Apple could shake up the cheap student laptop market with a budget-friendly MacBook line

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Apple could be developing low-cost MacBooks to go toe-to-toe with Chromebooks in the education sector – and they could launch as early as 2024. 

If you’re thinking about the best affordable laptops for students, a pricey MacBook Air or MacBook Pro probably isn’t the first device that comes to mind, so this is a surprising development. The prospect of Apple entering the budget-friendly student laptop market has us pretty excited. 

According to MacRumors, Apple might launch the cheaper MacBooks as a separate line to its existing MacBook Air and Pro devices, with the affordable models having the same metal casing but made of ‘different’ – so presumably cheaper – materials, and lower-cost components. MacRumors adds that we could see these cheaper MacBooks as early as next year.

My prayers have finally been answered

Of course, this is all speculation, and it’s the first time we’ve heard of Apple targeting the budget laptop market in terms of laptops, so it’s best to take this news with a pinch of salt. 

It would be exciting to see Apple producing cheaper laptops, as even the lowest-priced MacBooks can still be pretty expensive for a lot of students. Chromebooks currently dominate the budget laptop market, but if Apple launches new MacBooks at similarly affordable price points, Chromebook makers could have a real fight on their hands. 

Until we hear more, we won’t get our hopes up too much, but personally, I love the idea of budget-friendly MacBooks. I live in the Apple ecosystem almost exclusively, but I’ve hesitated over buying a MacBook because of its high price, but I’d certainly be tempted by a more wallet-friendly option. 

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Muskaan Saxena
Computing Staff Writer

Muskaan is TechRadar’s UK-based Computing writer. She has always been a passionate writer and has had her creative work published in several literary journals and magazines. Her debut into the writing world was a poem published in The Times of Zambia, on the subject of sunflowers and the insignificance of human existence in comparison.

Growing up in Zambia, Muskaan was fascinated with technology, especially computers, and she's joined TechRadar to write about the latest GPUs, laptops and recently anything AI related. If you've got questions, moral concerns or just an interest in anything ChatGPT or general AI, you're in the right place.

Muskaan also somehow managed to install a game on her work MacBook's Touch Bar, without the IT department finding out (yet).