CNET First Look
Using USB-C in Apple's new MacBookThis new universal connection works for data, accessories and power -- but there's only one port on the new 12-inch laptop. How does that work in practice?
If you're thinking of shelling out for one of Apple's new super-slim 12-inch MacBooks but you're not sure what you're going to do with just one USB-C port, well I'm going to tell you how to use it. I'm Dan Ackerman, and this is a quick guide to USB-C. In your new 12 inch Mac Book. Now, of course you've got this little plug right here, that is USB type c. It's actually a USB 3.1 speed, but with a new shaped plug that they called c, there's already an a and b, you're most used to the a one. So, you have this little plug right here, and the first thing we do is plug this cable in. And that goes right to your. Power adapter, that's right the same plug does power as does accessories or anything you want to plug in, and the power adapter of course looks a lot like the one you would get for an iPhone or an iPad. So if you want to use a mouse with your new Macbook, you've got to unplug the power connection you take one of these little adapters that go from the smaller USB C, to the traditional USB A shape. Then you take the dongle from your mouse. And you can insert it right in there. And now you're mouse is working, and that's great and all, but if you wanna plug the battery back in, well then you've gotta unplug this, and then you go and you plug your, your power adapter. They're back in there. And Apple will eventually sell these larger power blocks that have multiple connections on them but you still only have one port there in the laptop. The same thing is true if you want to plug in the USB key and people very often want to do that. So you put your little adaptor in. And then you take your USB key and you just stick it in like this. And there you go, and once again if you want to use your mouse, or you want to plug in the power cable, you've got to unplug this whole system here. Now one of the really nice bonuses, however, is that if you plug in, an adaptor cable that goes, let's say, from a USB-C to a male USB port. Then you can take any of those little battery packs that every body has sitting around to power their phones, their tablets, you just throw them in your bag with you, and you can use that to actually power up your laptop. And you could never do that through USB before, that's one of the nice things that USB-C can do. And of course the last big trick that USB-C has is the plug. Goes in like this, that's, you know, fairly standard. And then, you pull it out and flip it over upside down. It still fits in! And, of course, anyone who's taken a traditional USB port and tried to plug it in, and had to pull it out and flip it over because you didn't put it in the right way the first time and you can hardly tell from the outside. We'll appreciate the fact that USBC is completely reversible. Of course, this first version of the new MacBook only has one of these ports. I bet in future generations and in other products, we'll see two, three, even more and then you'll be able to plug everything in and only have to worry about having one kind of adaptor. I'm Dan Ackerman and that is USBC on the new 12-inch MacBook. [MUSIC]