The first reviews came out on Thursday for Apple’s beautiful new MacBook and it seems people really, really miss having multiple ports. As you probably know by now Apple’s 2015 MacBook has eliminated all but two ports from its frame: A headphone jack and a USB Type-C port. Apple thinks that this is all we’ll likely need in the future since we’ll be able to access the vast majority of our important laptop accessories wirelessly. However, many early reviewers are saying this new shift is too much too soon.
The Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern, for example, thinks that the new MacBook design will be great to use in 2020, but in 2015 it’s just a hassle.
Here in 2015, the majority of us still require two or three ports for connecting our hard drives, displays, phones and other devices to our computer—not to mention a dedicated power plug. […]
The new MacBook represents an exciting evolution in portable computing, but at this point it is more a proof of concept than your next computer.
Yahoo’s David Pogue says that USB Type-C ports are definitely the future since they can do so many different things. However, he thinks Apple’s new MacBook will be better served if it had at least two of them and not just one.
If USB-C is so great, why does Apple give us only one of them?
Without buying a splitter/adapter, you cannot connect this MacBook to a monitor, hard drive, or flash drive while it’s plugged in.
FastCompany’s Harry McCracken also thinks the new MacBook is ahead of its time and notes that you’ll have to shell out cash for adapters if you want to connect all your accessories to the new device.
Replacing a bevy of connections with one diminutive port makes for a more attractive-looking computer, no doubt. The problem is that plugging in devices gets complicated fast, especially since virtually no accessories designed for USB-C are available yet. Apple is selling an adapter that lets you connect gadgets that use old-style USB connectors ($19), as well as ones that allow you to connect an HDMI or VGA display ($79 apiece). The latter two also include one USB-C and one full-size USB port, allowing you to connect a more generous display, a power adapter, and one standard USB device simultaneously.
This is one of those classic situations where Apple knows where laptop technology is headed and it’s pushing both itself and the computing industry to get their sooner rather than later. In three years’ time, we’ll look back on the controversy over the lack of ports the same way we look back on the controversy over the MacBook Air’s decision to ditch DVD drives. In other words, we’ll wonder why it was controversial at all.