Written by Dewy

Which MacBook is suitable for economics students?

Economics is a broad field. There are many economic studies like business administration, commercial economics, and communication. What these studies have in common? You often work with statistics, strategy, and finance. You'll need a good laptop for that. Here you can read which one that is.

Do you fit this profile?

MacBook models

You're following an economic course like business economics, commercial economics, or communication. You work on things like presentations, organization, statistics, strategy, and finance. During your studies, you write strategy and marketing plans, read and write articles, prepare presentations, and make analyses. To write a marketing or sales plan, you do quantitative and qualitative research. You also often use programs like Python, R, SPSS, Stata, and even Excel to make your own databases.

In short

Do you fit the above profile? In that case, you can check the table to see the minimum specs you'll need to make it through your study.

Suggested model

If you add up all these specifications, you might end up with an Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch 2017. With this MacBook, you'll be all set for your economics study.

Processor

Excel on MacBook

Besides programs in the Office suite, like Word and Excel, I often work with data. I use programs that require a little more capacity for that, like Python, R, and Stata. I want to have everything opened at the same time, so I can quickly switch between different programs. To multitask, I need a powerful processor. Both i5 and i7 are powerful enough for that. What's the difference? i7 is often a little faster than i5. Performances, for example, are 5 to 10% better. In practice, it doesn't really matter if I wait 3 or 2 seconds for a program to start, though. Do you work exclusively with demanding programs? In that case, i7 would be the better choice in the long term.

RAM

Multitasking on a MacBook

The statistics software or data analyses I use for my study, like Stata, Python, and Excel, use a lot of memory. Especially when I'm using multiple programs at the same time, my MacBook doesn't perform optimally if I don't have enough RAM. 8GB is possible, but it really depends on how much I do at once. I'm someone who always has everything opened at the same time, and not just for study activities, but even for leisure activities like watching movies or series or listening to music. That's why I know that 16GB of RAM is good for me.

Storage

MacBook with hard drive

For my study, I make marketing plans and databases, among others. I want to store them safely, either locally or online. Or maybe on a hard drive. If I store a lot locally, I'll need a lot of storage space, like 512GB. If I don't store much locally and mostly use a hard drive, I can choose less storage space, like 256GB.

Video card

MacBook Pro

There are shared and dedicated video cards. A dedicated video card has its own memory, while a shared video card doesn't. A shared video card cleverly distributes my MacBook's RAM. It knows exactly how much RAM it needs to send to all my open programs. If I use a lot of graphic programs, a dedicated video card would be better. These programs use a lot of RAM, so a shared video card wouldn't leave much RAM for other tasks.

Screen size

MacBook Pro 13 and 15 inch

Screen size is very personal. I personally like to choose a compact screen because I'm often on the road. It doesn't take up much space in the lecture hall or train either, so I don't need to carry a big bag around. If I spend a lot of time working on data files and staring at numbers for hours, I sometimes prefer a 15-inch screen for a little extra comfort. Of course, it also depends on whether you have an external monitor at home.

Conclusion

Without a good MacBook for my economics study, I'd be nowhere. Not just because I write business plans, but mostly because I work with demanding programs like Python and Strata. An i5 or i7 processor gives me enough power to have all my programs opened at the same time. Since I do a lot of things at once, I also need enough RAM (8 or 16GB). Of course, all my data files need to be stored securely as well. 256 or 512GB definitely gives me enough space. As for screen size, that's very personal. It all depends on what you prefer.


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