Best MacBook for Students 2021

Source: Daniel Bader / Android Central

The best
MacBook for students

Whether you are still in high school or in the middle of college, a laptop is a necessary piece of equipment for every student. Apple makes some of the best laptops in the world with its MacBook line. Whether it’s a powerful MacBook Pro or a hyper-portable MacBook Air, Apple laptops will help you with any task you come across. The MacBook Air (M1,2020) is the best MacBook for students. He has enough strength to face almost all the academic challenges you encounter. Depending on your situation, there are other MacBooks to consider, as you can see below.

Best overall: MacBook Air (M1, 2020)

Macbook Air M1

Source: Daniel Bader / Android Central

In the middle of 2020, Cupertino announced Apple silicone. Six months later, the first non-Intel-based MacBooks in more than a decade arrived, starting with the MacBook Air (M1, 2020). The best MacBook for students this year, the latest MacBook Air is suitable for anyone on a smaller budget, starting with battery life – up to 18 hours between charges, depending on what you’re doing.

At 2.8 pounds, the MacBook Air is the lightest Apple tablet on the market even though it has the same screen size as the smallest MacBook Pro model. In addition to being less heavy, the MacBook Air also features the same essential internal components – Apple’s all-new M1 SoC. The laptop also includes a Magic Keyboard with backlight and a Touch ID sensor.

No doubt, the MacBook Air is appealing. However, it comes with drawbacks, including fewer Thunderbolt 3 ports, lower screen brightness, and worse speakers than most MacBook Pro models. It also offers 2 hours shorter battery life between charges than the 13-inch MacBook Pro (M1, 2020). However, none of the disadvantages should stop you from buying it.

The MacBook Air (M1, 2020) is also our favorite Mac for all users this year.


  • Same screen size as the 13-inch MBP
  • Up to 18 hours of wireless internet between charges
  • Price
  • Apple M1!


  • Only two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports
  • Maximum memory is 2TB

The best overall

MacBook Air M1 2020 Space Gray

MacBook Air (M1, 2020)

Great price, great interior

The MacBook Air is a great looking device and a practical choice for most students. Besides, the sweet price cannot be denied.

Best for advanced users: 16-inch MacBook Pro (2021)

16-inch MacBook Pro 2019

Source: iMore

The 16-inch MacBook Pro is a computer you can get if you need the most power. You can configure it with several options, whether you need an M1 Max processor, 64 GB Unified Memory or 8TB storage.

But even in its basic configuration, the ten-core M1 Max with 32GB of unified memory, 1TB of storage space and a 32-core GPU, will still cope with every task a student can set apart from the most computer-intensive workflows. If you want a machine without a doubt, get this MacBook Pro.


  • Set up to 8TB memory
  • Countless expansion options
  • Larger display


  • More expensive
  • Maybe it’s too much for most

Best for advanced users

16-inch MacBook Pro

16-inch MacBook Pro (2021)

For those who need it the most

The 16-inch MacBook Pro will do a great job with every task you set for it, and it should last you a long time after the end of your academic career.

The best alternative: 13-inch MacBook Pro (M1, 2020)

Macbook Pro with M1 chip

Source: iMore

The 13-inch MacBook Pro is a great midfielder. It still has an M1 processor, great graphics, more ports and a long battery life. It’s just not as impressive as its newer big brothers, the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models that came out in 2021.

Three factors stand out when comparing the 13-inch MacBook Pro (M1, 2020) with the MacBook Air (M1, 2020). First, the Pro model offers a Touch Bar compared to just Touch ID on the Air. Second, the former offers up to two hours more battery life. The Pro model also offers slightly brighter and better on-screen speakers. You will pay at least $ 300 for these supplements.


  • Better options than the MacBook Air version
  • Touch Bar included
  • Slightly better screen


  • Do you need accessories?
  • The price can rise quickly as you add components

The best alternative

Macbook Pro late 2020. 13-inch model

13-inch MacBook Pro (M1, 2020)

Step up

There’s a lot to love about this model, which offers a slightly better interior than the MacBook Air.


Whether you need a computer for high school or college, the latest MacBook Air is the best MacBook for students this year. Whether you’re writing papers, composing a Powerpoint or Keynote presentation, or even editing some pictures for a photo class, the MacBook Air will be a reliable performer in your academic activities.

The retina display on the MacBook Air is beautiful and vibrant. The built-in Touch ID sensor makes everything from authorizing operating system tasks to paying for things online with Apple Pay more convenient and secure.

With the addition of Apple silicone, the MacBook Air is even better because it offers much more power and battery life than before. Did we mention the great price?

Credit – The team that worked on this guide


Joseph Keller is the editor-in-chief of iMore. An Apple user for more than a decade and a half, spends his time learning everything about iOS and macOS, always finding ways to get the most out of his iPhone, iPad and Mac.


Bryan M. Wolfe is a dad who loves technology, especially everything new from Apple. Penn State (go Nittany Lions) is graduating here, also a big fan of the New England Patriots. Thanks for reading. @bryanmwolfe

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