In recent years, Apple has come under fire for reducing the number of ports in its laptops and pushing consumers towards dongles. When the company unveiled new MacBook Pro laptops last night, it took a step to correct its previous flaw.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The new MacBook Pro 14 and MacBook Pro 16 have 3 USB-C ports and an HDMI port.
  • The new laptops also have a separate charging port.
  • The SD card reader is also making a comeback in the MacBook.

Consumers in India call it Dongle Raj. Over the past few years, Apple has been continually removing various connectors from its MacBook laptops, which in turn has led consumers to buy more dongles and adapters. But when the company unveiled new MacBook Pro laptops with the M1 Pro and M1 Max chipsets last night, it not only increased the number of ports, but also brought back the SD card reader and HDMI port.

This will come as music to the ears of MacBook Pro users who take a lot of photography or need to hook their laptops to monitors and TVs with HDMI ports. Even those who do not necessarily need an SD card reader or HDMI connection in their laptop will be pleased with what Apple has done with the connection options of the MacBook Pro.

Both the MacBook Pro 14 and the MacBook Pro 16 are equipped with the following connectors:

– 3 Thunderbolt 4 ports. They use the USB-C-4 input and can support various connectivity options.

– 1 MagSafe charging port with fast charge.

– 1 HDMI port

– 1 SD card reader

– 3.5mm headphone jack

The fact that the new MacBook Pro has a separate charging port means that none of the 3 USB-C ports will be blocked just because the battery in the laptop is low.

The port situation in the new MacBook Pro is a huge step up from the 13-inch MacBook Pro, which only has two USB-C ports, and one of them becomes available every time the laptop is plugged into the charger.

However, some will still say a few more ports are missing. The absence of the Ethernet socket is particularly noticeable. But it can be argued fairly convincingly that gigabit connections are possible wirelessly with WiFi 6 support. Also, assume that most MacBooks will be used with WiFi, and Ethernet-to-USB-C is likely the least-selling adapter among MacBook users.

In essence, Apple can say that with the new MacBook Pro laptops, Apple is finally moving away from its dongle Raj, which it brought to consumers a few years ago. Ports like the one for SD cards are extremely useful as any photographer or videographer will say. And the fact that all three Thunderbolt or USB ports are now available at all times should be a great relief for anyone who uses a MacBook with a lot of accessories.

I would have liked Apple to move on to accepting more ports earlier with the introduction of the M1-powered MacBook Air and MacBook Pro 13. But it’s possible that the M1 chipset wasn’t designed to offer more IO options. Now the M1 Pro and M1 Pro Max can, and it’s good to see Apple making up for the mistakes of the past few years.

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