Peripheral devices you wish you could use with the new MacBook

13 Mar 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

6 things to know about the USB-C port in the new MacBook.

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. 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. At a mere 13 millimeters thick and weighing just two pounds, it approaches the iPad’s portability and is just as spartan, sporting only a solitary connector. 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.

The new MacBook will replace the iPad for some people, according to Andy Vandervell, an editor at Trusted Reviews. “If you’ve ever bought a keyboard for your iPad and found that experience frustrating, the new MacBook is the perfect tonic,” Vandervell told FoxNews.com. “It’s the most extreme…notebook we’ve ever created. 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. Borja was telling the host Jesús Quintero a story of how he threw paelleras into the ocean while working on the beach when he was younger, eliciting that endearing, if not earsplitting, laughter. 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.

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. But that wasn’t well received. “I am still trying to understand who are they trying to target with the new MacBook,” Gurpreet Kaur, an analyst at market researcher Gap Intelligence, told Foxnews.com. “Maybe this is their answer to [Microsoft’s] Surface?” Then there’s the starting price of $1,299. That’s $400 more than the entry price for the 11.6-inch MacBook Air. (Which, by the way, isn’t that much heavier at 2.38 pounds.) That puts it in the elite product category and rules out cost-conscious consumers.

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. And Apple will undoubtedly improve on the design giving millions more consumers more reason to opt for the tech giant’s new vision of the laptop down the road. 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.

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. 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.

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