back to article A gold MacBook with just ONE USB port? Apple, you're DRUNK

Steve Jobs would confide that LSD was a formative influence on his life, one that distinguished him from his less-adventurous peers in the tech industry. Jobs is gone, but I wonder if someone left some Pounds Shillings and Pence lying around the Cupertino campus? You may not have noticed, but the world's richest company* …

Re: None

If you don't know how to do something, it doesn't matter who the manufacturer of the thing is.

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Yes, lovely story. On my iPhone, I didn't even need to do that. I take photo, it's on a webpage in under a minute. iCloud.

A "lovely story" you apparently didn't read.

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Re: None

"A 'lovely story' you apparently didn't read."

Please, tell me, which part of the story didn't I get?

You gave examples of two different people. A techno-agnostic with an Apple device that couldn't get photos of a skiing trip off the device, and someone who sounds slightly more technically minded with a non-Apple device who got photos off their device.

That tells me that it's not the device that made the difference, it was the people using them. If you'd given the non-Apple devices to the first person along with a bag of cables, would they have fared any better? If you'd given the Apple device to the second person, would they have succeeded?

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Not a universal view

Some users, me included, don't have many peripherals in my daily life that need a USB slot, data cable, no do use the SD slot, USB cables or external monitors. My iPad Air and Keyboard is almost good enough for me not to need a laptop but the lack of some software and the touch screen get in the way a proper user experience. So I end up having three things with me when with the new MacBook one will do. A lighter MacBook that just needs charging once a day would be perfect for my daily away from my desk use so don't assume that your usage pattern is the only one that Apple are addressing.

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FAIL

Re: Not a universal view

So what usage pattern are they addressing... someone who does sod all with their computer in case it needs charging? Someone who likes having hubs and adaptors dangling off the side like Sinclair Microdrives?

Apple is an Oozlum bird, at the moment flying in ever smaller circles and in danger of disappearing up its own fundament.

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Re: Not a universal view

I concur. For your average student, power is likely to be the only thing that they'd ever plug in to it.

You want something more powerful, with more sockets, you get something more powerful. One does not get a Ferrari and demand that it doesn't have enough cup holders. One gets a Ford Galaxy (if you've already given up on life)

The USB-C socket is a standard, thus, despite the eye watering $79 cost, pretty much anybody else will be able to provide add ons for it

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Re: Not a universal view

Anybody's usage pattern will involve charging the thing up.

My MacBook Pro typically gets charged up daily, perhaps when I have it on my lap in front of the TV. And - by God - have I thanked the designers time and again when a twitchy cat has taken a leap in the direction of the charging port. The MagSafe power connector is a work of genius and does its job perfectly. It clicks into place in a super-ergonomic fashion, and protects the connector from all manner of accidental yanks.

Apple are crazy to ditch this.

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Re: Not a universal view

This comment is spot on, and the article is written from the viewpoint of the "power" (or is that "nerd?") users who actually do employ multiple laptop ports at once, and carry around the mess of cables, mains adapters, and USB peripherals that reflect that usage – but not from the vantage point of the target audience.

You've probably never seen the target demographic, US college students, in their native environments. They charge their laptops overnight, and don't even take their chargers to class/library with them. They use a multi-gesture touchpad, not a fussy and old-fashioned pointing device like a mouse, and they never, ever bring USB cables with them. (Ask campus tech out if you don't believe me.) They pop their laptops in rucksacks, and that's it. And a startling percentage of them already have MacBook Airs, so this is aimed at the same demographic.

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Re: Not a universal view

Well said. People have different needs from their computers. Some people only use one machine so might get a powerful portable, others will choose a light laptop to complement their desktop workstation. Some folk don't care how powerful a laptop is, cos they only use it as a terminal to their real *NIX computer.

Some people will prioritise typing as their main need and buy a laptop, others just need an x86 machine to connect to older USB and serial instruments so buy a cramped-keyboard Netbook. Bookeepers might liove having a dedicated numer pad. Some find that a Bluetooth keyboard and Android /iOS device does fine. Other people find that their needs are not catered for by the usual suspects, so pay the niche premium for a Panasonic Toughbook, or pay Modbook to fit a Wacom digitiser to their Macbook.

Some people are writers and bloggers, some people are engineers, some are artists, some are doctors etc. You get the idea.

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Re: Not a universal view

>So what usage pattern are they addressing... someone who does sod all with their computer in case it needs charging?

Er someone who doesn't use USB because their 'producibles' are emailed to their clients, perhaps? Not universal, but not uncommon, either.

I have six USB sockets on my laptop, and to be honest I've still wanted a few 2" USB A Male > USB A Female cables. Why? So that if I'm clumsy, my knocking a USB stick doesn't bugger the USB socket.

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Re: Not a universal view

>by God - have I thanked the designers time and again when a twitchy cat has taken a leap in the direction of the charging port.

That is a downside of USB Type C when compared to MagSafe.

The only mitigation I can think of is that some people will charge their laptops from an external monitor or docking station, so that a tug on the cable pulls the laptop across the desk and not off the desk.

Perhaps someone will create and sell a inline Magsafe-style connector. It doesn't have be 'MagSafe' as such, since it is only mating with itself; Apple doesn't own the concept, since Sony use magnetic charging cables on the Z phones, and one manufacturer makes magnetic 'breakaway' guitar cables.

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LDS
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Re: Not a universal view

Probably you miss the moment when they need to plug their external disks holding terabytes pirated movies and music to play or exchange them.... and I don't believe the target demographic is really students. This looks like mostly as a glorified tablet, for those user with basic computing needs only but wanting a fashionable device to show off.

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jai

Re: Not a universal view

Same here. I have an iMac with all the usb slots used up, two of which are 10-port usb hubs for a stack of external hard drives.

I do not need any connectivity on my laptop - i print wirelessly via Printopia on the iMac. I move files onto and off the laptop via wifi (increasingly AirDrop)

What i really need is a laptop that weighs as little as possible and is comfortable to use in the ever shrinking seat space on my train to and from work.

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Use cases

1) Handed some data on a USB flash key. Cheap laptop: plug it in. New Mac: need to carry an adapter.

2) Handed some data on an SDHC card. Cheap laptop: plug it in. New Mac: need to carry an adapter.

3) Need a fast network connection. Cheap laptop: plug it in. New Mac: need to carry an adapter.

4) Device gets broken or nicked. Cheap laptop: can replace screen or whole device for a pittance. New Mac: ouch.

There are some cool things that could be done with USB C. The charger could be a USB hub with an HDMI socket, ethernet port and SDHC slots. Apple have taken care to let their customers pay extra for the benefits of USB C, but that seems to be what their customers want: "Look! My computer is more expensive, shiny and fragile than yours!"

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@Dave 126 Re: Not a universal view

Are we now going to start having a contest on how many USB connectors we need and have this replace penis envy?

Seriously?

When I'm at a client, I have the power cord, one USB to my personal wi-fi hotspot and the thunderbolt port to a second monitor.

That's it, unless I need to use a thumb drive to move data.

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jai

Re: Use cases

4) About the get mugged by a group of ruffians. Cheap laptop: try to exchange it in barter for your life, get laughed at and see laptop smashed to pieces as they give it and your ribs a kicking in equal measure. New Mac: use it's ultra thin and sharp wedge shape to decapitate or remove limbs of the creeps in a whirling dervish of martial artistry like something from the pages of a manga, then give praise to Crom as you see them crushed and driven before you, while listening to the lamentations of their women!

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Re: Not a universal view

You mean the wannabe hipsters that lounges around coffee shop pretending to write their Great American Novel(tm)? Hey, there's gold to be mine there.

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Boffin

Re: Not a universal view

Which as a concept is ok (email me the mindbleach now, please) but what if apple design out their out their own gold plated fundament??

Enquiring minds need to know etc etc.

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Re: Not a universal view

"This looks like mostly as a glorified tablet"

Makes perfect sense - every new generation of OSX turns Macbooks more and more into ipads.

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Re: @Dave 126 Not a universal view

So this one isn't even enough for you.

The nearest comparison is the Microsoft Surface Pro 3, which has a grand total of one USB 3.0 port and one power port - and everyone I know ends up carrying a USB hub because it's not enough.

Most people use USB sticks to transfer files between computers. It's simple and intuitive.

At the office, everyone connects via the wired ethernet because it's faster - most via a desktop dock.

Surface Pro has a dock, does this?

This new Macbook is clearly intended as an alternate iPad with the same pattern of consumption-only use.

So, it's alienating all the professionals who use Mac for creative purposes - continuing a worrying trend from Apple.

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Re: Not a universal view

It does not have to cost $79. I am sure, as we discuss this, Chinese manufacturers are scrambling to bring up a super-duper combo of ports that they will sell cheaper. Some will buy from Apple, some will by it from eBay.

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Re: @Dave 126 Not a universal view

"So, it's alienating all the professionals who use Mac for creative purposes - continuing a worrying trend from Apple."

Do you even believe yourself?

At the same time Apple announced this MacBook, they also updated the Air and Pro models as well. The professionals will use their professional tools -- which are different according to the profession and needs of each.

They would care less about your opinion, as well.

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Facepalm

Teapot meet Kettle

"The adverts told us Apple was led by a designer, who was a genius. It was all about Ive."

The first thing that jumped out at me was the number of different colour and material options for the Apple Watch, so this can't be from the same Sir Jonny that said less than a month ago the amazingly pretentious - "You can choose whatever color you want.’ And I believe that’s abdicating your responsibility as a designer." www.theregister.co.uk/2015/02/19/jony_ive_apple_diy_design_criticism/

Aside from the amazing idea that maybe a company selling things should give the customer what they want, rather than the designers having some jobs-given honour to decide for the pathetic customer. But is everyone in the media's memory so weak that they can't even pick him up on blatant hypocrisy delivered less than 4 weeks ago?

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Re: Teapot meet Kettle

Curious that you linked only to the Reg article, and not the New Yorker source article in which the quote was in context.

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/02/23/shape-things-come

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Re: Teapot meet Kettle

I'd prefer it if it could be fitted nasally.

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Re: Teapot meet Kettle

@Dave 126 - not really that curious, a mixture of laziness and an attempt to point out that the quote was reported on this very site

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Re: Teapot meet Kettle

Fair enough. I'm sure you know that quotes from Apple staff on the Reg are often framed... interestingly. :)

I'm not an Apple user, but product design and user experience in products does interest me greatly - mainly because I can see obvious room for improvement in much of the stuff I use.

In context, the quote was from a man who had been told he had to be interviewed for his company's PR, but at the same time couldn't say too much. Without being absolutist about it, his point was that users aren't in a position to try out every design permutation to discover which combination is best for them - they simply haven't got the time, and it can be a distraction to simply using the device for its intended purpose. Many users would prefer for that heavy testing to be done by someone else. The assumption was also that he was taking a dig at the MotoX for making the 1990s Nokia Xpress-on concept it's chief 'value proposition' - but it was only an assumption.*

Of course the world has fettlers and tinkerers, too - and that is a good thing.

* If true, it was slightly unfair - whilst the MotoX was midrange-components sold at a flagship price (initially!), it focused on the user experience. It featured a low-power co-processor that allowed it to be always listening for the user to say "Okay Moto - where is the nearest whatever?" without the user having to touch it. It was also said to very comfortable to hold.

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jai

Re: 1 USB port? Seriously?

what do you use an SD card for??? i expect you want a dvd drive and a 9600 baud modem too?

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Re: 1 USB port? Seriously?

"what do you use an SD card for??? i expect you want a dvd drive and a 9600 baud modem too?"

Yes. And I want to be able to swap the tray-loading dvd drive for a floppy drive (better still, a ZIP drive) or an extra battery.

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Re: 1 USB port? Seriously?

Would it be too mcuh to ask to be able to watch my legally bought DVDs and to look on a big screen at the photos I took with my DSLR?

Both of these must be activities restricted to only the most geeky of power users?

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Re: 1 USB port? Seriously?

All the hipsters taking their pictures, videos and movies, how do you think they're going to get all of the data on their new macbook? Bluetooth? Pencil and paper?

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jai

Re: 1 USB port? Seriously?

the most geeky of power users aren't using such archaic things as physical media or DSLRs.

download your movies to your iPad, old man!!

and get a newer DSLR that uploads straight to the cloud, from whence you can then view it on your hi-res 12" macbook screen.

or wait till you get home.

or get a macbook pro.

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Re: 1 USB port? Seriously?

I take a lot of photos on a proper camera that uses full size SD cards. Most people who are serious about photography do. (Newer cameras are often wireless capable, to be fair). The retina display on this laptop makes it a pretty nice computer for photographic purposes, but getting the photos from my camera is going to involve plugging an adaptor from USB-C to regular USB into the computer, then plugging a USB card reader into that, and then plugging an SD card into that. This is going to be a pain, and lots of things might break.

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Re: 1 USB port? Seriously?

Mostly, they are going to be recording these videos and pictures on an iPhone, and Apple then wants them to upload them to iCloud.

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Bronze badge

Re: 1 USB port? Seriously?

um, this is just one machine in their portfolio of machines, they also sell macbook airs, macbooks & macbook pros. if you are hell bent in buying this machine then you can buy an adapter that enables you to plug in additional usb devices like sd card readers.

i don't understand the bitching of supposed technical people. THIS has some limitations so see what else is in the catalogue that suits your needs.

No need to think different just think, this is not the product for you and move on

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Re: 1 USB port? Seriously?

"or wait till you get home.

or get a macbook pro."

Ah.. the usual Apple excuse. The problem is you.

So any Apple user who has one of these can only take pictures with an iPhone and sync it to the cloud. How much data is that going to be exactly?

Besides, if everything was meant to be on the cloud, then Apple have just come out with a glorified and expensive chromebook.

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Re: 1 USB port? Seriously?

A glorified and expensive chromebook,,,,,,,

That can run XCode.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 1 USB port? Seriously?

There is a simple answer to that.

The flaming film business should let you download the bugger if you purchase the DVD or throw in a USB stick for an extra quid.

Job Done.

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Re: 1 USB port? Seriously?

@Hellcat: don't forget that watching legally bought DVDs or pictures taken with DSLRs are activities from which Apple do not get a cut to increase shareholder value.

Cynical? Moi?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 1 USB port? Seriously?

As I type I'm moving a load of data off an SD card onto my computer. The data come on an SD card, thats how we arranged to get the data off the standalone system which doesn't have an internet connection as its not connected to the internet.

Oddly enough, quite a few people still use old simple technology to move data around as not everything is connected up. We have dozens of standalone data loggers running of batterys collecting 'stuff''. No internet connection, indeed very little power, they are very low powered.

Just because you don;t need it, don;t think other people don't.

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Re: 1 USB port? Seriously?

Of course it can run XCode. Its an Apple device.

Its like saying I designed a car that can get from place to place. Of course it can, if it couldn't it wouldnt be a car.

If this couldn't run XCode, it wouldn't be an Apple Device.

Oh look, my Samsung phone can run Android. Whoop de do.

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Silver badge

Re: 1 USB port? Seriously?

Pro DSLR cameras are compact flash so an SD slot won't help there. The high end eos 1dx also has an Ethernet port so a wireless laptop would be fine, especially if it doesn't add weight to an already heavy camera bag.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Re: 1 USB port? Seriously?

@jai:

"or get a macbook pro."

Or one could just say no to overpriced, underpowered, Fisher-Price fuckware entirely and buy a real computer, made by a company that understands that occasionally their customers might want to do real work.

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Re: 1 USB port? Seriously?

Normal people use a DVD player (sub $50 these days) to watch DVD movies. Or plug their DSLR directly via HDMI to their large screen. You get the idea.

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Re: 1 USB port? Seriously?

If they take the pictures videos (and movies?) on an iPhone or iPad, it is already on their new MacBook.

If they process their pictures and videos (and movies) on their stationary iMac, then they again have them on their new MacBook.

This is an light portable notebook after all. If your usage is more tethered and requires connecting to legacy peripherals, then Apple still sells (just refreshed) the Air and Pro models for you. Use the right tool for the job and you will always have good results.

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Re: 1 USB port? Seriously?

Why? Just use an USB Type-C SD card reader. Granted, that will cost less than a single SD card for your "proper" camera. Nothing will break, do not worry.

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