What it is: The MacBook is Apple’s lightest laptop at 2 pounds, which makes it slightly lighter than even the MacBook Air.
Probably the only drawback of the MacBook is its keyboard. Unlike the keyboard for the other laptops, the MacBook keyboard is much flatter so it almost feels like typing in the flat surface of an iPad’s screen.
If you can get used to the strange keyboard that provides very little tactile feedback, the MacBook is amazingly light and portable, even smaller than the iPad Pro. The MacBook only has two ports, a USB-C port and an audio jack port for plugging in headphones. You can’t plug a regular USB flash drive into a MacBook without a special USB-C to USB adapter, which means one extra thing to carry around (and probably lose or misplace).
You also can’t plug in any USB device such as external hard disks, printers, or external drives such as a DVD drive. The MacBook is basically an isolated computing device that can only communicate with the rest of the world through wireless technology.
If you want to transfer files between a MacBook and another Macintosh, use AirDisplay. If you need to transfer files from your MacBook to a non-Macintosh computer, send it by e-mail or through a service such as DropBox or iCloud.
While the MacBook is limited in physically connecting to any other device, it does offer solid state storage so opening files is amazingly fast. Even compared to an older MacBook Pro with a faster processor, the MacBook seems faster and more responsive despite its slower processor.
The MacBook is a perfect student computer because of its light weight, small size, and full computing power. If you really think you’ll need additional storage space, get 512GB of solid state storage instead of 256GB. If you’ll be able to use your MacBook with a Wifi connection reliably, you can opt for the lower 256GB storage and just store your files on iCloud.
Then you can access your files anywhere, store them locally on your MacBook when you know you’ll be out of Wifi connection (such as on an airplane) then load them back up to iCloud when you get a WiFi connection once again.
If you need to physically connect to other devices, then a MacBook isn’t for you. If physically connecting your MacBook to other devices isn’t crucial, then a MacBook can be more versatile than an iPad Pro in letting you run OS X programs and Windows or Linux programs as a virtual machine.
Now that there holidays are over, look for the MacBook either through Apple’s refurbished store or another store’s refurbished models such as Best Buy’s open box program where you can buy products that people have already opened. Since it’s likely that many people got a MacBook for the holidays and returned it, you should be able to pick up some bargains soon.
Given a choice between a MacBook and other Apple products, the MacBook is lighter than the MacBook Air and has a Retina screen so the display is easier on the eyes, but more expensive. The MacBook runs OS X so it might be more versatile than an iPad Pro, depending on what you need. The MacBook is lighter than the MacBook Pro but more limited in ports.
So don’t think the MacBook is for everyone just as a bicycle or a motorcycle isn’t for everyone. If you value mobility, then a MacBook is probably for you.