I test laptops for a living — and this is the one I recommend for college students

Jul 30, 2023
I'm struggling with this recommendation.
My first concern is cost and value. College is expensive and many reasonable Windows laptops are solidly in the $500-700 range. Paying for the Apple brand is the last thing parents want to see as they are writing enormous education checks.
Second concern is compatibility. My son's college expressly advised Windows laptops, since the school's (and I would presume most school's) environment expects windows compatibility.
Third concern is performance. I admittedly do not know if Apple hardware is adapted to lower RAM than windows, but 8GB RAM does not strike me as 4-years future proof.
I bought my son a Dell Inspiron 16 with 16GB RAM, touch screen and backlit keyboard for $600.