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Transitioning to USB-C
Old 06-09-2017, 08:58 PM   #1
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Transitioning to USB-C

I ordered a new MacBook Pro today to replace my aging five year old MacBook Pro. I haven't paid that much attention to the changes over the past five years since my laptop has worked quite well. But in studying the changes in this new model, it appears that they have eliminated the standard USB ports on the unit, as well as the HDMI port. So all that is provided now is this USB-C port, which is smaller than the old USB port and has a completely new connector.

To complicate things further, I needed to order a new external display that also supports USB-C. Apple sells the LG 4K model for around $700. It's a gorgeous display, so I'm excited to finally have an external display that is as sharp as the Retina display. But I'm curious to see whether the entire industry is moving to the new USB-C standard, or if this is just an Apple thing.

I had to order a USB-C to USB-B adapter so that I can plug my portable back up hard drive in. I'll need another one for any older USB devices I may need to use.

Has anyone else dealt with this yet? Are any peripherals being designed with USB-C connectors built in at this point?
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Old 06-09-2017, 09:30 PM   #2
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I've bought several peripherals lately and haven't seen anything other than standard USB connections. The ultralight 13" PC notebook I just bought at the end of last year, that's basically a macbook pro knockoff, came with 3 USBs, 1 HDMI, a VGA (!!), ethernet, and sd card slot. No problems here on this $350 beauty of a laptop
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Old 06-10-2017, 04:55 AM   #3
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CNET has a good article on it. USB-C is our future and is supposedly "future proof," i.e. once we get there no more shape changes. Hah.
https://www.cnet.com/how-to/usb-type...nect-them-all/
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Old 06-10-2017, 06:23 AM   #4
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I bit the bullet and bought a new MacBook 12" this week with just the USB-C. I currently have a MacBook Air with regular USB and SD and had to think hard about going to just USB-C. My ultimate decision was based on the lightness of the MacBook and realization that I so rarely use the USB ports that i could just live with the adapter; we will see, starting with the transfer of data over from old computer.

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Old 06-10-2017, 07:09 AM   #5
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My latest smartphone (OnePlus 3T) uses USB-C, which is the first time I've seen that connector. The charging cable has a standard Type-A connector on the other end for connection to the charging block. I also bought some additional cables (same design), one for the car and one for data transfer to a PC. All my PCs are a few years old and have the standard Type-A connectors (mostly USB 3.0, some 2.0) plus HDMI. If a single USB-C could replace all that, with higher data transfer rates, that would be a nice improvement, but might be a bit of a hassle with older peripherals.
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Old 06-10-2017, 07:46 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc View Post
I bit the bullet and bought a new MacBook 12" this week with just the USB-C. I currently have a MacBook Air with regular USB and SD and had to think hard about going to just USB-C. My ultimate decision was based on the lightness of the MacBook and realization that I so rarely use the USB ports that i could just live with the adapter; we will see, starting with the transfer of data over from old computer.

Marc
I spent an hour in the Apple store this week trying to choose between the 12" MacBook and the 13" MacBook Pro. I really had a hard time deciding. The 12" is an amazing laptop at only 2 pounds. I'm still not sure I made the right decision, but I had to pick one. I hope you enjoy it. It works great with the external monitor, which supplies power to it and provides an additional three USB ports off the back of the monitor.
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Old 06-10-2017, 08:37 AM   #7
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My Nexus 5X Android phone has a USB-C charging port, so it's not just Apple. One thing I learned when looking for a car charger is that there are cables and chargers out there that don't meet the USB-C specs and can actually damage your devices. So be very careful about what you plug into these ports and don't just assume that any cable that fits is ok to use.

Benson Leung is a Google employee who has done a lot of tests on USB-C products and keeps lists of which ones pass.

Google doc: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...TX8/edit#gid=0

Benson's reviews: https://plus.google.com/+BensonLeung
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Old 06-10-2017, 09:14 AM   #8
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I bought one of the first USB-C devices a couple of years ago (MacBook 12") and since for me it's a travel computer I have no problem with just one USB-C port on it - I love it for it's very light weight. I back it up to a USB hard drive, but I have a USB-C to USB micro-B cable that works plugs into MacBook and the drive.

USB-C *is* the future. Of course the future doesn't arrive all at once, but it'll slowly (who still has a VGA port on a computer), but surely replace all other connectors.

In fact, I have an aging iMac (mid-2010) that I want to replace. I was waiting for Apple to come out with an iMac with USB-C connectors built in. Luckily, Apple just announced them this week, so in a few day's I get to move into the future! There was no way I was going to buy a new computer that I plan to keep for 5-10 years that didn't come with USB-C.

Embrace USB-C!
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Old 06-10-2017, 09:41 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Ready View Post
But I'm curious to see whether the entire industry is moving to the new USB-C standard, or if this is just an Apple thing.

I had to order a USB-C to USB-B adapter so that I can plug my portable back up hard drive in. I'll need another one for any older USB devices I may need to use.

Has anyone else dealt with this yet?
Sure, the Windows 10 laptop computer I bought in April has a USB type C port, as well as 3 conventional USB ports (two USB3's, and 1 USB2). I think that including a USB type C port is fairly standard by now.

So far I have found zero use for the USB type C port.
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Old 06-10-2017, 09:53 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by mpeirce View Post
I bought one of the first USB-C devices a couple of years ago (MacBook 12") and since for me it's a travel computer I have no problem with just one USB-C port on it - I love it for it's very light weight. I back it up to a USB hard drive, but I have a USB-C to USB micro-B cable that works plugs into MacBook and the drive.

USB-C *is* the future. Of course the future doesn't arrive all at once, but it'll slowly (who still has a VGA port on a computer), but surely replace all other connectors.

In fact, I have an aging iMac (mid-2010) that I want to replace. I was waiting for Apple to come out with an iMac with USB-C connectors built in. Luckily, Apple just announced them this week, so in a few day's I get to move into the future! There was no way I was going to buy a new computer that I plan to keep for 5-10 years that didn't come with USB-C.

Embrace USB-C!

If I had an unlimited budget for computer equipment, I would have bought the 27" 5K IMac fully loaded, and the 12" MacBook. A 5K IMac is amazing to work on, and the 12" MacBook is so light it's effortless to carry around. But since that would have required over $6K in purchases, I opted for the 13" MacBook Pro as a compromise between power and portability.

Hope you enjoy your new IMac!
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Old 06-10-2017, 11:39 AM   #11
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We have 5Xs too. Anker sells a very small adapter that converts a micro-USB male to a USB-C male. I have a half-dozen of them. Cheaper than replacing all of my USB-A to micro-USB charging and data cables. Also necessary because our Nexus 7 tablets are micro-USB.

The only issue is that the little critters are black and easy to lose. I have added a flag of da-glow orange tape on each of mine.

I used to do a lot of testing to make sure chargers and charging cables were adequate for the 2a current that the tablets want. Many, many were not. Anker chargers and cables were always good, so I have kind of standardized on that brand and don't bother to test any more.
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Old 06-10-2017, 02:54 PM   #12
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When I bought my Macbook a few years back, I couldn't figure why it didn't have a port for connecting directly to my internet box. In typical fashion the Apple employee asked "Why would you want that? Just use your WIFI." I told her that if I wanted to use WIFI that would be great, but I don't want to. She just gave me a blank look and then another guy told me how to interface with a converter. I'm sure WIFI is the "better" way to go. It's just not what I want to do. I guess that's one of the things that irritates me about Apple. They decide what you should want. YMMV
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Old 06-10-2017, 03:30 PM   #13
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If I had an unlimited budget for computer equipment!
We all have our priorities.

My computers are a lot like cars. Buy a nice one, then drive it into the ground. Then buy another nice one.
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Old 06-10-2017, 03:31 PM   #14
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My Windows laptop has one USB-C (Thunderbolt 3.0) and three USB-A connectors. A big problem with USB-C is that not every USB-C port has the same capabilities. For example, some may have slower transfer rates, not support video or not support charging. I have another Windows laptop also with USB-C but it doesn't support either video or charging, and is slower.

I am seeing more and more peripherals with USB-C, but typically you get only one port on laptops, which can be problematic. I have a small USB-C dock that has GigE Ethernet, HDMI, VGA (!), two USB-A and one USB-C port.
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Old 06-11-2017, 05:32 PM   #15
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We're getting a 12" MacBook. We're replacing our old MacBook Air which we use for travel - we have a use for the old one. We don't usually attach accessories, so just having the one port for charging will be OK. Especially with the long battery life. DH had already bought several USB-c to USB converters when there was a sale a while back.

I look forward to having an even smaller, lighter laptop for travel, and with a Retina display too!
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Old 06-11-2017, 06:42 PM   #16
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I'm trying to decide between the LG 21" 4K or 27" 5K monitor while I wait for my MacBook Pro to ship. I've made two trips to two different Apple stores, both very frustrating experiences. They have the 21" LG hooked up to a 13" MB Pro, so it displays at the full 4K resolution and makes it easy to see what the capabilities of the screen are.

They also have two of the 27" 5K monitors on display. One is hooked up to a 2014 IMac, with a USB-C to Thunderbolt 2 adapter. The other one is hooked up to a 2013 Mac Pro. Both of these computers are too old to display 5K resolution. I asked several of the Apple employees if there was a way to see the full 5K display. They argued with me that the Pro model is fully capable of displaying 5K. When I showed them how low the resolution was, they sent a senior tech out to look at it. He thought it was in a lower resolution mode because it was a display, but it could be increased to 5K. Even after I pointed out that 5K hadn't even been invented (at least in the Apple world) back in 2013, he argued with me and asked me what I did for a living. He told me he was a video expert and the Pro was absolutely capable of displaying 5K.

I waited a while for them to fool around it with before they finally conceded it wouldn't work. I asked them if they could just hook up any 2016 or later Mac to it so I could see the resolution, but they explained this couldn't be done because all of the display computers had wired locks on them and nobody had the key.

It amazes me that with all of the 2017 models on display, they would round up these 3-4 year old computers to display their top of the line 5K monitor. Nobody wanted to make any effort to find a way to show me the monitor's capabilities. They suggested I look at a 5K IMac on the other side of the store.

I guess it's hit or miss with these Apple stores. Sometimes you find some really smart people there, and sometimes they are completely clueless. But whoever decided to showcase their top of the line 5K monitors with 4 year old Macs should be fired.
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Old 06-11-2017, 08:37 PM   #17
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We have the iMac that is a 5K display (with the computer built into it). Love it. It's two years old now.
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Old 06-12-2017, 12:33 AM   #18
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I can't say that I'm a fan of usb-c. The whole issue with bad cables is just a nightmare. I'm never getting back the time I spent figuring out what was safe and wouldn't fry my phone. On laptops, I'd rather have MagSafe.


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Old 06-12-2017, 05:46 AM   #19
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I can't say that I'm a fan of usb-c. The whole issue with bad cables is just a nightmare. I'm never getting back the time I spent figuring out what was safe and wouldn't fry my phone. On laptops, I'd rather have MagSafe.


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I can't say I've heard of any bad cables from the popular/well-known brands at all. If all you buy is the cheap, no-one-has-heard-of-this-company, cables off Ebay then there might be an issue. However, the "big guys" cables are pretty dang cheap now and are quite reliable. Also, last I heard Apple was getting rid of MagSafe going forward.
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Old 06-12-2017, 05:55 AM   #20
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Another magsafe fan here. Griffin already has a USB-C cable with magsafe, and Apple is expected to come out with their own version soon.
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