This is my "dongle life" real life example - share yours here

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by lobo1978, Nov 29, 2016.

  1. lobo1978, Nov 29, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2016

    lobo1978 macrumors 6502


    Sep 22, 2011
    Reviewers and youtubers are repeating (without much thought) that with new USB-C we are all doomed and have to buy and use tons of dongles. This was catchy at the beginning and they have earn a lot attention of prospective users (and a lot of Google Ads).

    This is my example of living in this 'difficult' transition time.
    Initial conditions:

    - I have thunderbolt, USB-A, micro-USB and others USB external drives and flash drives that I have to use with older machines (iMac 2015)
    - I am not hooking up to external monitor on regular basis (I have iMac for heavy lifting)

    To get me through I need 2 cables and 1 dongle for whopping total of approx. 66 EUR. Cables where 6 EUR and 5 EUR, apple dongle was the most expensive (55 EUR but I wanted full compatibility).

    1. USB-A to USB-C (15 cm) - to hook up any USB device
    2. micro-USB to USB-C (50 cm) - to hook up external drives directly (I have plenty and must use them with old machines too)
    3. USB-C dongle with VGA, USB-C and A - I need only VGA port to connect to projectors)

    THAT'S IT: three elements of this "complicated" puzzle (difficult maybe for internet reviewers likely to exaggerate to catch attention)
    I'm carrying with me only apple dongle - combo of legacy USB-A and VGA. If you happen to hook up to external monitors with legacy ports you need to invest (instead of VGA dongle) to HDMI version or look for one adapter with HDMI and VGA. Market has literally exploded with different and clever solutions.

    Please share your real-life (not exaggerated) solutions here.

    Just one small request - PLEASE SHARE YOUR SOLUTIONS with other users -- not your negative comments on how Apple screwed up and so on. We heard it a lot already and it's boring.

    Attached Files:

  2. ManuCH macrumors 6502

    May 7, 2009
    I currently have a Juiced System BizHub USB-C Hub connected to my 15" MBP:

    Screen Shot 2016-11-30 at 07.54.50.png

    It basically suits all my needs (Gigabit Ethernet, SD card reader, legacy USB-A for old devices). Additionally, I connect power to a separate port, because power delivery/passthrough on this little hub doesn't reach the 80W needed for the 15" MBP.

    As soon as it's available, I'll order an LG Ultrafine 5K display. The USB-C hub will then be connected to said display, so I will only have 1 cable left connecting the MBP to the outside world.

    When I need to do something with my iPhone that can't be done wirelessly (for example a local encrypted backup) I use a USB-C to lightning cable. Also, my external drives I use for backups have now received a Belkin USB-C to Micro B cable.

    All in all, everything is done with the little hub, and I have no dongles whatsoever. I have replaced cables where applicable, problem solved, and I'm happy about how this all works.

    Edit: I will order a Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Dock as soon as it's available to replace the USB-C hub for when I'm at my desk.
  3. filmak macrumors 65816

    Jun 21, 2012
    between earth and heaven
    How are you connecting your thunderbolt devices?
  4. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    I typically travel with my rMB, iPad Pro, iPhone 7, and AW0.

    While there are times the dongles feel a bit awkward, the reality is that I'm carrying less than ever.

    I carry:

    - The rMB power brick and charging cable
    - The Apple Digital AV adapter
    - The Apple usb-c to usb-a cable
    - Lighting to usb-a cable
    - AW to usb-a cable
    - Lighting to 3.5mm headphone adapter

    I can charge all of my devices with the above setup, including two at a time through the Digital AV adapter. Sometimes I'd like to be able to hook up two usb-a cables, but it's not a deal breaker and I'm waiting for a really good hub to be released before buying anything else. Everything seems to have some compromise at the moment.

    The biggest hassle, honestly, has been the lack of a headphone jack on the iPhone 7. I always have the adapter connected to my main pair of travel headphones, but twice just this week it's been an issue. Once I was driving my wife's car and the USB connection for the phone wasn't working reliably, and I couldn't use the backup 3.5mm cable we have because my adapter was in my bag in the back. Last night at a hotel I wanted to fall asleep with headphones on, but I also wanted to leave my phone charging so I could start the next day with a full battery. Not life altering, but a genuine annoyance.
  5. newdeal macrumors 68020

    Oct 21, 2009
    I would bet the number of people who own thunderbolt devices is about a thousandth of a percent of buyers
  6. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I think the problem with USB-C, has been grossly overstated and for most people, its not a major hassle. Many of us bring along a fistful of cables and/or peripherals anyways. What's one or two more at that point.
  7. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    I'm still waiting for someone to develop a charging brick with hub capabilities built in. I don't know if this is possible, but it would be a lot more convenient to have everything built into one unit, and plug all your cables in there. That's one annoyance with any of these usb-c hubs at the moment is having to have them sticking right off the side of the laptop. I'd rather that mess be over at the charger.
  8. cambookpro macrumors 603


    Feb 3, 2010
    United Kingdom
    I have two: an Apple Thunderbolt 2 to Thunderbolt 3 to connect to my display, and an Anker hub with two USB-A, Ethernet and passthrough charging. It's really not too bad.

    Having said that, I'd really like a hub with extra USB-C ports and an SD card reader, too. Something like 2x USB-A, 2x USB-C, Ethernet and SD card would be perfect for me, but I haven't really found anything yet.
  9. Fzang macrumors 65816


    Jun 15, 2013
    When I buy the new MBP I'm going to need one of the tiny USB A-C adapters to stick on my flash drive, and a USB-C to VGA to replace my DisplayPort to VGA. Maybe another USB A-C to put on my ethernet adapter, if I splurge.

    So that's what... $20? And a dongle net increase of 0. Maybe I'll even start carry a pen less in my bag to make up for the increased weight of the USB A-C adapter.

    Can you believe it? I already had TWO dongles to my rMBP that supposedly has each and every port I'd ever require.
  10. Karnicopia macrumors 6502

    Mar 27, 2015
    For me I replaced my camera's mini USB B to USB A with a mini USB B to USB C cable from mono price for $6 and it works great. I picked up the apple $9 USB A to usb C adapter when I bought the computer just to hold me over. For general purpose I picked up a HooToo adapter that has 3 USB 3 ports, SD and HDMI. It also has a USBC in that could be used to power the adapter and I guess charge the laptop. That was about $70 but pretty much has everything I'd need.
  11. lobo1978 thread starter macrumors 6502


    Sep 22, 2011
    I have only one - Lacie rugged external drive which has both regular micro-USB port and thunderbolt... I did not foresee format change - just cannot close out with thunderbolt only (have to connect easily to older machines too). Speed is comparable - with USB connection slightly faster than thunderbolt cable (close to 500 mb/s with S Evo 840)
  12. henrikbjorn macrumors newbie


    Jul 13, 2015
    This is what i will need:

    For home

    - Lightning to USB-C

    For work

    - USB-A to USB-C cable for connecting U3415W usb ports
    - HDMI or DisplayPort cable to USB-C

    Not a single dongle and only a couple of new cables. People talk about projecting to a large screen. We use AirPlay, Google Hangout (Chrome Cast) or AirTame at the office and at home. So that is not a problem.

    I don't understand why people would need Gigabit Ethernet connected to their laptop. All my stuff at home goes over WiFi (xbox, 2 * 4k tvs, playstation, iphone, macbook) and i have no problems with speed etc. Same at work.
  13. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    If you think about the current multi-port adapters: You plug your charging brick into the adapter, all your peripherals into it and then plug it into the computer. There's no reason at all that I can think of why the power brick and multi-port adapter couldn't be combined into a single item and then connect that to your computer.

    I guess the reason people haven't done it is a lot of users like to have their power brick out of the way. I really don't understand why all these adapters have such pathetically short cables on them, though!
  14. danniexi macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2012
    Satechi Multiport USB-C Adapter which includes USB-A, HDMI, Ethernet, SD, and USB-C port (power passthrough).
  15. filmak macrumors 65816

    Jun 21, 2012
    between earth and heaven
    Thank you very much... :)
    Happy that everything works out for you nicely...

    Of course, but anyway lobo1978 mentioned that
    and this was the only reason for asking about.:)

  16. thesaint024 macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2016
    suspension waiting room
    This is rather easy for me...
    Desktop: Kensington SD4600P usb-c dock.
    Kensington SD4600P.jpg
    SINGLE cable connection to my MBP. Connected, I have power delivery, DisplayPort Dell ultrawide monitor, ethernet, usb hub that has SD card reader, headset, mouse, keyboard, backup SDD. If you didn't hear me mention, connected to my Mac with ONE cable!

    Mobile: one, one-inch usb-c to usb-a adapter for just in case, even though I have no immediate use for it. Yes, I will lose it some day. These are so cheap, I already have a couple backups.
    USB C Rankie.jpg
    Yes, I literally carry only this, maybe my power adapter too.

    This is not "dongle life", this is straight up THE life! And I'm not carrying the stupid ports I never use thanks to the MBP redesign. This is not apologist talk, this is Apple actually made an MBP that is ideal for me. It's a MOBILE computer, not a mobile 4k video editor or a professional photographer setup. Can't they do that stuff on a desk with a single cable? Eventually, I can stop carrying around that one inch adapter too. Technology has almost completely caught up to this for me. Would have been nice to have one usb-a in the MBP so that I didn't have to carry the single one inch adapter, but small price to pay for the setup above. I'm sure some people still carry around CD's and DVD's too. Frankly, that's their problem, not mine. I think most people use these to do work, not keep connecting sh*t to it and constantly transferring files, warranting a 24/7 port to be always connected.
  17. Marshall73 macrumors 65816


    Apr 20, 2015
  18. lobo1978 thread starter macrumors 6502


    Sep 22, 2011
  19. Marshall73 macrumors 65816


    Apr 20, 2015
    Do you mean side by side on the 15"? Then yup.
  20. thesaint024 macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2016
    suspension waiting room
    That was the link to the usb-c to usb-micro btw. But regardless, there are a few companies that make usb-c to usb-a adapters. I've bought both Aukey and Rankie. The price is up to $8/pair, went up $1 since I bought I believe. If/when you need to attach a usb-a flashdrive, HDD, mouse, this is such a simple non-bulky solution. Also I found that both of these will fit side by side, BUT it doesn't look like a perfect fit. Don't want to do it too often as it looks a little stressed. 2 points for Touchbar model and it's 4 ports!
  21. Marshall73 macrumors 65816


    Apr 20, 2015

    Oops. Copied wrong one.
  22. MarcBou macrumors regular

    Oct 11, 2016

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