One of the least welcome aspects of Apple’s latest MacBook Pro machines was the decision to move completely away from legacy ports. The decision to use exclusively Thunderbolt 3 connections is a forward-looking move that leaves some current owners in a lurch when it comes to their installed base of older USB, HDMI, DisplayPort, and other devices.
Apple responded to customer complaints by offering special pricing on their dongles that allow the use of all sorts of legacy connections. That was always a short-term prospect and if you’ve procrastinated then you might want to head over to the Apple Store — the sale price ends Friday.
That might not be a huge deal to you if you only need a single dongle. But if you need to connect a bunch of different legacy peripherals, then the savings could really add up. As a refresher, here’s a list of all the dongles that Apple has been offering at a discount:
- USB-C to standard USB: $9, down from $19
- USB-C to Lightning cable (1 meter): $19, down from $25
- USB-C to Lightning cable (2 meters): $29, down from $35
- Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter: $29, down from $49
- Multiport adapter with USB-C, USB, and HDMI: $49, down from $69
- Multiport adapter with USB-C, USB, and VGA: $49, down from $69
Of course, you could also look at the host of third-party solutions. Options include not only dongles like the ones that Apple is selling with their logo emblazoned on them, but also more expensive and feature-packed hubs. The latter do more than just allow for a single device — or a few devices — to connect, but they can also provide power and make for a convenient means to simply unplug your MacBook Pro and go.
Even if you choose a hub, though, you likely will want to keep a dongle or two in your bag. There is nothing more frustrating than being in a coffee shop and needing to plug in someone’s flash drive, only to discover you left your dongle at home. If you made the investment in Apple’s pricey MacBook Pro, then you probably want to bite the bullet and invest in a dongle or two. Just make sure you place your order Friday because saving some cash is always a good thing.