Tech Accessories
With new MacBook ports, Apple taketh away and Hub+ giveth back

A consumer has just bought the new 12-inch MacBook and wants to connect a desktop monitor or a couple of other devices to it. That consumer will quickly realize that it’s not possible out of the box because Apple’s new computer only has one USB-C port.

patent-claimedThe Hub+ solves that problem. It’s a USB-C hub specifically designed for the new MacBook that offers all the ports most users will need, including two USB-C ports, one SDXC card reader, one mini DisplayPort and three USB-A charging ports. It also includes a built-in lithium-ion battery to charge any mobile phone. Hub+ costs $99 and will ship in July. Its maker set a Kickstarter goal of receiving $35,000 by June 16.

The compact hub is targeted at a very niche customer base at this point because it was designed specifically for the new MacBook. But it could be seen as a must-have accessory for anybody who buys that computer or a wave of new laptops that wlll use USB-C such as the new Chromebook Pixel.

One of the few notable negatives is that its interface doesn’t support HDMI. But users can buy a separate adapter with a mini DisplayPort connection on one end and an HDMI connection on the other end. Some may also see the inability of its USB-C port to be used for data transfer as another drawback. This will likely become a space where many of the big accessory makers dive in.

 

Jeff Berman is a Long Island-based freelance reporter, who has also contributed stories to publications including TheStreet and the consumer electronics magazines Dealerscope and TWICE. He previously worked as a senior editor and deputy managing editor of the trade newsletter Consumer Electronics Daily, published by Warren Communications News.