King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
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King Of Prussia, PA 19406
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The 3 P’s of Purchasing a Laptop for a Student July 20, 2017

King of Prussia, Montgomery County
The 3 P’s of Purchasing a Laptop for a Student, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania

It’s that time of year again,  the Holiday season! If you are looking for a quality laptop for a student, Experimac King of Prussia believes there are three things you should consider. Price, Power, and Portability.


One great thing about Apple® laptops is they are built to last. There are some college seniors still using MacBook Pros they bought in middle school. However, there is one major downside. The Price.  Buying an Apple® laptop brand new can cost thousands of dollars. Buying a Certified Pre- Owned MacBook is a great way to get the trusted Apple® quality, without breaking the bank. 

Pre-owned computers are older than the new computers, however they are hundreds of dollars cheaper. Like we said before, Apple® products have long lives, and pre-owned computers still have lot of life in them. They may not last from middle school through college, but they are great starter computers for students.

2. Power

There are different versions of MacBook Pros, like MacBooks, MacBook Airs, and MacBook Pros with Retina display and each one has their pros and cons.

13” MacBook Pro

For instance, one of the MacBook Pros we at Experimac King of Prussia carry is a late 2012, 13 inch with a 2.53 Ghz i5 processor, 4GB of memory, and 500GB of storage. It comes with many useful features like a  disk drive, two USB ports, one thunderbolt port, and an ethernet port. To accommodate these things the MacBook Pro is .95 inch thick and 4.5 pounds.

13” MacBook Air

In comparison, the 13 inch MacBook Air is 0.11-0.68 inch thick, only 2.96 pounds, and comes with the newer 1.8 Ghz i7 processor. However, these improvements come with some drawbacks. A MacBook Air is typically very expensive and difficult to upgrade. In fact, the memory is impossible to upgrade. It also has significantly less storage. For instance, one of the MacBook Air 13 inches we have in the store only has 256GB of storage, that is almost half as much as the MacBook of the same size.

13” MacBook Pro with Retina Display

Another option is a MacBook Pro with Retina display. This is a lighter version of a MacBook Pro, that comes with even more GBs of RAM. It too, favors a thinner design over a CD port, but still has as many USB ports, and even more thunderbolt ports than regular MacBook Pros. It also includes an HDMI port, which the MacBook Air discards for it’s sleek wedge design. The retina display comes with double the screen resolution than its retinaless counterpart. However, this newer higher quality visual experience comes at a much higher cost than its counterparts.

A MacBook Pro with Retina we have in the store is a 2014, comes with 2.8 Ghz i5 processor, 8GB of memory, and 500GB storage. It is just .71 inch thick and weighs 3.5 pounds. It is a happy medium between the power of a MacBook Pro and the thin lightweight design of a MacBook Air. The issue, of course, is the added cost. If the price point is a major consideration, we would encourage you to look at the other two options. Retina display is not a make or break feature. In our experience, you don’t notice it until it is gone. If you have never had retina display, then it is easy to go without it to save a couple hundred dollars.

12” MacBook

The lightest and most powerful option in the store today is the 12” MacBook. This beauty has 8 GBs of RAM and 500 GB of storage. It has the sleek wedge design look. One downside of this 2016 computer is it transitioned to all USBC ports. Gone are the USB and HDMI ports of the past. It requires adapters to do some things the old ports would do.

3. Portability

Pictured: 11” MacBook Air, 13” MacBook Pro, and 15” MacBook Pro w/ Retina Display

The MacBooks we’ve talked about come in a variety of sizes. The MacBook Pros both with and without Retina come in 13 inches and 15 inches. Like the Pros, the MacBook Air comes in 13 inches, but it also has a smaller 11 inch model. The main difference between the sizes comes down to the portability of the machine. The smaller the screen size the easier it is to transport. 

For students, the 11 inch MacBook should normal as it is about the size of a piece of printer paper. But if they want a little more screen, they can get a 13 inch in exchange for a little more weight. 

The 13 inch is a great balance between portability and screen size. While they are a little heavier than the 11 inch Air, it opens the door to the bigger processors and greater amounts of storage offered in the Pro models. 

The least portable of the three sizes mentioned is the 15 inch Pros. The are monsters of machines that have more than enough space for a student to work. They will still fit into most students backpacks, but there is even more added weight and price for just 2 inches of screen space.


 The best computer for a student depends on 3 Ps. Price. Power. Portability. 

  •  MacBook Airs have a moderate price, are super portable, but have the least amount of power
  •   MacBook Pros have power and a moderate price, but are the least portable of the three
  •   MacBook Pros with Retina have power and portability, but have a higher price point

  • The new MacBooks have the the most portability and the most power, but hav the highest price points



About Experimac King of Prussia:

Experimac King of Prussia specializes in Buying, Selling, Trading, and Repairing Apple products. Our owner’s mission is to make Apple products available to everyone without breaking the bank including a Financing option. For this reason we offer a one year warranty for peace of mind. For more information visit our website, Experimac King of Prussia, or updates on weekly deals please follow our Twitter account and like us on Facebook.

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