Examined: Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.1 gen 2 on the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

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Comments

  • Reply 41 of 61
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    I don't see what the problem is myself. I ordered a USB-C to USB-A adapter with my MacBook Pro but I've just been looking at replacement cables for the 3 things that I actually connect to my Mac. I can easily just buy a printer cable, external hard drive cable and perhaps a Lightning cable that all have USB-C connectivity, therefore eliminating the need to use adapters. I'll still keep the adapter that I've purchased as a just in case backup, but replacing your existing cables is far easier than shelling out on a bunch of adapters and will look much neater (if you're a bit OCD about such things like me!).
    There is no problem but the one that people create in their mind.    What Apple is delivering with the new hardware are highly flexible ports that actually eliminate a bunch of cabling requirements.    Long term this is a huge win for users for a little bit of pain.   In the end though it is a far less painful transition than we saw when older port technologies where replaced.

    Beyond all of that the new TB3/USB-C ports are ideal docking solutions for laptops.   With one connection you have a high performance communications port and a charging solution all in one.   It is a huge win for mobile users.
    tmaywatto_cobra
  • Reply 42 of 61
    I look forward to an article about the "must have adaptors" for people buying these new MacBooks. For example, I hadn't realized that the (expensive) Thunderbolt 2 to Thunderbolt 3 adaptor would allow me to connect a new MacBook Pro with my current MacBook Pro in slave/master disk mode. I'll also need an HDMI solution, a charge-my-iPhone option, a compact "oh you want to plug your thumb drive into my MacBook option" and a new USBc memory card reader. I'd rather not spend $100+ on adaptors and have to carry a pouch of single-use cables, so elegant multi-purpose solutions are welcome.
    edited October 2016
  • Reply 43 of 61
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    benjer said:
    I understand the difficulty with buying adapters (and having them clutter your workspace), not to mention the cost. That alone will probably prevent me from buying a Mac with only USB-C/TB3 ports for a few years. I'm in the nonprofit world, and unless I really need the power that the new MacBook Pros provide, it would not be a good use of funds to buy a new MacBook Pro that also required extra money to get new adapters, peripherals, or both.

    i never understood the adapters-cost-money thing. if you feel you need the pro hardware and are spending thousands of dollars for a work machine, what's another adapter or two add to the cost? kinda moot at that point. 
    I don't think people really understand what they are getting with these new ports.   Effectively we are getting a new generation of hardware that in many ways is as big a transition as the jump from an Apple 2 to a Mac was.   What people seem to mis is that the ports are highly flexible meaning that in many cases "adapter" cables are rather cheap upgrades that simply tell the port what sort of device it is talking to.   This means that we DON"T have to buy a lot of new external hardware to get reliable operation.   This is a huge difference from the days of losing compatibility completely with much of your external hardware.

    So the rational way to look at this is that yes adapters do cost money, however this transition will not cost you the money it might have due to the fact that you will be using much of your original hardware into the future.   That is when it makes sense, the nice thing about USB-C/TB3 is that it is huge performance jump that sometimes compels hardware updates.   In the end we are getting a huge jump forward with only a minor need to change a few cables at a few bucks each.
    tmaywatto_cobra
  • Reply 44 of 61
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    benjer said:
    I understand the difficulty with buying adapters (and having them clutter your workspace), not to mention the cost. That alone will probably prevent me from buying a Mac with only USB-C/TB3 ports for a few years. I'm in the nonprofit world, and unless I really need the power that the new MacBook Pros provide, it would not be a good use of funds to buy a new MacBook Pro that also required extra money to get new adapters, peripherals, or both.

    However...

    If Apple is committed to the form factor of USB-C/TB3 (so that for at least 5 years, Macs will use that same form factor), I think it's a good move. I will miss the MagSafe plug, but I would like it if I had four ports that would all fit my flash drive (yep, still use one occasionally), power cord, external hard drive, external monitor etc. Of course, it's a pain when old peripherals require an adapter (such as the move to lightning port), but if Apple sticks with it, it really will make things easier in the years to come.

    If they abandon it after only a few years, however, then I'll be angry.
    Abandon it like they just did the the TB1 / TB2 / Mini display port?
    They haven't been abandoned, the protocols are incorporated into the new port standards.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 45 of 61
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    benjer said:
    benjer said:
    I understand the difficulty with buying adapters (and having them clutter your workspace), not to mention the cost. That alone will probably prevent me from buying a Mac with only USB-C/TB3 ports for a few years. I'm in the nonprofit world, and unless I really need the power that the new MacBook Pros provide, it would not be a good use of funds to buy a new MacBook Pro that also required extra money to get new adapters, peripherals, or both.

    i never understood the adapters-cost-money thing. if you feel you need the pro hardware and are spending thousands of dollars for a work machine, what's another adapter or two add to the cost? kinda moot at that point. 
    You missed the part where said I work in the nonprofit world. We do spend money on quality computers, but we try to make them last a really long time. In fact, long term, Macs are a better buy and save us money because they cost less to support and have to be replaced less often. The point was that I probably wouldn't buy a machine at this point that also required the additional cost of adapters to make it work the peripherals we currently have. Eventually the cost of USB-C/TB3 peripherals will go down (because there will be more demand), and it will then cost less to move to the new MacBook Pros with only USB-C and TB3 ports. 
    Honestly I think you are misguided here. The fact is that these ports will support past protocols/ports very well at the expense of relatively low cost replacement cables. What this means is that you get high performance ports going forward that allow you to work just fine with existing hardware. A few bucks for a USB-C to USB cable isn't a big deal considering you get to leverage existing hardware and can upgrade or replace that hardware at anytime when needed with higher performance machinery. Honestly I don't see what the big problem is here, if you need a new higher performance MBP these are good upgrades, if you don't need the new computers than the whole discussion is senseless.
    roundaboutnow
  • Reply 46 of 61
    This port configuration is EXACTLY what I was hoping for! I would have been disappointed if it had been different.

    Ever since the USB-C spec was announced I've been looking forward to using it. I hate having multiple versions of USB cables -- A, B, Micro-B -- so I'm exciting about the prospect of everything eventually moving to a single connector. Sure, it will take a little while, but Apple doing this will help accelerate adoption by others. You only have to look at history and the industrial design of other computers on the market to see Apple's influence. Besides, didn't we all complain how much we hated the USB A connector, circulating cartoons about having to flip it over twice to get the right side up? Say goodbye to that pain in the butt!

    Second, I like having a bit of future-proofing. Obviously this is the direction all peripherals will eventually go, both Thunderbolt and USB. Having dropped $6000 on this thing after AppleCare and taxes, I wanna know that I'm not gonna have to replace it in a year or two to work well with whatever peripherals are available at that time. I got six years out of my last MBP, the adoption of these connectors improves the chances of me having a similar experience with this one.

    Third, now my unused ports become usable. I would never use an HDMI port, but I'm sure excited to have another USB port! What? I can still use that USB port for HDMI if I want to? BONUS!

    Fourth, sometimes I want to power my machine from the mains while using it. Depending on where I'm working, sometimes the MagSafe connector is opposite the side that would be convenient. Being able to power the device from either side is a nice cable management enhancement.

    Yeah, in the short term there are going to be some headaches. My collection of thumb drives are gonna be constantly plugging into adaptors for my Mac and unplugging from those adaptors for other computers, and none of my hardware input devices have C plugs, but eventually EVERYTHING will, and what a glorious day that will be!
    edited October 2016 roundaboutnowwatto_cobra
  • Reply 47 of 61
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member
    cali said:
    Is Apple having a port identity crisis? Also notice these have headphone jacks. Aren't headphone jacks, like function keys, outdated technology?

    Shouldn't Apple be pushing Lightning 2.0? Are problems arising with USB-C? What the hell is going on?
    What is Lightning 2.0?
  • Reply 48 of 61
    I just think that dongles/adaptors are poorer engineering and more likely to break, be forgotten, etc. I like the suggestion above of combining new & old sockets to give people time to change.
  • Reply 49 of 61
    I look forward to an article about the "must have adaptors" for people buying these new MacBooks. For example, I hadn't realized that the (expensive) Thunderbolt 2 to Thunderbolt 3 adaptor would allow me to connect a new MacBook Pro with my current MacBook Pro in slave/master disk mode. I'll also need an HDMI solution, a charge-my-iPhone option, a compact "oh you want to plug your thumb drive into my MacBook option" and a new USBc memory card reader. I'd rather not spend $100+ on adaptors and have to carry a pouch of single-use cables, so elegant multi-purpose solutions are welcome.
    You carry single use cables single use, not eternally embedded in a large box. Some external hubs exist for the Retina Macbook but I can't figure out if these are meaningful mobile solutions.
    edited October 2016
  • Reply 50 of 61

     
    Fourth, sometimes I want to power my machine from the mains while using it. Depending on where I'm working, sometimes the MagSafe connector is opposite the side that would be convenient. Being able to power the device from either side is a nice cable management enhancement.

    This is exactly the problem with MagSafe. It exists on a single side and due to placement constraints, MagSafe cables get stressed and eventually break with short-circuit risk. Apple being aware of that has changed the orientation of the plug, but this orientation change is not a complete solution as we know that similarly oriented straight plug Lightning cables break too. Lightning cables now come thicker, but since it happens to use Macbooks in very unusual placements, thicker MagSafe cables would not be immune to stress either.
    edited October 2016
  • Reply 51 of 61
    "There's a dongle for it." 
  • Reply 52 of 61
    I wouldn't mind seeing a multi-port "dock" (w/TB3/USB/MDP/HDMI/SD slot/audio, etc) combined with an internal power supply (w/universal AC input) that could power/charge laptop, phone and tablet. It would probably be a hefty brick, but if it could replace my bag of various chargers and dongles, it could even be a solution for traveling.
    lorin schultz
  • Reply 53 of 61
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 3,206member
    iPhone 8 should jettison Lightning for USB-C, with backups/restores/syncs becoming much faster.
    Remarksman
  • Reply 54 of 61
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    wally626 said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    cali said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    cali said:
    Is Apple having a port identity crisis? Also notice these have headphone jacks. Aren't headphone jacks, like function keys, outdated technology?

    Shouldn't Apple be pushing Lightning 2.0? Are problems arising with USB-C? What the hell is going on?

    Yes Apple thinks that headphones are outdated technology, but they would have left one on the iPhone if there was room for it and if it didn't compromise the waterproofing. Fortunately the Mac has more space, and is never going to be water resistant, so it gets to stay there's no room.

    They could have put a lightning connector on the MacBook, but I guess they thought that a lot of professional musicians will be less than happy to give up their favourite headphones, and anyone with a set of lightning headphones from their iPhone7 already has an adapter.  
     This is more in line with what I was thinking but it also shows that Apple isn't confident that wireless is the future. It's also funny because I saw the future happening for the first time today, someone was complaining that it didn't have lightning for his new headphones. 

     As far as my lightning comment, I'm hoping Apple announces a lightning 2.0 with more capabilities than USB-C. I feel like Apple should go all the way or not go at all
    Actually it shows that Apple doesn't remove things unless they have to. The depth of the Macbook can still accommodate a headphone jack, so there is no point in removing it. When they get this thing down to the width of a USB-C port then the jack will probably go. 

    If someone complains that he can't plug in his new lightning headphones then tell him to look in the box his iPhone7 came in. If he has Apple lightning buds then they came with his iPhone7 … along with an adaptor.
    Adaptor does the other way, it is for plugging regular headphones into lighting sockets, not lighting headphones into regular sockets.
    Doh! Sorry! You're right! My mistake. 

    But when that fella did that won't mix at the demo, the first thing he did was plug in his favourite headphones. If he's the kind of person this machine is aimed at then leaving the headphone socket on board still makes more sense. Though yes, it is a real pain if you want to use your iPhone buds. (Since I got my connector wrong!)

    I guess the the answer would have been to put both. 

    edited October 2016
  • Reply 55 of 61
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    Rayz2016 said:
    cali said:
    Is Apple having a port identity crisis? Also notice these have headphone jacks. Aren't headphone jacks, like function keys, outdated technology?

    Shouldn't Apple be pushing Lightning 2.0? Are problems arising with USB-C? What the hell is going on?

    Yes Apple thinks that headphones are outdated technology, but they would have left one on the iPhone if there was room for it and if it didn't compromise the waterproofing. Fortunately the Mac has more space, and is never going to be water resistant, so it gets to stay there's no room.

    They could have put a lightning connector on the MacBook, but I guess they thought that a lot of professional musicians will be less than happy to give up their favourite headphones, and anyone with a set of lightning headphones from their iPhone7 already has an adapter.  
    Plus, it would cause confusion and possibly damage since USBc and Lightning sockets are very similar in size and shape.  Having 4 identical ports is a nice touch (except for the fact that nothing I have today has a USBc plug, but that's a transition issue.)
    Yeah, I was wrong about the adapter, so it is actually a bit messy. No doubt you will be able to get USB-C headphones soon, but Apple doesn't have them. So what is Apple saying? Professionals can keep their wired cans but everyone else should use Bluetooth? Hmmmm. 
  • Reply 56 of 61
    hattighattig Posts: 860member
    My only opinion is that this first generation of USB-C only MacBook Pros should have come with a free USB C-A adaptor in the box. On the other hand, a USB C to USB A hub is a tenner, in various formats (quad USB 3, USB C/3/2/2, etc). So maybe it's not really an issue. Shame they're not Space Grey. However I think that people need a period of consistency in the USB plug. Type C has to live for at least 10 years and be backward/forward compatible to USB 4, 5...) I'll miss Magsafe terribly. I truly hope someone makes a Mini-Dock with MagSafe, Ethernet, a miniDP, some USB Type As. In fact, Apple should have had this ready for this release - a low end dock suitable for most consumers.
    Remarksman
  • Reply 57 of 61
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member
    hattig said:

    However I think that people need a period of consistency in the USB plug.
    The standard-A port on computers was around for 20 years.  I think we'll be fine.
  • Reply 58 of 61
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,654member
    exkeks said:
    While all this sounds convincing in regard to traditional ports, where is the new memory card standard with USB-C connector? And yes: of course I can connect my camera via USB cable, and of course I can have one more adapter and/or card reader with me. But every photog knows that there is (/was) nothing faster and more convenient than just sticking the SD card into the macbook.
    Unless you were using a CF card, which is what my Nikon D70, D200 and now the D800 use.  The D800 does have a second SD slot, but I've never used it because I didn't want to buy new cards.  The Sony A7 series uses SD, micro SD and Memory Stick Pro Duo.  The high-end Canons use CF and SD. 

    The high-end Nikon D5 comes with either dual CF slots or dual XQD slots.   Because of the variety of card formats that are used in today's cameras, it probably does make sense to get rid of it, although my bet is that they got rid of it largely because Ive didn't like that it made a "line" in the side.   Apple is clearly obsessed with form over function.   

    Since Apple charges more for an adapter than what my USB card reader cost, if I buy the new MBP, I guess I'll just buy a newer card reader with a USB-C plug.   But there's none on the market today AFAIK.   Add up the cost of a mouse and replacement cables and adapters, and you can buy a cheap laptop PC clone instead.   
  • Reply 59 of 61
    I own five mag safe power bricks each installed in the locations I work most often.  These are office, upstairs office, home, (those are all within walking distance), plus my travel bag & wife's travel bag.

    Those chargers are used by myself, our gaggle of kids and guests and employees as needed.

    What I really want is a charging-only mag safe-to-USB C dongle. I'll happily give up a port on a new 15" MacBook Pro occasionally in order to walk over and plug in anywhere for the day

    No, I don't want to double up on power bricks.
    edited October 2016 Remarksman
  • Reply 60 of 61
    cpsro said:
    iPhone 8 should jettison Lightning for USB-C, with backups/restores/syncs becoming much faster.
    Absolutely agree. They won't, because they want to maintain control over the MFi program, which is both reasonable and in our bet interest. It would be convenient for users, though, if we could connect our iDevices with the same cables we use for other peripherals.
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