Apple's new 12" MacBook uses iPad-style power brick, brings new USB-C breakout accessories

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited March 2015
Alongside its all-new, ultra-slim MacBook, Apple on Monday also revealed some additional accessories including a redesigned power adapter that takes its cue from the iPad and a set of breakout adapters for the device's lone USB-C port.




The 12-inch MacBook uses a 29-watt power adapter, nearly half the size of the 45-watt unit used on the 11-inch MacBook Air. The MacBook also eschews the one-piece design Apple has traditionally used for its power adapters, instead offering the brick itself and USB-C cable separately.


This means that consumers will no longer need to replace the entire $49 power adapter if they have issues with the cable, like frayed connectors or unfortunate animal-related incidents. Instead, they can simply pick up another $29 USB-C cable.

Using USB-C also provides opportunities for reducing the number of cables running into the MacBook at any given time. The new USB connector allows for simultaneous connection of power and data.

Taking advantage of this capability, Apple provides a $79 HDMI adapter that allows for the connection of external HDMI-capable monitors, traditional USB devices, and power through the single port. A similar adapter adds VGA capability, while a $19 unit converts USB-C to traditional USB.

The unfortunate downside is the disappearance of the well-liked MagSafe connector, which is designed to break way harmlessly if yanked. It remains to be seen how far up the MacBook lineup USB type C will proliferate.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 113
    so how do you connect an Apple display to this new notebook?
  • Reply 2 of 113
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,584member
    IMO, they should have left the power cable separate and Mag-safe and/or there should have been two USB-C connectors.
  • Reply 3 of 113
    ds92jzds92jz Posts: 90member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post



    IMO, they should have left the power cable separate and Mag-safe and/or there should have been two USB-C connectors.

    I agree

  • Reply 4 of 113
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member

    One port. Long live the dongle!

  • Reply 6 of 113

    There really isn't space for two connectors. Ultimately, this is the future of notebooks, like it or not.

     

    I really have never wanted more than one USB port for my laptop, and it's rare I use a flash drive these days, apart from OS installs (which aren't an issue on newer Macs).

     

    I'm glad they made 8GB RAM standard.

  • Reply 7 of 113
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post



    IMO, they should have left the power cable separate and Mag-safe and/or there should have been two USB-C connectors.



    Nope. One port is great. This is the perfect laptop to plug into an Apple Display with one wire and turn it into a full blown desktop. I applaud this.

     

    What would be nice is the option of at least one USB legacy connector, for when you're out and about and you've forgotten your dongle. That's really my only complaint here. In a world where everybody uses only the latest Apple products, wireless works great, but the reality is flash drives are passed around like candy at halloween, and there are many things folks still regularly plug into their MacBooks, the least of which is an iPhone for a quick charge when there's nothing else around.  

  • Reply 8 of 113
  • Reply 9 of 113
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Mac_128 View Post

     



    Nope. One port is great. This is the perfect laptop to plug into an Apple Display with one wire and turn it into a full blown desktop. I applaud this.

     

    What would be nice is the option of at least one USB legacy connector, for when you're out and about and you've forgotten your dongle. That's really my only complaint here. In a world where everybody uses only the latest Apple products, wireless works great, but the reality is flash drives are passed around like candy at halloween, and there are many things folks still regularly plug into their MacBooks, the least of which is an iPhone for a quick charge when there's nothing else around.  




    I can't find an adapter or dongle that will let me connect to my Apple Displays

  • Reply 10 of 113
    roakeroake Posts: 762member

    So the cost of this MacBook is actually $79 more.

     

    This is the first move that I have seen Apple make that I that was effing SLIMY since I moved back into their ecosystem in 2007.

     

    WTF, Apple?

  • Reply 11 of 113
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Roake View Post

     

    So the cost of this MacBook is actually $79 more.

     

    This is the first move that I have seen Apple make that I that was effing SLIMY since I moved back into their ecosystem in 2007.

     

    WTF, Apple?




    What? Why is it $79 more? None of those adapters are necessary for operation. You realize that Apple probably did studies and found that people hardly use their ports, right?

  • Reply 12 of 113
    Looks like Intel managed to keep Mac OS X on x86 for another generation. I imagine this slim, ultra-low power computer as the kind of thing Apple wanted to design around the 64-bit A9 CPU.
  • Reply 13 of 113
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,584member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mac_128 View Post

     



    Nope. One port is great. This is the perfect laptop to plug into an Apple Display with one wire and turn it into a full blown desktop. I applaud this.

     

    What would be nice is the option of at least one USB legacy connector, for when you're out and about and you've forgotten your dongle. That's really my only complaint here. In a world where everybody uses only the latest Apple products, wireless works great, but the reality is flash drives are passed around like candy at halloween, and there are many things folks still regularly plug into their MacBooks, the least of which is an iPhone for a quick charge when there's nothing else around.  




    I agree that if you plug it into an Apple display, which has its own set of ports, additional ports on the machine aren't needed.   But I don't know why anyone would buy the smallest, lightest laptop to primarily use it with an Apple Display.    So I still maintain that two ports on the machine would have been better.

     

    I completely agree with you about the USB connector, but I assumed there will be some USB to USB-C adapter or someone will soon quickly release some USB-C flash drives (although I'm sure they'll be quite pricy at first).    I'm a consultant and I keep all my files on Flash drives.   It's not efficient (and in some cases not even possible) for me to upload files to iCloud from client sites.   I need to be able to move files around on Flash drives.   

     

    But if they had one USB-C and one USB, I'd be happy.   Although I still think the USB-C should have been separate.   Especially over time as the battery no longer holds a full charge, you'd want to keep the power supply plugged in and also have a port available for something else, whether it's a Flash drive, backing up your iPhone or to attach to non-Bluetooth external speakers.   I'm all in favor of moving ahead with better technology, like USB-C, but just because I'm (possibly) buying a new Mac laptop, doesn't mean I also want to replace every single external accessory that I own.   

     

    Also, Apple has spent the last several years telling us how great the Mag Safe connector was.   So what's changed that we no longer need it?  Is it that because of long battery life, they don't think people will keep it plugged in?  

     

    Other than all that and although the processor speed is far from groundbreaking, I think this machine is going to do extremely well.   It has a lot of new technology that raises the bar and once again pushes Apple ahead of Microsoft, Samsung, etc.   I can only imagine the groans at those companies when they realize they have to find a way to copy and implement Apple's new technologies like Force Touch and the new layered batteries.    I was at a computer store yesterday and I wanted to see if Microsoft made any improvements in the latest models of the Surface.  While they're far better than earlier models, I was shocked at how poor the keyboard still was, how aspects of the UI are still really terrible and at how expensive they are.  The Surface Pro 3 was $1500 without the keyboard.   This new Mac is going to kill it.   I bet Microsoft lowers the price to around $1200-$1300 and throws in the keyboard as a result.  

  • Reply 14 of 113
    fuzzypawsfuzzypaws Posts: 111member

    Why couldn't they make the USB-C connector magsafe, or at least put one on each side instead of just one on the left side?

  • Reply 15 of 113
    I wonder if they're waiting to show a new display that will connect to this one connector and supply power and extra ports on its rear.
  • Reply 16 of 113
    gregnacugregnacu Posts: 29member

    I don't think it's slimy to charge 79$ for the HDMI or VGA plus power and old-school USB dongles.  I would need one of those dongles, so I would factor the extra price in.  But would everyone? This makes the MacBook more like an iPad.  It has just one port, the port you use to power it.  And it comes with a charger.  Just like an iPad.

     

    It might not be ideal for nerds, but it's like an iPad with a keyboard and a more advanced OS.

  • Reply 17 of 113
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Fuzzypaws View Post

     

    Why couldn't they make the USB-C connector magsafe, or at least put one on each side instead of just one on the left side?


     

    I think they assumed people wanted the 3.5mm jack more than a second USB port.

  • Reply 18 of 113
    zroger73zroger73 Posts: 778member

    MagSafe was an amazing, if under-appreciated, feature. I'm a careful person and still it saved me several times from ruining a power cord or crashing an expensive computer onto a hard tile floor. I feel as if the loss of MagSafe is a significant step backwards.

  • Reply 19 of 113
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by zroger73 View Post

     

    MagSafe was an amazing, if under-appreciated, feature. I'm a careful person and still it saved me several times from ruining a power cord or crashing an expensive computer onto a hard tile floor. I feel as if the loss of MagSafe is a significant step backwards.




    We don't know how easily the new USB connector will pop out. It'll clearly be better than the older PowerBook connectors.

  • Reply 20 of 113
    zroger73zroger73 Posts: 778member

    MagSafe was an amazing 

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post

     



    We don't know how easily the new USB connector will pop out. It'll clearly be better than the older PowerBook connectors.


    True, but if it fits as "snugly" as the Lightning cables and connectors do on my iPhone 6 and iPad mini 2, then I stand by my opinion. The MagSafe will release if pulled at any angle. Like the Lightning connector, a USB-C connector will only release when pulled (mostly) "straight" out. If you pull on it at an angle, there is a significant chance of damage to the port and/or cable.

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