Apple released the first original MacBook in 2006, which started a whole line of notebook computers. The MacBook was minimalistic, exciting, and impactful, which caused a massive spike in sales. Since then, Apple has strived to innovate as much as they can in the MacBook line.
To keep the MacBook 2020 more minimalistic than its predecessors, they had to remove some useful features. One feature that suffered the most was the ports, that’s why most people get an extra USB-C hub for their MacBook.
Apple’s minimalistic approach has undoubtedly left their fanbase confused about using their other devices on the MacBook. Today, we will give some practical tips on adding more ports to your MacBook.
What Ports Does the New MacBook Have?
The 2006 model of the MacBook had all of the necessary ports a user might need. It had two USB ports, one Firewire port, one mini-DVI port, and an Ethernet port. Unfortunately, as already mentioned, the M1 MacBook 2020 is very limited when it comes to ports.
The MacBook Pro 2020 has two USB-C ports and one 3.5mm headphone port. The two USB-C ports are Thunderbolt 4 capable, the latest in USB technology, only having two limits the user considerably on what they can plug into the MacBook at a time.
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The 3.5mm port is a standard one that most modern notebooks have as a port. While we aren’t sure why Apple decided to butcher most of the MacBook ports, we are sure why they chose USB-C Thunderbolt capable ports. Let’s discuss in further detail what a USB-C is and the significance of it being Thunderbolt 4 capable.
USB-C Port Features
USB-C has a lot of advantages in terms of data transfer, charging capability, and user-friendliness. Of the many practical advantages, we will discuss two of them:
- Reversibility Feature
The USB-C is most known for the ease of connecting it to a port. Unlike the USB-A that needs to be inserted in a specific way, which is the cause of most headaches for computer users, a USB-C allows the user to connect it in any orientation. Its reversibility feature isn’t the only amazing feature, but it’s what most users praise.
- Power Charging Feature
Another great feature that USB-C ports/connectors have is the ability to deliver up to 100W fast charging. This is one reason Apple ditched the traditional charging port on the MacBook, as the USB-C port can take care of that. As you may already know, most phones and tablets also use USB-C ports as a charging port.
Obviously, Apple didn’t remove most of its ports to use simple USB-C ports for the MacBook. They went to a whole new level and used a USB-C port with the Thunderbolt data transfer capacities. Let’s take a closer look at the superfast Thunderbolt.
What is the Thunderbolt?
Intel developed the Thunderbolt technology. Its purpose was to implement a high-speed protocol that dynamically shifts to adjust data and video bandwidth depending on the device you’ve plugged in or the application you’re working on. Apple was the first manufacturer to use the Thunderbolt technology.
What is the Thunderbolt 4?
While the Thunderbolt 4 has the same data transfer speed as the Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps), it still has a lot to bring to the world of technology. It includes support for two 4K displays or one 8K display, which is a vast difference compared to the Thunderbolt 3 that only supports one 4K monitor at 60Hz.
How To Add More Ports for Your MacBook
Fortunately, there are several solutions to MacBook fans for port problems. For example, there is a USB-C hub for MacBook Pro and MacBook Air users that increase the number of ports. We will talk about a few USB-C hubs that you’ll want for your MacBook.
How to add SD/TF Card Readers to Your MacBook
If you’re a photographer, then you’ll want to have SD and micro SD card slots. Since Apple is very protective of its products, leaving little to no hardware customization, you can’t install an SD/TF card reader. Many companies have fixed this by creating a USB-C Hub with a built-in SD/TF reader.
What makes a USB-C hub even better than a built-in SD/TF card reader is that you can simultaneously use both ports! This USB-C hub has these two ports, which will allow you to have seamless access to photos or other media files. It supports all SD card formats, making it universal SD card compatible.
Additionally, it has three USB-A 3.0 ports and one USB-C port, which support Thunderbolt and USB-C charging. It’s built with superfast data transfer of up to 5Gbps, enabling you to transfer HD movies or files in seconds. You can use a power delivery USB-C charger and cable to provide high-speed charging to your MacBook.
Related Article: USB 3.1 vs 3.0 vs USB-C: What’s the Difference
Another great feature of this USB-C hub is its slim and lightweight design. Since it’s a cable-free USB-C hub, you won’t have to deal with pesky tangling cables. These features make it an ideal travel companion for people always on the move.
How to Add HDMI to Your MacBook
Some people can’t work without using a monitor, which is a problem for MacBook users as it doesn’t have an HDMI port. Apple does offer a method of wirelessly mirroring to specific TV’s or monitors, but this method loses a lot of video quality. Fortunately, you can add HDMI ports with a compact USB-C Hub.
This MacBook Pro hub offers an HDMI port that supports 4K. You can screen mirror your MackBook onto any HDTV, monitor, or projector with HDMI input without losing video quality. That means you can enjoy screen mirroring for all your video and gaming needs all in one portable sized hub.
As with the previous hub, the 5-in-2 USB-C Hub has three USB-A 3.0 ports and one USB-C Gen 2 port, meaning it supports Thunderbolt and USB-C charging. With the extra USB-C ports, you’ll be able to connect a keyboard, mouse, and a card reader or hard drive all at once! If you need to connect two 2.5″ HDD/SSD hard drives at the same time, you can with this USB-C hub as it has the power capacity to handle them.
This USB-C has an aluminum case, which is better for heat distribution, so you won’t have to worry about overheating your MacBook. It’s also very travel-friendly, as it’s a no cable USB-C Hub, which will make it easy to carry it on the go.
How to add Ethernet to Your MacBook
We’ve all been there, trying to work while using a poor WiFi connection, and it doesn’t end well. Now more than ever, having a stable internet connection is essential, as most jobs have switched to remote work. So you can’t always rely on the WiFi connection of your MacBook.
Luckily, there is a MacBook USB-C Ethernet adapter that will fix that problem. This USB-C adapter provides an Ethernet data transfer rate of up to 5Gbps for 1000 BASE-T networks and supports 10/100/1000 Mbps network speed. This means it’s the perfect answer to buffer-free movie streaming, online gaming, data transferring, and video conferencing.
Since it’s a USB-C adapter, it’s compatible with most USB-C devices, meaning you can plug it into your MacBook for instant stable internet performance. When you use an Ethernet connection, it avoids common issues that WiFi has and protects your private files.
It also has a compact design made out of aluminum, which makes it extra robust against falls and bumps. It also has anti-fingerprint and anti-corrosion features to add to its durability.
Is an Ethernet port insufficient for you? Let’s take a look at another USB-C hub that’ll add more ports to your MacBook.
Adding More Ports With a USB-C Hub
Some people need it all when it comes to ports, and if that’s your case, let’s take a look at this 9-in-1 USB-C hub. It has 1 HDMI port, 1 VGA port, 1 Ethernet port, 3 USB 3.0 ports, TF/SD card reader port, and 1 USB-C charging port. It basically has all of the previous hub features but in one sleek and compact USB-C hub.
The HDMI port supports 4K at 30Hz, and if you’re a bit more old school, you can use the VGA port for 1920×1080 at 60Hz video output. You can charge your MacBook while using the hub as it supports PD fast charging protocol. A handy feature is that you can hide the 10cm cable within the USB-C hub, making it a great travel companion.
A USB-C Hub for Your MacBook Is What You Need
As you have seen, even though Apple’s devices are very limited in ports, you can fix it by using a USB-C hub for a MacBook. Of course, be sure to look for one with all of the necessary ports as there are USB-C hubs in all shapes and sizes. You can take our word for granted that a USB-C hub will change your whole workflow!
If you aren’t sure where to get a top of the line USB-C hub, then look no further! At UGREEN, we offer USB-C hubs of the best quality and at a great price. Check out the UGREEN USB-C Hub family collection, unlock the ultimate desktop solution.
At UGREEN, we believe there’s an optimal combination of innovation and value. We’re a passionate team dedicated to providing high-quality, reliable electronic devices and accessories that help upgrade your digital experience. The user-centered philosophy is in our bloodline through R&D, design, manufacturing, sales and marketing, as well as customer service.