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Apple's forward-looking USB-C port inspires joy, frustration

Apple's new MacBook all-in-one USB-C port is innovative, streamlined, and sending fans into hysterics, as usual.

While the Apple Watch was the most anticipated reveal at Apple's recent "Spring Forward" event, the new MacBook made some serious waves in the tech world. Everything from the track pad to the batteries were revamped, but the noticeable lack of ports sent some into tantrums.

Attempting to rid the world of unnecessary cords, Apple trotted out the all-in-one USB-C port in the latest MacBook model. Also referred to as a USB 3.1, the new attachment allows for one port to function as a USB, DisplayPort, HDMI, VGA, and battery charger. The MacBook's only other port was reserved for headphones (though with modern technology, who knows how long that will hold out).

Apple is attempting to create a new, universal industry standard for USB. A big plus to the new USB plug is that it is reversible, which should halt the persistent “which way does the USB plug in” jokes. The new port also doubles the data transfer speed to 10 gigabits per second and allows for faster charging times with devices that contain larger batteries, such as laptops.

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This is not the tech giant’s first attempt at creating less clutter.

Apple introduced the Intel-designed Thunderbolt to the MacBook Pro in 2011. Thunderbolt, designed for laptops and desktop computers, combines data, video, audio, and power in a single cord. 

Some wonder how long Thunderbolt will last now that USB-C has arrived, even questioning the longevity of Lightning, the reversible charger that Apple introduced with the iPhone 5.

But as with the introduction of the Lightning and Thunderbolt connectors, Apple lovers are upset with the abrupt change, especially since many will need to purchase adapters in order to connect their old devices to the new MacBook – or maybe just buy new devices with USB-C plugs. 

While your $1,299 to $1,599 laptop will come with a USB-C Power Adapter and USB-C Charge Cable, the cable only allows for users to plug in one device at a time. If customers want to charge the computer while uploading pictures from a camera or connect their iPhone, they will need to shell out extra bucks for the privilege.

Apple is selling two multiport adapters at $79 a pop. The USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter and USB-C Digital VGA Multiport Adapter will allow people to simultaneously connect to a 1080p HDMI screen, USB 3.0 device, and a USB-C charging cable. Though if a user wishes to connect the computer to a TV or projector, they will need to buy their own HDMI cable. Apple's HDMI cable costs $19, but Monoprice.com sells them for as little as $1.88.

Apple has pushed technology standards further into the future, whether or not the world is ready for it. In an increasingly wireless world, this seems to be the direction the industry is headed.

“I get needing to move to the future," writes one CNET commenter. "But there is ZERO reason why Apple needs to make this harder on the consumer. The dongle should be included for free.”

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