The MacBook Pro is a wonderful laptop. It offers excellent performance, a sleek design, and one of the best keyboards on the market. There really isn't much to complain about, other than a lack of ports. You see, Apple went all-in with USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports on its new laptop, meaning some users would need to rely on dongles for connecting legacy devices.
There are countless dongles, adapters, and docking stations on the market nowadays, all looking to provide a fix for this port pain-point. Today, a new such product from a company named "Seesaw" becomes available for pre-order on Kickstarter. The "DockCase," as it is called, intrigued me because of its unique design. You see, it is a protective leather sleeve for the MacBook Pro with a USB-C docking station built in. It sounds weird, I know, but it actually makes a lot of sense.
There is no shortage of ultra high definition (UHD) monitors nowadays. Prices for 4K displays have dropped dramatically over the last few years, making them affordable for many home consumers. Heck, there are even some monitors with even higher resolutions now.
While many manufacturers are producing lower-priced 4K displays, ViewSonic is apparently going in the opposite direction. Today, the company introduces a beautiful new 27-inch 4K display with professional features, such as 99 percent Adobe RGB and HDR10. It even has USB-C video connectivity, which is perfect for Apple's MacBook Pro. Unfortunately, the price is sky-high, putting it out of reach for most.
Portable solid state drives are better than mechanical hard drives for a few reasons. Obviously they are faster, but more importantly, they are more durable, as there are no moving parts. For those that travel a lot, for instance, a portable SSD is a safer product for throwing in a bag. Another big benefit is size -- modern portable SSDs are getting quite small, meaning they take up less room on a desk or in a backpack.
Today, Samsung launches its newest such drive, called the "Portable SSD T5." This beautiful drive features a USB-C connector and comes in two color options -- Deep Black and Alluring Blue. Since this is a Samsung product, it should last. If there are any issues, however, the company is including a three year warranty.
USB-C is everywhere nowadays. You can find it on smartphones, desktops, and laptops. Heck, I recently reviewed an amazing router that leverages the connector for power! Even lower-end laptops are getting in on it, such as the Acer Chromebook 11 C771.
The beauty of this connector, besides it being reversible, is that it can support many dongles, adding support for devices you need now, plus future products too. Today, Satechi launches two new such dongles, both of which are made with aluminum. One is a VGA adapter, while the other offers Gigabit Ethernet.
USB-C is the future, and if your computer doesn't have the connector, I feel sorry for you. While it isn't a necessity at the moment, it will be eventually. Luckily, you can sometimes leverage adapters and cables to connect a Type-C device to a machine that is Type-A only.
Speaking of USB-C devices, ADATA has a new 3D NAND External SSD that uses that connector. Called "SE730H," it is the successor to the company's diminutive "SE730." Not only does the new model offer higher capacities, but the 3D TLC NAND should lend to improved longevity. While it uses 3.1 gen 2, the drive tops out at 500MB/s for both read and write. The "H" variant retains the same good looks and MIL-STD-810G/IP68 water and dust proofing as the prior model too.
When you buy a laptop nowadays, it is becoming much more common for it to only have USB-C ports. While you can thank Apple for leading the way with its MacBook line of laptops, plenty of Windows PC manufacturers are following suit. This is wise, as it future-proofs your computer while giving the ability to connect to legacy devices (if needed) with low-cost dongles. Microsoft has infamously omitted USB Type-C from its Surface devices, which may cause pain to consumers in the future.
If you have already invested in one of these USB-C-only machines, there are two dongles that are definitely worth buying to keep in your bag -- USB-C to HDMI and USB-C to USB-A. Some users may need an Ethernet adapter too. Satechi has two new USB-C to HDMI options -- an adapter (dongle) and a cable. Both appear very well made and are quite affordable. Best of all, not only do the products offer 4K output, but at the much desired 60Hz. Despite being sold in color options that match Apple's laptops, the adapters will work fine with both Windows and Linux too.
USB Type-C dongles are a dime a dozen nowadays. Thanks to Apple MacBook laptops that only leverage USB-C, many manufacturers quickly jumped on the bandwagon, producing many adapters, dongles, and other accessories.
As the owner of a 2016 MacBook Pro, I am very familiar with dongles -- I own several. While you might think they are all the same, you'd be mistaken. Not only are they of varying quality, but the features are not the same either. Case in point, the Startech USB-C to HDMI and VGA presentation adapters. They may look like your typical HDMI and VGA dongles, but they have a special feature.
While USB-C is certainly the future, there is one big issue with the connection type -- we live in the present. In other words, yeah, having Type-C connections on a computer is great for future-proofing, but most consumer devices still use the Type-A connector. If you buy a computer that only has USB-C, such as the newest MacBook Pro, you are going to need dongles for your existing peripherals and accessories.
Luckily, there is no shortage of dongles and adapters on the market nowadays. If you spend some money, you can get something that will meet your needs. Today, StarTech releases four new USB-C hubs, all with unique functionality. What they all share, however, is the ability to do power delivery. This means you can connect your USB-C charger to the hub, which then connects to the computer, so that a single port can both charge and handle data.
The newest MacBook Pro only has USB-C ports. For some, this can be a pain point. For others, it is refreshing to only have the most modern connectors. As time marches on, other manufacturers will likely follow Apple by forgoing USB Type-A entirely too.
Today, G-Technology unveils a beautiful new external storage drive. Called "G-DRIVE USB-C," it is designed for the MacBook and MacBook Pro, but it will work with Windows and Linux too (a Type-A cable is included in the box). The 3.5-inch 5400 RPM drive features speeds up to 195MB/s, is available in capacities up to 10TB, and offers power-delivery so it can charge your Mac too -- how cool is that?
Solid state drives are absolutely brilliant when installed inside a PC. You know where else they work well? Outside the computer too. As an external storage drive, an SSD offers great speed, but, more importantly, added durability too. Unlike a mechanical external hard disk drive, an SSD does not have moving parts. This makes it a much better option for those that need to take an external storage drive with them when on the go.
Today, Western Digital announces a beautiful new external storage drive. Called "My Passport SSD," the diminutive drive has a single USB-C port for both power and data. Featuring up to 1TB of capacity, it would be an excellent tool for content creators, or anyone that needs additional storage.
USB-C is certainly the future, but there is one huge problem -- low-quality cables. Not only are these cheap cables prone to breakage, but they are often out of spec, meaning they can physically damage your computers and devices. Imagine frying your laptop or smartphone because you connected a cheap cable -- ugh, that would stink. You should always buy cables manufactured by well-known companies that you can trust.
One company that you can usually depend on for quality cables is Belkin. You pay a bit more compared to low-quality no-name offerings, but you get what you pay for, folks. Today, the well-respected manufacturer announces an all-new USB-C cable as part of its MIXIT DuraTek line.
As more and more family members own multiple device -- smartphones, tablets, etc. -- it can feel like every outlet in a home is in use. This can be very problematic, as there can sometimes be more devices than outlets! This can lead to fighting between people that need to juice-up their devices. Luckily, a power strip or multi-port charger can solve this dilemma.
Today, Satechi launches a beautiful new USB-C Travel Charger that can charge three devices at once. It features two USB Type-A ports and a single USB Type-C port. While it is designed to be used for traveling, such as in a hotel or at the airport, there is nothing stopping you from using it in a home as well. In fact, it should be quite brilliant on a desk or dresser.
Ever since I bought my MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, I have been obsessed with USB-C. Since it is the only connection type Apple's laptop offers, its kind of hard not to be. Still, I find it absolutely amazing that a single connection type can be so versatile. I can use it to charge the computer, output video, connect storage, and more.
There are no shortages of USB-C dongles and accessories on the market, and today, IOGEAR adds another. The accessory-maker announces the Portable USB-C Dual DisplayPort Monitor Dock, and it is rather clever. It features dual DisplayPort connections, plus a USB Type-A port for legacy devices. It is even designed in such a way as to hold the cable when not in use.
USB-C is lighting the world on fire. While Apple was not the first company to embrace the standard, its MacBook Pro is definitely a driving force in its increased popularity. There is a huge market nowadays for USB-C hubs and dongles. Heck, I just wrote about an all-new USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter from SCOSCHE.
Today, StarTech launches the USB-C Multi-Card Reader. This dongle is strictly for card-reading, offering compatibility with SD, micro SD, and CompactFlash. Many all-in-one Type-C dongles offer compatibility with SD and its micro variant, but CF is more of a rarity. StarTech is clearly targeting professional photographers, many of which still use CompactFlash.
While I am a regular Fedora Linux and Windows 10 user, I also want to be proficient in macOS. And so, last year, I bought a MacBook Pro. This is my first-ever laptop from Apple, and so far, I love it. The problem, however, is that it only has USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports. For the most part, this is fine -- I rarely connect things physically in 2017. When I do have a need to connect a Type-A USB flash drive or HDMI monitor, however, I must turn to dongles.
There are an overwhelming number of USB-C dongles on the market nowadays, and today, SCOSCHE is delivering one more. Its all-new USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter isn't the most advanced such hub, but it should meet the needs of many for an affordable price.