Apple is now taking your money for the new MacBook. The reviews are in and the consensus is that it’s the laptop of the future.
It has a beautiful Retina display and a thin and lightweight design, but (there’s always a but!) its single USB-C port is a dealbreaker today.
Almost all of the complaints are grounded in the fact that one USB-C port isn’t enough, and using dongles to connect existing full-sized USB devices is a royal pain. Not to mention that the dongles all come at an extra cost.
While most reviews — Mashable’s included — lament the loss of the magnetic MagSafe charger, there’s actually a light at the end of the tunnel.
As we’ve explained before, USB-C is a versatile connector. It does data transfer, outputs video and can send and receive power. That last one is really useful.
Just like iPads and iPhones, the new MacBook can be charged from a portable battery pack Just like iPads and iPhones, the new MacBook can be charged from a portable battery pack, as long as you have a USB-C to USB-A cable, which you you can buy for as little as $10.
Unlike MagSafe, which is a proprietary Apple technology, USB-C is universal. That makes it the first MacBook that can charge from a portable battery pack.
Well, the first one with a simple solution. Apple’s MagSafe-equipped MacBooks can be charged from a portable battery pack like the HyperJuice, but to do so, you need to buy a modified MagSafe adapter or modify your own.
In other words, nerd-level engaged; nobody, except serious power users, are going to bother.
Apple advertises the new MacBook as capable of getting nine to 10 hours of battery life on a single charge. Mashable’s Senior Tech Correspondent Christina Warren managed around seven hours. With a high-capacity battery pack (you can easily find a 20,000 mAh one for $20 on Amazon), the new MacBook’s battery life could be extended even further.
For instance, while the new MacBook can power through a coast-to-coast flight across the U.S., it won’t last an international one to Asia. Sure, many plane seats now come with USB ports and outlets, but for those that don’t, a portable battery pack could be a lifesaver. many plane seats now come with USB ports and outlets, but for those that don’t, a portable battery pack could be a lifesaver.
The feature could also be useful for doing work at a Starbucks when don’t want to lose your seat to find an outlet, or if you’re a professional photographer out in the field all day.
For all the complaints levied against USB-C, it really is a wonder-port. And as much as I love MagSafe (it has saved my MacBook from a million deaths), I love not having to be a “wall hugger.”