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Educating, at its core, has not really changed over the centuries.
Teaching experts stand before a room full of students and impart their wisdom. The students are then given hands-on experience, or tasked with learning more from external sources.
From the abacus and microscope to the book and feathered pen, technology has only enhanced the experience. It has offered unparalleled access to information for groups and individuals.
Why buy a Mac for your student?
Apple computers are popular in education, so students are likely familiar with the format. And because Apple builds the computer and the operating system, they work together seamlessly and with less need for technical support.
Though viruses are a fact of life for all computer users, Macs are far less likely to be susceptible. The Mac OS has a security research team dedicated to improving already built in security features and added safety measures to prevent malware and virus attacks. Plus, for parents of young students, Apple computers come with parental controls built into the system preferences.
Whether you are buying new or used, Macs are durable, reliable and feature and easy to use format.
Additionally, extra dedicated apps are available for download on Apple computers and devices. iBooks offers downloadable textbooks and curricula in iTunes. You can also find class lectures from major universities such as Stanford, Harvard and the University of California, Berkeley. These are available for download on iTunes U.
What to buy?
As with any purchase of a Mac, the system requirements is key to ensuring the computer running the software will work as it should. After that, the type of computer you choose is based on preference.
Students often take notes and work on projects from classroom to classroom, so portability is important. PowerMax offers a variety of both new and refurbished Apple laptops beginning with its workhorse, the MacBook Pro. With ports galore, these computers are the most popular laptop offered by Apple. Though typically heavier than the MacBook and MacBook Air, the MacBook Pro comes with beefier processors, more ports, and more RAM upgrade options.
The MacBook Air is an entry level Mac that’s light and quick with ports to connect to thumb drives, external CDROM drives, external monitors and hard drive storage. Several generations, from the current 13-inch computers to our used 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Airs, are available at PowerMax.These are an affordable and very portable option for a student’s backpack.
The incredibly light and airy, single-ported MacBooks require adapters, but are the thinnest of the Apple notebook line. Available in four colors (silver, space gray, gold and rose gold) these MacBooks also sport a stunning 12-inch Retina display. For the more budget minded, prior generations of the MacBook with the polycarbonate or aluminum body remain a solid option for students.
Space is at a premium in dorm rooms, and the Mac Mini, at just over the size of a novel, offers the smallest footprint of all Mac computers. Though they lack the video RAM needed for some software, these computers come with tons of ports, RAM upgrades (to as much as 16GB) and a plethora of storage options, and you can choose your own display, mouse and keyboard. PowerMax has both new Mac Minis and used options with the internal CD/ROM drive no longer available in the current models.
As an all-in-one computer the iMac is tough to beat. The 27-inch iMac with its upgradable RAM and high-end graphics cards are a potential option for budding architects, designers and video editors. And everyone from business students to high schoolers can benefit from a 21.5-inch iMac. With its bigger screen, these are terrific computers for budget minded parents.
Though the cylindrical Mac Pro is priced out of reach for most students, PowerMax carries prior models which are still very attractive for students who enjoy being able to get inside the box and swap out components. And generations built after 2010 will work well with contemporary software.
If your student’s goal is to write docs, perform research and take notes, most Macs built since 2010 will be a great fit. Remember that if speed is what you need, more RAM is always better — 8GB minimum being preferable. Also, newer models, Apple did away with the CD/DVD ROM drive. These includes all MacBook Air and any laptop with a Retina display, the newest Mac Pro, all Mac Minis after mid-2012 and all iMacs after late 2012. However, an external optical drive is available. Made from the same aluminum as Apple computers, and attractive, it works seamlessly with any Mac on this list.
For students who want the lightest, most portable device for taking notes, online research and email availability, the iPad is a nice choice. Limited to only one port for charging and app-based programs, the iPad allows for inexpensive, interactive iBook textbook apps.
Add a bluetooth keyboard case and stylus and you have your own portable computer. With a Lightning to HDMI adapter, you can even add a bigger screen.