18 facts that CS students don’t know about MacBook Air

MacBook air is good and enough for CS students?

or they should look for a more powerful laptop?

In this article, we’re going to list the 10 powerful points that MacBook air has.

Also, 8 drawbacks that might make some CS students avoid this device.

The 10 killer advantages that MacBook air has for computer science major

MacBook Air is a great laptop for CS students he has many advantages that make it the best choice for a computer science major, here are 10 top advantages that you need to know about MacBook air:

  • powerful
  • it has a great battery
  • Lightweight
  • finner
  • Completely silent 0 dB
  • easy to use
  • Secure
  • Affordable
  • is getting better
  • The MacBook air M1 chip is better than the Intel chip processor


The MacBook Air has an amazing chip processor that allows cs students to execute many tasks at the same time without having any problems, you can:

  • run or compile large file codes
  • open 100 or more browser tabs
  • the CPU doesn’t get warm
  • run heavy IDE without affraid of crash problems

M1 chip has an incredible capability compared to the last version of the Intel MacBook air processor, you can find the CPU test results that we made between MacBook Air, surface laptop, and XPS 13 in the table below.

Ram Test

 Mackbook air

Windows laptop surface 4

XPS 13

i7 11 th genearation

Single core test 




 Multi-core test




Average Ram




According to the test, we find that MacBook air is powerful by:

  • 30% than xps 13
  • 20% than surface pro 4

so there is no argument that apple M1 is more powerful and efficient than intel processors.

it has a great battery

MacBook has great battery durability, so as a computer science student who loves to learn coding outsides like in coffee shops or libraries. Having a MacBook Air is ideal and can last with you for the whole day.

the apple company says that the MacBook Air lasts up to 18 hours, but according to our tests that you will notice below we made 2 tests:

  • Normal test==> watching youtube video, reading , browsing
  • Gaming test==> playing video games

you could see the result that we found in the table below:

Battery life 

Macbook air

Gaming laptop

Acer nitro 5

Normal tasks 

web browsing , video watching , reading documents 

9h 15min

2h 31min


or palying video games 

6h 15min

1h 05min

so according to our results, we find that MacBook air could last on an average of 10 hours for normal tasking. But the beauty is if you love playing games the battery can last up to 7 hours.

This is 4 times longer than any gaming laptop in the market, while gaming laptops don’t last more than 2 hours.


The third thing that is likable in MacBook air is portability. That is to say, the MacBook Air is lightweight it doesn’t weigh more than 1.2 kg. So it won’t tire your shoulders, especially for some students who can’t use backpacks in schools.


Macbook air

Microsoft laptop 4

Gaming laptop

Asus ROG Zephyrus

Device weight 




Charger weight 








MacBook air can be lighter 2 times than gaming laptops, It is right the MacBook air charger is heavy compared to Windows laptops. But if you fully charge it at home you won’t need to carry it with you to a college or a class.

So it will be the best laptop to take outdoors or use outside of home hanging and studying with friends.


MacBook air is not thicker is only 16,2 mm so as a computer science student who carries a lot of textbooks or notebooks, having an additional MacBook air laptop will not create any difference.

we made a comparison between a MacBook air pro and Microsoft surface pro 4 and here are the results:

microsoft laptop 4

macbook air

Gaming laptop




up to 40 mm

MacBook Air and Surface 4 Pro, are both great tools in terms of portability this will create a big difference for computer science students who use messenger instead of backpacks.

As we’ve seen gaming laptops can be thicker 3 times than MacBook air which means filling 3 MacBooks in a row in your bag.

both they are finner and can fit with any school or college bag. So you don’t need to buy a new bag for a laptop.

Completely silent 0 dB

laptop noise is primarily coming from fan coolers, the range of noise that laptops create is between 30 to 60 dB which is categorized into 3 levels:

  • 30 to 35 dB not noisy
  • 35 to 45dB regularly noisy
  • 45 to 60dB extremely noisy

But in the table below you will find something different that break normal rules about MacBook air.

Noise in dB

Macbook air

Traditional laptop

Gaming laptop

Noise range


they don't have fans

between 30 to 45 dB

between 50 to 60 dB

The great thing about MacBook air is it doesn’t make any sound it is 0 dB, because it completely doesn’t have a fan. So as a computer science student you won’t hear anything.

Even though you can’t distinguish if a laptop is ON or OFF unless you see some light coming from a laptop. So you can :

  • talk comfortably with friends
  • meditate
  • and even sleep on the side if you want

eEasy to use

Students love apple products because they have a better user experience, they are easy to manipulate and have many advantages like:

  • Bigger icons ==> this helps a user to have a comfortably browse and access easily to any directory or files
  • Well designed icons ==> the icons seem more appealing and have a beautiful design
  • easy to sync to Apple devices like iPhone or iPad ==> you can instantly do that thanks to iCloud service

Students notice that in MacBooks more than iPad, especially for computer science students. iPad should be avoided and here is why.

you could read this article 15 interesting reasons why students love apple


MacBooks are more secure than windows laptops if you are a windows user you will be prone to virus attacks more than a MacBook user, this comes for two reasons:

  • apple operation system is not widespread like windows
  • apple OS is different

==> Apple operation system is not widespread like windows:

The market share that the Apple operating system has is only 8% compared to 90% for windows and 2% for Linux. So hackers won’t make viruses to attack this little portion of users. While Windows is full of opportunities.

hackers are driven by money and the best proof of that is the famous ransomware attack that has cost more than $2 billion.

==>Apple operating system is different:

the apple operating system is closed and doesn’t give a lot of permission like windows, especially after the release of iOS 14 companies like Google, Facebook amazon won’t be able to track your data.

This is what makes a lot of students who gives a priority to privacy choose apple devices


MacBook air is costing $999 for 256GB and $1199 for 512Gb but for students, they can access to 10% of discount and get :

  • The $999 version for only $899
  • The $1199 ersion for only $1149

it seems weird to say that $1000 MacBook air is affordable but if we compare the powerfulness that the M1 chip has you might change your opinion. you can find the details in the table below.

Ram Test

 Mackbook air

Windows laptop surface 4

XPS 13

i7 11 th genearation

Single core test 




 Multi-core test




Average Ram




price for studnets




we can see that an M1 chip has a powerful CPU that has beaten the i7 intel 11 generation, in addition, the M1 MacBook doesn’t consume a lot of energy which makes it the beast processor used for MacBook air.

the key thing is when it comes to the durability of the battery and power efficiency.

The XPS is expensive because it has a better graphic card and more memory but if talk about CPU powerfulness the MacBook air is more powerful. So it has affordable for computer science students who seek power efficiency.

The MacBook M1 air is getting better

The MacBook Air is getting better and better and apple has fixed many issues on this laptop that the oldest version had, but the biggest and most remarkable thing for students is the price.

You could see the difference between the 2018 MacBook air version and the current version in the table below.

Standard feautures

Macbook air

2018 version

Macbook air

2022 version


intel i5 processor

M1 chip more powefull than Intel


8 GB



128 SSD

256 SSD




The MacBook air M1 chip is better than Intel chip processor

Some computer science students might not know that MacBook air comes in 2 versions at the same price:

  • macbook air with apple M1 chip
  • macbook air with intel chip processor

But according to this experience made by “max Tech MacBook air with M1 chip is:

  • 3 times faster than intel versions
  • are less hooter by up to 10 °C
  • 3 times powerful in graphics, the image looks brighter
  • faster in web browsing
  • The storage management is 3 faster
  • last 3 times longer than intel ones (battery life)
  • 4 times faster for gaming

so as a computer science student you already know what is the best now.

The 8 drawbacks that MacBook air has for a computer science major

regarding the all amazing things that MacBook air has it still has some drawbacks for computer science students, so we gathered 10 major drawbacks that MacBook air has:

  • small screen
  • don’t run windows
  • short storage
  • MacBook air accessories are expensive
  • you can only run one single monitor
  • less screen quality than MacBook pro brightness and color
  • The lack of ports

Small screen

MacBook Air doesn’t have a bigger screen they only come with a 13-inch version if you want a bigger screen size you have to look for a Macbook pro 14inch or 16 inches.

theses versions are expensive at least you will need to spend:

  • $1800 for MacBook Pro 14 inch
  • $2300 for MacBook Pro 16 inch

So for computer science students who look to have a bigger screen for programming, this could be a problem that doesn’t have any solution. Unless switching to a windows laptop.

The more the screen is bigger the more programming is getting comfortable.

Dosen’t run windows

This is the major drawback that MacBook air has, ” you can’t boot camp to windows ” or to clarify, running 2 operating systems mac and windows on your MacBook air.

This option is only in MacBook pro, which creates a problem for a student like:

  • they can’t run many apps orIDE’s
  • not being able to develop android apps
  • have struggls doing machine learning

for instance, if you like to run eclipse or install a virtual box you will find trouble. We will list the IDE that doesn’t work in MacBook air in the next paragraph.

you can’t run all programming IDE’s

unfortunately using MacBook air means you have a software limitation and you can’t use the following IDE for development:

  • VMWare
  • Parallels Desktop
  • VirtualBox
  • Homebrew ==>dosen’t work properly
  • Eclipse ==> can work but doesn’t include many features
  • JetBrains IDEs
  • Android Studio ==>doesn’t work properly

you could find more information in this article.

Short storage

MacBook comes in 2 standard versions:

MacBook Air 256 SSD storage cost $999

MacBook Air 512 SSD storage cost $1199

if you want to have more than that you need to customize your MacBook air version to have:

  • 1 TB macbook air for $1359
  • 2 TB macbook air for $1719

So if you look for a big memory laptop, MacBook air is to avoid you can find cheaper versions that that with $1000 budget.

MacBook air accessories are expensive

The apple accessories are so expensive if you want to buy something you will predict to spend at least a double than a normal windows laptop. Especially, the MacBook Air doesn’t come with enough ports for computer science students.

The principal accessory that MacBook air computer science students will need is the USB-c converter, the best option in the market cost $150 to be able to have:

  • multiple usb ports
  • Hdmi ports
  • ethernet port
  • phone jack

it is likey as a computer science student that you will need this device for your studies.

you can only run one single monitor

The other drawback that MacBook air has, is you can only drive one monitor which is not enough for serious task programming. In other words, you won’t be able to connect your MacBook air with more than one single monitor.

software developers work with at least two monitors so will be an issue and can affect the productivity and fluency of work.

As a computer student, don’t have to try to use dockers to run multiple monitors because it won’t work

The lack of ports

as we noticed in the paragraph of accessories, the MacBook air doesn’t have a lot of ports, you will not have:

  • USB ports
  • ethernet port
  • HDMI port

so it is necessary to use adaptors, those adaptors are expensive so it will not be good for your pocket

screen quality

the last thing that you can consider is that the MacBook Air doesn’t have the same screen as the MacBook pro.

The MacBook air work with a retina display, it produces 400 nits

the MacBook pro work with liquid retina which is more powerful, it produces 500 nits

But the MacBook Air screen is quite good and enough for computer science students.


According to the 18 facts that we noticed in our article, and to summarise, if you are a computer science who wants to program and have more flexibility and freedom the MacBook pro will be better than the MacBook Air.

The principal and sensitive reasons for computer science students are to be able to run windows applications or develop android apps.

if you don’t care or need that, the MacBook Air is good and will meet all the needs.

But what about gaming laptops for computer science students?


Yassin ajanif is a physics graduate and electromechanical engineer width more than 5 years in the field. My goal and my team are to share our experience to help you succeed in your career as a stem major. we talk about all tips, problems, and struggle STEM students face in their career and how to overcome them.