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The New MacBook Has A New USB Port - But Only 1

Apple's latest MacBook design comes with just one external USB-C port. The company's selling add-on adapters to compensate for the missing ports.
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The New MacBook Has A New USB Port - But Only 1

The all-new, ultra-thin MacBook. Just 2 pounds light, and 13.1 mm thin. A gorgeous 12-inch Retina display, with — wait, what is that? 

Yes, in their quest to produce the most svelte notebook on the market, Apple has cut off some of the old familiar ports we know and trust. There's just one port on the new MacBook, and it's for a new format you've probably never heard of.

"The technology behind this is a brand new standard called USB-C," Apple's Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller told the crowd.

Apple's new MacBook will be an early adopter of the USB Type-C port, a format designed to improve upon the old USB connectors of yesterday.

USB-C boasts a top transfer speed of 10 Gbps and supports a power output of up to 20 volts. It's also more versatile than the old USB, able to send power through both ends of the cable. And it's reversible, which means no more fumbling with upside-down cables. (Video via CNET, Cypress Semiconductors)

But all early adoption comes at a price. In this case, Apple's shiny new port is going to need a lot of adapters.

The MacBook port will support a variety of inputs, but obviously you can't just jam a VGA cable into that tiny slot, or hook up more than one device at a time without some external help.

To solve this, Apple's offering two adapters — one for VGA cables, one for HDMI — which also come with two different USB ports. These adapters will add on $79 each to the cost of your shiny new $1,300+ MacBook.

And since USB-C isn't backwards compatible with all past USB iterations, there's also a USB-C-to-USB cord for $19.

Plus, if Apple's cables are too pricey, there's still hope: since USB-C is an open standard, cheaper third-party adapters could be on the way soon. 

This video includes an image from Getty Images and music from Chris Zabriskie / CC BY 4.0.