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View Full Version : MBA USB port woes?




FX120
Jan 24, 2008, 01:36 PM
Just saw this article on Engadget:

http://www.engadget.com/2008/01/24/adding-insult-to-injury-usb-3g-modems-wont-fit-in-the-macbo/



Mindflux
Jan 24, 2008, 01:44 PM
Some people will whine about anything.

Add a usb extender cable, done. 5 bucks!

eddietr
Jan 24, 2008, 01:49 PM
My U727 actually came with the extension cable. So no need to even pay the $5.

But that is a little disappointing, because it's less neat with the cable. And I use the 727 every day practically.

island
Jan 24, 2008, 01:56 PM
Now this crap is going to piss me off...

EDIT: actually, my AT&T USB modem will fit just fine, checked it out, phew!

ahaxton
Jan 24, 2008, 02:05 PM
Sprint? pfff who the heck would use them except someone out in some rural community.

PDE
Jan 24, 2008, 02:10 PM
I'm sorry, but I can't agree with anybody defending a design that makes it difficult to use common peripherals. It's the same stupidity with the iphone headset jack - it annoys me to no end that Apple forces everybody to get new equipment to fit their rather arbitrary design decisions. I understand that they wanted thinness above all and that with the design they had to think of a new way to have the rather large USB ports, but surely there must have been an alternative? It's a clear example of allowing an obsession (thinness) to override all other considerations.

ucfgrad93
Jan 24, 2008, 02:54 PM
Wow, that is surprising. I wonder if USB flash drives are going to have the same problem.

TanToday
Jan 24, 2008, 03:02 PM
http://www.coolgear.com/images/USBG-AAE2C.jpg

$3 - 24inches.

Yep, time to kill off the Macbook Air.....insurmountable problem here....

NOT.

Actually, EVERYONE should use one of these, the way ANYTHING rigid sticks out of ANY USB port, it is only asking for a bump to break the connector INSIDE the machine, with a small cable it is flexible and bends, not ruins your $2grand toy if you hit it.

Mindflux
Jan 24, 2008, 03:03 PM
$3

Yep, time to kill off the Macbook Air.....insurmountable problem here....

NOT.

"But it's not as tidy!" (see above) :rolleyes:

MacsAttack
Jan 24, 2008, 03:07 PM
Don't see the problem.

Teratec DTV receiver - used a usb cable.
Mouse - usb cable (use a wireless one most of the time anyway)
Various USB pens - fit any USB socket - apart from the cheepo chunky one the company provided - which needs a cable to work with most anything.
Printer - usb cable
Hard Drives - usb cable
Lighwave dongle - fits fine

This is just somebody going out of their way to find fault. I bet that thing is useless if on anything with two USB sockets - it will block the adjacent one - unless you use a USB cable...

eddietr
Jan 24, 2008, 03:45 PM
"But it's not as tidy!" (see above) :rolleyes:

Well, don't get me wrong, I'm not cancelling my pre-order over this or anything. :)

I can live with using the USB extension. Maybe even find a shorter one.

ccantrell
Feb 4, 2008, 08:04 PM
It is a little disappointing you have to use the extension cable but not a deal breaker. It is probably a little safer like mentioned earlier.

After looking that the pulldown ports, if Apple would have put the USB port on the back (swapped with the video port), it would probably fit fine. The U727 is just so slightly larger and with the "tapering" of the MBA, the area towards the back gives a little more room. Oh well .. just another cable to add to the bag.

Cheers,
-chris

RicAlonso
Feb 5, 2008, 10:17 AM
Hopefully some 3rd party company will come out with a special bag to hold everything you need to travel with the MBA:

USB Hub, preferably battery powered

USB extension cable

USB Ethernet dongle

USB HDD to hold all of those photos/music/video that Apple has been telling us to buy from iTunes.

3g wireless cellphone modem since it's not built in like many ultraportables

3rd Party external battery and charger for when you travel more than 3 hours and actually work.

Apple power adapter

DVI adapter

Belkin and others, are you ready?

eddietr
Feb 5, 2008, 10:46 AM
BTW, I've been using the short Belkin USB flexible adaptor with my U727 on my MBA today and it is perfect.

I have the modem facing away from me, parallel to the edge of the MBA case.

I think a heavier modem would pull the adapter down with it. But the U727 is light enough that this doesn't happen.

clayj
Feb 5, 2008, 11:05 AM
Hopefully some 3rd party company will come out with a special bag to hold everything you need to travel with the MBA:

USB Hub, preferably battery powered

USB extension cable

USB Ethernet dongle

USB HDD to hold all of those photos/music/video that Apple has been telling us to buy from iTunes.

3g wireless cellphone modem since it's not built in like many ultraportables

3rd Party external battery and charger for when you travel more than 3 hours and actually work.

Apple power adapter

DVI adapter

Belkin and others, are you ready?Nice, subtle trolling there. Congrats.

TEG
Feb 5, 2008, 11:10 AM
They used the worst 3G modem for this test. The Sierra Wireless Cards (which are available for the big 4 in the US) all have flip out USB connectors, instead of the molded USB connector on the bulky modem they used for the test.

Seriously, people will always find something new to complain about.

TEG

Mactagonist
Feb 5, 2008, 11:46 AM
They used the worst 3G modem for this test. The Sierra Wireless Cards (which are available for the big 4 in the US) all have flip out USB connectors, instead of the molded USB connector on the bulky modem they used for the test.

Seriously, people will always find something new to complain about.

TEG

The Ovation U727 is the best USB CDMA modem on the market. It is also one of the smallest. There is no sinister plot here. Just 2 designs that dont work together perfectly.

The U727 comes with a cable, a clip to hook onto the back of the screen and a bag to carry everything in. Use those and it works great.

roland.g
Feb 5, 2008, 11:58 AM
I'm sorry, but I can't agree with anybody defending a design that makes it difficult to use common peripherals. It's the same stupidity with the iphone headset jack - it annoys me to no end that Apple forces everybody to get new equipment to fit their rather arbitrary design decisions. I understand that they wanted thinness above all and that with the design they had to think of a new way to have the rather large USB ports, but surely there must have been an alternative? It's a clear example of allowing an obsession (thinness) to override all other considerations.

Sure they are, NOT.

http://www.coolgear.com/images/USBG-AAE2C.jpg

$3 - 24inches.

Yep, time to kill off the Macbook Air.....insurmountable problem here....

NOT.

Actually, EVERYONE should use one of these, the way ANYTHING rigid sticks out of ANY USB port, it is only asking for a bump to break the connector INSIDE the machine, with a small cable it is flexible and bends, not ruins your $2grand toy if you hit it.

Exactly.

eerac
Feb 5, 2008, 12:17 PM
Has anyone tried this?

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31Y-tN5T6BL._AA280_.jpg

It's flash drive with two USB ports going out. Not sure if it would provide any given device with enough power, but it's a lot smaller than an extension cable.

http://www.amazon.com/Ridata-Yego-2-port-Flash-Built/dp/B000RVZD7W

Radioshack also sells something that should definitely work:

http://RSK.imageg.net/graphics/product_images/pRS1C-2913406w345.jpg

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2344327&cp=2032061.2032365.2032390&pg=1&searchSort=TRUE&retainProdsInSession=1&y=9&x=9&s=A-StorePrice-RSK&parentPage=family

TEG
Feb 5, 2008, 01:01 PM
The Ovation U727 is the best USB CDMA modem on the market. It is also one of the smallest. There is no sinister plot here. Just 2 designs that dont work together perfectly.

The U727 comes with a cable, a clip to hook onto the back of the screen and a bag to carry everything in. Use those and it works great.

I was just saying that the flip out port works with no problems. Also, all 3G is CDMA, just based on different standards (CDMA = Code Division Multiple Access). CDMA-2000 is the 3G version of 2G CDMA, W-CDMA is the 3G chosen by most GSM systems.

TEG

gglockner
Apr 1, 2010, 08:22 PM
The Radio Shack adaptor looks perfect but it seems they don't have it anymore. Any suggestions for something similar? I have an extension cable but it's bulky to carry around.

jhgnag
Apr 1, 2010, 08:37 PM
I got a new AT&T Lightning. Fits perfectly. When on a desk, it works better if you lay it down. Performance seems very good to me as well.

Scottsdale
Apr 2, 2010, 01:04 PM
The Radio Shack adaptor looks perfect but it seems they don't have it anymore. Any suggestions for something similar? I have an extension cable but it's bulky to carry around.

Ok, so you're telling someone that mentioned this in February 2008 that it looks perfect... and now two years later nobody carries it... talk about waking a thread from the dead. How about look at Amazon.com? They have many things like this with ratings.

gglockner
Apr 2, 2010, 04:30 PM
No need to be rude.

I did a search and found this thread. I searched for the suggested product but it was out of production. I checked Amazon but no one commented as to whether such a product was appropriate for the MacBook Air. Besides which, I didn't want to deal with shipping for an $8-10 item.

In any event, I just went to Fry's and found the Belkin F3U134vFLEX. It works great. So for anyone else in this situation, I recommend this.

http://www.belkin.com/IWCatProductPage.process?Product_Id=250761

Scottsdale
Apr 2, 2010, 06:20 PM
No need to be rude.

I did a search and found this thread. I searched for the suggested product but it was out of production. I checked Amazon but no one commented as to whether such a product was appropriate for the MacBook Air. Besides which, I didn't want to deal with shipping for an $8-10 item.

In any event, I just went to Fry's and found the Belkin F3U134vFLEX. It works great. So for anyone else in this situation, I recommend this.

http://www.belkin.com/IWCatProductPage.process?Product_Id=250761

Sorry, didn't mean to be rude. Just in shock that a two year old thread was still relevant, but then again it wasn't. Congrats on finding a solution.