Six Colors
Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

This Week's Sponsor

20 Years of Great Audio Software from Rogue Amoeba

By Dan Moren

One port, multiple devices

Warning: This story has not been updated in several years and may contain out-of-date information.

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 dan@sixcolors.com. His latest novel, The Nova Incident, comes out in July and is available to pre-order now, so do it!]

If you appreciate articles like this one, support us by becoming a Six Colors subscriber. Subscribers get access to an exclusive podcast, members-only stories, and a special community.


Search Six Colors