Back to School: How to Choose the Best Laptop

Summer break is not only a great time for fun in the sun but is also the perfect time to start selecting school supplies for the upcoming school year. Investing in a laptop can make life much easier and more productive for students when it comes to taking notes, doing research and writing essays, and even taking online exams. However, buying a new laptop can be confusing if you’re not sure what features to look for, and if done without proper research, buying a laptop can also break the bank.

Keep in mind the age of the user, is this laptop for a younger student who has never really used a laptop on a regular basis before or is this purchase for a older child who has demonstrated responsibility and will likely be taking this laptop with them to college soon? The user’s age may help to determine the budget and features you are looking for.

We have done a lot of the research for you and listed some factors to consider before making a purchase.

  1. Size – When selecting a laptop, it’s important to consider the size of the laptop as it will be taken to school, afterschool activities, and beyond. Select a device that the student in your life will be able to carry easily anywhere they need to go. A heavy laptop can mean it will get dropped more easily or may keep a student from really being able to take it to school and use it extensively.
  2. Specs – Depending on the age and academic demands of your student, you will need to think about what specs are necessary and which you would be able to do without. Some students, such as film or art students, should look at laptops with retina displays. Students using their computer to write essays may consider simpler displays but may need computers with a lot of internal storage or USB accessibility.
  3. Cost – Laptops come with a large variety of options and are most definitely an investment. When considering the purchase of a laptop for a student, it’s important to remember that this device will most likely be heavily used and you will want it to last a number of years – consider the budget you have set for this purchase accordingly. One way to keep costs under control is to consider the purchase of a certified pre-owned At Experimac, you will find certified pre-owned Apple® laptops in excellent condition with all the features any student would be proud to have at a reasonable price.

Below is a breakdown of some certified pre-owned models commonly available at Experimac locations.

  • MacBook® Laptop – The MacBook laptop offers great specs such as a 13.3-inch LED-backlit display, 250 GB of storage space, and weighs in at 4.7 pounds. The MacBook laptop includes a multi-touch trackpad with a full-size keyboard making it easy to use for those who are not accustomed to the smaller keyboard often found on laptops and has two USB ports available. This laptop is built to last yet affordable and makes a great pick when you think about needing to carry a laptop in addition to books, notes, and other materials.
  • MacBook Air® Laptop – The MacBook Air laptop features specs that make it a fantastic school option. Though the MacBook Air laptop has a 13.3-inch display, it does not feature the Retina display like some of its MacBook siblings. It does have up to 12 hours of battery, a multi-touch trackpad and either 128 GB, 256 GB or 512 GB of storage. The MacBook Air laptop has USB ports and is lighter than the MacBook Pro® laptop options. All in all, the MacBook Air laptop does not offer the higher end specs that some of the other MacBook® laptops offer but it is still a great pick for students.
  • MacBook Pro Laptop – The MacBook Pro laptop comes in two sizes: the 13-inch and the 15-inch. The 13-inch model features a 13.3-inch LED-backlit Retina display, up to 10 hours of battery life, and comes with 128 GB, 256 GB or 512 GB of storage. This model also features the Force Touch trackpad and weighs 3.02 pounds. The 15-inch model is very similar, except for a few details – it features a 15.4-inch LED-backlit Retina display, up to 9 hours of battery life (instead of 10) and weighs in at 4.49 pounds. The 15-inch model has the additional feature of more storage space, as you can choose between 256 GB, 512 GB or even 1 TB.

The purchase of a laptop for your student getting ready to go back to school should not be done in a rush. Regardless of your budget or needs, Experimac’s team of experienced techs can help! At our store, you can test out the certified pre-owned devices you are interested in purchasing. You can ask questions and compare the features from one laptop to another. Not only do we offer a warranty on all of our products and assure you that our certified pre-owned Apple products have been thoroughly examined and are ready to take on a new school year, we also offer financing options. And the best part is no appointment is necessary!