I saw the news about the new Macbook and the thing that was all over the reports was the same thing that sort of smacked me across the face, figuratively. The lack of ports for a professional machine. So, as someone who uses a laptop on the road in order to do my job, I decided to try and figure out how many things I would need an adapter for exactly.*
- Mobile sized external hard drive as a backup copy of important data in case of laptop failure. Replace, or get a USB adapter.
- Leaving some demo data and documentation behind for students to use outside of class to practice? Nowhere to plugin in those USB thumbdrives without an adapter.
- Show up and classroom has VGA connection to a projector? Need an adapter.
- HDMI connection to that same projector? Also, need an adapter.
- Want to charge your phone, or FitBit device using the USB port on your laptop? Whoops, also a USB port. Need an adapter, or direct power for that one.
- This goes double when traveling overseas. Direct power requires another power converter. I usually save packing space by having one power converter, and using the USB ports to power my other devices. Going to need another way to do that with the new Macbook
- Want to download some of the photos I took with my digital camera? No SD card slot any more.
Now, since I work with a Windows based classroom environment, and use USB license dongles in the classroom, it’s actually unlikely I would travel with a Macbook anyway, but I just listed 6 things I could do with my current Macbook, every day things that technology and training professionals would need to do, that would require carry some extra adapters with the new Macbook. That hardly seems like an upgrade.
Apple is clearly betting on a lot of this technology moving to wireless and USB-C type devices, but we aren’t there yet. (Ironically, the Macbook did not follow the lead of the iPhone 7, and still has a headphone jack, which is confusing. Why encourage your fans to use wired headphones anywhere when your mobile device doesn’t support them without yet another adapter?)
We’ll see if Apple is right about the future of these technologies, but I can’t help but wonder if sales of the Macbook will be slower for a long time while we wait for that future.
Will you be jumping on the new Macbook Pro, or waiting until all your peripherals get replaced with new ones that plugin to the Macbook’s ports?