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The Ultimate Student Laptop: M3 MacBook Pro Combines Performance, Portability, and Value

November 13, 2023

The M3 MacBook Pro is the best laptop for students because it packs value, mobility, and performance into a stylish design. This laptop’s potent M3 CPU allows it to operate demanding applications and multitask at blazingly quick speeds. With the M3 MacBook Pro, you may work on intricate programs or edit films without missing a beat. With its gorgeous Retina display, which is ideal for creative tasks or intense movie-watching sessions during those much-needed study breaks, your work comes to life with vivid colors and crisp details. And this laptop is still remarkably portable, even with its tremendous power. It’s lightweight enough to fit into your rucksack and not cause you any trouble on lengthy campus journeys or between-class trips. 

Its all-day battery life and lightweight design guarantee that you won’t be plugged in for those important study sessions at the coffee shop or library. Perhaps the M3 MacBook Pro’s incredible value offer is what makes it stand out from other computers. Even while it has many of the high-performance capabilities seen in more costly models, this laptop is nevertheless reasonably priced for students on a tight budget who yet want high-quality technology. Thus, the M3 MacBook Pro is the ideal partner for any student, be it a creative professional working on multimedia projects or someone who just needs a dependable device for daily chores like taking notes and accessing the internet!

MacBook Pro (M3 Max) review: A desktop-class laptop for an AI-powered age 

MacBook Pro (M3 Max) review: A desktop-class laptop for an AI-powered age 

More than ever, high-end creatives and professionals such as industrial designers, biomedical researchers, graphic designers, video editors, 3D animators, audio engineers, software developers, and special effects artists depend on the Apple Silicon-based MacBook Pro 14-inch and 16-inch models.

It doesn’t make sense to upgrade to an M3 if you currently own one of the early 2023-released MacBook Pros with the M2-based architecture. In contrast, the two top-tier versions, the M3 Pro and M3 Max, represent a little improvement over the M2 models. They have the same form factor and appearance, except for a new color: Space Black.

It is also highly improbable that you will need to update if you currently own an M1-based MacBook Pro, which was initially introduced in October 2030. Stated differently, it is improbable that an upgrade will yield a discernible increase in performance for you. Those who produce multimedia content and employ visuals at the greatest levels will probably be the exceptions to that rule. For instance, according to Apple, the new M3 models produce graphics 2.5 times quicker than the M1 models. An M3 upgrade from M1 might provide you with the ROI necessary to support an update if you have high-priority workloads where every second you save counts as both time and money.

M3 MacBook Pro with top-of-the-line specs? You’ll be surprised at how far it is under $10,000 

M3 MacBook Pro with top-of-the-line specs? You'll be surprised at how far it is under $10,000 

I frequently use my 16-inch MacBook Pro, which is equipped with an M1 Pro CPU, to edit short-form video clips in Adobe Premiere, process high-megapixel RAW photographs in Adobe Lightroom, and edit photos in Adobe Photoshop. Almost anything I try to slow it down doesn’t work. It has only blinked once since I started experimenting with some of the AI tools in the Adobe Creative Suite, such as Lightroom’s Denoise filter. Therefore, you might want to consider investing in one of the quickest M3-based Macs, for example, if you anticipate doing a lot of AI work in the future.  

All things considered, though the most likely candidates for an upgrade to the M3 MacBook Pro are those who are switching from an Intel-based MacBook Pro, if you’re upgrading from an older MacBook Air to a higher-end Mac and are doing more demanding multimedia tasks, or if you’re a professional switching from a Windows PC to a higher-end Mac to handle demanding graphics workloads.  

One last thing to think about before you spend your money on an M3 MacBook Pro is that you might be able to get by with the new M2 MacBook Air. It can save you at least $200 and is more portable and lighter. Furthermore, it now rivals a MacBook Pro in terms of build quality and speed. According to my testing conducted in the real world, the 2022 13-inch M2 MacBook Air surpasses all prior Intel-based MacBook Pro machines in terms of performance metrics. 

This is a comparison of the 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro’s base setup with the 13-inch M2 MacBook Air’s maximum configuration.

M2 MacBook AirM3 MacBook Pro 
Display13.6-inch liquid-retinal display with a brightness of 500 nits at 60 Hz14.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display with 1,600 nits and 120Hz ProMotion
ProcessorApple M2 chip with 8-core CPU, 10-core GPU, and 8GB RAM (unified memory)Apple M3 chip with 8-core CPU, 10-core GPU, and 8GB RAM (unified memory)
Battery lifeUp to 18 hoursUp to 22 hours
Ports and connectivityWi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.3, a 3.5mm headphone jack, two Thunderbolt/USB 4 portsWi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3, two Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports, an HDMI port, an SDXC card slot, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and more

During CES 2023, I utilized a 13-inch M2 MacBook Air to efficiently handle coverage spreadsheets, upload files, handle numerous images, edit and post films, and compose several stories while on the road from various places across Las Vegas. When using Adobe Premiere to edit videos, the bigger screen was the one feature I missed from my standard 16-inch M1 MacBook Pro.  

Why Apple’s Mac Studio with M2 Ultra is the Tesla Model S Plaid of computers

Why Apple's Mac Studio with M2 Ultra is the Tesla Model S Plaid of computers

Even if they previously carried a MacBook Pro, I believe the majority of individuals will discover that the M2 MacBook Air now has enough power, robustness, and adaptability to satisfy most professionals. The M2 MacBook Air of today is just as powerful as the Intel-based MacBook Pros of yesteryear, and the M3 MacBook Pros of today are just as powerful as the Intel-based Mac Pro desktops of yesterday.  

When they were on-site for video production, audio engineering, 3D modeling, and other related tasks, some professionals used to haul about desktop computers. Especially with the Max CPUs powering them, the M1 MacBook Pros have been capable of handling desktop-level workloads since their release.  

With Apple silicon, however, all boats have also risen. With the introduction of the new M2 MacBook Air design, which adds two Thunderbolt / USB 4 connections in addition to a MagSafe charging connector, the MacBook Air is more advanced than ever. Additionally, it is now available in 15.3- and 13.6-inch sizes.  

So let’s compare, with similar setups, the new entry-level M3 MacBook Pro 14-inch and the M2 MacBook Air 13-inch. For $1,599, the basic M3 MacBook Pro 14-inch CPU, GPU, and 16-core Neural Engine are all paired with 8 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage. $1,399 is the price of a 13-inch M2 MacBook Air with such specifications.  


The M3 MacBook Pro is the ultimate student laptop, combining performance, portability, and value in one sleek package. Its powerful M3 processor delivers lightning-fast speeds for multitasking and running demanding software with ease. The stunning Retina display brings your work to life with vibrant colors and sharp details, perfect for design projects or immersive movie-watching sessions during study breaks. Despite its impressive power, this laptop remains incredibly portable, allowing you to easily slip it into your backpack without feeling weighed down on long commutes across campus or while traveling between classes.

The M3 MacBook Pro stands out from other laptops due to its unbeatable value proposition. Despite being packed with high-performance features found in more expensive models, this laptop comes at a price that won’t break the bank for budget-conscious students seeking quality technology within their means. The most likely M3 MacBook Pro upgrade candidates are those coming from an Intel-based MacBook Pro, an older MacBook Air, and professionals upgrading from a Windows PC looking for a high-end Mac to handle powerful graphics workloads.

The new M2 MacBook Air is lighter, more portable, and can save you at least $200. It now has the performance and build quality to rival a MacBook Pro, blowing away all of the previous Intel-based MacBook Pro computers in performance benchmarks and real-world tests. The M2 MacBook Air now has plenty of power, durability, and versatility to satisfy most professionals, even if they used to carry a MacBook Pro. The M2 MacBook Air of today is just as powerful as the Intel-based MacBook Pros of yesteryear, and the M3 MacBook Pros of today are just as powerful as the Intel-based Mac Pro desktops of yesterday.


Is MacBook Pro useful for students?

A lot of college students both desire and already possess a MacBook. The laptop’s the outstanding screen, outstanding battery life, fantastic storage space, smooth and fast software, and exceptional durability are the primary reasons.

Is M3 chip better than M1?

The M3’s greatest advantage over the M1 is not so much what it cannot accomplish, but rather how quickly certain tasks are completed. According to ZDNET’s comprehensive assessment, the M3 renders at a rate that is more than twice as fast as the M1, which is important for users who work in more content creation-related fields.

Which one is better MacBook Pro or Air?

Compared to the Air versions, the M3 MacBook Pro models have more unified memory, better battery life, additional connectors (like HDMI and SD card), and, in general, a more advanced GPU and CPU. The MacBook Pro is available in two display sizes: 14-inch and 16-inch.