MB Owners: Any Port Envy?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by redman042, Aug 16, 2016.

  1. redman042 macrumors 68030

    redman042

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    #1
    I will be purchasing my family's first Mac in the next month or two to replace an aging Windows machine and move to the same ecosystem as all our devices. I want a laptop for the portability. After some research, I've determined that the 2016 MacBook would be sufficiently powerful for our needs. So that's a candidate for us, as is the MBP. I'd like to stay at or below $1700.

    I'll hold off on a final decision until Apple announces the new MBP so that I can weigh that option. In the meantime, I'm looking for 12" MB owners feedback specifically on the lack of ports. Has this been an issue for you? More or less than you expected? Do you carry a lot of dongles around and did it cost a lot? Which do you carry around?

    For my family, I envision needing USB 2, HDMI, and SD Card dongles, along with a USB 3 to Lightning cable. That's kind of a lot to carry around. I have a similar set that I carry around for my iPad, but sometimes choose not to bring them. So I have to worry about anticipating whether I may need them, remembering them, not losing them, and having to lug them around in a separate bag.

    On the flipside, the 12" MB is very easy to handle, use on the couch or the bed or on a plane, and can be charged through its single port. So I do see the upside.

    But the MBP is not THAT heavy, and the next gen should be even thinner. Though it will probably have less ports.
     
  2. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #2
    It has never been an issue for me in 15 months ownership. I generally carry 1 dongle - the Apple digital adapter. Sometimes if I'm traveling extensively I carry a small usb hub with Ethernet as well.

    Today you should be able to buy 1 small device that has every port you need. Why do you need a usb 3 (C?) to lightning cable?
     
  3. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Location:
    US
    #3
    Well, there's portability and there's ultra-portability. The retina Macbook falls into the latter category. It makes some compromises to do that. You also pay a bit extra for that ultra-portability.

    What you truly need to think through is your usage patterns and how they relate to the rMB's compromises and strengths.

    If you think you need a bunch of ports while on the go (vs using a hub at your desk), then the retina Macbook may not be the best choice for your needs. If an extra pound or so of weight really isn't a big deal for your needs, then maybe you'd see more value in a Macbook Pro 13 when they're refreshed.

    Now don't get me wrong, I really like my rMB. It is a great fit for my needs and I'm happy I bought it. I own one USBC to USBA dongle that I use with an SD card reader and once or twice with an external HDD just to play around. Otherwise I own no adapters or dongles. I do my "desktop" stuff on a mac mini with 27" display.

    So no, I don't carry around dongles with the exception of my SD card reader if I'm travelling with my camera. I carry a USBC to USBA cable and charge my rMB from a 4 port 2.4A/port charger overnight.

    If I use my rMB in the den and want to display stuff on the TV, I use AirPlay to my old AppleTV.
     
  4. t.portis macrumors member

    t.portis

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2013
    Location:
    Annapolis, MD
    #4
    Over the few months I have been using the rMB as my main computer this has never been an issue. I have the digital adapter that I carry in my bag for doing presentations or teaching on campus. I also use the digital adapter at my desks at home and work to connect a 27" monitor to. That's it for me. I don't use USB drives or SD cards. I back up to a hard drive over wifi. Keyboard and trackpad are wireless.
     
  5. appleofmyibook macrumors newbie

    appleofmyibook

    Joined:
    May 31, 2016
    #5
    I have both the MacBook Pro and the MacBook. Looking at my habits now, I realised that I use ports a LOT less than I thought I would because even though I carry the dongle, I've never even actually used it once. The only time I would use it is to connect to a big screen but Sierra Beta has made that almost impossible for me as the screen just goes blank. All I would use the dongle for if I had to was to transfer data over a USB hard drive. I was spooked by the one port before but it actually makes a lot of sense. Most things are done wirelessly now and you don't realise until you get this machine.
     
  6. BeatCrazy macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    #6
    No envy.

    Bought the dongle @$80. Never used it!! AirDrop is quite useful.
     
  7. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Enjoying Better Things
    #7
    If this Mac is going to be your sole family computer, your far better to purchase the MaBook Pro with it`s additional ports. I would even go as far as to say buy the current 13" with a discount as the next generation of MBP will very likely be USB C only which is frankly still in it`s infancy, and potentially no SD Card slot. the current 13" rMBP is a very solid, well developed notebook, the upcoming 2016 machines are basically unknown. Apple also has a tendency to take a couple of production cycles to refine their hardware with some 1st Gen releases being problematic.

    I own, and have used a 12" Retina MacBook in a business role for over year, and have yet to come across one device/peripheral that could natively plug into the rMB`s USB C port. This for me is a nonissue as I also own 13" & 15" rMBP`s. If you go down the route of the rMB or next generation rMBP a docking station will be pretty much mandatory, which dependant on your use may or may not be a problem. Right now this rMBP has 5 ports in use, USB C and a dock would likely take that down to one, equally swapping out the connections will be more convoluted, nor is it practical to convert all to USB C.

    Depending on your location you may well find that the best suited system is available right now and healthily discounted...

    Q-6
     
  8. cursedearth macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2011
    #8
    Never had an issue with the lack of ports. The one USB-C port has kept me pretty happy, although I do find it annoying to connect my USB-C adapter to every peripheral device I would like to use.
     
  9. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2001
    Location:
    Denmark
    #9
    Never needed more ports, but it really comes down to what you need it for. I do everything online, so I only need an USB-C to VGA adapter for presentations.
     
  10. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #10
    I think most people who buy a MacBook are doing so for the portability aspect and the number of ports on the laptop is a secondary feature that is less important. To that end, I think you'll find most people stating its not an issue.

    My SP3 out of the box has a single USB port (it has separate power, usb and mini display ports), and when I travel, I'm not really using that usb port, though I use the power port all the time. I guess what I'm saying is for my needs, I'm not using more then one port at a time with my SP3, so I can see people who buy the MacBook in a similar way.
     
  11. caelius macrumors regular

    caelius

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2015
    Location:
    Innsbruck, Austria
    #11
    Not at all.
    Never used the ports on my old rMBP anyway, so going "portless" wasn't a big deal at all. Also, I prefer the USB-C charger to the Magsafe one, since it can be used to charge the MB with an ordinary external battery pack.
     
  12. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Location:
    US
    #12
    I'd go so far as to say that if someone does find it to be an issue, they likely bought the wrong model for their needs.
     
  13. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #13
    Definitely, if you need multiple ports, then the MacBook is not the right computer for you (unless you're content with a dongle and/or hub).

    I've been critical of Apple for only a single port, I think its foolish but the computer is target at a demographic that prefers mobility and size over ports
     
  14. bcaslis macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    #14
    Port envy? No. The available dongles cover most needs when needed which is not as much as some reviews make it out. I do wish it had 2 USB-C ports sometimes.
     
  15. iamnotme macrumors regular

    iamnotme

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2015
    Location:
    SW Ontario, Canada
    #15
    I ad one for just over for a year and it hasn't really bothered me..... The adapter is good enough for me and I suspect for most people.
     
  16. redman042 thread starter macrumors 68030

    redman042

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    #16
    Thanks for the responses. Are there any good combo adapters out there?
     
  17. deeddawg macrumors 604

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    Jun 14, 2010
    Location:
    US
    #17
  18. appleunderpants macrumors newbie

    appleunderpants

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2016
    #18
    I would have to say the official USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter is a must buy if you're planning on purchasing a MacBook. With the charging adapter being close to the size of an iPad charger, the extra adapter has never been a problem in my carrying case.

    I think of the MacBook as being more of a companion device than a true main computer. I have my PC for heavy lifting and gaming purposes and my MacBook as daily computing, researching, and finances device. Both machines compliment each other well and I've never had port envy.

    When in a pinch? That's where the adapter comes in. Also be sure to utilize cloud storage such as Google Drive, Dropbox, or even OneDrive. One of my favorite things about the MacBook is the size of the charger and how convenient it is... if I have to sacrifice some ports for that so be it!
     
  19. 1madman1 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2013
    Location:
    Richmond, BC, Canada
    #19
    Only external port I wish it had is an SD card slot to more easily import images from a camera. 11" Macbook Air didn't have one either which pretty much decided it for me.
     
  20. solaris macrumors 6502a

    solaris

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    #20
    No port envy at all.

    During 4 months of ownership the only thing hooked up to my MacBook is the charger and AirPods. Everything else go wireless.
     
  21. solo118 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 16, 2011
  22. redman042 thread starter macrumors 68030

    redman042

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    Jun 13, 2008
    #22
  23. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #23
    Just be careful with those 3rd party accessories. 18 months in and none of them are really still reliable. There is a usb-c peripherals master thread where all these devices are discussed and reported on regularly. Unfortunately the mods have buried it in the Accessories forum. Many of those usb-c hubs appear to work, but don't work reliably when pushed. I'd get the Apple one.
     
  24. redman042 thread starter macrumors 68030

    redman042

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    #24
    Ah, ok I'll keep that in mind.
     
  25. Mike Boreham macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #25
    I am also new to the 2016 Macbook and been trying out USB-C hubs, and sending them back. The particular thing I want to be able to do (not often) is connect two hard drives to the USB-C hub and transfer data between them.

    So far the Minix hub failed completely, the Anker hub starts well but data transfer stops after a few Gb. I have a Hootoo arriving tomorrow but not optimistic, as amongst all the 4 and 5 star reviews is a one star review specifically saying it won't transfer data between two connected HDs.

    What does work is the Apple Multiport with a conventional USB3 powered hub connected.
     

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