Apple is often forward-looking in its hardware designs, but some fans of the company feel it's gone too far on its newest laptops, eschewing all traditional ports (USB, HDMI, an SD camera slot) in favor of a relatively kind of connection, "USB-C." (The MacBook Pro does still have a headphone jack, unlike the iPhone 7, which may be Apple's idea of an inside joke.)
There are some reasons this is a good thing: USB-C has more bandwidth than even the fairly new USB 3.0 standard, which means it can transfer data faster. It can also act as a port for a power adapter to charge a the laptop. And it can, with the right adapter, connect older USB devices, monitors and HDTVs, camera-card adapters and Thunderbolt products. The port and plugs for it are relatively small and you don't have to worry about plugging them in upside down (they work either way), unlike regular USB. Google's Pixel laptops and some Android smart phones also use USB-C ports.
But it can also create strange problems: as it stands now, if you buy a MacBook Pro from Apple and a brand-new iPhone 7 or 7 Plus, there's no way to connect the two together for charging and syncing unless you do it wirelessly or buy a separate adapter (or "dongle" if you prefer). To that end, the company is discounting adapters for a limited time to ease the transition. Expect lots more USB-C-based products to hit the market in the next few years.
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