Back To School 2022: The Apple Ecosystem

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Intro and MacBook Pro by @Vaganza

We’re inching closer and closer to the new semester, and back-to-school season is already in full swing. And if you’re heading to college, you’re probably looking for a new computer to take with you. Personally, I (and our Micro Center Champions below!) recommend the Mac line, as its core ecosystem is easy to use, flexible enough to meet nearly any need, and has a great offering of systems that will get you through the years ahead.

MacBook Pro

Desktops tend to offer more power and expandability as well as the ability to use a large display, whereas laptops offer a lot of flexibility that more school students tend to benefit from. My recommendation is something that will give you the best of both worlds: a powerful system with great portability.

The MacBook Pro 13” offers stunning power in a small, sleek form factor, and with the new M2 processor, it offers great performance and up to 20 hours of battery life. As it was designed with portability in mind, you’re set to it take to the lab, studio, class, or to meet with others for a group project. If you are creative and need the larger display or want a setup to do video or photo work, the Pro 13” will allow you to plug in additional accessories, such as high-quality monitors, into the two Thunderbolt ports. There’s enough power in this tiny machine that you can drive a 4K display! 

Of course, one of the best things about Apple is their incredible ecosystem. Once you're set up, photos taken on your iPhone will show up on your MacBook Pro and your AirPods will seamlessly switch between devices. They’ll even do the heavy lifting during your Zoom calls with family and friends! The Apple ecosystem, using iCloud, will allow your systems to all sync together linking your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and HomePod Mini (a new favorite of mine) keeping your data, contacts, messages, email, and so forth all in one very secure location allow you the flexibility to pick up and go without getting anxious about whether, or not you have everything.

Still not sure you have everything you need for Back-to-School? Read on!

Mac Mini in the Apple Ecosystem by @ChaosDTV

The Mac Mini might seem, at times, overshadowed by Apple’s other offerings. However, the Mini in its current generation is a phenomenal desktop computer powered by Apple’s M1 chip. It is the perfect computer for students or professionals looking to create a productive workspace at their desk or in an office. A portable device like a 9th generation iPad and Apple Pencil could be used for note-taking, while the mac mini sits at home organizing and compiling all of those files in real-time. The Mac Mini also makes content creation easy as photos and videos shot on iPhone will be there waiting when it comes time to make more detailed edits. All of this is possible because of the fluidity of Apple’s ecosystem. This Mac Mini offers the flexibility to create a personalized workstation without sacrificing any of the benefits of the Apple ecosystem.

Apple AirPods by @w8deywins

Apple AirPods: The iPhone’s sidekick. Even though you might not have a pair of these earbuds, I bet you have seen them everywhere, and for good reason. They’re incredibly easy to use and sound amazing right out of the box. To pair them, all I had to do was put them next to my iPhone 13 Pro, and boom, paired! Personally, I recommend purchasing the AirPods Pro model because of the active noise cancellation (or ANC) and MagSafe charging case. The active noise canceling is some of the best I’ve experienced, and absolutely recommend it if you listen to music in noisy situations. Alternatively, if you’re not worried about noise cancellation features, and are more interested in longer battery life, you can go with their AirPods 3rd Generation. You still can utilize the MagSafe wireless charging, but without the noise cancellation, the battery life goes from the AirPod Pro’s 4.5 hours to over six hours! In the end, no matter which one you choose, you're still going to have a simple pairing experience and amazing sound quality out of the box!

Apple iPad

If you’re tired of carrying around a backpack full of color-coordinated notebooks for each and every class, try switching to the iPad! With the Apple Pencil, the iPad is a note-taking champion and has a ton of fantastic ways to take and organize your notes. If you learn better when taking notes by hand, there are a ton of options to do just that, like Notability and NoteShelf. You can also attach a keyboard to take notes through a word processor if that’s your preference. Either way, when you get back to your dorm, your notes will be waiting for you on your MacBook, ready to be organized so you can get back to them easily when exam time rolls around. No more rummaging through bent paper notebooks full of doodles to find the one formula you need!

More from the Micro Center Community:

Looking for more information about tech buying? We’ve got Community sections dedicated to buying guides and reviews, as well as buying guides for Back-To-School Computers and Build-Your-Own Computers. And if you can’t find what you’re looking for, don’t hesitate to post a new discussion and the Community will be happy to help!


  • ChaosDTV
    ChaosDTV ✭✭✭
    First Anniversary 5 Awesomes 5 Likes First Comment

    The mac mini is a powerful computer thanks to the M1 chip! it can be able to handle anyone in school for editing, audio engineer etc. and even your smaller tasks.

  • Rye_Bread
    Rye_Bread ✭✭✭✭
    First Anniversary 5 Likes First Comment First Answer

    Been eyeing an iPad Pro for my more artistic ventures. I'm generally out of Apple's ecosystem, but I've had good experiences in the past. Can't wait to see what they do next in the iPad lineup.

  • smaddaus

    Apples latest lineup is so efficient its insane. Can't wait to get my hands on a fully spec'd out 14".

  • Julia_V
    Julia_V ✭✭✭
    5 Likes First Anniversary First Comment First Answer

    Great article! I like the apple ecosystem especially for artists. The iPad Pro paired with the Gen 2 Apple Pencil allows you to use apps like Procreate, which I personally love as an artist. The Apple Pencil has great accuracy and pen pressure that allows for both quick sketches and full-blown drawings. With the Apple ecosystem, transferring files between devices is also super easy with Airdrop.

  • Lesaol

    Once I start classes again I think an iPad will be a great substitute for some notebooks! Maybe quite a bit lighter too lol.

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