IESE MBA

A student's personal journey at IESE Business School

What’s the Best Laptop for An MBA student

TLDR: I interviewed passionate students about their own machines. Surfaces seem to have the edge. Apple computers still a status symbol. preferred characteristics for a laptop, 13″, long-lasting battery, lightweight and touchscreens.

Long before the MBA, I started thinking about what kind of laptop would I need to make the best out of the program. Should I invest in a brand new machine? Or just upgrade the one I already have? Will Mac OS or Windows or even Linux hold up? All MBA students made similar choices before coming to IESE and we all had to live with the consequences.

Now that we are reaching the end of the program, I wanted to ask students their opinion on what machine is best. which qualities they love the most and what laptop would they recommend to fellow incoming students.

The survey

I ran a survey that was answered by 62 people (not bad!) among current MBA students. I asked a few questions about current laptops and future recommendations.

When asked what computer students own, the PC vs Mac ratio is 3:1. I would have thought that rich (in debt) kids in their 30s would own MacBooks, turns out PC is still the vast majority out there. Surprisingly 3.2% of people replied “other” which I assume means Linux, Chrome OS or Android? Early adopters and tech nerds <3.

I also asked what people liked in their current laptop. I got a bunch of random comments and I decided to make it in a word cloud. From the 62 answers, there are a few words that come out quite often. Basically your laptop needs to be light, have a long-lasting battery and have a touchscreen.

When asked for screen size, apart from a bunch out outliers (obviously a tenacious gamer at 24″) everyone agrees that 13 inches seem to be the weapon of choice.

Ok so, here’s the info you’ve been wanting to know. What’s the machine recommended by MBA students?

With no surprises, 58% of students recommend the Microsoft surface as their preferred laptop. MacBooks are far behind other touchscreens and traditional PCs. I think most people are using or used at least once during classes a software that was difficult to install on a machine different from a Windows. This explains why Apple laptops rank so badly in this survey.

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