If you're starting college or university in the coming year, you may well be thinking about buying a Mac to help with your studies.
At first glance Macs might still seem expensive, especially when compared against the £300 laptops that you'll find on offer in Tescos and PC World, but while those cheaper machines are built down to a price, Apple believes firmly in creating devices that are powerful and meant to last.
A Mac you buy for university should quite happily see you through all the adventures of your course and still be something you'll want to carry on using for a few years afterwards. Then there's the added security of being able to walk into an Apple Store if you do have any problems, safe in the knowledge that someone will resolve the issue.
It's also worth noting that viruses are still incredibly rare on OS X, which isn't the case with Windows machines. So investing in a Mac means you won't have to worry about spending money on security software, or time dealing with the devastation malware can bring. Instead you can just concentrate on your course, knowing that your Mac will be there when you need it.
But deciding which Mac is the best for students can be tricky. Some of this depends on what type of student you are, and of course your budgetary arrangements will be a significant factor. To help you buy the right model we've gathered together all the facts you need to know and created a student's guide to buying a Mac. In this we'll consider what students are likely to need from their Mac, and what features you should pay more for. We then take a closer look at Apple's range of Macs and the built to order options available that might be useful. Plus, we've also collected together some accessories, software and services that could come in handy during your course.
Choosing the best Mac for education
Which Mac to choose depends on what your needs are as a student, and the course you are taking.
As the student life involves a far amount of mobility - travelling to lectures, libraries, the occasional coffee shop, and then possibly home for weekends and term breaks - it makes a good deal of sense to consider a laptop rather than a desktop device. While the screen sizes in MacBooks are smaller than iMacs, you can always find an inexpensive screen, or even your TV, and connect that to your MacBook when you need a larger display. Then once you're done with the big screen, you still have your mobile powerhouse machine and all your files.
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