Apple’s new MacBook measures half an inch thick, weighs just 2 pounds, has a fanless design, and gets around 9 hours of battery life. It’s the company’s first all-metal laptop, and it’s the lowest-power MacBook to date, using just 5 watts of power.

But those aren’t the only things that make the new MacBook unusual: it’s also the first MacBook to ship with just a two ports: a headphone jack and a USB port (which is also the charging port).

macbook type c

You use that same port to charge the laptop, connect a display, plug in an iPhone, or do just about anything else that requires a wire. So how do you plug in your iPhone and charge the laptop at the same time? You buy a $79 adapter.

The USB-C port on the laptop support power, USB 3.0, DisplayPort, HDMI, and VGA connections, but you’ll need an adapter to use most of those features.

Apple figures you can use wireless peripherals for a lot of things. Need a mouse? Get a Bluetooth model. Want to connect a display? Use AirPlay.

But if you do need to connect something with a wire, the company’s USB-C Digital AV Multiport adapter plugs into the single jack on the laptop and gives you HDMI, USB, and power ports so you can charge your device while it’s plugged into a monitor and another peripheral at the same time.

If the $79 price tag seems too high, it’s worth noting that USB-C is a standard that other companies are expected to adopt, so third-party accessory makers might start offering cheaper alternatives.

It’s also interesting that Apple didn’t just do away with wires altogether by incorporating wireless charging into the laptop. While the company has a habit of cutting out legacy hardware support (Apple was one of the early laptop makers to offer models that lacked optical disc drives), it might be a bit too soon to try pushing laptops that have no support for wired peripherals.

via Gizmodo

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30 replies on “Apple’s new MacBook has a single port for charging and almost everything else (unless you get a $79 adapter)”

  1. Well, fewer or no ports is the future, and it’s nice they are using the standard USB-C connector rather than the Apple habit of coming up with their own proprietary port. Though this is kind of a half solution that just makes your wired world a piggyback dongle situation. Come on Apple, time to go completely wireless with wireless charging as well as a wireless port adapter.

    That said, the dongle could make for a very clean solution if it had a meter long cord. Then you could hide all but the one power cord away under your desk. 3rd party hopefully.

  2. The new MacBook is essentially the iPad Pro you all wanted. It’s an iPad with OSX and a keyboard. It’s for people who find a regular iPad too limiting, but wouldn’t do much more than surfing, netfix, emailing and occasional word-processing. The single port is not limiting for them, the iPad didn’t have any either. For those people the deciding factor is that this device is fanless, close in size and battery time to a tablet and yes, the fact that it looks good. No sane person would buy this for photo editing or any serious work with a CoreM CPU. It’s the iPad Pro in a Mac case.

  3. Got to give Apple credit. They just keep on finding ways to make more money. And all the Apple fanatics won’t even really care.

  4. Note that the MacBook still has a wired headphone jack. Yep. In 2015 nobody at Apple seems to have figured out how to make wireless headphones yet. Sad really.

    I have Sennheiser’s KLEER wireless headphones and they are amazing.

      1. I’m not worried about any adverse health effects of radio waves, but I do recognize that the wirless spectrum is getting used up by all the silly wireless crap people use. I counteract that by using hard wired pretty much everything else. I’m not one of these people who does wireless networking in their own home.

  5. I use Lightroom for photo editing. Its very common for me to have an SD/CF reader, a 2tb HDD, and a USB ethernet adapter all connected at the same time.

    I know Apple’s mentality is that I should be beaming my photos from my camera to my laptop over Wifi, have my external storage setup on an Apple Time Machine, and use Wifi for my internet. But I simply don’t want to.

  6. So they made a thin, light, beautiful and (likely) overpriced mobile device that isn’t very mobile. Thanks, but no thanks.

  7. Apple makes computerized status accessories not computers, and they have a design and production ecosystem which is prioritized as such. For example.. machining that case and laminating that proprietary battery, costs more than all the components on the motherboard and the display panel. Apple computers are to computers, what interpretive dance is to professional sports. Windows PC’s are used in: The International space station, drilling platforms, medical imagery, military hardware, nuclear power stations, rail road logistics etc. Apple computers on the other hand… are used primarily in a design studio for adult toys, a gynecologist’s reception desk, vegan tampon production line, I’ve run out of examples. Why do parents keep buying these fruity pieces of shit for their kids ? Is there a parental compulsion to accessorize the lives of their children with prestigious but largely ornamental devices ? And if you buy one for yourself, how pathetic are you, to be walking around with an overpriced and under performing toy, trying to insinuate you’re sophisticated, privileged and different… with a piece of anodized aluminum. Why would you buy something that is supposed to be utilitarian in function, based on aesthetics, rather than performance ?

    1. Probably as epic a rant against Apple as I’ve ever seen…

    2. I might agree if this new MacBook was merely jewelry without any real technological innovation. But it is much more than that.

    3. I loved the “gynecologist office” – “drilling platform” juxtaposition.

      1. It’s a great nuance on this innovative Apple design strategy of everything in one hole.

      1. Maybe they use Linux as well, the whole thing is basically a giant cluster of computers running scientific instruments, so it only makes sense to think there’s at least something on it running some kind of Linux. But the astronauts and cosmonauts alike, all use purpose built IBM Think Pad’s with Windows.

          1. Hadn’t heard about that. Apparently they switched almost everything to Debian 6 because Microsoft was shutting down support for XP and 7 and they all hated Windows 8.
            “In space, no one can hear you scream at the Windows 8 Metro screen.” 🙂

  8. So in an effort to streamline/simplify the design of the MacBook, they end up making you hang a kludgy adpater off a single port?

    Unused ports along the side is far less obtrusive than this silly adapter.

    1. Which only has 1 USB so if you need to use an sd card or need more than 1 usb, you gonna need an adapter for your adapter. LOL.

      1. Yup. This is all part and parcel of the iPadification of the MacBook.

        I’m actually surprised that the adapeter has full size HDMI and full size USB. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if it had the micro versions of both of those, forcing you to get even more adapters. LOL

  9. Yes.. you can use wireless connections.. except I don’t always want to. I actually don’t mind not having those ports as standard.. but the adaptor should be included with the computer, not an extra you have to buy after the fact.

  10. Indeed! Crapple want to force you to do it their way, or pay more for periferrals. And you need theirs too, no universal device for them! F’m I’ll never buy their product, for my needs, I got what I need!

      1. Just bought an HP Stream 7 Signature Edition from the Microsoft store for that very price. $115 after adding sales tax on it and the case/cover.

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