New MacBook & 1 USB Port: Why It's Done Wrong


Soon after Apple announced the new MacBook, the ChromeBook Pixel 2 is released by Google. The ChromeBook Pixel 2 is a 12.85″ laptop with 4 USB ports: 2 new Type-C ports and another 2 traditional Type-A ports. In this article, I will be discussing why having more USB ports plus a combination of Type A and C ports, at a minor sacrifice of thinness, is better than minimizing to one single Type-C port in efforts to achieve ultimate portability. Let’s start by looking at some things you can’t do on the new MacBook without an adapter/hub:

  • Use a conventional USB device, which is practically all USB devices as of early 2015.
  • Use a USB drive while charging.
  • Use an external display while charging.
  • Play a movie from your USB drive and display it onto a TV.
  • Copy a file directly from one USB drive to another USB drive.
  • The list goes on.

Apparently, the new MacBook is barely useful without the help of an adapter or USB hub. If you are a New MacBook user, you’ll have to remind yourself to carry your adapters with you, at all times and at all costs. Does this really sound convenient? Do you really have a simplistic and portable array of electronic equipment like Tim and Jony has made you believe in? Many MacBook users will come to realize that carrying a slightly thicker laptop is less hassle than carrying a slightly thinner laptop plus a bunch of adapters. Maybe it’s time to acknowledge the point after which thinner computers are just not worth the sacrifice in functionality.

Speaking of functionality, I admit that the Pixel’s Chrome OS isn’t very functional on the software side, and perhaps a Pixel with Windows is more perfect. I am also aware of a possible reason why Apple chose this design – to rigorously push the new standard by utilizing their solid market share and giving people no choice but to prefer Type-C peripherals. Let me emphasize that I’m not ranting about USB Type-C. I agree with the majority that Type-C is inevitably the future of wired data transmission. But even then, Apple should have been generous enough to give people one port on either side, albeit with a negligible increase in thickness. Oh, and by the way, next time an iFanBoy says “the new MacBook is so thin, a normal USB port doesn’t even fit”, show them this:

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Despite Lenovo’s attempt to exaggerate the difference by scaling the images, one cannot deny that the Asus ZenBook UX305 and the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro are thinner than the Apple MacBook while packing multiple full-size USB ports.

Picture this shiny MacBook with an HP logo on the back instead of the apple. Would you buy an HP netbook with a single USB port that nobody is using yet, for $1,299? I don’t think you would. It’s really the Apple logo that captures the attention, isn’t it? Apple products have become more of a fashion statement lately, especially with the Apple Watch. Even then, I find it kind of stupid to wear the same T-shirt and pants as everybody else.

The ChromeBook Pixel is simple. But the new MacBook is simplicity gone too far, not practical enough to be more than a concept design. But so what, millions of people are going to buy such a crippled product for that shiny logo anyway. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not calling the MacBook trash and the other ultrabooks perfect – I’m just saying that Apple could have done better.

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