework or just opened that letter of acceptance to the university of your dreams — it means the best time to buy a MacBook has arrived. Studying at a university or college today has become more challenging than ever before, but there are ways to make your efforts less strenuous, by surrounding yourself with good and reliable technology.

Many students around the globe consider Apple to be providing some of the best laptops for college students, and rightfully so. Apple’s operating system has established itself as the most intuitive, trusted, and fastest platform around — it’s highly appreciated by anyone who doesn’t want to take the risk of their work going missing due to a hardware malfunction. Not the least important feature of Mac computers is their immunity to viruses, which comes with a benefit of saving on antivirus software. Pretty good news so far.

Study faster on Mac with this app

Get Studies, a handy flashcard creator that accelerates your learning. Hit new milestones on Mac with a personalized digital tutor.

How To Find The Best Mac For Education

The process of choosing the best MacBook for college depends on the kind of student you are, the type of assignments you get, and what you’ve generally come to expect from your computers. Apple is known for making their products to last, so even if you decide to buy a cheap Mac laptop for university, it should still be in good shape long after your graduation.

Since your studies will include both theory and practice, it’s crucial for your laptop to be able to support all the apps necessary during your time in college. If you’re not anticipating to be working on any complex projects over the course of your studies, then a cheap Mac laptop will be a reasonable purchase for you.

To ease the process of finding the best Mac education pricing and quickly resolve the age-old question of whether to get MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro for college, take a look at the following aspects.

What you need to know about Mac laptop prices

When you first start comparing Mac laptop prices, it might seem as though MacBook deals for college students are not that cheap. However, once you dive deeper into your search for the top computer on the market, you’ll not only find many cheap Mac laptops, but realize that even the most expensive models are completely worth their price, due to their exceptional longevity and overall efficiency.

Besides, if you’re a registered student, you’re eligible for the Apple college discount to use towards your new Mac from Apple’s Education Store. Occasionally, there are some back-to-school deals too, usually during the summer months — the right time to buy a MacBook.

Want to find additional ways to save money but still get the best MacBook for college? Consider shopping at Apple’s refurbished store or buying a cheap Mac laptop secondhand.

Now that you know everything about Mac education pricing, let’s explore some of the best laptops for college students on the market right now.

Performance: 16-inch MacBook Pro (2019)

If you’re looking to get the most power in a portable package, this is the best laptop for college, period. MacBook Pro runs on the latest Intel processors and could be configured with up to 8 TB of storage. Depending on your needs, this can be seen as an advantage or drawback, since as an average student you might not need all that power and hard drive space. A larger display is another great feature of this Mac for students, but it also makes the laptop heavier than the competitor models. It even looks more expensive than other Mac laptops, but arguably the price is fully justified by the myriad of expansion options.

Balance: MacBook Air (2019)

One of the best features of the new 2019 MacBook Air model is its 12-hour battery life — enough to finish your homework after a day of classes without the need to carry a charger. MacBook Air is often named the best laptop for college by students because it’s light and portable, allowing for an effortless transfer between classes. Given the substantial power of its processor, this Mac laptop is almost unbeatable in terms of the price-to-quality ratio. A minor flaw to mention, however, is lack of extensive customization.

Price: MacBook Air (2017)

If the two previous MacBook models are not something you’re really into, you can try to turn to an older laptop and get a good MacBook deal for college students that way.

A MacBook Air model from 2017 is still a pretty good Mac for students, even though it doesn’t have a Retina display or Touch ID. And, of course, it being a few years old, you could argue that its processor is old or that storage space is limited. But if those things don’t concern you, this Mac is a solid performer overall, despite its age.

Buy MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro for college?

As one of the most frequently asked questions from students, getting MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro for college has no definitive answer — it all depends on your specific requirements and needs. MacBook Air, for example, is generally considered the best Mac for college students at large, due to its light configuration and long battery life. It’s also one of the cheap Mac laptops that nevertheless covers all the basics.

Those who anticipate spending lots of time working on complex projects need to look for an advanced processor, large storage capacity, high-resolution display, or all at once. MaBook Pro is a great option here, since it offers much more power without sacrificing portability and lightness. On the other hand, it’s safe to say that if you need a laptop simply for research and written assignments, then a MacBook Pro might be a waste of money. But don’t let that stop you just yet, since you could be eligible for the Apple MacBook Pro student discount.

How to speed up your learning

Now that you’ve settled on the best laptop for college to satisfy all your needs, you can look at some of the best apps out there that can make your learning process more interesting and productive, supporting you through your university years.

Studies is an indispensable tool used by students who are adamant about customizing their education to get the best results. Fully synchronized with iCloud, this flashcard creator allows students to easily maximize their learning experience. In addition, Studies has a convenient calendar for effortless class management.

To create your own stack of flashcards via Studies:

  1. Click New Stack in the top left corner

  2. Add a title to your stack

  3. Click Save

How to organize your study notes

Regardless of the program you’re in, all college majors require you to work with an abundance of information. Paper notes are mostly inconvenient and irritating, so having the best MacBook for college is a really sound idea. But you need a proper all-in-one solution.

MarginNote takes a new approach to note-taking, by creating flashcards to optimize your learning and organize your textbook storage system at the same time. This app is perfect for students who want to save time on scribbling notes and keep them organized — easily search through the MarginNote’s smart system, and access any material on the go. MarginNote saves all your entries in one place and allows access from any Apple device, whether it’s a Mac for students or an iPhone.

To start using MarginNote:

  1. Open the Document menu

  2. Click Import in the top-left corner

  3. Import a book

  4. Now you can start reading and annotating as you go

How to optimize document and textbook search

Learning is always associated with the need to efficiently save useful clips, drawings, photos, or graphics — that’s why every student needs a good scanner app.

Prizmo is the perfect way to quickly convert all those physical documents (or PDFs) sitting on your desk to searchable digital material with very little effort. This smart app not only corrects the curvature of your photos and scans, but also has an incredible feature of translating any document to 59 different languages.

Here's how to turn any picture into a document file with Prizmo:

  1. Click New Document

  2. Drag and drop a picture of a page into the new window

  3. Use Curvature Correction to crop the area that you need

  4. Edit the text if needed

  5. Click Export in the top-right corner to save the new PDF document

How to excel at math and science easily

Students majoring in sciences have to solve complex math problems on a regular basis and are often able to find the answer faster if they scribble the formulas on a piece of paper first. But since we live in the 21st century, it’s a good idea to hand in assignments digitally and keep a copy on your Mac just in case.

MathKey makes a students’ life easier by providing a way to write any formula on your MacBook using a trackpad, mouse, or an Apple Pencil. The app will then import your writing into any digital format like LaTeX, MathML, or images.

While math is not always easy, working with MathKey is refreshingly simple:

  1. Launch the app and start drawing formulas using any input device

  2. Click Convert

  3. Save your work into your preferred format

In the end, a carefully selected Mac for students, with the right apps to enhance it, will not only provide immense support during your college years but will also be a useful tool when you go off to work in the professional field of your choice.

Best Buy Laptops Apple Mac

And it’s a positive bonus that Studies, MarginNote, Prizmo, and MathKey mentioned above are all available to you right now for a free seven-day trial through Setapp, a platform of over 170 of the best Mac apps, including some of the most essential ones for students. Now that you know how to pick the best MacBook for college and how to get the best apps, nothing can stop you from learning.

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