You know those USB ports on your laptop? The ones where you have to plug in the USB cable the right way? And if you don’t, you feel like an idiot as you flip the cable upside down and try to jam it in there again?
And sometimes it takes multiple attempts while you fumble around and figure out which way the thing is supposed to go? Super annoying, right?
Anyway, those things are on the way out. They’re going to be replaced, like floppy discs and dial-up modems and dot matrix printers and dinosaurs. You can’t stop progress. Time marches on.
That brings us to Apple’s current sale on adapter cords, which was supposed to end Dec. 31. Apple has decided it’s a good idea to keep the sale going, so it just extended the sale through March 31, 2017.
You see, the new MacBook Pro, which Apple released earlier this year, is the first laptop to use next-generation USB connectors. The new connectors are smaller, faster, more versatile and plug in either way, so you’ll never have to flip them over.
The problem is, people buying new MacBook Pros want to be able to plug in all their old devices with the old connectors — all their keyboards, mice, microphones and thumb drives. They’re frustrated they have to buy a bunch of adapter cables to connect all their existing gear to their pricy new laptops.
Responding to that frustration, Apple is temporarily slashing prices on various cables and adapters to ease customers’ transition to this new type of USB port. Many items are half-price. The price cuts are available at brick-and-mortar Apple Stores, at Apple’s online store and at various other retailers.
Making a Connection
Even if you don’t want or can’t afford a new MacBook Pro, you’ll probably need one of these adapter cords someday. Computer industry analysts expect the new USB connectors to become the universal standard and start appearing in every computer-maker’s devices before long.
Computers have used the older USB ports you’re used to, called USB Type-A, since the mid-1990s. They’re too big to fit on smartphones, digital cameras and video game controllers.
The new connectors are USB Type-C. They can transfer data faster, can charge your device, and are small enough for every kind of device to use.
In the immediate future, many computers will likely have both kinds of USB ports. If you need an adapter, however, here’s what’s on sale:
- USB-C to USB adapter: from $19 to $9
- Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter: from $49 to $29
- USB-C to Lightning cable, 1 meter: from $25 to $19
- USB-C to Lightning cable, 2 meters: from $35 to $29
- USB-C digital AV multiport adapter: from $69 to $49
- USB-C VGA multiport adapter: from $69 to $49
- SanDisk Extreme Pro SD UHS-II Card USB-C reader: from $49 to $29
The sale also includes external monitors designed to work well with the new MacBook Pro:
- LG UltraFine 5K display: from $1,299 to $974
- LG UltraFine 4K display: from $699 to $524
Your Turn: Will you buy the new USB adapters while they’re on sale?
Mike Brassfield is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. When he’s not working, he’s reading or being a dad. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.