Should Apple rethink the position of the port?

deuxani

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 2, 2010
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The iPad Pro is not a laptop replacement, but for some people it might be their sole or main computer. In comes the USB-C port! We have one, which in my opinion is more than enough as we can use dongles and adapters to expand and add what we want. However the placement of the port in combination with the options available look horrible:

Screenshot 2018-12-13 at 16.27.42.png


Screenshot 2018-12-13 at 16.28.13.png


Screenshot 2018-12-13 at 16.29.11.png


Wireless USB-C doesn't exist so you always need to stick something in a port, but in my opinion, this is the worst possible solution.

I think the beauty of the one port 12" MacBook and one cable coming out with the extra ports in the dongle is very elegant:

IMG_7891.JPG


So I was thinking, wouldn't it be much better if the port of the iPad Pro would not be in the middle, but on the left. And what if you would have a dongle or adapter that folds behind the iPad so it distracts from the design as little as possible:

akrales_181102_3064_0151 copy.jpg


I know this will never happen, but I'm just looking at possible solutions (even though many will never care). Apple is not the only one with this problem, what the Microsoft Surface looks like when colleagues connect multiple devices (charger, external storage, projector, etc) just reminds me of the very old days of the PC instead of the future.
 
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Greenmeenie

macrumors 65816
Jan 14, 2013
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I guess a way to avoid this clutter is to have the hub placed behind your iPad with a cable to the usb-c port. I don’t currently have a hub for my iPad Pro. But I assume there is a way to do this. Most of us currently have a power cable running from our iPads when it’s on our desk. Which doesn’t look bad. So just find a way to put the hub further away from the iPad rather than plugged directly into it. Sorry about not having a specific solution, but there’s got to be a way to do this.
 

spacebro

Suspended
Oct 1, 2015
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USB-C is probably just an intermediate step that won't be around for long. Video support over usb-c is a gimmick only a few apps will ever use this and it won't be a main use case. USB sticks and memory cards are fading from use as wireless storage methods take over. They want to make portless devices but right now their marketing people calculate that there will be too much crying if they do it now. Qi charging isn't quite accepted yet, the fanboys will revolt. Its coming though, zero-port devices.
 

Greenmeenie

macrumors 65816
Jan 14, 2013
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USB-C is probably just an intermediate step that won't be around for long. Video support over usb-c is a gimmick only a few apps will ever use this and it won't be a main use case. USB sticks and memory cards are fading from use as wireless storage methods take over. They want to make portless devices but right now their marketing people calculate that there will be too much crying if they do it now. Qi charging isn't quite accepted yet, the fanboys will revolt. Its coming though, zero-port devices.
I hear what you’re saying about wireless being the ultimate goal. However the usb-c port ain’t going anywhere for a very long long time. People still need to charge their devices when on the go.
 

sparksd

macrumors 68040
Jun 7, 2015
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Seattle WA
I guess a way to avoid this clutter is to have the hub placed behind your iPad with a cable to the usb-c port. I don’t currently have a hub for my iPad Pro. But I assume there is a way to do this. Most of us currently have a power cable running from our iPads when it’s on our desk. Which doesn’t look bad. So just find a way to put the hub further away from the iPad rather than plugged directly into it. Sorry about not having a specific solution, but there’s got to be a way to do this.
This. I use a cabled USB-C hub with my laptop.
 
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Mr.Blacky

macrumors 6502a
Jul 31, 2016
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Austria
What do you mean "on the left"? Do you mean in landscape, like on your pictures, on the opposite side of the current connector? If yes, what difference would that make? :confused:
 

deuxani

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 2, 2010
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What do you mean "on the left"? Do you mean in landscape, like on your pictures, on the opposite side of the current connector? If yes, what difference would that make? :confused:
My point was to show how unobtrusive it could be with the port more left, I guess it worked, I Photoshopped it a little bit too well :)

akrales_181102_3064_0151 copy.jpg


So more left from where it is right now. Still on the "bottom" of the device when held in portrait mode (on the right side when held in landscape), but then close to where it touches the keyboard. This will make sure there are no cables hanging from the middle as the port is close to the surface it's standing on.

Much ado about nothing, in my opinion. Most people use the iPad undocked.
This is a thing for people who use their device more than a tablet. Even charging when in keyboard folio mode is annoying with that cable sticking out from the middle.

Regardless of where the port is, a more tidy and readily available solution will be one cable routed to an out of view hub.
Yeah exactly, but if it comes from the middle of the device it will remain an eyesore. If the port was where I placed the red circle, it would be very well hidden. It's an issue with all these type of devices where the ports are not in the keyboard part.

Screenshot 2018-12-13 at 20.55.34.png
 
Last edited:

subjonas

macrumors 68030
Feb 10, 2014
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That port placement would be better for when the ipad is on a stand in landscape orientation, but since ipads get used in portrait as well, I don’t know if Apple would want that asymmetry. It would also make hubs such as the one in the example unusable since it would stick out “into” the desk.

What I would rather like to see happen is a usb-c port built into the side of the smart keyboard, and for the smart connector to be able to handle all that throughput. It would be nice and tidy, and provide an extra usb-c port.
 

sparksd

macrumors 68040
Jun 7, 2015
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Seattle WA
That port placement would be better for when the ipad is on a stand in landscape orientation, but since ipads get used in portrait as well, I don’t know if Apple would want that asymmetry. It would also make hubs such as the one in the example unusable since it would stick out “into” the desk.

What I would rather like to see happen is a usb-c port built into the side of the smart keyboard, and for the smart connector to be able to handle all that throughput. It would be nice and tidy, and provide an extra usb-c port.
I wouldn't want it on the keyboard - that would make the keyboard a necessary buy (and use) and I prefer using a Bluetooth keyboard.
 

subjonas

macrumors 68030
Feb 10, 2014
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I wouldn't want it on the keyboard - that would make the keyboard a necessary buy (and use) and I prefer using a Bluetooth keyboard.
It wouldn’t be necessary, just more useful. The ipad would be unchanged from how it is now.

Also, someone could make a usbc hub/dock/stand that connects to the smart connector which would allow you to continue using a bluetooth keyboard.
 

deuxani

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 2, 2010
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515
I just saw MKBHD's Pixel Slate review (it's a terrible product it seems), but they got a couple of things right :)

Screenshot 2018-12-22 at 13.28.47.png


This is exactly what I meant. Having the port there makes so much more sense when using it with the keyboard accessoire.
 
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Nismo73

macrumors 6502a
Jan 4, 2013
885
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Agreeing with port being on the bottom left and I'll add putting the face ID camera top right....a lot of times when I grab the iPad with the keyboard on and in position in landscape mode, my thumb is over the camera as I try to unlock the iPad.
 

EEzycade

macrumors regular
Jun 29, 2018
202
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Mesa, Arizona
I agree with what some dude said up there. Port-less devices are the future, whether we like it or not. But while we wait its gonna be dongle city. Buckle up boys and girls, its going to be a bumpy ride
 
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