Apple puts four USB-C Ports on a MacBook Pro to make us believe that it’s a “pro” machine. The trouble is, we all do the same things with ports on a MacBook Air which only has two ports. This crippling is all very callous and manipulative by Apple.
The power of a pro-level computer resides in its graphics power, CPU power, RAM and memory bus speed. But Apple would have us believe that, somehow, four USB-C ports on a MacBook Pro is solely a pro feature and lesser Macs, say, a MacBook Air deserves fewer ports.
The reality is that when a mobile MacBook of some kind is brought back to the home or office and hooked up, the things it has to connect to remain in common. Very roughly:
- External display: check
- Keyboard and mouse (or trackball): check
- Time Machine drive: check
- Printer: check (if not using AirPrint)
- Ethernet: check (if Wi-Fi not available or allowed)
It’s the power of the MacBook Pro that allows it to perform tasks faster, and more ports aren’t required to utilize that internal power. So why might Apple cripple the MacBook Air?
- A faux justification, in part, for the MacBook Pro’s higher price.
- A sales strategy designed to make the prospective buyer realize the obvious (more ports are better) and opt for a MacBook Pro instead of Air.
- Make a tacit admission that the buyer is going to need dongles and docks anyway.
- An obsession to make the MacBook Air appear clean and svelte. By tradition.
Perhaps an analogy will clarify my point. A company sells a horse saddle with one stirrup—allegedly for average riders. To get two stirrups, one has to buy the pro version of the saddle. But most any rider has two legs and rides in the same fashion and does the same basic things. It’s just that the pro rider is more skilled. Two stirrups are really the minimum.
But the company, following Apple, charges more for the pro saddle with two stirrups.
As they say, horse hockey.
Full of it
Our family MacBook Pro (2018) has all four USB-C ports full, and more would be welcome. How can a MacBook Air buyer possibly survive with just two USB-C ports?
Yes, a dock or hub is called for. And in that sense, Apple is just shaving dimes and forcing the purchaser into a technical corner—possibly for reasons cited above. And more cash outlay for hubs.
Holding back on USB-C ports on the MacBook Air strikes me as callous disregard for the technical needs of the customer. I hope Apple, I’m looking at you COO Jeff Williams, reconsiders this affront to user needs.