As Apple has done with its more recently updated MacBook Pro laptops, Apple added USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports to its new MacBook Air lineup. It allows users to plug in a USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 adapter to connect a wide variety of devices — including monitors, external hard drives, and even power for charging — into a single port on the new MacBook Air.
The Thunderbolt 3 standard, which uses the USB-C port, is fast and powerful enough to support a lot of devices and extremely fast data transfer speeds. That’s why it can be used to plug so many different devices into a single port.
This USB-C dock lets you plug in devices with varied ports into a single USB-C port on a MacBook.
In the new MacBook Air, Apple also removed the regular USB-A ports we’ve been using for the last couple decades. That means the Apple doesn’t sell a modern laptop with modern specs with regular USB ports. The MacBook, new MacBook Air, and MacBook Pros do not have USB-A ports.
On one hand, USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 is great. On the other hand, it means buying more accessories, like adapters and docks, like the one above, that weren’t necessarily needed before Apple’s move to an all USB-C lineup. I don’t want to bash USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 too much, as it’s certainly the future, but it does require extra costs and things to carry around.
Apple is still selling its old MacBook Air for $1,000, but I wouldn’t recommend it at this stage. The new models are only $200 more expensive at $1,200 and come with newer, more powerful specs and features, as well as a modern design refresh.
You can also still buy refurbished, higher-specced models of the old MacBook Air through Apple’s Refurbished Mac store, but I wouldn’t recommend those, either. Refurbished models start at $1,900 on the Refurbished Mac Store, which is way more expensive than the new MacBook Airs with better specs, features, and design.
For now, the only Apple computers that come with regular USB-A ports include the old MacBook Air, new Mac Mini, iMacs, iMac Pro, and the 2013 Mac Pro.