Complete Buying Guide on Best MacBook for Students

Female student using MacBook
Female student using MacBook

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Intro to the best MacBook for students

Every student requires a computer and the MacBook is the best MacBook for students in college or university life.

Selecting the best Mac for college students can be challenging, considering the variety of models available in the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro lineup. However, you can find a Mac that perfectly suits your needs.

The ideal computer for college students will vary based on factors such as their major, the need for portability on campus, and the desired battery life. Additionally, considering the cost of Apple laptops, we will also take value for money into account, understanding that unfortunately, none of these laptops will cover the student tuition expenses.

When looking for the best computer for students, there are three important factors to consider: portability, performance and affordability. Let’s dive in to understand better.

Pro Tip 1

Discount and free gifts for MacBook for Students

Image source from Apple K-12 Education Store

In Malaysia, there is an Apple online education store available, where eligible students and teachers can receive direct discounts from Apple thus to qualify for these discounts, you need to verify your status with Apple. You can click here for a direct link to the official Apple Education Store and use this link to complete the Education Verification process.

Pro Tip 2

Attention tax payers, please note that you can request Apple to change the invoice name to your own name so that you can claim it for tax purposes.

In Malaysia, there is a tax rebate available for computer purchases. The LHDN / IRB has confirmed that this tax relief can be combined with the general lifestyle tax relief of RM2,500.

For instance, let’s consider a scenario where you purchased a smartphone worth RM2,000 in March 2022 and a laptop for RM4,000 in July 2022. In accordance with this special tax relief, you can claim up to RM2,500 for the laptop purchase.

Additionally, under the general lifestyle tax relief, you can claim RM2,000 for the smartphone and an additional RM500 from the purchase of the laptop.

Important Note


The Ministry Of Finance via a letter dated 20th March 2013 has decided that an individual is eligible for personal tax deduction for the purchase of a personal computer under paragraph 46(1)(j) Income Tax Act 1967, which is a desktop computer, a laptop computer, Notebook and Ultrabook not used for the purpose of a business.

Therefore, the eligibility of tax deduction allowed does not include purchase of other gadgets that are able to perform functions similar to a computer for example tablet and handphone. As a concession any claim for deduction other than a desk top computer, a laptop computer, Notebook and Ultrabook which has been made until Year Of Assessment 2012 will not be withdrawn.

The above tax treatment for deduction is effective from Year Of Assessment 2013 onwards.

Issued by: Tax Policy Department Inland Revenue Board Of Malaysia

Wait, why not an iMac

A portable MacBook surpasses a desktop iMac for a student due to its mobility and versatility. As a student, you are frequently on the move, attending lectures, studying in libraries or eating in cafes. The lightweight and compact design of a MacBook enables easy transportation and usage anywhere. It grants you the convenience of having your work and resources readily available, facilitating uninterrupted productivity regardless of your location.

Furthermore, a MacBook offers greater flexibility in terms of connectivity and integration with other devices. You can effortlessly connect your MacBook to external displays, keyboards, and mice for a larger screen or a more comfortable typing experience.

Additionally, a MacBook provides a comprehensive software ecosystem and compatibility with a wide range of educational applications and tools. It supports various software utilized for research, writing, programming, multimedia projects and other academic tasks. This compatibility ensures smooth execution of assignments, collaboration with peers, and access to online learning resources without any limitations.

In conclusion, the portability, versatility, and compatibility of a MacBook make it the ideal choice for students. It empowers them to maximize productivity, adapt to diverse learning environments, and seamlessly integrate their work with other devices and tools.

So which is the best MacBook for students

The best MacBook for students depends on the course they are studying. For fields like accounting, business and marketing, the M1 MacBook Air would be sufficient. It delivers impressive performance, even rivalling high-end Intel machines in single-core performance.

Weighing just 1.2 kg, this MacBook is lightweight, making it easy to carry around campus throughout the day and offering an extended battery life of up to 20 hours on a single full charge. This ensures that regardless of the length of your day and you will have plenty of battery power left when classes end.

Best Gaming MacBook for students

X-Box Gaming Console in front of MacBook Pro 14-inch

Image source Future CDN

The new M2 Pro offers a notable improvement in performance, with a 20% faster CPU and 30% faster GPU compared to the M1 Pro. Although the design remains the same as the previous MacBook Pro 14-inch, there are other noteworthy upgrades, including a faster Wi-Fi 6E connection and an enhanced HDMI port capable of supporting up to 8K displays.

One of the standout features of the MacBook Pro 14-inch is its mini-LED display, which is among the best available on any laptop. It delivers impressive brightness, vibrant colors, and a smooth 120Hz ProMotion refresh rate.

When it comes to HDR content, the MacBook Pro 14-inch display reaches as high as 1,447 nits (10% of the screen) and 1,081 nits (100% of the screen) when measured with a light meter. In comparison, the 13-inch MacBook Pro achieves just under 500 nits.

Additionally, the MacBook Pro 14-inch covers 117.7% of the sRGB colour gamut and 83.4% of the more demanding DCI-P3 colour space. The colour accuracy of Apple’s laptop is also commendable, with a Delta-E score of 0.19 (where 0 is perfect).

Impressively, the MacBook Pro 14-inch features a six-speaker sound system, consisting of four force-cancelling woofers and two tweeters, delivering exceptional audio quality.

Playing Rise of the Tomb Raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider on Mac

Credit to

Quote from Tomsguide:

While Apple still has a long way to go in terms of gaming, the new MacBook Pro 14-inch certainly has the capability to deliver solid frame rates. Let’s take Rise of the Tomb Raider as an example. The M2 Pro MacBook Pro achieved 48.6 fps at a resolution of 1920 x 1200, surpassing the 2021 model with M1 Pro, which reached 39.3 fps. However, neither system could reach a playable 30 fps at the MacBook’s native resolution of 3024 x 1964.

On the other hand, the M2 Max version with a 38-core GPU delivered even higher performance, achieving a much-improved 73 fps at 1920 x 1200 pixels and a playable 34 fps at the higher resolution. In comparison, the Dell XPS 15 managed to reach 38.4 fps with its Nvidia GPU at 1080p.

Additionally, I had the opportunity to play Resident Evil Village, which is one of the titles optimized for Apple’s Metal graphics engine. The level of detail was astonishingly gory, particularly when I experienced a monster taking a chunk out of my hand and the realistic movement of my jacket as it flowed in the wind while I walked.

Even when faced with multiple monsters on the screen simultaneously, the MacBook Pro 14-inch M2 Max delivered smooth action with minimal stuttering.

Best MacBook for creative students

M2 Max Processor

To unleash the full power of performance, the ideal choice would be the MacBook Pro 16 inch with the M2 Max processor, featuring a 12‑core CPU, 38‑core GPU and 16‑core Neural Engine.

This is an absolute powerhouse of a machine. It showcases the typical Apple refinements, including a generously-sized and precise trackpad, a spacious keyboard with satisfying key travel, large speaker grills and a lid that effortlessly opens with one hand. The laptop’s weight distribution is well-balanced, and every aspect of its construction feels sturdy with no flex or give whatsoever.

On the right side, you’ll find an HDMI port alongside a USB-C and SD card slot, while the left side houses two additional USB-C ports, a headphone jack and the MagSafe magnetic port. All three USB-C ports are Thunderbolt 4, granting the flexibility to charge the laptop using any of them if you prefer not to use MagSafe.

An impressive return is the 16.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display with mini-LED backlighting. This display delivers a sustained full-screen brightness of 1,000 nits, peaking at 1,600 nits for HDR content. The backlighting technology contributes to an exceptional contrast ratio of 1 million to 1, ensuring outstanding image quality and vibrant visuals on the notebook. With a resolution of 3,456 by 2,234 and a pixel density of 254 pixels per inch, the 16.2 screen offers impressive clarity and detail, making it perfect for editing tasks in applications like After Effects, Cinebench, DaVinci Resolve, Final Cut Pro or Premier Pro.

Moreover, the MacBook Pro 16 inch is equipped with HDMI 2.1, enabling support for a 240Hz 4K external display and an 8K external display (although not simultaneously). In terms of wireless connectivity, Apple has made the transition from Wi-Fi 6 to Wi-Fi 6E, a move that ensures future-proofing capabilities!

Pro Tip 3

Apple Care Protection Plan for your Mac

Image source from Apple

We highly recommend that you invest in the Apple Care Protection Plan for your new Mac if you are planning to purchase one. This plan will provide protection for your Mac, whether you are studying locally or internationally.

The standard warranty for any MacBook is valid for one year from the date of purchase. However, with Apple Care, you will receive an additional two years of warranty, extending the total coverage to three years international warranty.

If you require assistance, you can find the helpline numbers Apple International here.

Pro Tip 4

Are you a music lover? You can enjoy Apple Music at a special student price of only RM8.90 per month!

Apple Music price and details for Malaysia

Pro Tip 5

If you are planning to study overseas and the country you’re going to uses a different type of power adapter, we strongly advise you to obtain a local power adapter pin instead of relying on an international adapter for your Mac in the long run.

International power adapter

The reason for this is that international adapters may not be designed in accordance with safety standards and regulations, which could potentially result in electrical hazards or fires. Furthermore, these adapters might not have undergone proper testing or certification.

Another issue with low-quality adapters is that they may not provide a stable and reliable connection, leading to intermittent or weak power supply. This can cause slower charging times for your devices and may even result in damage to sensitive electronics.

Moreover, it’s important to note that these adapters might not be compatible with the voltage and plug configurations of the countries you plan to visit. This could give rise to compatibility problems, rendering the adapter ineffective or causing damage to your Mac.

For example: Malaysia commonly utilizes a three-pin plug, whereas the United States utilizes a two-pin plug design. In Malaysia, the voltage is set at 240 volts with a frequency of 50 hertz, while in the United States, the voltage is 120 volts with a frequency of 60 hertz.

As a result, if you employ a low-quality or wrong power adapter for your Mac, you run the risk of subjecting it to a short circuit and potential damage due to voltage discrepancies.

Contact us

At YP Mac, we offer hassle-free Mac repairs thus with our tagline: “Simplify Mac Repair With Us,” highlighting our commitment to providing convenient solutions for all your Mac-related needs. Our skilled technicians streamline the repair process hence ensuring quick and efficient service. Trust us for a seamless experience and join our satisfied customers today. 

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