The Best Laptops & MacBook for students in 2022

The Best Laptops & MacBook for students in 2022
RyDesk

The Best Laptops & MacBook for students in 2022

Get one of the best MacBooks for students if you’re looking for a premium laptop without the premium price. Everybody knows that MacBooks are pricier than most laptop offerings out there, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t find some that won’t break a student’s budget. After all, students are just as deserving of the best, even if they might not be able to splurge on it.

There’s no getting around Apple’s premium pricing, but you’ll find MacBooks for a bargain if you know where to look, making them ideal laptops for most students. It’s not just the price that makes them appealing. Since Apple basically invented thin and light notebooks, these are incredibly easy to lug around. Plus, they’re going to be much more powerful than any Chromebook out there. It doesn’t matter if you end up with a MacBook or a MacBook Air, they’ll be more than enough to handle school assignments and projects.

Whether you can stretch your budget to get one of the entry-level models or you’re getting a discounted refurbished one, rest assured you’ll find the best MacBook for students that’s within your reach. And, that’s without adding the student discounts that Apple always offers. We took power, portability, and price all into consideration to find you excellent options to choose from. Here are our top picks.

The MacBook Air (M1, 2020) is better and more powerful than ever.

(Image credit: Apple)

1. MacBook Air (M1, 2020)

The best Apple laptop for students

CPU: Apple M1 chip with 8‑core | Graphics: Integrated 7-core – 8-core | RAM: 8GB – 16GB unified memory | Screen: 13.3-inch 2560 x 1600 Retina display | Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD

macOS Big Sur is fast and responsive
Battery life is great
Silent in use
Fanless design could impact performance

Apple rolled out their much-talked-about M1 silicon chip that’s so far been a real game-changer. And, the first laptop to receive it is the company’s thinnest and lightest, putting it on the list of the most exciting Apple laptops of recent years. With this new chip, the MacBook Air is better than ever, touting excellent performance alongside its brilliant battery life – without raising the price to keep it (fairly) affordable still. That makes it the best MacBook for students in 2022.

Read the full review: MacBook Air (M1, 2020)

The MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020) keeps things small and lightweight.

(Image credit: Apple)

2. MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020)

Apple’s little MacBook Pro gets a big refresh

CPU: Apple M1 chip with 8‑core | Graphics: Integrated 8-core | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch 2560 x 1600 LED-backlit Retina display | Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD | Dimensions (H x W x D): 30.41 x 21.24 x 1.56 cm

Huge battery life
Great performance
Can run iOS apps
Still lacks ports

The MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020) may not have gotten a massive design overhaul, but what it lacks in that department, it makes up for big-time in performance and battery life. Thanks to Apple’s groundbreaking M1 chip, the new MacBook Pro 13-inch delivers excellent performance and exceptional battery life. Its performance is so impressive, in fact, that it can easily handle 4K – and even 8K – videos. Whether you’re in high school or in college, this is the best MacBook for students if you’re looking for a powerful laptop that keeps things small and lightweight.

Read the full review: MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020)

The MacBook Air (2020) is a very affordable option.

(Image credit: Apple)

3. MacBook Air (2020)

New and improved

CPU: Intel Core i3 – i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Storage: 256GB – 2TB PCIe-based SSD | Dimensions: 30.41 x 21.24 x 1.61 cm

Lower price of entry
New 10th generation processors
Improved keyboard
Screen colors a little muted
Battery life only OK
Webcam still just 720p

Apple’s thinnest and lightest MacBook is back in 2022 with a vengeance. Not only has it fixed a lot of the complaints with its predecessors – namely, that problematic keyboard is now gone, replaced by a drastically improved keyboard. But it also comes with new and more powerful internal components, even more storage space options, and a lower price of entry. There are a couple of things we’d do better, like the muted screen and the average battery life, but this model of the MacBook Air is better than anything we’ve seen from the line so far. And, it’s definitely among the best MacBooks to date.

Read the full review: MacBook Air (2020)

The MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2020) is the best MacBook for college students.

(Image credit: Apple)

4. MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2020)

Worth the upgrade at the highest configuration

CPU: 8th-generation Intel Core i5 – 10th-generation Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645 | RAM: up to 32GB | Screen: 13-inch Retina display with True Tone | Storage: 256GB – 4TB SSD | Dimensions (H x W x D): 30.41 x 21.24 x 1.49cm

Improved specs (on some models)
Larger capacity SSD for starting model
New keyboard is great
The entry-level model still has 8th gen Intel CPU
You still only get Thunderbolt 3 ports

The MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2020)’s entry-level model may miss out on some of the lineup’s new toys. However, going for the higher-end configurations will get you new (and powerful) Intel processors and improved RAM speeds for better performance, all packed in the 13-inch incredibly svelte body. Apple rounds it all out with that incredible Magic Keyboard from the new 16-inch, finally getting rid of that problematic keyboard. Even if you don’t go for the 10th-generation Intel Core configurations, you might still appreciate the fact that all models come with more storage capacity for the same price as their predecessors. This is the best MacBook for college students right now.

Read the full review: MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2020)

The MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019) is the best MacBook for film, design, and photography students.

(Image credit: Apple)

5. MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019)

Best MacBook for creative students

CPU: 9th-generation Intel Core i7 – i9 | Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 5300M – Radeon Pro 5500M | RAM: 16GB – 64GB | Screen: 16-inch Retina display with True Tone | Storage: 512GB – 8TB SSD

Stunning 16-inch screen
New and improved keyboard
Expensive
Limited to four Thunderbolt 3 ports

While we are sad that Apple has retired the 15-inch MacBook Pro, we’re more than happy to see the MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019) hit the shelves. As thin, light and sleek as ever, this doesn’t feel like a 16-inch behemoth. If you’re worried that this was going to be bulky and awkward to use, don’t be. Yet, despite its svelte frame, you’re still getting that extra real estate on that stunning display, as well as the latest and greatest components behind it. Apple then rounds those out with amazing (and loud) speakers and a much, much better keyboard. This is truly the best MacBook for film, design, and photography students.