New MacBook’s USB-C port may finally open the door to third-party power supplies

13 Mar 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

11 USB-C Cables and Adapters for Apple’s New Macbook.

SAN FRANCISCO: The MacBook Air was revolutionary when Apple started selling it in 2008. Apple is challenging laptop users to adapt to fewer ports with the bold design of its new 12-inch MacBook, which has just one USB-C port using the USB 3.1 standard, as well as a regular headphone jack.Now that you’ve seen Apple’s new MacBook from all sides and read all the commentary, are you ready to hear the story of how it was first presented to Apple CEO Tim Cook? Apple laid out a similar challenge with its first MacBook Air in early 2008, which had just one USB 2.0 port to connect peripherals and a micro-DVI port to connect monitors.

In the tech industry’s never-ending quest to shave off as much weight and thickness from products, Apple has nixed traditional ports for one connecter called the USB-C that supports USB, VGA, and more. USB 3.1 can technically transfer data between the host computers and peripherals at maximum speeds of up to 10Gbps (gigabits per second), which is two times faster than the current USB 3.0. In fact, the MacBook incorporates many of the design techniques Apple learned from the iPad, including making the laptop work without a fan and squeezing all the electronics onto a small card, known as the logic board.

Third parties will be allowed to create external power sources for the MacBook, so long as they produce enough power to fully charge the computer, and comply with some other technical requirements, the report says. Belkin and SanDisk have already announced their first USB-C gadgets, and eventually cut-rate retailers like Monoprice.com will enter the fray with generic Chinese cables.

The USB-C port, in fact, will connect to a wide array of third-party accessories — everything from 4K monitors to external data storage to power supplies. There’s also excitement around the MacBook’s USB-C cable, which is the same on both ends so users can flip cables and not worry about plug orientation. In the original video, Spanish actor and comedian Juan Joya Borja or el Risitas (Spanish for “giggles”) is giving a TV interview on Spanish TV — he’s actually talking about his work at a beach restaurant. In tests, USB 3.1 connections aren’t reaching the full throughput of 10Gbps, but speeds will get faster as the controllers and chipsets are refined.

At the recent Mobile World Congress, USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) officials said that it is possible to carry the Thunderbolt protocol on USB 3.1 copper and optical wires, and Intel hasn’t dismissed that idea either. If you have an older monitor, you’ll want this adapter, which splits the MacBook’s USB-C port into a USB-C passthrough for power, a VGA video-out, and a USB-A 3.1 data transfer cable. The new MacBook drops USB ports, which are common for printers and other accessories. (Ironically, it was the iMac that popularized USB.) Apple’s proprietary MagSafe power-charging port has been replaced with a standardized USB Type-C connection. USB-IF believes the current speed of USB 3.1 is enough, but has also simulated speeds of 20Gbps over copper wire, putting it in the same league as Thunderbolt 2. But the organization for now has more important priorities, like making USB 3.1 a port that can be used to charge laptops, mobile devices and appliances.

LaCie is coming out of the gate with the first native USB-C compatible hard drive, a sleek, aluminum device which will come in 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB sizes. For one, USB 3.1 will support the upcoming MHL (Mobile High-definition Link) 3 specification, which can stream 4K video from mobile devices to TV sets.

It doesn’t appear to be a passthrough adapter, but you can transfer files onto its 32GB of storage to move them from other laptops, tablets, and phones over to your MacBook.

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