Apple introduced the new MacBook on Monday in San Francisco, a two-pound device that sports a 12-inch Retina display (2,305 x 1,440) and an ultra-thin 13.1mm thick all-aluminum design. The MagSafe charging port is gone and the full-sized USB 3.0 ports have vanished and there is no Thunderbolt 2 port in sight. Before you freak out, there’s a logical explanation for all of the missing ports.
But take a closer look and you’ll notice the new MacBook has, uh, only two ports: A new pill-shaped port on the left and a 3.5mm headphone jack on the right side. The MagSafe charging port is gone and the full-sized USB 3.0 ports have vanished and there is no Thunderbolt 2 port in sight.
Before you freak out, there’s a logical explanation for all of the missing ports. The lone port on the left side of the new MacBook is the new reversible USB Type-C port, or as Apple has shortened it: USB-C.
USB-C isn’t your standard fatty USB port. It’s one-third smaller than a standard USB and just a little larger than a micro USB and Lightning port, but it pulls triple duty: It can charge the new MacBook, output video and transfer data.
The loss of MagSafe is sure to send shockwaves throughout the Mac community. MagSafe’s “trip-proof” design has been a MacBook staple since the first polycarbonate MacBooks debuted in 2006. I can’t tell you how many times the magnetic design has saved my MacBooks (all three of them throughout the years) from crashing head-first into the floor.
So the single-port does three things (great, consolidation!), but what if you want to charge and transfer data at the same time? You’ll need to buy a dongle. Apple’s online store lists a variety of adapters from a USB-C to USB adapter ($19) to a USB-C VGA Multiport adapter ($79) and a few others. The latter is a splitter, that with one USB-C end that goes into the new MacBook and another USB-C port (for charging), a VGA port (for video output) and a full-sized USB port (for data transfer).
Apple, of course, isn’t too worried about the port consolidation. Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, suggested users will use OS X Yosmite’s wireless AirDrop feature to transfer files between Macs and iPhones. Read more…