Next semester, WSU will be updating their laptop program once again, and some of the upgrades are pretty exciting. For those of you that will be trading in your laptops in the fall or for any new students grabbing their first, here’s some info about what on the horizon.

The new Mac option, a 2017 MacBook Pro, is a huge step up from last year’s MacBook Air. For one, the Pro is a more powerful machine in almost every aspect. It utilizes a 2.0 Ghz Intel Core i5 processor, a bump from the Air’s 1.6 GHz. In addition, the RAM has almost doubled, moving from 4 GB to 8 GB.

The screen itself is a bit different, too. The MacBook Pro uses Apple’s Retina screen, an ultra-high resolution format which is close to 4K. If that wasn’t enough, the graphics processor has gotten a facelift as well, boosting up to an Intel Iris 540. With the extra SSD components thrown in as well, the MacBook Pro should be a useful tool for students. Especially those with a creative touch.

On the PC side, the upgrade is just as surprising. The new model is an HP Elitebook X360 G2 a shift from last year’s default HP Elitebook 840 G3. While the components are fairly similar to the MacBook Pro, aside from a slightly stronger processor, the biggest change is that the X360 is a two-in-one laptop and tablet hybrid.

Essentially, the screen of the X360 can be spun around and turned into a tablet. The process is simple and works wonders, and is great for things like drawing and designing, watching movies or presentations, or just casually checking your computer on the bus. The 2-in-1 style is quickly gaining popularity among techies, so seeing WSU hop on the bandwagon is a wonderful development.

I wouldn’t recommend trying that with the Pro, of course, or you’re gonna have a broken MacBook on your hands.

The only potential negative to the change is because these new options are more powerful than the old ones, they’re also more expensive. To afford them, Winona State cut the iPad program for any incoming students. Now, that might seem like a bummer, but you might be surprised to hear that over 80% of students reported that they didn’t actually use the iPads they had. The students that need them for their curriculum will still have them, but as for the ones who don’t, you’ll just be stuck with an ultra powerful laptop (I say that like it’s a bad thing, but it’s absolutely not).

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Nathaniel Nelson

Nathaniel is graduating in 2017 with a Journalism major and minors in Film Studies. He is from Buffalo, MN and spends his time listening to chill beats, going on long barefoot walks around town, making pewpew noises while building plastic robots and reading up about internet fashion.