15" owners, how do you deal with only 2 USB ports?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by psingh01, Jun 7, 2010.

  1. psingh01 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    #1
    I'm leaning towards a 15.4" MBP but it annoys me that it only has 2 USB ports. While the 17" has 3 + express card slot it loses the SD reader (not to mention it's not as portable) arg.

    How do you 15.4" owners deal with only 2 USB ports? Change your user habit? Hub? How do you like having an extra peripheral just for ports?
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    Jul 24, 2006
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    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #2
    If you're using the MBP as a mobile machine how many USB peripherals are you going to be toting around concurrently? My guess is not many. If you're at a desk, buy a hub if you need more ports.
     
  3. Bosmonster macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2010
    #3
    Ehh.. I barely even use 2.

    Mac keyboard + mouse is 1 port.

    And otherwise, yes, get a hub.
     
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #4
    My Logitech mouse receiver stays in one and the other is mostly unused. I use FW800 for external drives, Bluetooth for keyboard and phone.
     
  5. shadygrove macrumors regular

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    Mar 8, 2010
    #5
    The only time I need more than two usb ports is when I am sitting at my desk, with my external mouse/keyboard plugged in, and my external usb HD, and a flash drive.

    But even in this case, my external drive has 4 extra USB ports, so I can just extend my USB connections with that.

    The only real tragedy is the lack of express card slot in the 15'' which I would like. Seriously though, anytime you need more devices than two, you will be at a desk anyway, so you can just a USB expander or something...not really a big deal or something to worry about.
     
  6. trip1ex macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    #6
    You're supposed to buy the $899 Apple monitor if you need more ports. Come on man. Get with the program.

    Steve

    -Sent from atop my pile of billions.
     
  7. sadcamper macrumors regular

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    May 19, 2010
    #7
    What are you connecting specifically?

    Bluetooth bluetooth bluetooth.
     
  8. aristobrat macrumors G4

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    Oct 14, 2005
    #8
    Keyboard = bluetooth
    Mouse = bluetooth
    Printer = WiFi
    External Drive = Firewire 800

    The only time I use USB is to sync my camera, iPhone or iPad, or maybe copy something to a USB flash drive.

    Either way, 99.9% of the time, both of my USB ports are unused.
     
  9. sysiphus macrumors 6502a

    sysiphus

    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    #9
    Not to act like a troll or something, but this was part of my impetus to replace my Macbook Pro with a Thinkpad--Three USB ports, Expresscard, and PCMCIA--all, shockingly, in a...wait for it...14" laptop. Apple really needs to get over their "form over function" deal.
     
  10. JuanGuapo macrumors 6502a

    JuanGuapo

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    Los Angeles, CA
    #10
    I use a bluetooth mouse so it's not a big deal for me....2 ports is enough.
     
  11. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #11
    It makes sense to buy a computer that meets your needs. If Apple doesn't sell something that has ports you need, buy something else. Apple is under no obligation to configure their hardware to satisfy every possible whim that users may want. They seem to be doing quite well with their products.
     
  12. carlosbutler macrumors 6502a

    carlosbutler

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    #12
    If you are using a laptop like it is meant to be used, ie moving it around not just on a desk then two should be more than enough - even if you have an extra mouse plugged in (trackpad is just better than most mice personally) you still have spare. my usb ports never have anything in it, although on the desktop thats another story. using 5 :p
     
  13. djasterix macrumors 6502a

    djasterix

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    #13
    2 USB ports works fine for me, and if, just in case, need more ports I have one USB hub to manage that...
     
  14. sysiphus macrumors 6502a

    sysiphus

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    #14
    No argument with regard to any of the above. It would absurd to suggest that Apple's under any obligation to satisfy anyone in particular. With that said, imposing needless limits (dropping the expansion slot on the 15", in particular) seems short-sighted at best. Providing an extra slot or port does not have a downside of making the product more difficult to use et cetera...and it can't possibly be about profitability--given multitude of industry standard components going into your average Intel Mac (Macbook Air excepted), I just don't see a coherent argument for providing less functionality--what's the upside?
     
  15. Ramphex macrumors 6502

    Ramphex

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    #15
    if it bothers you that much, get a USB hub, or bluetooth mouse and keyboard to free up your ports, anyway how many things are you trying to plug in to it lol
     
  16. sysiphus macrumors 6502a

    sysiphus

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    #16
    Many people use laptops as their primary/only computer--in which case some combination of more ports/slots and/or a docking station can be a big plus. For someone using a laptop mostly as a portable, however, I see your point--thus purpose-built machines such as a Macbook Air, Thinkpad X-series, etc (even there, however, compare the Mac to the competition--at the same time Apple was selling a MBA with almost no I/O besides 1 USB port, Lenovo was selling an X-series which put it to shame.)

    With all this said--I'd have a much easier time looking past the limited I/O on Apple laptops if I didn't have to give up one of the few ports left for a cellular modem--virtually everybody else on the market offers integrated aircards.
     
  17. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #17
    Having one less USB port isn't diminishing functionality, since those relatively few who are heavy USB users can simply use a hub.
    Again, if a particular model or manufacturer doesn't provide for your particular needs, simply shop around and find something that does.
     
  18. sysiphus macrumors 6502a

    sysiphus

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    May 7, 2006
    #18
    First off, your argument is factually incorrect--a hub, by definition, shares bandwidth across the port into which it's inserted. Try using two storage devices simultaneously across a hub, then compare it to running them on separate buses--there's no comparison. How exactly would you argue that removing a bus isn't diminishing functionality? Beyond that, if you have a choice of needing an extra peripheral (hub) or not, which one sounds better? It's not as if having an unused inbuilt port has a downside for those who don't need it.

    One more time--what's the benefit of taking away the port? Better still, what's the benefit not having an expresscard slot? Surely you're not going to argue that removing the expansion slot doesn't reduce functionality...?
     
  19. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #19
    One could also ask, "What's the benefit of keeping the port?" There's only so much space that can be used on a notebook. Otherwise, you could have 30 FW ports, 25 USB ports, 4 ExpressCard slots, etc. Apple simply elects to include such ports and in such quantities that satisfy the largest percentage of users in its target market. If there was an overwhelming outcry for the ExpressCard slot, I'm sure they'd bring it back, like they did with the anti-glare option on MBPs.

    I have the ExpressCard slot, and I've never used it. I'd rather see that space taken up with 2 more FW800 ports, but it's not a big deal, since I can daisy-chain FW drives, anyway.

    The point is, if having the ExpressCard slot or 4 USB ports or anything else was that important to me, I'd buy a notebook that has those things. I don't expect Apple to build it, simply because I want it. They make what they make. If it meets my needs, I buy it. If it doesn't, I buy something that does.
     
  20. sysiphus macrumors 6502a

    sysiphus

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    #20
    Reductio ad absurdum. It's not an issue of putting an unrealistic number of features on a machine. I've never complained that Apple doesn't make the exact machine that I want. That would be silly. And I have shopped around, and bought something else with far better functionality for my needs.

    To reiterate my original point: what's the upside of limiting/removing features? When was the last time you heard someone say "Whew, glad they didn't put an extra port/slot into this machine, because gee, that would really make life more difficult." At some point, added complexity will reduce general appeal on any product--but having an extra port/card slot on a laptop just isn't it.

    As for your anecdotal argument with regard to Expresscard vs Firewire 800--this is a perfect example of my point. Thanks to that card slot, if you really need it, you can add an Expresscard to give you more Firewire ports.
     
  21. aristobrat macrumors G4

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    Oct 14, 2005
    #21
    I think it's two things. Form over function (like you said a few posts ago), and profitability.

    If you've seen how small the 15" MBP logic board is, and how the case is arranged, it seems like it would take a fairly major redesign to get a SD slot and an expresscard expansion slot both in there.

    Whether that redesign would bring in more business (with sales to people that wouldn't otherwise consider a 15" MBP) than it would cost to do, only Apple knows.
     
  22. sjinsjca macrumors 68000

    sjinsjca

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    Oct 30, 2008
    #22
    I do a lot of programming of scientific instruments, often with eight or more USB devices connected at once. Some are powered by USB, in fact.

    I use some little powered hubs. They're cheap and can be cascaded.
     
  23. sjinsjca macrumors 68000

    sjinsjca

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    Oct 30, 2008
    #23
    USB ports are frequently ganged. So depending on your computer, the two USB ports on its side might actually share bandwidth already, or share bandwidth with internal devices such as a camera or keyboard or mouse/trackpad.
     
  24. sysiphus macrumors 6502a

    sysiphus

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    May 7, 2006
    #24
    I've taken apart a fair number of MBPs, so I know what you're getting at with regard to the internal design. With that said, my first inclination is to point out that plenty of other laptops in that size/smaller manage both...if it mattered, they could do it. Beyond that, say they don't want to prioritize resources as such--why not just leave the card slot, and let people decide whether to use it as an SD reader (with an expresscard reader) or otherwise?
     
  25. aristobrat macrumors G4

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    Oct 14, 2005
    #25
    I think that's exactly it. It doesn't matter to Apple. They're fully capable of redesigning the 15" MBP to accommodate all of those features.
     

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