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Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Dan Moren

One port, multiple devices

Note: This story has not been updated for several years.

So if you, like me, aren’t thrilled about the idea of having only one port on a MacBook, Apple’s got good news. Well, good news for Apple, mainly. You can buy an adapter that acts as a hub, allowing you to simultaneously connect to power, traditional USB devices, and an external display. All for the low, low price of $79.

You do at least have your choice of HDMI or VGA, so I suppose that’s something.

I’m still not sure the 12-inch MacBook is for me, and I certainly don’t love the idea of having to shell out for one of these or a $19 adapter to use any of my existing USB devices. Also, unlike Thunderbolt1, there’s no support for Gigabit Ethernet. For the moment, I think I’ll be holding on to my 11-inch MacBook Air.

  1. Speaking of Thunderbolt, is it a Pro-tier feature now? Or is Apple ditching it in favor of USB-C? USB in theory has the benefit of being a standard, and the connector is reversible–which Apple loves (cf. Lightning), but Thunderbolt’s 10 20Gbps would still seem to outpace USB 3.1’s 5Gbps. 

[Dan Moren is the East Coast Bureau Chief of Six Colors. You can find him on Twitter at @dmoren or reach him by email at The latest novel in his Galactic Cold War series of sci-fi space adventures, The Nova Incident, is available now.]

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