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Three comments about dongle devices, like the HyperDrive Thunderbolt 3 hub ,and one about FireWire. First: They may not offer the functionality you expect. For example they often cannot both charge your computer and run a Thunderbolt display at the same time, because USB-C ports are data only. This means that you will need to plug in additional cables to the other ports on your Mac. Second: Unless both of the type-C connectors are attached to your laptop, they may not be able to power accessories like a hard drive. Third: These compact dongles are incompatible with protective shell cases. You can buy (expensive) USB-C patch cables, but you would need two for the dongle to carry both Thunderbolt and power. In case it isn't pretty obvious, I've been disappointed. There are lot of choices for these dongle docks - not sure why AI featured only the HyperDrive. You can compare prices on the Satechi Aluminum USB-C Pro, the Sanho HyperDrive PRO 8-in-2 USB-C, tye Wavlink Aluminum Thunderbolt 3 Dock for Macbook, and the FONLLAM Thunderbolt 3 USB Type-C Dock. I am not recommending any of these, by the way, but they all offer pretty much the same functionality. Personally, I upgraded to the CalDigit. ------------- As for FireWire, AI seems to have missed the fact that many people purchased very expensive video cameras, and even SLRs, that depend on FireWire. Swapping these out to keep up with Apple ports is considerably more costly than fussing with outdated hard drives. For such people, losing FireWire is not a small problem.
I imagine that I am not alone in that my MBP is usually connected to a large display and external keyboard, making the touch bar superfluous. It's a shame that it evidently adds $300 to the model I would want to buy. As for the serviceability, Apple does in fact provide excellent service to hardware. Over the years, I have had several screens replaced, all for very reasonable prices. Last week, I checked in for a battery replacement on my mid-2012 Retina MBP. The battery failed after 615 cycles, though 1000 cycles were expected. The result: Free replacement. While they were there, Apple decided my logic board might be bad. The result: Free replacement. Note that this machine has been out of Apple care for well over a year. Kudos to the company for supporting their hardware, even if the service is hard to perform. That being said, RAM and SSD prices surely will drop. It would be nice to imagine that I could upgrade my computer to extend it's life cycle.