A majority of college-bound students getting reading for the coming school semester are a preferring to steer away from Mac laptops, a new study reveals.

Instead, students are leaning toward affordable netbooks from a variety of manufacturers, according to Retrevo, a consumer electronics website, that conducted the study.

While 49 percent of students will buy full-sized Windows laptops, 34 percent will purchase netbooks. That places Mac's at the very bottom with only 17 percent of students saying they intend to buy one.

Given how pricey Apple laptop's are, its no wonder the majority of consumers are opting for a more affordable alternative. For example, the most affordable new Apple laptop retails for around $949 for a white MacBook.

The study showed that 18 percent of survey participants won't spend a dime over $1000 for a laptop, making Apple not a big hit.

Meanwhile, 58 percent of the respondents said they plan on spending less than $750 on their back-to-school laptop.

Apple has been targeting the education market this year with a special promotion offering a free iPod Touch with every MacBook sold. Judging from Retrevo's study the lure is not that effective. Apple's promotion ends on September 8.

On the side, Apple could be working on something else for the education market. The Cupertino company is rumored to announce a tablet-sized device at its September 9 event in California.

Market research firm Gartner points out the Mac market share here in the United States is a paltry 8.7 percent. Plus, according to market research from NPD, Apple has its own bragging rights. It owns 90 percent of the over-$1000 PC market.

Perhaps Microsoft's laptop hunter ad campaign worked after all in getting more new consumers to chose a pc over a Mac.