Would you ever buy a one port Macbook with a tiny-travel keyboard??

Future-Proof

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Apr 29, 2018
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I don't see why I would ever buy a one port Macbook with a keyboard that clicks in a tiny amount (travel)

Use case : usb mouse, external hard drive AND charging at the same time.

I'm a minimalist. WHY would I ever even consider a desk CLUTTERED with dongles. Could I even charge the computer and use the above mentioned peripherals at the same time?

Why would I ever want to use a keyboard that doesn't even click properly? And I hate old school keyboards that travelled too much but this is too little, surely.

Am I the only one that thinks this computer is a bad design?
 
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MacDawg

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Probably not the ONLY one who thinks that, but likely there are plenty of others who appreciate the design
Clearly this choice is not for you, but there are other laptops that would be able to meet your needs and make you a happy camper
There is no "one size fits all" when it comes to tech devices, and choice is a good thing when looking for something that fits your work flow
 

newellj

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Oct 15, 2014
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I will NEVER buy a one port Macbook with a TERRIBLE keyboard.

Use case : usb mouse, external hard drive AND charging at the same time.

I'm a minimalist. WHY would I ever even consider a desk CLUTTERED with dongles. Could I even charge the computer and use the above mentioned peripherals at the same time?

Why would I ever want to use a keyboard that doesn't even click properly? And I hate old school keyboards that travelled too much but this is just ridiculous, not to mention how prone they are to stop working.

Am I the only one that thinks this computer is a TOTAL bad design?
No, but that doesn't mean you're right, even for your own use case, much less for anyone else's.

First, can you really say you're a minimalist if you're still using a USB mouse? I'd say that's a complete oxymoron.

More generally, it's not clear that littering the desktop with external hardware is better than using a simple dock. I just bought a 2017 rMB (my third, read on) and the single port is something you have to work with. I bought a $49 Satechi USB hub that's very compact and gives me HDMI video, 2x USB-A, and USB-C pass-through charging. It isn't burdensome and it wasn't expensive. Actually, what I really miss is MagSafe charging, but that's gone all across the Apple platform.

Keyboard. Well, yeah, that could be an issue for use. The originals (I owned two) were horrible, actually unusable. I've had this 2017 rMB for a week and have done a lot of typing on it. It isn't as nice as the keyboard on my 2015 rMBP but it's actually quite usable. Unlike the first gen keyboards, it's basically as fast, accurate and comfortable as any Apple laptop keyboard, at least in my opinion. YMMV but the improvement is significant. On a scale of 100, where 100 equals the 2015 and earlier MBP keyboard, the 2015/2016 rMB keyboard was a zero or lower. The 2017 version is probably 55-65, definitely usable for real typing, IMO.

Keyboard durability? I know the MacBook Pro forum is littered with reports of keyboard failures, and I agree, I wouldn't buy one today. But if you go back through the threads in this forum that doesn't seem to be anything like the sort of issue that it is with the Pro keyboards.

I was traveling on Friday and took the rMB. If you figure you want a little accessory bag for the charger and cable, the little hub is no extra weight or volume. The rMB weighs about half what my 13" 2015 rMBP weighs. It was really easy to travel with the MacBook. The display is great. The 2017 has a lot more speed and still runs cooler than the 2015s I had. They keyboard has not been an issue. Comparing it to a 10.5" iPad Pro, it's only slightly bigger and slightly heavier, and I can use Mac OS. And because I bought the MacBook for $950 during BB's flash sale, the MacBook is actually cheaper than an equivalent iPad Pro setup.

So, no, it's not a total bad design. Maybe for you, maybe for a lot of others, but for a lot of users it will work very well.
 

Future-Proof

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 29, 2018
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No, but that doesn't mean you're right, even for your own use case, much less for anyone else's.

First, can you really say you're a minimalist if you're still using a USB mouse? I'd say that's a complete oxymoron.

More generally, it's not clear that littering the desktop with external hardware is better than using a simple dock. I just bought a 2017 rMB (my third, read on) and the single port is something you have to work with. I bought a $49 Satechi USB hub that's very compact and gives me HDMI video, 2x USB-A, and USB-C pass-through charging. It isn't burdensome and it wasn't expensive. Actually, what I really miss is MagSafe charging, but that's gone all across the Apple platform.

Keyboard. Well, yeah, that could be an issue for use. The originals (I owned two) were horrible, actually unusable. I've had this 2017 rMB for a week and have done a lot of typing on it. It isn't as nice as the keyboard on my 2015 rMBP but it's actually quite usable. Unlike the first gen keyboards, it's basically as fast, accurate and comfortable as any Apple laptop keyboard, at least in my opinion. YMMV but the improvement is significant. On a scale of 100, where 100 equals the 2015 and earlier MBP keyboard, the 2015/2016 rMB keyboard was a zero or lower. The 2017 version is probably 55-65, definitely usable for real typing, IMO.

Keyboard durability? I know the MacBook Pro forum is littered with reports of keyboard failures, and I agree, I wouldn't buy one today. But if you go back through the threads in this forum that doesn't seem to be anything like the sort of issue that it is with the Pro keyboards.

I was traveling on Friday and took the rMB. If you figure you want a little accessory bag for the charger and cable, the little hub is no extra weight or volume. The rMB weighs about half what my 13" 2015 rMBP weighs. It was really easy to travel with the MacBook. The display is great. The 2017 has a lot more speed and still runs cooler than the 2015s I had. They keyboard has not been an issue. Comparing it to a 10.5" iPad Pro, it's only slightly bigger and slightly heavier, and I can use Mac OS. And because I bought the MacBook for $950 during BB's flash sale, the MacBook is actually cheaper than an equivalent iPad Pro setup.

So, no, it's not a total bad design. Maybe for you, maybe for a lot of others, but for a lot of users it will work very well.
Fair points. Thanks!
[doublepost=1525608518][/doublepost]
Probably not the ONLY one who thinks that, but likely there are plenty of others who appreciate the design
Clearly this choice is not for you, but there are other laptops that would be able to meet your needs and make you a happy camper
There is no "one size fits all" when it comes to tech devices, and choice is a good thing when looking for something that fits your work flow
The thing is I love the OS. Just not sure which actual mac computer I would be happy with because of these ports and I was mistaken - it's the macbook pro lineup that has failing keyboards right? But do they have more travel? What would you recommend? Wait until they come out with a version that fixes the falling keyboards? Or maybe a macbook air with legacy ports?
 

newellj

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Oct 15, 2014
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Fair points. Thanks!
Honestly, I think the 12" rMB is a hard one.

With passive cooling, NO configuration is ever really going to be even remotely a power-user machine.

On the other hand, it probably doesn't 99% of what 99% of users want to do, and it does that very nicely.

USB-C is a pain in the ass ;) but not a big one - it's easy and pretty cheap to work around it today.

Not having MagSafe is in my opinion a disaster waiting to happen but that battle has been lost across the whole platform.

They keyboard is actually usable for extended typing now, which wasn't true two years ago, and as far as I can tell it doesn't have the count-to-ten-and-it's-broken failure rate of the MacBook Pro machines. (knock on wood)

To me, the MB *is* a minimalist's machine. It's approximately the size, thickness and weight of an old single razor blade. You can travel with just your phone, maybe a small hub so you can charge your phone from the MacBook, and the charging block (which is a lot smaller than the 13" and up MBPs use - almost iPad-sized), and you're done. Ditch the local external drive and use DropBox or another cloud service.

I think it's sort of a niche machine but it might actually fit your niche, even though it's hard to believe. Try one for 13 days and see what you think?
[doublepost=1525614631][/doublepost]
No, you are not.
This is true - this is why I think it's a niche machine, more than any other Apple laptop since the 11" MBA, which had ports (+), a wonderful keyboard (+) but the worst display that Apple had put in a laptop for years, and a crappy display ratio into the bargain (-----). I tried to own one of those, twice, and just couldn't deal with the display. :(
 

smirking

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I tried to own one of those, twice, and just couldn't deal with the display.
And yet the MBA is a lot of people's idea of the perfect laptop on here. I've felt tempted by its selling points myself before, but I knew it'd never work for me. It wasn't made for me... or you I suppose.

Not having MagSafe is in my opinion a disaster waiting to happen but that battle has been lost across the whole platform.
I don't know if it's by design or by accident, but USB-C is a loose enough of a connection that any force placed on the USB-C cable unplugs it on my 2016 MBP.

I thought I'd miss Magsafe terribly, but there's only been one use case in which I miss it. I only miss Magsafe for comfort reasons because I like to use my laptop while sitting cross legged on the floor. You can't sit cross legged with a spike sticking out of the side of your laptop so I need to either use a lapdesk or sit straight legged (for as long as my back permits).
 
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newellj

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And yet the MBA is a lot of people's idea of the perfect laptop on here. I've felt tempted by its selling points myself before, but I knew it'd never work for me. It wasn't made for me... or you I suppose.



I don't know if it's by design or by accident, but USB-C is a loose enough of a connection that any force placed on the USB-C cable unplugs it on my 2016 MBP.

I thought I'd miss Magsafe terribly, but there's only been one use case in which I miss it. I only miss Magsafe for comfort reasons because I like to use my laptop while sitting cross legged on the floor. You can't sit cross legged with a spike sticking out of the side of your laptop so I need to either use a lapdesk or sit straight legged (for as long as my back permits).
MBA - yes, but not the 11". The 13" has a huge and almost cult-like following. The 11", not so much?

The two 2015 rMBs I had I remember being quite secure. The USB-C connector on this 2017 is very tight, needing quite a firm grasp on the connector and computer to unplug.

I used to dismiss the safety of MagSafe but I have had a couple of incidents that might have sent the computer onto the floor...things happen. The spike point is true, too, in places like an airplane seat.
 
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BeatCrazy

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I will NEVER buy a one port Macbook with a TERRIBLE keyboard.

Use case : usb mouse, external hard drive AND charging at the same time.

I'm a minimalist. WHY would I ever even consider a desk CLUTTERED with dongles. Could I even charge the computer and use the above mentioned peripherals at the same time?

Why would I ever want to use a keyboard that doesn't even click properly? And I hate old school keyboards that travelled too much but this is just ridiculous, not to mention how prone they are to stop working.

Am I the only one that thinks this computer is a TOTAL bad design?
Sounds like you need a MacBook Air.

I'm on my 3rd retina MacBook, I think it's brilliant - and the ultimate expression of "minimalism".
 

gertruded

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MBA - yes, but not the 11". The 13" has a huge and almost cult-like following. The 11", not so much?

The two 2015 rMBs I had I remember being quite secure. The USB-C connector on this 2017 is very tight, needing quite a firm grasp on the connector and computer to unplug.

I used to dismiss the safety of MagSafe but I have had a couple of incidents that might have sent the computer onto the floor...things happen. The spike point is true, too, in places like an airplane seat.

Yes, the Macbook 13" air is the best laptop apple has ever made. Newer is not always better, especially for Apple laptops. Thinner is not always better. And new Airs are on sale now for a very low price, as low as $700 on sale.
 
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BODYBUILDERPAUL

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Sorry I can't agree. Mac user since 1995 and for me, the MacBook 12' is THE BEST Mac of all time. I love it. It's the ONLY computer that I use and I run my own marketing business 24/7 from it. As a digital nomad, it's PERFECT for me. One port - no problem - the only things that I connect to it are 1. The power lead to charge 2. My iPhone lead if i'm syncing my iPhone 3. My LaCie hard drive for a once a week TimeMachine back up :)

No problems with the keyboard 2015 model and then 2017 model. I'm a clean cut person who always has clean hands when I type and i'd never eat food over it!!!!!!!!!!!!

Maybe IF you had one, you'd love it! It's often easy to find fault with something that you haven't owned but when you do, you truly love it :)
 

Future-Proof

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Apr 29, 2018
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Yeah I'll change the title. I appreciate all your input - Bodybuilderpaul - can you type for a long time without fatigue on such little travel?

I still think 1 port is too few but the MBPs have 2 at least. Hope they update the air even if renamed (and the mini!)

However I see a pattern here: Macbooks have 1 port, mbps 2, imacs 2 (usb c) and imac pros 4 usbc ports. That's just silly. Giving ppl more ports for more money. No. Stop it.
 
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BeatCrazy

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However I see a pattern here: Macbooks have 1 port, mbps 2, imacs 2 (usb c) and imac pros 4 usbc ports. That's just silly. Giving ppl more ports for more money. No. Stop it.
VGA, too? Besides charging, is there really anything else that absolutely needs a port? Occasionally I’ll use a USB thumb drive, but that’s maybe once a week. It’s just as easy to drop a file into iCloud Drive/Box, etc., and grab it from there.

If you’re really sitting at your desk most of the time needing USB drives, external monitors, LAN, etc, just get a USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 dock and use one cable to power and supply connectivity to all those devices. Nothing is less minimalist than having 3 separate cords coming out of both sides of a laptop.
 
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smirking

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I still think 1 port is too few but the MBPs have 2 at least. Hope they update the air even if renamed (and the mini!)

However I see a pattern here: Macbooks have 1 port, mbps 2, imacs 2 (usb c) and imac pros 4 usbc ports. That's just silly. Giving ppl more ports for more money. No. Stop it.
I don't think they have secret society meetings where they decide that they're only going to put one port on a MacBook because they declare that's all a lowly MacBook user should ever need nor do I think they do it as an explicit strategy to sell more 13" MacBook Pros.

I imagine it's more likely that they had to make a series of design/cost tradeoffs because when you're dealing with real manufacturing, you can't just add onto a machine without incurring consequences. And sometimes those consequences could very well be with the supply chain. Supplies for USB-C components have been in tight supply because so many manufacturers have jumped aboard the USB-C device bandwagon (including mobile device makers).

Would you still add two ports to an entry level machine if your market research tells you that for most of the users the extra port would be a waste and doing so could result in cost issues, design issues, or mean that components you need for your top line MacBook Pro devices could be in tighter supply?

Everything looks easy from this side of things. You can always have 4 ports, MagSafe, all day battery life, brighter screens, and 64GB of RAM without any consequences.
 
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maerz001

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Yeah I'll change the title. I appreciate all your input - Bodybuilderpaul - can you type for a long time without fatigue on such little travel?

I still think 1 port is too few but the MBPs have 2 at least. Hope they update the air even if renamed (and the mini!)

However I see a pattern here: Macbooks have 1 port, mbps 2, imacs 2 (usb c) and imac pros 4 usbc ports. That's just silly. Giving ppl more ports for more money. No. Stop it.
I type faster and no fatigue. Like it much more.
Yes 2 ports would have been better
 

BeatCrazy

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I don't think they have secret society meetings where they decide that they're only going to put one port on a MacBook because they declare that's all a lowly MacBook user should ever need nor do I think they do it as an explicit strategy to sell more 13" MacBook Pros.

I imagine it's more likely that they had to make a series of design/cost tradeoffs because when you're dealing with real manufacturing, you can't just add onto a machine without incurring consequences. And sometimes those consequences could very well be with the supply chain. Supplies for USB-C components have been in tight supply because so many manufacturers have jumped aboard the USB-C device bandwagon (including mobile device makers).

Would you still add two ports to an entry level machine if your market research tells you that for most of the users the extra port would be a waste and doing so could result in cost issues, design issues, or mean that components you need for your top line MacBook Pro devices could be in tighter supply?

Everything looks easy from this side of things. You can always have 4 ports, MagSafe, all day battery life, brighter screens, and 64GB of RAM without any consequences.
MODS, please sticky this post!
 
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Future-Proof

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You claim to be a minimalist yet you complain about a one port design? What am I missing here?
Because with my current windows laptop is minimalist : I plug my usb mouse in, my external hard drive and my charger all at the same time with room to spare for sd card and hdmi all without needing dongles. So my desk isn't cluttered. I'm not saying I don't understand Apple wanting to be ahead of the curve and future proof.
 
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smirking

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I plug my usb mouse in, my external hard drive and my charger all at the same time with room to spare for sd card and hdmi all without needing dongles.
Get a dock for all that and you can be minimalist whether you're at your workstation or you're trying to pound out a document on short notice on a park bench somewhere. I love the USB-C life. I'm not a fan of dongles either. I have dongles and adapters galore, but they're all coming off of my LG 5K Ultrafine and I rarely touch them.

It lets me be minimalist and the exact opposite at the same time. I only need one cable to link up my laptop to an absolutely stupid number of external peripherals:

1 or 2 USB Mice
1 3-switch footpedal
1 Ethernet line
1 USB Keyboard
1 USB Keypad
1 SD Card Reader
1 USB3 External HD
1 DAC/Headphone Amp

I used to have to disconnect 4 cables everytime I wanted to take my laptop somewhere. Now I only deal with one.

Just get a hub and you'll get the best of both worlds. Yeah, I know it's more money and I can't fault you for not being happy about that.
 

Future-Proof

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Apr 29, 2018
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Get a dock for all that and you can be minimalist whether you're at your workstation or you're trying to pound out a document on short notice on a park bench somewhere. I love the USB-C life. I'm not a fan of dongles either, and I have dongles and adapters galore, but they're all coming off of my LG 5K Ultrafine and I rarely touch them.

It lets me be minimalist and the exact opposite at the same time. I only need one cable to link up my laptop to an absolutely stupid number of external peripherals:

1 or 2 USB Mice
1 3-switch footpedal
1 Ethernet line
1 USB Keyboard
1 USB Keypad
1 SD Card Reader
1 USB3 External HD
1 DAC/Headphone Amp

I used to have to disconnect 4 cables everytime I wanted to take my laptop somewhere. Now I only deal with one.

Just get a hub and you'll get the best of both worlds. Yeah, I know it's more money and I can't fault you for not being happy about that.
Cool. Can you recommend a good hub?
 
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smirking

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Cool. Can you recommend a good hub?
What do you need in a hub? I don't know if I'd be the best person to recommend one. Mine is a frankenhub... it's an external monitor with adapters and dongles hanging off of the back. I'd like to upgrade to a proper hub sometime, but I didn't want to spend early adopter money. I'm waiting for the prices to come down first.

If you don't need external monitor support, your hub options should be pretty wide open and not crazy expensive. It's only when you need to do something exotic like power multiple 5K's that shopping for a hub becomes dicey because of the power and bandwidth requirements to do so.
 

bluecoast

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For work, probably not. You'd need to plug a monitor into it and charge it - and already you're in trouble.

For personal use, absolutely. For regular emailing, browsing etc. you'd likely just need to plug it into power. Maybe you'd want to use a USB 3.0 drive occasionally to back things up, but in the age of cloud storage, these scenarios are getting less and less.

The keyboard thing is a tricky one as keyboards can be so personal. Leaving aside the reports of the new MB keyboard design issues, I think it's down to personal preference. Again, likely this is fine for personal use since you most likely wouldn't be writing massive documents.

Probably the ultimate solution to all of this, is for the iPad and iPad Pro to become laptop replacements so that you simply BYO keyboard (and mouse). But we're not there yet (indeed if we're ever going to get there).
 

maerz001

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Because with my current windows laptop is minimalist : I plug my usb mouse in, my external hard drive and my charger all at the same time with room to spare for sd card and hdmi all without needing dongles. So my desk isn't cluttered. I'm not saying I don't understand Apple wanting to be ahead of the curve and future proof.
That's all u need for a hub: 3xUSBa, SD, HDMI and Charging for $29

https://www.amazon.com/HooToo-Adapter-Charging-MacBook-Chromebook/dp/B019R9ILTG

and IMHO with a MB you won't need a mouse cos the touchpad just works better
 
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