6 USB-C accessories that’ll let your new MacBook actually connect to stuff – Mashable

USB-C‘s tiny and reversible design may be the one port to rule them all, but the world — especially the working world — isn’t ready for it yet.

Until USB-C is ubiquitous, it’s going to be dongle hell for a lot of new MacBook users (the Chromebook Pixel 2 smartly includes both USB-C and full-sized USB ports).

Whether you need backwards compatibility for full-sized USB accessories, need more ports, or just want to leap into the future, USB-C accessories are coming. Compared to a few months ago, there’s already a growing list of add-ons you can buy.

Below are the best ones so far for the early tech adopter.

1. Hydradock/OWC USB-C Dock


The HydraDock adds 11 ports back to the new MacBook.

Image: HydraDock

There’s always that person who needs a gazillion ports. What that guy needs is the Hydradock — a docking station that gives the new MacBook 11 ports. You get a 3.5mm headphone jack, an Ethernet port, an SDXC card slot, a Mini DisplayPort, an HDMI port (1080p output), four USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports and two USB-C ports. There’s still a bunch left on Kickstarter, but it’ll cost you $129.

OWC is also selling an 11-port dock (in silver, gold and gray) that costs $129, but its dock has four USB 3.0 ports, one USB-C port, an SD card reader, an HDMI port with 4K support, an Ethernet port, audio in, audio out and a special USB-C port for power.

2. SanDisk 32GB USB flash drive

Sandisk USB C Flash Drive

Sandisk’s two-side flash drive with USB-C and full-size USB port.

Image: Sandisk

The new MacBook may be built for users who store all their files in the cloud, but what if you still need to move them from one device to another locally? This SanDisk flash drive has two halves: One for USB-C and one for regular full-sized USB 3.0, so you can easily connect it to your new MacBook and existing PCs. It’s not cheap, though — the drive will set you back $50 for a 32GB.

3. LaCie Porsche Design Mobile Drive

LaCie Porsche Mobile Drive

Image: LaCie

USB flash drives are nice and tiny, but they don’t offer a ton of storage. LaCie’s Porsche Design Mobile Drive is perfect for file hoarders. It comes in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB models. It comes in a sleek aluminum case.

4. Jelly Comb adapter

Jelly Comb

Image: Jelly Comb

Apple sells a USB-C to full-size USB adapter for $19. Don’t buy it. There are tons of cheaper adapters that do the same thing, like this one from Jelly Comb. At the time of this writing, Amazon is selling this adapter for $9. The adapter converts the USB-C port on the new MacBook to a USB 3.1 port theoretically capable of up to 10Gbps transfers.

5. Monoprice USB-C cables and adapters

Monoprice USB-C

Monoprice’s generic USB-C cables and adapters are a better buy than Apple’s expensive ones.

Image: Monoprice

When it comes to USB cables and adapters, you really don’t need to pay a ton of money for them. Don’t be that sucker who still thinks gold-plated USB cables are better than regular ones (same for HDMI cables, too). Monoprice sells a variety of USB-C cables and adapters for super cheap.

6. Hub+


The Hub+ USB-C hub.

Image: Nonda

Looking for something a little smaller, more elegant and more portable than the Hydradock? What you want is the Hub+, a small aluminum hub with six ports: Two USB-C ports, three full-sized USB ports and an SDXC card reader. There’s also a model with a built-in 800 milliamp-hour (mAh) battery that’s good for recharging mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. You can still pick one up on Kickstarter here.

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