Without question, the best laptop for a college student is the Macintosh from Apple Computer. Old or new, Macs are the most reliable, easiest to use computers on the market. They cost a bit more than Windows-based laptops, but they serve virtually every field of study better.
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Older Mac laptops, called iBooks or Powerbooks, are good, solid and reliable. Because students can get them used, they are cheaper than the newest Apple computers. There is a trade-off, of course. Older Macs are slower. The Powerbook is the best bet in this category because it was made for professional use. Most Powerbooks came with wireless Internet (airport) cards built in, as well as Bluetooth for wireless mice, keyboards and even printers. They have 80 gigabyte or greater hard drives on the bigger models and usually built-in CD/DVD burners and players. The 15-inch and 17-inch aluminum last-generation models could handle 2GBs of RAM and had PC card slots.
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For state-of-the-art, fastest available laptops, the Macbook Pros are best. They handle 4GBs of RAM, which adds to their speed. They are lightweight and easily connect with any wired or wireless network. They have bright 15-inch or 17-inch screens and can be used as high-quality DVD players as well as computers. New batteries last about four hours. The top of the line is the 17-inch model. They also have Bluetooth technology for wireless mice, keyboard, printers and other devices.
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For the college student with a lower budget, the Macbooks are good choices. The latest ones come with 2.0 or 2.4 gigahertz of processing speed and can handle 4GBs of RAM. They come with either 250 or 320GB hard drives. They also have a more expensive option of a 128GB solid state drive. Loaded with iLife—for things like listening to or recording music and cataloging photos—they make an all-around environment for the college student. With the option of the low-cost iWork suite, students can have a solid, fully featured word processing and database program in Pages, spreadsheet capability in Numbers and presentation software in Keynote. Pages also exports to Word and Keynote exports to Quicktime or PowerPoint.
Where weight really is a consideration, there is the three-pound Macbook Air that has the built-in solid state drive. It doesn’t have a built-in optical drive, but has an option for an external one. It can export stuff online or to an external hard drive or thumb drive via the USB port.