Best MacBook for Grad Students (2022)

For grad students, there is no better laptop than Apple MacBook. As a student you don’t have to do heavy tasks on your laptop. All you need to do is online school stuff, some research, write papers, and use some basic tools for making projects on your MacBook.

Apple laptops can get you through just about any task you throw at them. They mix portability with plenty of power for almost every project most grad students will tackle.

But the question is which MacBook is best for grad school? In this article, we will review the best MacBook for grad students and at the end of this article we will list the factors you need to consider when choosing a MacBook for grad school.

Best MacBook for Grad Students

We have compiled the list of the best suited MacBook for graduate students based on processor, display, battery life, and many other things. Let’s get right into it!

1. M2 MacBook Air for grad school

MacBook for Grad Students
BrandApple
ColorSliver/Midnight/Starlight/Space grey
StorageFrom 256 GB to up to 2 TB
Screen Size13.6″
Webcam 1080p
RAM (Unified Memory)From 8 GB to up to 24 GB
Resolution 2560 x 1664 pixels
Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports Two

Features: M2 MacBook Air for grad school

  • New Mag safe charging feature
  • 13.6-inch retina display with a max brightness of 500 nits
  • Its aluminum body is the ultimate thin and light
  • 4-speaker sound system with the support of Spatial Audio
  • Upgraded 1080p webcam is sharper and more detailed
  • M2 chip with 18% faster CPU (8-core) and 35% faster GPU (10-core)
  • Included Accessories: USB-C to Mag Safe 3 Cable (2 m) & 30W USB-C Power Adapter (for 8-core CPU)
  • Charge M2 Air full in about 30 minutes with 67W fast charger

Pros

  • Faster M2 chip for work and studies
  • High resolution 1080p Webcam for online classes
  • Thin bezels display
  • Lightweight MacBook with Spacious keyboard
  • High GPU performance (Up to 10-core)
  • Three mic arrays for clean audio. Great for giving presentations
  • Superfast SSD storage

Cons

  • No fan is present
  • 60 Hz display with no pro motion technology

Read Full ReviewM2 MacBook Air review

2. M1 MacBook Pro for grad students

MacBook for Grad Students
BrandApple
ColorSliver/Space grey
StorageFrom 256 GB to up to 2 TB
Screen Size13.3″
Webcam 720p
RAM (Unified Memory)From 8 GB to up to 16 GB
Resolution 2560 x 1600 pixels
Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports Two

Features: M1 MacBook Pro for grad students

  • M1 chip with 2.8x faster CPU (8-core) and 5x faster GPU (8-core)
  • 13.3-inch retina display with a peak brightness of 500 nits
  • 720p webcam with advanced image signal processor offers clearer and sharper video calls
  • Active cooling system for better performance
  • Included Accessories: 61W USB-C Power Adapter, USB-C Charge Cable (2 m)
  • Login to MacBook pro using saved fingerprints with TouchID feature
  • Nice touchbar feature for using shortcuts

Pros

  • Impressive sound quality and performance
  • No lagging, speed, or heating issues
  • Easily handles heavy editing software
  • Great Mac for grad school, attending virtual classes and doing homework
  • Inbuilt Fan boosts the performance
  • Lightweight, Portable, and thin
  • Insane battery life

Cons

  • Less Ports

3. M2 MacBook Pro for grad students

MacBook for Grad Students
BrandApple
ColorSliver/Space grey
StorageFrom 256 GB to up to 2 TB
Screen Size13.3″
Webcam 720p
RAM (Unified Memory)From 8 GB to up to 24 GB
Resolution 2560 x 1600 pixels
Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports Two

Features: M2 MacBook Pro for grad students

  • Supports P3 wide color for vibrant images, and a true tone for a natural viewing experience
  • M2 chip with 8-core CPU and 10-core GPU
  • Its fan-based design is great for productivity
  • Three-mic array offers studio quality crystal clear sound
  • 13.3-inch retina display with a peak brightness of 500 nits
  • Included accessories: 67W USB-C Power Adapter, USB-C Charge Cable (2 m)
  • Light and solid aluminum body

Pros

  • Inbuilt fan boosts the performance
  • Improved image quality of the 720p webcam with new M2 chip
  • M2 MacBook Pro has a great battery life
  • Includes touch bar for more shortcuts
  • Boost of 19% in multi-core CPU performance and 12% in single-core performance
  • Performance Increases by 35% with 10-Core GPU

Cons

  • No mag safe port
  • Display is not a pro motion

Read Full ReviewM2 MacBook Pro review

4. M1 MacBook Air for Grad school

MacBook for Grad Students
BrandApple
ColorSliver/Space grey
StorageFrom 256 GB to up to 2 TB
Screen Size13.3″
Webcam 720p
RAM (Unified Memory)From 8 GB to up to 16 GB
Resolution 2560 x 1600 pixels
Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports Two

Features: M1 MacBook Air for Grad school

  • M1 chip with 8-core CPU and 7-core/8-core GPU
  • 8-core CPU gives 3.5x faster performance and 8-core GPU gives 5x faster performance
  • 13.3-inch LED backlit display with IPS technology
  • A true tone technology for a natural viewing experience
  • Supports Wi-Fi 6 and fingerprint Touch ID
  • Included accessories: 30W USB-C Power Adapter and USB-C Charge Cable (2 m)

Pros

  • Cheap MacBook for graduate students
  • Portable, lightweight, and slim
  • Barely make noise with no fan inside
  • Great privacy and security features
  • Amazing Keyboard and touchpad feel
  • Smoothly run with no lag
  • Fantastic color display
  • Included softwares are excellent for grad school

Cons

  • Fanless design

Factors to consider when choosing a MacBook for grad students

MacBooks provide the freedom to work from anywhere and are very useful for people who are studying for an academic degree or are soon going to do a 4 or 5 year degree in any field.

This is what you need to look for in a MacBook as a grad student before making any decision to purchase.

Display

The 13-inch display is more than enough for any grad student. This display size is easy enough to carry around from one class to another. Small display size means the laptop will be small in size and will be effectively portable.

All the 4 MacBooks we reviewed in this article are very close to the recommended 13-inch display. Their display colors are good and vibrant. Text appears sharp on displays and their LED backlighting delivers white bright and deep blacks.

Webcam & Mics

As a grad student it is very important to have a great webcam and mics in your laptop while attending online classes.

The MacBook air as well as MacBook pro comes with advanced sharp and detailed resolution webcam. Their webcam makes the face look more natural. On the other hand, their inbuilt three array mics offer great sound quality.

Battery Life

Normal stuff like browsing, everyday work and online studies, doing assignments, and even doing heavy-duty stuff on your laptop demands a great battery life.

Make sure to go for that MacBook which has higher standby time. We recommend M1 MacBook pro and M2 MacBook Pro because both these MacBooks are known for their excellent battery life.

Battery life of M1 and M2 MacBook air are also good. But not good as pro models.

Processor, GPU, and CPU

A suitable MacBook for grad school must have a powerful processing chip to handle more intensive tasks with ease. Must have high-core GPU to display images and videos in high quality and high-core CPU with fast processing power.

Almost every MacBook comes with a high performing System on a chip (SOC) with high core GPU and CPU.

We recommend M2 MacBook Pro and M2 MacBook air for grad school students because M2 chip is more powerful and is the latest chip in the market with improved performance. But they are not cheap as M1 MacBook air and Pro.

Also Read

  1. Best MacBook for Vlogging
  2. MacBook Pro M2 vs M1: Is It Worth Upgrading? 
  3. The Right Way To Right Click On A MacBook 
  4. The 11 Best Accessories For A MacBook Pro
  5. How To Clean A MacBook Pro Screen And Keyboard