Valid March 2015. Credibility: I currently own 7 computers.
  1. Can you wait a little while?
    The new MacBook from Apple is coming out in a few weeks. I expect it will be the best thing on the market when it comes out.
  2. Can't wait?
    The 13" MacBook Air is probably your best bet. The battery life and greater portability and lower price point will be more important than the power and retina display the 13" MacBook Pro would give you. For most people the 11" is too small and the 15" is too big and heavy and gets bad battery life.
  3. Do you need a Windows PC?
    If you need to run Windows (for Excel or whatever), look at the Razer Blade. It's a gamer laptop so it has some intense coloring, but the form factor is sleek and close to a MacBook and its powerful yet portable.
  4. Do you want a full desktop?
    Get the 5K iMac. It's beautiful and amazing and all in one easy to setup. For a lower price than most 4K displays you get a beautiful 5K display with an excellent computer attached. Really happy with this.
  5. ️Are you seriously on a budget?
    Get a ChromeBook. It won't run all the software made for a Windows PC or Mac but that mostly doesn't matter now. There are a bunch of choices that are reasonable here but just to mention one that's well reviewed (but disclaimer, I haven't used myself): the Acer C720P you can get for $199 and that should be fine for browsing the Internet and doing email and using Google docs for basic homework and office tasks.
  6. Do you want to play games seriously?
    If you are joining the PC Master Race, spend a day researching and configuring your own custom gaming desktop. This will probably be almost as fun as the games you'll play.
  7. Are you a cord cutter?
    You could try to get by with just your cell phone and not buy a computer at all. Very bold move but gets less crazy all the time.