MacBook Pro 13: My Laptop for Uni
As I imagine any shameless tech nerd would agree, having a confirmed place at university meant one thing; buy more tech. It was time to decide on a device to see me through at least the next few years. Small, portable, good battery life and relatively rugged. With those requirements in mind, I hit the shops.
Deciding on a Form Factor
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Not everyone is going to need a laptop for university. In fact, the bit of research I did at the start suggested that for the vast majority of degrees you don’t really need your own device at all. These days, universities have suites upon suites of computers, often running various operating systems for student use.
So here comes money saving tip numero uno; don’t buy a laptop if you don’t need to. Check with other students studying similar courses and see what they found useful. Of course, if you’re going to be moving away from home to study you might find a laptop beneficial anyway. But take some time, weigh up the options. Maybe an iPad would suffice? Try The Student Room if you need some pointers.
I decided that a laptop was my best bet. Something that was small and light enough to carry around while cycling (we’ll get to that in another post), that would allow me to complete all my uni work and serve as a blogging machine. I’m typing comfortably at that MacBook keyboard right now.
Choosing My Machine
I started out with a completely open mind and looked at options from Dell, Lenovo, Microsoft and a few others. In the end, the key things I was concerned about were battery life, portability and overall quality. Now, I know that everyone reading this will have different priorities when it comes to choosing a device.
If you’re a gamer and living away from home, you might want something with a little more muscle than what I’ve gone for. If you’re a video editing aficionado you will likely want more cores and RAM than what I ultimately settled on. Choosing a device is going to be a pretty personal experience and I recommend you take your time. Don’t rush into buying the first thing you see.
Eventually, I decided a MacBook Pro 13 was my laptop for uni. 10 hours of battery would see me through the day and I’ve tested and confirmed that is indeed the case. An aluminium shell should stand up to a bit of wear and tear. It’s thin and light, not to mention quite sexy in a minimalist sort of way.
Getting on with My MacBook Pro 13
I’ve been using the device for a few weeks now. The screen is gorgeous. It made editing the photos from the escapades in this scenically lovely post a joy. I really like the keyboard, which some reviewers weren’t keen on. I find it satisfyingly clicky and now that I’m used to the layout typing is a breeze. Oh and that touchpad. Zing!
I went for the model with 256GB of storage, a touch bar and faster CPU. The touch bar and fingerprint sensor are quite nifty from a tech nerd’s perspective. The speakers are the best I’ve ever heard on a laptop, especially one this tiny.
One final point, this isn’t the first Mac I’ve owned, that title goes to my 2016 iMac with the 5K display. The reason I mention that is because part of the final decision for me came down to the Apple ecosystem. I love that I can start something on one device, even my iPhone and pick up where I left off on the MacBook.
Plus MacOS is just, really nice to use. Sorry Windows, I fell out of love with you a long time ago!
Want a MacBook Pro for your Uni Laptop?
Thankfully, Apple actually has a pretty generous educational discount for students and teachers. You can access the store here. The discount is determined per device so you’ll have to check prices individually.
You can get the discounted pricing with a Unidays account (a good place to get loads of other discounts too!). Or by taking your confirmed offer letter from your university (or printed from UCAS track) to an Apple Store. You can apparently do this online too using the chat or phone the helpline number on the education store page.
Of course, you don’t have to buy directly from Apple, you can always try and find a good used or refurbished deal. Or buy a previous generation model. Amazon tends to be a good place for these kinds of options and they have a solid returns policy.
So, will you be picking up a new bit of tech for university? Have you made up your mind?