The new MacBook is here and it's the thinnest ever, partly thanks to the fact that it uses a single USB Type-C (or USB-C for short) port for charging, doing away with the usual MacSafe port. That's the good news.
The bad news is the laptop also uses that port for everything else: it has no other peripheral ports. And this means in order to use it with any existing peripheral devices, including external storage devices, thumb drives and external displays, you need an adapter. In comes the USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter.
Apple is pricing the adapter at $79 in the US, £65 in the UK and AU$119 in Australia.
This adapter has one standard Type-C USB connector on one end, to connect to the notebook, and on the other end it has a Type-C USB port, an HDMI port and a Type A USB port. It allows you to connect your MacBook's USB-C port to an HDMI display, while also connecting a standard USB device and a USB-C charging cable.
Since USB-C features USB 3.1 standard with the bandwidth of 10Gbps (comparable to the speed of the original Thunderbolt), the computer's single USB-C port is capable of handling multiple devices at time, both in terms of data and power connections. ()
According to Apple, the adapter allows for mirroring the MacBook display to an HDMI-enabled display with up to 1080p resolution. It can also output video content like movies and captured video. You do need an HDMI cable (not included) to make this work.
The use of USB-C not only makes the new MacBook cool and future proof, it also shows the power and potential of USB-C. However, before USB-C becomes more widely available with devices supporting it natively, adapters such as this multiport are a must. Without it, the new laptop is incompatible with most, if not all existing peripheral devices on the market.
That said, if you decide to pick up a new MacBook today, don't forget to add this adapter to the shopping cart.