What You Need To Know About Apple Silicon Macs
Starting with the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro, Apple is embarking on a multi-year journey to replace the Macs typical Intel processors with its own chips, similar to the ones already used in iPhones and iPads. If youve used Macs for a couple of decades, you might remember the last time Apple did this, when it traded PowerPC chips for Intel processors in the mid-2000s.
Apples processors are much faster than the Intel chips they replace, and they allow these new Macs to get significantly better battery life. But there are some wrinkles; Apple and Intel processors each use different instruction setsessentially, macOS and the apps you run need to talk to each processor in slightly different ways to get them to do the same things.2 Many apps, including all of Apples software, Google Chrome, and others, have already been updated to work with Apples new chips, which means they can take full advantage of their speed.
But as of early 2021, there are still major apps, including most of Adobes software, productivity apps like Dropbox, and most scientific research and 3D drafting software havent been optimized for Apples chips yet. New Macs can still run almost all of these apps, but macOS needs to translate them so that they can run on the new chips. Apple calls this translation software Rosetta, like the stone. The extra computational effort needed to translate these apps means they run just a bit more slowly than apps that have been optimized for Apple silicon .
The Best Macbook For Students : All The Apple Laptop Options Explained
Wondering what the best student MacBook is? We break down how the MacBook Air and Pro models differ, and what work they’re best suited for
ByMatthew Bolton Last updated 2021-08-06T14:51:34.578Z
Apple’s laptops have been massively popular with students for years, but if you’re looking at the options today, you might be wondering how to pick the best student MacBook. Between the different sizes, Pro and Air names, and even the totally different types of processor used, it’s easy to feel a bit lost.
Our guide to the best MacBook for students will break all that down, read for back-to-school season. We’ll show which MacBooks are good for the majority of students, and which ones are good for some more niche types of work.
We’ll explain what things like the differences in the screens mean, and whether you need to think hard about getting a MacBook with Intel processors or the Apple M1 chip. You’ll also find the current lowest prices on these machines right here, though we also have dedicated guides to the best cheap MacBook Air deals and best cheap MacBook Pro deals.
Apple definitely makes some of the best student laptops, which double as some of the best lightweight laptops something that students will always appreciate as you’re dragging your laptop to and from classrooms. But you can find alternatives from other manufacturers at those links if you want more options.
Hp Envy 14 Price And Configuration Options
Price: $1,249Size: 12.3 x 8.8 x 0.7 inchesWeight: 3.3 pounds;
The HP Envy 14 I reviewed costs $1,249 and is exclusive to Amazon and Best Buy. It is outfitted with an Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q GPU with 4GB of VRAM, 16GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD and a 1920 x 1200-pixel touchscreen display. Thats a little pricey for the components considering that Ive seen proper gaming laptops that were more stacked within this price range.
You can save some money if you go with the $1,069, which drops the discrete GPU for an integrated Intel Iris Graphics chip and cuts the RAM down to 8GB. It also forgoes the touch screen panel. However, the $1,699 is similar to our model except it bumps the CPU to a Core i7-1165G7 and the SSD to 1TB, but it also doesnt have the touchscreen.
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Best For Power User Students: 16
16-inch MacBook Pro base model specifications:
- Processor and Graphics: Intel Core i7, 6-core CPU with an integrated Intel UHD Graphics 630
- Dedicated GPU: AMD Radeon Pro 5300M with 4GB of GDDR6 memory
- Memory: 16GB
- Storage 512 GB SSD
- Battery: 100-watt-hour li-polymer battery
- Display: 16-inch, 3072 x 1920 native resolution IPS display with 500 nits of brightness
- Weight: 2 kg
Multimedia arts students or other university majors that are similar in nature would require great graphics processing capacity.
In short, these students need a brighter and bigger screen without much sacrifice on color accuracy and screen real estate.
For students who will mainly do photo or video editing on their Macs, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is the best pick.
It is the only MacBook version that runs on Intel chip on this list, but it does not mean that we are running for a compromise with this one. As of writing, Apple has not yet launched a 16-inch MacBook Pro that runs on an M1 chip.
But with that said, this MacBook packs a punch when it comes to graphic-intensive tasks such as heavy photo and video editing.
Since it has a dedicated GPU that can handle all the systems graphic processes, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is reliable to maintain simultaneous processes running and responding without overloading your memory and CPU.
Large Screen Size
Graphic design students can benefit from this design functionality.
Great Color Accuracy
Aspire 5 Laptop By Acer
Acer makes a damn goodand affordableproduct with a host of features found on more expensive models. The Aspire 5 features a 15.6-inch display with the only slightly outdated 10th Gen Intel Core i5 processor, making it great for lighter processing, including photos. A decent tuned speaker system, called TrueHarmony, pumps out study tune and YouTube vids alike. The 9.5-hour battery life is no slouch, either.
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Hp Envy 14 Battery Life
Battery life numbers have been steadily increasing, and we’ve seen some surprising numbers, even in gaming laptops. The HP Envy 14’s performance isn’t outstanding, but it’s still commendable given its discrete GPU.;
It lasted 9 hours and 51 minutes on the Laptop Mag battery test, which is just short of the 10:08 premium laptop average. While the Envy beat the Dell XPS 15 and wasn’t far off the average, it was left behind by the Acer Book RS and Lenovo Yoga 9i .
Best Performance Laptop: 16
The 16-inch MacBook Pro still has Intel processors, and when configured with higher-end processors and graphics, it remains the fastest Mac laptop in most cases. Users who want an M-series processor in the big-screen MacBook Pro will have to wait a little longer.
Students who need a bit more power, such as artists and designers, can easily find it here. The large, 16-inch screen provides ample working space at a 3072-by-1920 native resolution, perfect for working in programs like Photoshop and Final Cut Pro. The option to upgrade to a Core i9 processor means you’ll always have power to spare, regardless of the project.
Depending on what programs students will be running, they have several memory and graphics options available to them. For general use, the base 16 gigabytes of memory will be more than enough for most students and has the added benefit of saving them money. If a student plans on doing extensive video editing or 3D modeling, they can upgrade to either 32 or 64 gigabytes of RAM at an additional cost.
The 16-inch MacBook Pro has a variety of options when it comes to graphics, as well. The base model features an AMD Radeon Pro 5300M card with 4GB of GDDR6 memory, which is sufficient for most users. However, power users may find that upgrading to the AMD Radeon Pro 5600M option gives them better results when working in programs like Maya or AutoCad.
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Best Pc: Surface Laptop 4
Microsofts Surface Laptop 4 earned a spot on this list because of its power,; size, and impressive extras.
The computer runs Windows 10, the most recent version of Microsofts operating system, and will be eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 11 when it launches. It has a 13.5-inch touch screen with a resolution of 2256 X 1504, which is better than HD. The model were recommending has a quad-core Intel i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage. This is more than enough power to handle all but the most resource intensive tasks.
The Surface Laptop 4 has a 720P HD webcam for video conferencing. The camera can also be used with the Windows Hello feature in Windows 10, which allows you to unlock the machine by scanning your face. This laptop also supports Wi-Fi 6, the latest version of the wireless standard that can substantially improve its web browsing and download speeds if you have a modern router.
This laptop has one USB-C port, one USB-A port, a Surface Connector, and a headphone jack. This array of ports will allow you to connect the computer to almost any accessory without using an adapter. You will need a dongle to connect it to a TV, ;and we recommend Plugables USB-C Multiport Adapter for that task. It has one USB port, an HDMI port, and a USB-C port.;Speaking of accessories, if youre an artist and intend to use the laptops touch screen as a drawing tablet, you should get the Surface Pen, a stylus Microsoft specifically developed for its tech.
The Best Laptop For Business Travel
In many ways, the ThinkPad X1 Nano is a run-of-the-mill ThinkPad. Its got a solid sturdy chassis, discrete clickers, a physical privacy shutter, a red TrackPoint in the middle of the keyboard, and all kinds of business-specific security and management features.
But the Nano is special because its the lightest ThinkPad Lenovo has ever made. Its also one of the lightest laptops you can buy, at just 1.99 pounds. Youre not sacrificing performance to get that mindblowing weight: The Nano kept up with our heavy testing workloads without any fan noise or noticeable heat. If youre looking for a reliable business laptop that will feel like nothing in your briefcase, this is the one for you.
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Xps 9300 Laptop By Dell
If your kid prefers doing her algebra outdoors, she’ll dig this laptop: It has a gorgeous anti-reflective screen combined with superior 500-nit brightness, suitable for any lighting or environment. It’s also a beast of a laptop, cut from a single block of aluminum and outfitted with darn-near bulletproof Corning Gorilla Glass. It has a 13.4-inch screen, beautiful surround sound, and at 2.93 pounds, is a decent weight to carry around.
Best For Power Users: 16
The 16-inch MacBook Pro is the computer to get if you need the most power possible. You can configure it with several options, whether you need that eight-core processor, 64GB of RAM, or 8TB of storage.
But even at its base configuration, a six-core Intel Core i7 with 16GB of RAM, 512GB of storage, and an AMD Radeon Pro 5300M GPU, it’ll still handle any task a student can set to it besides the most computationally intense workflows. If you want a no-doubt-about-it machine, get this MacBook Pro. Keep in mind, however, Apple’s likely to update this machine before the end of 2021.
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How To Organize Your Study Notes
Regardless of the program youre 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.
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 MarginNotes 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 its a Mac for students or an iPhone.
To start using MarginNote:
Import a book
Now you can start reading and annotating as you go
The Best Laptop Of 2021
The late-2020 MacBook Air, powered by Apples M1 processor, is the best laptop you can buy. The base model, which includes 8GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage, starts at $999.
Appearance-wise, this laptop has a lot in common with the Intel-powered MacBook Air that Apple released earlier this year, including the same 2560 x 1600 screen, Touch ID, 720p webcam, fingerprint sensor, and scissor-switch keyboard.
But the new processor is the star of the show here; its fast. In our testing, it handled intense photo- and video-editing workloads better than almost any Intel-powered laptop weve tried this year. It was also able to run Shadow of the Tomb Raider at close-to-playable frame rates, which is quite a feat for integrated graphics. At launch, these apps hadnt yet been optimized for the M1 processor and were running through Apples Rosetta 2 translation layer but they still worked fine.
And the processing power didnt even weigh down the battery life: we got between eight and 10 hours of sustained work.
Another benefit of the M1 processor is that it enables the MacBook Air to run iPhone and iPad apps natively on macOS. As of this writing, there still isnt a huge selection of mobile apps available, and some that have been released arent quite optimized for the laptop screen. Still, its a benefit we can look forward to as time goes on.
The HP Spectre x360 14 is one of the best convertible laptops you can buy.
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The Best Student Laptop Deals This Week*
*Deals are selected by our partner, TechBargains
Also note that most schools offer price breaks for particular vendors and include extensive software bundles, which can shave off a good amount from your laptop purchase. So you might want to look into the campus store as a first shopping destination, before you hit your local superstore or favorite online seller.
How To Choose The Best Laptop Bag For You
There are so many types of laptop backpacks out there, so to make your shopping a little it easier, it’s a good idea to narrow down your options to backpacks that fit your needs. There are several super-important aspects of a laptop backpack you must take into consideration before buying, including size, compartments and innovative designs somehow manage to maximize space while maintaining TSA-friendly dimensions.
Size:;;If you’re going to purchase a laptop backpack, you’re going to have to make sure that your laptop can fit into your chosen backpack of course. ;You should measure your laptop’s width and depth . When sifting through the internet for a laptop backpack, you’ll have to make sure that the backpack is at least an inch longer than your laptop’s width, since laptops tend to sit vertically in laptop backpacks. You should also make sure the backpack is wide enough to fit your laptop’s depth.
You should also double check to see if the backpack complies with TSA guidelines if you plan on travelling.
Compartments:;Compartments are were laptop backpack makers get creative and design bags that fit certain consumers. If you tend to have a lot of small knickknacks ;when commuting and travelling, then it’s best that you opt for a laptop backpack with a lot of fun hidden pockets and pouches.
If you’re an on-the-go business man or woman, you’ll want to keep an eye out for a backpack that has a compartment that can keep your files and folders safely tucked away.
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How Much Power Do You Need
Laptops offer a wide selection of processors across both budgets and usage casesyou can choose one that maximizes performance, or one that favors battery life. Or you can select one that plays to both strengths: Intel’s 11th Generation “Tiger Lake” Core CPUs confer the benefits of both power and battery efficiency. AMD’s Ryzen mobile chips are less common but are also emerging as a viable pick for ultraportable laptops.
If you desire all-day battery life, and spend almost all of your time in a web browser, you might want to consider going with a Chromebook. These typically run on low-powered processors , but these CPUs suffice for the kinds of workaday online tasks that Chromebooks excel at. If performance, on the other hand, ranks high on the list, a Windows 10 or macOS machine with an Intel Core i5 or Core i7 CPU gives you the most oomph.
The good news is that, in most other cases , integrated graphics solutions should suffice for the day-to-day tasks you’ll face. This is the graphics silicon built into the processors of most budget and midrange laptops. Today, that overwhelmingly means some form of Intel integrated graphics: Intel HD Graphics, Intel UHD Graphics, Intel Iris/Iris Plus graphics, or Intel Xe Graphics. Our reviews will detail their comparative performance levels, but none is a match for even a moderate dedicated GPU.
What About Windows 10 S Mode
You won’t run across Windows 10 S Mode in your shopping travels too often, but it’s good to know what it is, since it’s most often encountered in education environs and budget laptops.
Microsoft’s student-centric version of its operating system is a locked-down version of Windows 10, aimed at preventing malware from being inadvertently downloaded. It’s compatible with any app in the Windows Store, but it doesn’t allow third-party Windows programs unless you convert your laptop to full Windows 10 Home or Pro. You can easily switch to the full version of Windows 10 for free using the Microsoft Store, but you won’t be able to go back to S Mode once you convert. Also, this version of the OS supports only the Edge browser.
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