Which Laptop Should My Daughter Bring to College?

What do you recommend?

June 15, 2015
My oldest daughter graduated from high school last week. Her MacBook if 4 years old, and is on its last legs. She needs a laptop to bring to college. 
What laptop would you recommend for a new college student?
Here are some of her requirements:
Budget: I would rather spend $1,000 (or less), but will spend up to $1,500 if need be.
Tasks: She has no idea what her major will be in college. Safe to say that she will need to do all the normal paper writing, presentation making, and media project creation that today’s college students engage in. Her new laptop, which will need to last all 4 years, will be the tool she uses for everything from schoolwork to entertainment, research to video watching, consumption to creation.
Travel: Before she starts college she will be participating in an educational program in Asia. This program will have her traveling around quite a bit, taking both intensive language classes and immersing herself in the local culture. She needs a laptop that is easy to travel with. This means, I think, a laptop that is light and small, but rugged. I’m not sure if she will always be able to count on a WiFi signal, so cellular connectivity would be a plus.
Media: This is a kid who is really into photography, and who I could see getting into video. Photography and video editing horsepower is a must.  
Gaming: Not a gamer.
Durability: If the condition of her old MacBook is any indication, this new laptop will have to be pretty rugged to make it through college.  
Other Tech:  No to an iPad. No to a Kindle. She has an iPhone and a digital camera.  
Any recommendations?


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