12-inch MacBook Shocker: Using It With Apple Displays – Forbes

The gorgeous 12-inch MacBook comes with at least one rude surprise.

I think of myself as relatively savvy and plugged-in when it comes to laptops.  Maybe not. I just started using the new 12-inch MacBook and have only realized now that its single port doesn’t work with any current Apple Apple displays — including my LED Cinema display.

But don’t take my word for it.  Call Apple and talk to one of their experts — which I did (twice just to make sure).  Or ask any knowledgeable Apple sales associate at an Apple store, which I did twice — again, just to make sure.  Then again, maybe I’m not so dumb: there is apparently plenty of confusion out there.

The reason the 12-inch MacBook was not designed to connect (and forget Apple USB-C adapters: they currently won’t provide connectivity either) to Apple Thunderbolt or LED Cinema displays was explained in various ways by Apple people.  Here are a few:

–Apple displays are targeted at professionals who require lots of horsepower.  And more powerful MacBooks (e.g., MacBook Air, MacBook Pro Retina) can connect to Apple displays.  ”[The 12-inch MacBook] is only rated at 2011 MacBook Air performance,” is what a couple of Apple people told me.
–And a variation on that theme: it’s meant exclusively as a mobile laptop, is what another Apple specialist told me. I guess that means it is meant to be used only when you’re out and about.
–Apple should be bringing out a new display soon that it will be able to connect to, said a sales associate.

Of course, it’s not the end of the world.  Theoretically, you can connect the 12-inch MacBook to a host of third-party HDMI displays, as just one example.  Ironically, the 2015 Dell Dell XPS 13 that I’ve been using can connect to my LED Cinema display (sans adapters) just fine.  And despite being impossibly thin like the 12-inch MacBook, the XPS 13 has a Mini DisplayPort connector (among other connectors).

I guess that’s the cost of designing a MacBook with a solitary connector.

Editor’s note: the first bullet point may not have been clear. It has been rewritten to reflect that Apple specialists were talking about Apple displays being targeted at professionals.


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