Apple’s revolutionary new 12-inch MacBook heralds world without wires and cables

“Ready or not, Apple’s new MacBook is cutting the computing industry’s cables,” Stephen Shankland reports for CNET.

“The slim laptop has just a single USB port, the new tiny Type-C variety that’s slowly popping up in devices this year,” Shankland reports. “It’s a multipurpose port that connects to external devices like hard drives, runs video to TVs and external monitors, and supplies the laptop with power when it’s charging time.”

“The new USB port is remarkably flexible, but it’s still just one port. For those who need to attach printers, Ethernet cables, external hard drives, cameras, monitors, keyboards, mice, TVs, game controllers and tablets, that might seem confining,” Shankland reports. “You’d better get used to it, because the new MacBook hints at the direction the industry is headed as it relies increasingly on wireless technology.”

Apple's all-new MacBook. Available in gold, silver and space gray
Apple’s all-new MacBook. Available in gold, silver and space gray
“The awkward transition highlights the privilege and pain that comes with being an Apple customer. It also underscores the unique position Apple enjoys, one where it can make drastic changes to transform the computing industry because, well, it can get away with it,” Shankland reports. “‘They’re as usual ahead of the curve,’ Endpoint Technologies analyst Roger Kay said of the pared-down ports and pumped-up wireless abilities on Apple’s latest laptop.”

“‘Yes, many will complain, but that’s the cost of progress,’ said IDC analyst Tom Mainelli,” Shankland reports. “From a business perspective, Apple’s willingness to push for that progress ultimately wins out — at the expense of rivals.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We are Mac users and Mac users embrace change.

Apple leads. The rest of the world follows, as usual.

Now, we would love to see a tiny MagSafe adapter cap (or very short corded adapter) that sticks into the USB-C port for MagSafe power cords. That way we don’t have to regress in the name of progress.

34 Comments

    1. This USB-C approach needs to work more reliably than the current Thunderbolt approach on my MBP. I have it hooked to an Apple display for desktop use, and it does not always link up with my keyboard or Ethernet, especially after sleep or reconnecting after going to a meeting. The fix can be as simple as disconnecting and reconnecting the TB cable, or as drastic as restarting my MBP. Occasionally, I have finally had to resort to shifting my keyboard cable from the display USB port to a USB port on my laptop. In addition, I finally just started plugging my Ethernet directly into my MBP and stopped using “Display Ethernet.”

      I am a big Apple supporter. But this is not Apple-like “It just works” operation. Since USB-C is also port/cord consolidation approach (and might host Thunderbolt as one of its supported protocols), I am naturally concerned about the reliability of USB-C in terms of the end-user experience.

      1. My kids charge their iPhones from their laptops while their laptops charge.

        One USB-C and one traditional USB would have been nice. Or two USB-C to be more forward looking. One may never be enough for just this reason alone. Dongles suck.

        1. Well get used to it. This is the future. The laptop being just as portable and cord free as the iPod and the iPhone. Imagine the possibilities.

          Seriously what good is a laptop if you have to leave it in the same place all the time because of the peripherals connected to it? Might as well get a desktop.

    2. At least the Chrome Pixel has one USB-C on each side so you can choose which side your power cord is going to go in. It seems a missed opportunity to have one USB-C port on each side.

      I wouldn’t be surprised to see a MBP with 4-6 USB-C ports. Two on each side. Remember, if you’re plugging that many cords in, you should probably consider a hub anyhow. Better than a dongle, a small USB-C powered hub will be an essential part of travelling.

    3. “The awkward transition highlights the privilege and pain that comes with being an Apple customer. It also underscores the unique position Apple enjoys, one where it can make drastic changes to transform the computing industry because, well, it can get away with it,”

      We have yet to see that; if the MacBook has only one port

      “because the new MacBook hints at the direction the industry is headed as it relies increasingly on wireless technology.”

      Apple had to make sure Wi-Fi wasn’t/isn’t the piece of crap it was with Yosemite.

  1. Just as long as they don’t carry this over to the Mac Book Pro, I’m good with it.

    However, for the MBP:
    Battery life is more important than thinness.
    Multiple thunderbolt and multiple USB ports are more important than a single port to rule them all.
    I could live with a Thunderbolt to HDMI adapter, but the HDMI port is still nice (wearing out the Thunderbolt port on my MBP because I constantly plug and unplug an Ethernet adapter).
    ⅛” Audio is still important.

  2. I agree, with MDN, make a mag safe adapter. I’ve seen too many laptops broken due to cord issues with charging and in the old days, modem and Cat cables. This feels like a step backwards.

    1. Better yet, how about a MagSafe-like spot with a port in the middle of it? When you need to plug something in, the new connection can be used with whatever dongles/adapters are required, but the MagSafe adapter just works. (It just works. That’s something Apple should try out. 😛 )

  3. Surprised that this version has a physical key board. I half expected them to replace the keyboard with a smaller rectangle display and a virtual keyboard and track pad.

  4. Ready or not? Color me not ready. I plug at least three cords into my 17″ MBP every time I set it up. Four if you count the power cord.

    I realize I am not the target consumer for this new MacBook, but if, as the article says, this is what’s coming to everything then my next laptop after my 17″ finally kicks it may not be from Apple. And I’ve been an Apple guy since 1981. Last year I bought a Windows-based gaming desktop and when it’s not actually running a game I totally hate it, since, of course, it runs Windows. But if Apple keeps taking away my functionality, I’ll learn to live with it.

    1. Wait and see what happens with the Apple product lineup.

      Also, if you can learn to live with a Windows-based system that you currently “totally hate,” then it might be even easier for you to learn to live with a few number of consolidated ports on a next generation Apple laptop. Since you already plug in four cords, it might actually save you time if those cords were left plugged into a USB-C hub. You could just plug in one cord to your laptop.

      I would have preferred two USB-C ports on the new 12″ MB, one on each side, in addition to the headphone jack. But Apple did not ask me for my opinion.

      1. My hope of course is that the MBP line will continue to have more functionality than this. As I said, I know I’m not the target consumer for this new MacBook. And I don’t mind hubs; I’ve even got hubs hanging off my iMac. I guess it’s the philosophy that scares me. It seems that Apple has veered over the “form vs. function” line to “form OVER function”.

        And hey you kids, get off my lawn! 🙂

  5. This IS the iPad pro, no doubt. What did we want in the iPad pro? An attached keyboard, a more responsive screen with haptic response, and of course OSX. This has all three. No the screen isn’t a touch screen, but the new Force pad is sooo much better. I know I will love my new one… now, Space Grey or Gold?

    1. Not getting where you’re coming from wanting OSX on an iPad. The underlying code for iOS is OSX, but with a different interface. Bringing over a Mac interface onto an iPad is such a bad idea on so many levels that I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that’s not what you are asking for. With that said, I struggle to understand what it is that you feel is lacking in iOS that Mac OSX has.

      1. Your logic is impeccable but lots of people don’t understand the difference between an OS and a user interface that fits its hardware.

        Some commenters go into rapture at the idea of “porting” OS X to larger iPads. I have even seen a lot of comments where people want an iPad that has both iOS and OS X depending on whether a keyboard is connected.

        But JB was being humorously ironic.

  6. AMAZING Tech but whhuuuttt? So I can’t have it plugged into a larger monitor AND have it charge? I can’t have it charging and Charge my phone from it? So when I stay in a hotel (which I do 80 – 100 nights a year) I have to look for a plug for my Phone ANOTHER for my Macbook, ANOTHER for my Watch, ANOTHER for my bluetooth headset, and ANOTHER for my iPad…seriously? Now I have a thinner computer but I have to carry a powerstrip.

    Come on  I need some help with all the POWER CORDS. Wireless charging?????

    1. Is a little bit of research *that* hard? Really?

      If you get one of the dongles Apple has announced to fit the USB-C port you can:

      – Recharge the MacBook
      – Connect it to an HDMI or VGA external monitor (or DisplayPort, although they don’t have a dongle for that yet)
      – Connect to USB device(s with a hub) or charge your iPhone, etc. etc. etc.

      In short: 1) pay attention 2) yes 3) yes 4) no …

      Switch to decaf for a while.

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