Mac Desktop for Students
Students do not have many choices when it comes to buying a Mac desktop. Of those available, we recommend the 21.5-inch iMac 4K (2019). There are other options that are worth considering depending on your needs.
Best General: 21.5-inch iMac 4K (2019)
Featuring an aluminum and glass corner with a five-millimeter thin profile, iMac 4K ship with a matching Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse 2. iMac 4K (2019) that we recommend comes with a 3.0GHz 6-core 8th generation Intel Core i5 processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.1GHz, 8GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory, Radeon Pro 560X with 4GB GDDR5 memory and 1 TB Fusion Drive for storage. You can upgrade some of these for more money. Our tip: splurge on memory, if you can, which is available up to 32 GB.
The iMac 4K (2019) comes with macOS Mojave (upgradeable to macOS Catalina), which includes a system-wide dark mode for the first time and new privacy controls. The current version of macOS also includes three iOS apps that jump to the Mac for the first time: Home, News and Stocks. There is also a new desktop Stacks feature and enhancements to the Finder.
There is nothing negative about this desktop, except knowing that it is the most expensive 21.5-inch iMac currently on the market. In addition, if you have been counting on a 27-inch model, you will no doubt be disappointed with this one.
- Only monitor would be screen size
- Most expensive 21.5-inch model
Best Value All-In-One: 21.5-inch iMac 4K (entry-level)
For $ 200 less, you can buy this entry-level iMac 4K Retina model, which offers a 3 , 6GHz four-core 8th-generation Intel Core i3 processor, 8GB of DDR4 memory, Radeon Pro 555X with 2GB of GDDR5 memory, and 1 TB of serial ATA drive. This iMac model is the one you should buy in a pinch if you can't wait to buy our overall winner.
Don't start upgrading the internal ones. By doing so, you will begin to add more costs that can make it more expensive than our recommended model.
- Less money
- Still a 4K display
- i3 vs i5 processor
- No Fusion drive
Best Budget: Mac mini (2018)
At the end of 2018, Apple released the fourth generation Mac mini, almost four years after the latest model was unveiled. The cheapest model offers a 3.6GHz four-core 8th-generation Intel Core i3 processor with 8GB of 2666MHz DDR4 memory and 128GB of PCIe-based SSD storage, while the more expensive version starts with a 3.0GHz 6-core 8th generation Intel Core i5 processor and 256 GB PCIe based SSD storage.
If you are looking at a Mac mini, you are already aware that you need to add a monitor, keyboard and mouse. In that situation, we recommend (once again) to upgrade the memory from the least. Ideally, you should start with the more expensive version, if only because you get more storage space.
- Least expensive solution
- Recently updated
- Remember, no monitor or accessories
- Can be expensive fast
Best Big Screen: 27-inch iMac 5K (2019) entry
The entry-level 27-inch iMac 5K offers amazing features, including a 3.0GHz 6-core 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.1 GHz, 8 GB 2666 MHz DDR4 memory, Radeon Pro 570X with 4 GB GDDR5 memory and 1 TB Fusion Drive storage, as with our overall range, if you can upgrade only one component, consider increasing the memory size.  For most students looking for a 27-inch iMac 4K, this model is ideal, however, if you plan to use your computer for photography, illustration, or video editing, consider the next model on this list.
- Beautiful Retina 5K 5120-by-2880 P3 display
- Only $ 300 more than our total selection
- Price may rise quickly with additions
- 8 GB memory may not be enough
- Hard to move
Best for Creatives: 27-inch iMac 5K (2019)